1 Peter 5
- Those functioning as anointed/teaching elders in the church possess authority that must be listened to by those under their care – including the ruling/subordinate elders (5:1; “fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ [an apostle]” = Peter’s apostleship meant that he was an anointed/teaching elder; See also 5:5a – “Likewise [in light of the point previously established regarding the authority of the anointed elders over the ruling/subordinate elders], you who are younger [the subordinate elders in your congregation] be subject to [submit to/listen to] the elders [the anointed elders]. Clothe yourselves, all of you [the entire congregation], with humility [with submission and teachableness]”).
- To be an elder a man must have no problem: 1) exercising disciplinary oversight in relation to the congregation (5:2 – “not under compulsion [only able when pressured] but willingly as God would have you; not for shameful gain [only able when bribed], but eagerly”), 2) being the example of what He demands from the flock (5:3 – “not domineering…but being an example” = No hypocrisy allowed), 3) waiting to receive his reward until he sees Jesus (5:4).
- God only helps/delivers those who: 1) submit/listen to Him – including established authorities in the church (5:5b-6), 2) believe He can help and does care about them (5:7), 3) do not give in to the temptations of Satan during their time of suffering – most especially the thought that what they are facing is abnormal/something God’s people have not faced before or know how to deal w/ (5:8-9), 4) are patient to wait for Him, viewing their situation as a test of their loyalty to Him (5:10-11).
- Maintaining what we have gained by faithfulness to Christ and His commands in the time of testing and trials, through our submission to authority, loyalty to the church and our bros/sis along with baptismal regeneration is the “true” gospel (or “grace of God”) that we must wholeheartedly believe and practice (“stand firm in”) since it is the gospel of the apostles (or the first NT church) (5:12-14).
2 Peter 1-3
- We gain (or “obtain”) our Christian “standing” (or Christian “Faith”) “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (1:1).
- The way to have God’s favor (or “grace”) and “peace” “multiplied” (or continued) to us – as well as receive “His divine power” for living a “life” that agrees w/true religion (“godliness”), is by maintaining or growing “in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord (or “Him who called us into His own glory and excellence”) (1:2-3 w/3:18).
- Our salvation is conditioned upon our behavior hence: 1) it is only by living a life that agrees w/true religion (or the right gospel) that we are guaranteed heaven and a divine nature in the future (God’s “precious and very great promises …become partakers of the divine nature”), as well as escape “from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (1:4; “by which” = By living a life that agrees w/true religion-See previous verse), 2) the “reason” we must “make every effort to supplement our faith” (or to maintain what we have gained) w/certain behavior or character “qualities” that “are increasing” or becoming more and more what characterizes our life (1:5-8), 3) this is how we grow – or keep from being “ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:8 w/1:2-3, 3:18), 4) those who fail to have increased frequency in relation to God’s prescribed “qualities” will lose their salvation (They wb considered “so nearsighted” that they are now “blind” in relation to salvation; those who have “forgotten” they were “cleansed from [their] former sins”) (1:9), 5) the charge to “be all the more diligent to confirm (our) calling and election” (1:10a), 6) the promise that if we “practice these qualities (we) will never fall” and the “entrance into the eternal kingdom” wb “richly provided” to us (1:10b-11).
- The fact that Peter intended to constantly remind people of what they already knew in regard to the gospel’s requirement (of maintaining what you gain) and see to it that these reminders continued after his death, reveals: 1) the importance of such maintaining to the salvation of God’s people as well as their propensity to be forgotten (1:12 w/1:10-11, 13-15; As it re: to being forgotten consider these verses w/1:9), 2) their connection to what else Peter saw and heard when with Jesus “on the holy mountain” (1:16-18 w/Mat 17:1-5), 3) their congruency w/the OT Scriptures or former prophecy (1:19-21; e.g. Isa 2:1-3, 18:7, 19:18-25, 66:18-21, 42:1-7, 21).
- Just as there were “false prophets” under the OT who denied the gain and maintain gospel so there wb “false teachers” under the NT who will: 1) also deny this gospel (Hence the reason for the constant reminders as to what constitutes the true gospel) (2:1), 2) promote a “feel good” false gospel that will be popular among the majority of those claiming to follow God (2:2a; “sensuality” = Appealing to the feelings/emotions), 3) cause people to condemn (or “blaspheme”) the true gospel (or “way of truth”) (2:2b), 4) speak false words (or “exploit”; Grk. “plastos” = Plastic or fake) against those who preach/embrace the true gospel (2:3a), 5) face the same eternal “condemnation” or “destruction” as their predecessors – (“Their condemnation from long ago is not idle” – i.e. the damnation faced by others in the past for committing the crime remains the same today) (2:3, 4-9), 6) by their denial, also promote antinomianism/anarchism (no law, no authority) (2:10-13a; “blaspheme the glorious ones” = God’s leaders; “do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them” = E.G. Moses – see Jud 1:9; e.g. The Evangelical church’s denial/condemnation of the church’s authority), 7) because of their “feel good” message, be able to easily convince those who live by their emotions (2:14 – “entice unsteady souls”, 2:18 – “entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error [those addicted to their feelings/emotions and as a result have a hard time separating from sinful pleasures and people]”), 8) be very confident (or “reveling” or “loud” or “boast[ful]”) and aggressive in their evangelistic efforts (they love “gain from wrongdoing and possess “hearts trained in greed”) (2:13b-18 ; “eyes full of adultery” = Adultery to the marriage covenant bc of their promotion of lawlessness – see Mat 12:39), 9) promise people freedom from sin (thru their view that faithfulness is simply the result of faith – not its obligation) that ironically (bc of their “nice but necessary” view of obedience to God’s law) will make them “slaves of corruption” and recipients of the worst damnation (2:19-22).
- Like the gospel message (of gain and maintain), it is important to remember that the world itself will also contain those opposed to or “scoffing” at the idea of Jesus coming to judge and eternally condemn those who “follow their own sinful desires” because they are ignorant of: 1) the predictions by the prophets and Jesus Himself (3:1-4), 2) the certainty of God’s Word regarding such judgment as demonstrated through ancient history (3:5-7), 3) God’s timetable and agenda (3:8-10 = Both God’s patience and judgment are on a very strict and predetermined timetable).
- Knowing the scope and severity of destruction which will define God’s coming judgment – as well as the scope of glory and perfection associated with God’s new creation, should: 1) make us “diligent” to live “lives of holiness and godliness (true religion)” and to be “found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace [w/one another]” (3:11-14), 2) cause us not to waste whatever time we have in this life but rather view it as His “patience” toward us – i.e. time to get it right so we can receive “salvation” (3:15-16a w/Eph 5:15-17).
- People who are living in their sin/flesh or by their emotions/feelings (the “unstable”) and those who don’t know the bible – or how to properly interpret it (the “untaught”), will believe the apostle Paul preached a gospel not requiring obedience to God to be saved (3:16; e.g. Evangelicals and “Pauline scholars”).
- Important to not being “carried away” (tricked or duped) by the “error of lawless people” and losing our salvation (or “los[ing] our own stability”) is: 1) knowing that such people will use Paul to support their lawless gospel (3:17), 2) growing in our Lord’s favor through obedience and the knowledge of His will (as previously prescribed – 1:5-11) (3:18).