1 John – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

John addresses the Christians, as an old man. All are liable to sin, but when we do, don’t despair. We have a Father that forgives , Jesus Christ who is eminently righteous Himself.

Verse 2 – And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Christ has already suffered the penalty for our sin, so we can’t be tried for something that has already been paid for. United with Christ, we are safe from punishment.

Verse 3 – Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

Believe int he Lord Jesus Christ and love one another. True Christian faith results in loving behavior.

Verse 4 – He who says, “I know Him, ” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

The true follower of Christ is a doer of the Word, not just a hearer.

Verse 5 – But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.

Do you know people who profess to be Christians, but yet you have a hard time seeing “in what area” they are? What they say and what they do does not line up. John say’s they are a liar. God sees the difference and we do too.

Verse 6 – He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

To walk as Christ today we must follow His teachings and let His life reflect in us which is obedience to the Father.

Verse 7 – Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.

Verse 8 – Again, a new commandment I write to you, which things is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

The commandment to love one another is both Old Testament and New Testament teaching. Love should be the unifying force and identifying mark of the Christian. We cannot grow spiritually while hating others. Our growing relationship with God will result in a loving relationship with others.

Verse 9 – He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

Verse 10 – He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

Does this mean that if I don’t like “some” Christians, that I’m not a true Christian? No, it means we are to treat all Christians with respect and concern with their well-being whether we have that feeling of affection or not toward them. Sometimes we have to look beyond their faults, as others look beyond ours. However, I do realize that there are Christians we just don’t like being around.

Verse 11 – But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

This is not talking about the lost anywhere in these previous verses. It is talking about how we treat our fellow Christian brothers and sisters.

Verse 12 – I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

Verse 13 – I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you little children, because you have known the Father.

Verse 14 – I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him, who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.

John was writing to believers of all ages who had experienced forgiveness through Jesus. As young adults move from victory to victory, they grow in their relationship with Christ. Older Christians, having known Christ for years, have developed the wisdom needed to teach the younger people and start the cycle all over again.

Verse 15 – Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Verse 16 – For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.

Some think worldliness is just merely thinking like the world and placing a high value on material things. Worldliness is also internal because it begins with the heart characterized by our attitudes.

By contrast, God values is self-control, a spirit of generosity, and a commitment to humble service. Do our values and priorities in this life reflect the world’s values or God’s.

Verse 17 – And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

So many today live as though the things of this world will always be here. They take no thought of God and His word, that one day all this will be gone. A Christian is to live with eternity in mind.

Verse 18 – Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrist have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

John is talking about the closing dispensation in which the affairs of the world are ultimately wound up. Can we not see this happening in our societies today where people call evil good and good evil. And it is getting worse. Any life-style that someone thinks is right, is pushed on others that follow God. A “phoebe” is used to name call those who don’t believe that way.

There have been and will continue to be many antichrist, thinking they are taking the place of Christ in this world. But when the time comes there will be the Antichrist that will rule the world for a time.

This passage proves that these persons, whatever their pretensions and professions may have been, were never sincere Christians. The same may be said of all who apostatize from the faith, and become teachers of error. They never truly converted; never belonged really to the spiritual church of Christ.

Verse 20 – But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Verse 21 – I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Verse 22 – Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.

John calls all those who do not believe Jesus is the Christ an antichrist and a liar.

There are several religions today that do not believe that God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are One! Make sure the church you go to and support believe that Christ is the One  true Son of God.

Verse 23 – Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either, he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

Verse 24 – Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

The gospel that you heard when you were first saved, don’t let a false teacher come in and sway you. There will always be people that will try to alter the basic foundations of the truth, then and today. Jesus Christ is God’s Son and is God and His sacrifice saved us from our sins and it is permanent. No teaching should ever contradict that!

Verse 25 – And this is the promise that He has promised us – eternal life.

Verse 26 – These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you.

Verse 27 – But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

In other words: Those who are true Christians will not fall away because there is an anointing on them from God. Stay in God’s word and you will know as soon as you hear something contrary to Scripture, you can reject it.

Verse 28 – And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.

Verse 29 – If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him.

Bottom line; The visible proof of being a Christian is right behavior. Many people do good deeds but don’t have faith in Jesus Christ. Others claim to have faith but rarely produce good deeds. A defect in either faith or right behavior will be cause for shame when Christ returns. Because true faith always results in good deeds, those who claim to have faith and consistently do what is right are true believers. Good deeds do not produce salvation, but they are necessary proof that true faith is actually present! So the question is, “Do I produce what I believe?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 John – Chapter 1

Introduction: This epistle was written by the apostle “John,” the same John which wrote the Gospel of John. We don’t know exactly when it was written though. Was it before or after the destruction of Jerusalem? John just makes note of the last hour, so that could mean any number of times.

This Epistle seems to not have been written to a particular church, but rather a certain character in the churches with dangerous opinions.

John’s first letter seems to address some in the local church, that had departed fellowship, apparently because their doctrine, ethics, devotion, or some combination of these were in conflict with the church. He emphasized that belief should match action.

A personal relationship with Christ is the foundation of the Christian life and out from this grows obedience to divine commands.

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life –

Verse 2 – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us –

John was one of the 12 disciples who had a personal relationship with Jesus. He was eye-witness to all these things. His qualification for being able to write this letter are from the Master Himself.

Verse 3 – that which we have seen you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

John wanted all his readers to have the same views of the Savior which he had, and partake of the same hope and joy – fellowship.

Verse 4 – And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

Verse 5 – This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

Darkness had crept in among some of John’s readers. “Light” in Scripture, is the emblem of purity, truth, knowledge, prosperity, and happiness – as darkness is the opposite. In God there is no darkness.

Verse 6 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

We can’t claim to walk with God while living a life of sin – darkness. It’s a life of lies.

Verse 7 – But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

Meaning – born-again; walking according to God’s word; standards set by God’s truth; and living that transformed life of obedience and self-control, not fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

Verse 8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Here John was attacking the claim of the false teachers that people had no natural tendency toward sin. These false teachers, as some do today, saw no need to repent. I can’t remember the last time I heard a message on repenting and then having an opportunity for the congregation to do so. That’s one reason why it’s hard to tell the Christians from the lost. People think confessing their sin is old fashion.

Verse 9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The forgiveness of sins is mercy on God’s part. If we can’t admit to being a sinner, then one cannot be born-again. After being a Christian, we know when we have sinned and know good and well when we have wronged another person. A humble spirit will cause us to repent and, “Make it right!” Everyone sins and everyone messes up, own up to it.

Verse 10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

Do you know who cannot be saved? Those who refuse to admit they are a sinner! Too many compare themselves to others instead of comparing themselves to God’s standards. They think, “Well, at least I’m not as bad as so and so.” Everyone will answer for themselves one day.

 

 

2 Peter – Chapter 3

Mocking in the Last Days

Verse 1 – Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder),

Verse 2 – that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior,

Presumable the previous letter was 1 Peter, reminding his readers not to forget his teachings they had received through the prophets and apostles.

Verse 3 – knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,

Verse 4 – and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

“The last days” is the time between Christ’s first and second coming. Scoffers and mockers are more than someone just making fun of a Christian believing that Christ will return. It’s stronger than that. These are people that live their lives never giving any thought to Christ or that one day they will answer for all they have done in this life. It is also those who are determined to discredit and disgrace anyone that is a Christian that might get in their paths. They have no idea what the prophets or the apostles said about what will happen when He returns.

Verse 5 – For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,

Verse 6 – by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

To those who think this world will always continue are ignorant of the fact that the earth was once destroyed by water, by the Word of God!

Verse 7 – But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Meaning: Dependent solely on the will of God! The laws of nature have no stability independent of His will, and at His pleasure all things could be reduced to nothing.

The first time the earth was destroyed, was by water. The second time will be by fire. (Fire purifies) When the earth was destroyed by water, it was because of the wickedness of the inhabitants. the same reason will be at the second destruction, the wicked will be destroyed.

Verse 8 – But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

What seems to be a long time to us is but a brief time to God. In the infinity of His own duration there is abundant time to accomplish His designs, and it can make no difference with Him whether they are accomplished in one day or extended to one thousand years. God is outside of time.

Verse 9 – The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Aren’t you glad that the Lord waited on you to come to Him? I sure am!

Verse 10 – But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.

God’s patience toward sinners is not inexhaustible. The Day of the Lord will be sudden and will catch many people unprepared, as when a burglar sneaks in and robs a house. Matthew 24:42 – “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”

Verse 11 – Therefore, since all things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,

Verse 12 – looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?

Verse 13 – Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

Not knowing when this will occur, we should live in the expectation that it could be any moment. Should that alone not cause us to live holy lives? Think of it this way: What do you want to be caught doing when Christ returns?

Verse 14 – Therefore, beloved, looking to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot or blameless;

Verse 15 – and account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation – as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,

Verse 16 – as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

Without proper learning abilities, some that don’t understand Scripture, tend to pervert it. The way to remove error is not to perpetuate ignorance, it is to enlighten the mind, so that it may be qualified to appreciate the truth.

Verse 17 – You therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

Verse 18 – but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Chris. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

The best step in refuting false teachers and false doctrine is to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. No matter where we are in our spiritual growth, the sinful world will always challenge us in our faith.

 

 

2 Peter – Chapter 2

The Danger of False Teachers

Verse 1 – But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

Do you know how to tell a false teacher or preacher is not teaching the true gospel? Know your Bible so well that the moment you hear or read something, your spirit is unsettled. You will instantly know, “That’s not true!”

Verse 2 – And many will follow their destructive ways because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

Verse 3 – By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Peter is talking about teachers that only teach what the people wanted to hear, in order to gain wealth. These teacher’s conduct was as corrupt as what they had been teaching. They may sound sincere at first, but if people don’t know the word of God and don’t have His Spirit, they will fall for their false teaching.

I think the biggest lie that is being taught today is that sin doesn’t have to be repented for. Sin is glossed over in the churches as a “mistake” instead of being called what it is – sin. If there is no sincere repentance there is no transformed life.

Verse 4 – For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

Verse 5 – and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing the flood on the world of the ungodly;

Verse 6 – and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

Verse 7 – and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed with the filthy conduct of the wicked

Verse 8 – (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day-to-day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds) –

Verse 9 – then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

Verse 10 – and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,

Verse 11 – whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

If God did not spare the wicked people before the flood, or the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, He will not spare false teachers!

There are many today, as was then in ancient days, that don’t believe in the “supernatural.” They don’t believe that demons can and do possess people.

However, all through the Bible people were possessed and evil spirits consumed people’s thoughts and behaviors. Any teacher or preacher that teaches that God is so loving that He will overlook ad accept any kind of behavior, is delusional themselves. God does punish sin, and sin is clearly defined in Scripture.

Verse 12 – But these like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand and will utterly perish in their own corruption,

Verse 13 – and will receive wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes carousing in their own deceptions while they feast on you,

These false teachers were slandering celestial beings that they did not understand, taking Satan’s power lightly and claiming to have the ability to judge evil. Same as today, many mock the supernatural. They deny the spiritual world and say what only is seen or felt is real. some don’t believe Satan is even real.

Verse 14 – having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

Verse 15 – They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

This is in reference to using religion for personal gain and achievements.

Verse 16 – but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

Balaam was hired by an evil pagan king to curse Israel. He did what God told him to do for a time, but eventually his evil motives and desire for money won out. One day Balaam was beating his donkey and the donkey rebuked him and in no uncertain terms told Balaam that Israel was God’s people.

Verse 17 – These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever.

Verse 18 – For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lust of the flesh, through licentiousness the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.

These teachers use deceitful statements, knowing they are false, to ensnare others. These false teachings entice people to believe in false doctrines.

Verse 19 – While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption: for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

A person is in bondage to whatever or whomever is in control of them. Christ frees us from these bondage in order to live for him, resulting in the ultimate good.

Verse 20 – For if, after they have escaped the pollution’s of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

This verse does not imply that the person ever had any true knowledge of the Redeemer’s saving grace. People can “outwardly” perform and reform, but have no true grace of heart. They have heard the gospel, know they need to be saved, but it’s only an outward show to others. And before long, they are back to living in sin in a back-slidden state. Their end result will be worse than before they acknowledged the truth!

Verse 21 – For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Verse 22 – But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

Meaning, they return to their former vile behavior. Under all the appearances of reformation, still their evil nature remained. This passage is referring to those who never truly have a change of heart. A dog and a swine have never been anything but a dog and a pig, and these people were never anything but a sinner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Peter – Chapter 1

Salutation

Verse 1 – Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Verse 2 – Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

Verse 3 – as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

Many believers want an abundance of God’s grace and peace, but are unwilling to put forth the effort to get to know Him better through Bible study and prayer. How can a believer enjoy the privileges we have through Christ if we don’t know about them?

Verse 4 – by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

We don’t have the power to grow into a mature Christian on our own. That power comes from God through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we participate in the divine nature in order to keep us from sin and help us live for Him. Knowing the Savior more and more helps us to grow in Him.

Verse 5 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

Verse 6 – to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance to perseverance godliness,

Verse 7 – to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

Faith has to be much more than belief in facts; it must result in action, growth in Christian character, and the practice in moral discipline, or it will die away.

Verse 8 – For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t you wish all Christians had the characteristics that Peter mentioned? Self-control being the biggest. We don’t always have to have our way. The world doesn’t revolve around us.

In other words: abound in self-control, godliness, kindness, and love, and you will be fruitful in the knowledge of Christ!

Verse 9 – For he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

You cannot claim to be a Christian and still do and act the way you were before being born-again!

Verse 10 – Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;

Verse 11 – for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Did you catch that ? Peter just told us of the sure way into the everlasting kingdom. The list of what we are to add to our faith is found in verses 5-7. Faith has to be put into actions, for faith without works is “DEAD!”

Verse 12 – Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth.

Verse 13 – Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,

Verse 14 – knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.

Verse 15 – Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

Peter knew that he would soon die. Many years before, Christ had prepared Peter for the kind of death he would face in John 21:18,19. So, he recorded his teachings in order for the church to not forget what he had taught.

Verse 16 – For we did not follow cunningly devised fable when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

Verse 17 – For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Verse 18 – And we heard the voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

The transfiguration which occurred soon after these words were spoken was designed to show them what Jesus would be in His glory, and to furnish to them a demonstration which they could never forget, that He would yet set up His kingdom in the world.

Verse 19 – We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to hold as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;

Verse 20 – Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,

Verse 21 – for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever heard someone say, “The Bible can mean many things according to whom is interpreting it.” Not true. First of all, let me say this, “You will never understand what the Bible is saying unless you are filled with the Holy Spirit of God.” The Bible is foolishness to the unbelieving world.

“Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” means that Scripture did not come from the creative work of the prophets’ own invention of interpretation. God inspired the writers, so their message is authentic and reliable. We either believe it or we don’t .

 

 

 

1 Peter – Chapter 5

Verse 1 – The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

Verse 2 – Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

Verse 3 – nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

Elders were church officers providing supervision, protection, discipline, instruction, and direction for the believers. Peter was a fellow elder, not their superior. His identification with the elders in caring for God’s people, is a powerful example of Christian leadership, where authority is based on service, not power.

Verse 4 – and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Verse 5 – Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

As Christians, we are to respect those who are older and listen to those who are younger. But all are to show respect to both ages and serve with a humble spirit.

Verse 6 – Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

Be willing to take a low position and do that to the best of your ability until God sees fit to exalt you. He will do it when you’re ready.

Verse 7 – casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Worry and stress kind of shows we don’t trust Christ to take care of us. It takes humility to ask for help. Sometimes people think that because of their own decisions that turned out wrong, God won’t help and doesn’t care. Never submit to your circumstances, but submit to God who controls your circumstances!

Verse 8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The devil is looking for weak spots and also listens to what comes out of your mouth especially about the Father. He know whether you have the confidence and faith to believe God will help you, by what you say!

Verse 9 – Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

Verse 10 – But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Grace is given to the Christian to endure all suffering.

Verse 11 – To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Verse 12 – By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which we stand.

Verse 13 – She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.

Silvanus, is Silas, and Babylon is in reference to Rome.

Verse 14 – Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Peter wrote this letter just before the cruel Emperor Nero began persecuting Christians in Rome and throughout the empire. Peter lived by the words he wrote because he was eventually martyred for his faith.

 

1 Peter – Chapter 4

Verse 1 – Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin,

Verse 2 – that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

Having the same mind as Christ had when he was ready to suffer for the will of God is the same determination Christians are to have. Christ was ready to suffer to bring about salvation to the whole world.

The reasoning is based on the idea that there is such a union between Christ and the believer that His death on the cross secured the death of the believer to the world – ceased from sin.

As Christians, we die to self, meaning, we are no longer under the influence of the former things – sin. We seek only to do the will of God.

Verse 3 – For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles – when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

Verse 4 – In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.

When a person’s life changes radically at conversion, they may experience contempt from their old friends. They may be mocked because they refuse to participate in some of their activities. The new Christian is heading in the opposite direction now. However, God will give you new friends that you will have much more in common with.

Verse 5 – They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

Verse 6 – For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The basis of salvation is our belief in Jesus, but the basis for judgment is how we live. Those who inflict persecution on others, are marked for punishment when they stand before God.

Verse 7 – But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.

Death is certain to all, therefore, we are to live a holy life, by the assurance that “the end of all things is drawing near.” Therefore, be sober, thoughtful, considerate and kind to others. Be serous in prayer because time is short!

Verse 8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

Proverbs 10:12 – Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. Love to another will cover or hide a great many imperfections and faults, that you might have noticed in the other person.

Verse 9 – Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.

Don’t offer to do something for someone and then quarrel about it.

Verse 10 – As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Any endowment or gift that has been bestowed upon us in order to benefit another. By doing this we show the grace of God.

Verse 11 – If anyone speaks let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.

Some people believe that they have the right to use their God given abilities any way they choose. Others feel they have no special abilities at all, so they do nothing to help others. However, when we use our gifts and talents to serve others, they will see Jesus in us and praise God for the help they have received. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Verse 12 – Beloved do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange things happened to you;

Verse 13 – but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s suffering, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.

This means suffering the same kind He endured, and inflicted for the same reasons. They were to rejoice that they were identified with Christ even in suffering. “Then when His glory is revealed” – at the day of judgment.

Verse 14 – If you are reproached for the name of Christ blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

Meaning: If they were reproached, it was a positive condition because they would be considered friends of Christ and had rewards waiting on them in heaven.

Verse 15 – But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters.

Those kind of sufferings are because of doing wrong and there is no glory in them.

Verse 16 – Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

Verse 17 – For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?

We are to judge ourselves first. We are to keep our character and actions in check, professing to be “Christ-like.” How will those on the outside of God’s house ever know we belong to Him if we don’t obey the gospel? If discipline comes to those who believe, how much more will it come to the unbeliever?

Verse 18 – Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear.

Verse 19 – Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good as to a faithful Creator.

God created the world and has faithfully ordered it and kept it since creation. Because we know God is faithful, we can count on Him to keep His promises to us. If God can oversee the forces of nature, surely He can see us through our trials that we face!

 

 

 

 

1 Peter – Chapter 3

Submission in Marriage

Verse 1 – Likewise you wives, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

Verse 2 – when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

Under Roman law, the husband and father had absolute authority over all members of his household including his wife. (These verses are not talking about a Christian woman marrying an unbeliever. It is talking about the wife being converted after marriage.)

Peter is reassuring Christian wives who were married to an unbelieving husband, that they did not need to preach to their husbands. He was simply saying that if they were kind, loving, and submissive to them, then they might win them over.

Verse 3 – Do not let your beauty be that outward adorning of arranging the hair of wearing gold, or of putting on fine apparel;

Peter is not saying that the wife should neglect her appearance by looking like, “Plain Jane.” It’s all about the heart and attitude when the wife dresses. Don’t be “Show offy!”

Verse 4 – but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Verse 5 – For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,

Verse 6 – as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

By these verses, we see it is not about the jewelry, it’s about a humble heart. And verse 6, is talking about : Don’t come out of the Christian character, even if the husband is mean and causes terror. Handle in a way that is becoming to a Christian wife. However, don’t  ever stay in an abusive relationship.

Verse 7 – Likewise you husbands, dwell with them with understanding giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Husbands, did you catch that ? Be good to your wife, or your prayers will go no further than the ceiling!

Verse 8 – Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous;

Verse 9 – not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Verse 10 – For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking guile;

Verse 11 – Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”

When Peter says, “All of you,” he is still talking to the married couple, but we all can take this to heart.

Verse 12 – For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.

God protects the righteous. He does it by saving them from those vices by which the lives of so many are shortened. He hears every prayer of His children.

When verse 12 says, “But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, it’s talking about the lost, the unbeliever. The first prayer God will hear from them, is the prayer of repentance and belief in His Son Jesus.

Verse 13 – And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?

The idea is, that God would in general protect them, through the next verse shows some will suffer for righteousness sake.

Verse 14 – But even if you should suffer for righteousness sake, you are blessed. And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”

Verse 15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Verse 16 – having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

As Christians, we are to live in such a way that when accusations from the enemy come, that our conscience is clear of any wrong doing.

Verse 17 – For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

You will be comforted by the Lord when doing the Father’s will and you are persecuted!

Verse 18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by Spirit,

Verse 19 – by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison,

Verse 20 – who formerly were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.

Peter is showing us of the patience of God through longsuffering for souls to come to Him. It took Noah 120 years to build that ark, and all the while preaching to whom would listen. However, only eight were saved when God shut the door to the ark. How long did God wait on you before you turned to Him?

Verse 21 – There is also an anti-type which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Verse 22 – who has gone to heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Peter says that Noah’s salvation through water symbolized baptism. Baptism is the symbol of the transformation that happens in the heart of death (to the old life), burial (death to sin), and resurrection (raised to a new life), in Christ Jesus.

 

1 Peter – Chapter 2

Desire the Pure Milk of the Word

Verse 1 – Therefore, laying aside all malice, all guile, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

Verse 2 – as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,

Verse 3 – if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Grace is the first thing we should learn as new believers; that a God so gracious would forgive and love us, in spite of our sin. So as we fill our spirits up with the gospel, these old characteristics start to disappear.

Once we start to learn from God;’s word what it means to be  a Christian, we develop a strong desire to have self-control, by staying in the Word. Then as we see things like envy begin to fall away, we know we are maturing.

Verse 4 – Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

Verse 5 – you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Salvation is often referred to as “coming to Christ” the “corner-stone” of the spiritual house. Some reject Him, some come to the “living stone,” for salvation. This body of believers, the spiritual house is built with “living stones,” living materials. This spiritual temple, not made with perishable materials, like that at Jerusalem, but made with redeemed souls, in which Christ is the head.

To offer up spiritual sacrifices – no more animal sacrifices, but a sacrifice of the heart; the sacrifice of prayer and praise, acceptable only y through Christ as our Intercessor before the throne of God.

Verse 6 – Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious, and who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

Have you ever put your trust in something or someone, and then find out you were wrong to do so? This causes shame or embarrassment. However, God and His Word, can be trusted to their fullest, and you will never fall prey to shame because He does what He says and is who He says He is!

Verse 7 – Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone,”

Verse 8 – and “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

“But to those who are disobedient” – refuse to be persuaded, to believe. Some of these believe there are many ways to God’ some believe because they think they are a “good person,” that is good enough. However, they still refuse to believe in the only one and true way to God is through Jesus Christ. The gospel offends them, and it therefore becomes a stumbling rock to them! They are blinded to the truth.

Verse 9 – But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him which called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

Verse 10 – who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

“Called out of darkness” – darkness is the emblem of ignorance, sin, and misery, and refers to their condition, and ours, before conversion. Those who are brought to the knowledge of the gospel.

A conversion is so great and so rapid, the views and feelings are so different before and after conversion, that it seems like a sudden transition from midnight to noon – darkness to light. In all cases of genuine conversion it is true that each one can say that they have been called from a state in which their mind was dark to one in which it is comparatively clear!

Verse 11 – Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

Verse 12 – having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Christians are identified as sojourners and pilgrims because this world is not our home. “Abstain from fleshly lusts” – these fleshly lusts can be sexual temptations; and be temptations that conquer us. There are all kinds of temptations to make the flesh feel fulfilled. It’s not wrong to want to be happy, but we know what is good for us and what isn’t. The choices we make in this life will affect us in the next.

Peter uses the Gentiles as the evildoers in the next verse, because there were a large number of non-believers that were involved in paganism surrounding the Christians that he was writing to. If we are constantly on guard of our behavior and conduct to honor God, we shouldn’t worry too much about what unbelievers say about us. When they speak lies, others will see that what they’ve accused us of is not true.

Verse 13 – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

Verse 14 – or to governors as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.

The meaning is to every institution of man, those who are in authority – obey the laws of the land unless contrary to God’s laws. If we don’t break the law, then we wont’ be punished by the law.

Verse 15 – For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men –

Verse 16 – as free, yet not using your liberty as a cloak for vice, but as servants of God.

Those who were converted to the Christian faith, whether from among the Jews or the Gentiles, were made to feel that they were the children of God, and that His law was the supreme rule of their lives. They were not to forget their subjection to civil authority and that liberty was an invaluable blessing. They were free from sin and condemnation.

Verse 17 – Honor all people, love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Verse 18 – Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.

Our demeanor is not to change due to the response of the other person.

Verse 19 – For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

Meaning: Even if we suffer at the hands of someone being harsh, we still do what’s right because we love God. He will make it right.

Verse 20 – For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

The idea is, that if a person was justly punished, (meaning they deserved it) and take it patiently, there would be no honor in it. On the other hand, if someone who is unjustly punished for no wrong doing, then it is honor in God’s sight.

Verse 21 – For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

Verse 22 – “Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth,”

Verse 23 – who, when He reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

Verse 24 – who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we have died to sins, might live for righteousness – by whose stripes you ere healed.

Peter said all that , to show Christians: That because Christ suffered for the sins of others, who had no sin Himself, we will also suffer unjustly in this world at the hands of others, so let Christ be an example as to how we conduct ourselves when we are harshly treated.

“By whose stripes” – Christ took the scourging, beatings, and humiliation for us on account of our sin.

“Ye were healed” – Sin is often spoken of as a disease, and redemption from it as a restoration from it.

Verse 25 – For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Like sheep with no shepherd, we all had wandered away from the flock, and were following our own paths before coming to Christ. We were without a protector and were exposed to every kind of danger.

But once we became born-again, we return to the true flock and now have the great Protector and Shepherd of our souls living on the inside of us.

 

1 Peter – Chapter 1

Introduction: Persecution can cause either growth or bitterness in the Christian life. Response will determine the result. In writing to Jewish believers struggling in the midst of persecution, Peter encourages them to conduct themselves courageously.  Both their character and conduct must be above reproach.

Chapter 1

Verse 1 – Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

Verse 2 – elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

Verse 3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Verse 4 – to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Verse 5 – who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

James was writing to the temporary residents which had been dispersed to that region – in this case, the five Roman provinces located in what is now modern Turkey.

Divine foreknowledge is the basis on which a believer is chosen. It is more than just God’s prior knowledge of everything; it also includes His predetermination.

All members of the Trinity work to bring about our salvation. The Father chose us before we chose Him (Ephesians 1:4).

For those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, they have an inheritance with the Father for all eternity.

Verse 6 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you  have been grieved by various trials,

Verse 7 – that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Verse 8 – whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

Verse 9 – receiving the end of your faith – the salvation of your souls.

When Peter talks about sufferings he is not talking about natural disasters or experiencing God’s punishment, but the response of an unbelieving world to people of faith – persecutions.

All Christians will suffer trials, fiery trials, that burn away impurities and prepares us to meet Christ. Trials teach us patience and helps us grow into the kind of people God wants. Just as gold is heated to remove the impurities, likewise we are strengthened through trials of our faith.

Verse 10 – Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, when prophesied of the grace that would come to you,

Verse 11 – searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

The Old Testament people didn’t personally know Christ, but they believed God and His promise of a Messiah. That promise that the prophets had looked forward to had now been revealed – salvation through Christ.

The Spirit of Christ is another name for the Holy Spirit.

Verse 12 – To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven – things which angels desire to look into.

Verse 13 – Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

When Christ is revealed to you, grace is supplied. When Christ is accepted, hope takes hold of an eternal rest with the Savior.

Verse 14 – as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

Former ignorance: suggests that the recipients of this letter were mostly Gentiles who, before coming to Christ, practiced pagan religions.

Verse 15 – but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,

Verse 16 – because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

Holiness means being totally devoted or dedicated to God, set aside for His special use and set apart from sin and its influence. This is in contrast to the way we used to live. Always keep in mind, we are all accountable for our actions.

Verse 17 – And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your sojourning here in fear;

Verse 18 – knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,

Verse 19 – but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

We are not to take our salvation, that was bought with the precious blood of Christ, for granted. That alone should make anyone want to live a holy life.

Verse 20 – He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you,

Verse 21 – who through Him believed in God, who raised Him form the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

Christ was not an afterthought after man sinned. The plan was set in motion by the all-knowing, eternal God long before the world was created.

Verse 22 – Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Verse 23 – having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

Verse 24 – because “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away,

Verse 25 – but the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Do you know a self-centered person cannot truly love. Everything is only temporary except the Word of God, which is eternal! Why is it that something that is so important to our very life and destiny after death, do so many know so little about? If people want a spirit filled life, then they need to go to the word of God and get filled. It makes all the difference in the world how your life will turn out.