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Into Thy Word Peter Bible Study!

© 1989, 2005 Into Thy Word Ministries, Dr. Richard J. Krejcir, Pasadena,
California USA www.intothyword.org

Introduction on how to use the Into Thy Word Bible Studies:

This is copyrighted © 1989-2005 to Richard Joseph Krejcir and Into Thy Word
Ministries www.intothyword.org however; you may use it for teaching the Word
publicly and privately. More resources are available on our Website!

How we did this:

These Bible studies are designed so that you can role out of bed and lead a
Bible study; all the hard work is done for you! They can in turn teach you how
to develop your own studies, how to better understand and prepare your
outlining and teaching and of course to glorify Him. They are for the beginner
and for the seasoned pastor. They can also be easily converted into a
sermon series, thus you can use them for your Bible study, sermons in
personal devotions, church and group use. See our online resources for
more Bible studies and articles on “How to lead Bible Studies” and sermon
preparations. Also for a deeper engaging study it is best to do your own
outline of the Bible passage. You should do this first before any outside
influence, such as commentaries that may stray your objectivity. See ‘How to
Outline’ on our website or better yet order our book “Into Thy Word” Order
the book, 'Into Thy Word' with a 15-week curriculum!

The approach I took was Inductive, which is I asked primarily inductive


questions to the text, then I researched the word meanings, researched the
cultural settings, checked with other scholars. Then I and wrote it out in an
inductive format. The first part is the “general idea,” which is asking the question
“what does it say: then the body of the lesson is the “what does it mean” aspect
then closing with the aspect, “how does it apply.”

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me?

4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?


5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

9. What can I model and teach?

10. What does God want me to share with someone?

How to use these Studies?

All you need to do is carefully read the passage, study all you can and use
our outlines as your teaching notes. You can also use these studies for
preaching! Note that these studies are very comprehensive and you may not
need to use all that is there. Thus, you may desire to use what is relevant to your
people. Usually Pastors use all of the “General Idea” and the concluding
paragraphs. Then they use the “deductive” notes where the bullet points are, as
they fit their sermon or Bible study. Then the same goes for a Bible study, you
can chose the questions that best pertain to your group, because you may not
have the time to use them all. The Questions mostly follow the order of the
teaching notes and the application questions are at the end to make your
teaching easer, especially if you use one study for more than one session. You
will find many online commentaries and numerous resources free on our Bible
Study Aids channel for further information. You can also use the questions to
further your sermon by asking the questions, our answering them in your sermon.
You can also use our article on “How to Prepare Bible Study Questions” on the
How to Study the Bible and How to Lead Bible Studies to develop more of your
own questions!

Remember these resources are free for you! Most ministries only sell
there materials, we feel we are doing what God has called us too, by going
ahead and offering the best materials possible for free and seek support for
doing so. There is no obligation but please consider supporting our ministry if you
are able to do so. As these materials have cost us a tremendous amount of time
effort and financial resources that have taken us years to develop for you!

Feel free to pass this around to any pastor who is overseas or on the
mission field who may need it! We also have several “Pastors Training Packs”
available in various languages on: “How to Study and Teach the Bible,” “How to
Lead and Manage the Church” and many more. As a missions and discipleship
organization it is our call to train pastors and provide resources to Christians and
Church leaders all over the world. They may printout any information we have
posted, reproduce it, make the needed cultural changes and translate it. All we
ask of you is to keep us in prayer, keep the name of our ministry and any
copyright information on the resources, and tell other pastors what we have to
offer. If anyone does translate any of our material, (and this is much
needed!!!) please let us know and give us a copy so we can make them
available to others in their language and culture!

If you are wondering about the theology at Into Thy Word, it is conservative
and Biblical! We are Spirit filled! We add nothing to the Word that is not
there, nor do we read into it what is not there! We are conservative Reformed
Evangelicals who hold to the inerrancy of the Bible and the historic
confessions of the Church! Please see our Statement of Faith on the About
Channel. Most of our people are in the Reformed Churches while others are
with Assemblies of God, Presbyterian, Calvary Chapel, Non-Denominational
plus many more; we share a passion for the Word and a heart for pastors
overseas!

There are over 19 lessons! If you use them as sermons or Bible studies for
your church, it will take you five to six months!

Blessings

Richard Krejcir Ph.D.


Into Thy Word Ministries
Phil. 1:6
www.intothyword.org

First is an article on the background of Peter to further help you!

I & II Peter and Jude Introduction: Background Material

With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to
you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
Stand fast in it. 1 Peter 5:12

Peter and Jude are writing to Christians who are oppressed, confused,
and struggling, seeking to live for Christ in a world that not only does not
understand but also persecutes those of the faith. In the midst of the oppressions
from the world and family, come people who seek to deceive and entice them to
live for sin and not for Christ. Peter and Jude encourage, challenge, and give
them the hope to remain in Christ. At the same time, Peter and Jude do not hold
back from telling them where they are in error and admonishing them to be
aware and be on guard to live for Christ, putting on His virtues and not the
worlds. Both of Peter’s epistles and Jude are as relevant today as they were
nearly two thousand years ago because what they went through, we go through,
too! They needed hope and encouragement just as we do—whomever,
whenever, and wherever we are!

Background and Setting

We look at a small group of new and struggling Christians, living, perhaps,


in Rome where the city had just undergone a devastating fire in 64 A.D. Just
about everything was destroyed. The Emperor Nero is credited with starting this
fiasco of a fire, in his insanity, by fastening fox’s tales together and then strapping
torches on them and letting them loose; Rome was destroyed. People saw him
do this and he is in trouble—emperor or not; what is he to do?
Quickly, Nero finds a scapegoat in a new, Jewish, “cult” group that takes
the focus off of him, a seemingly clever move for a pagan king. The Jews were
already hated due to their antisocial inclinations and refusal to worship the
Roman gods and emperors. They stayed to themselves and were pious, and this
displeased a pagan society. Who wants to be convicted of sin!? Cult groups were
also hated due to their unpredictability and refusal to acknowledge Caesar as
god. Now there is a group that is both—and worse!
These Christians treated one another with dignity and respect; they were
accused of incestuous behavior—how dare they call one another brother and
sister! Society proclaimed these Christians to be atheists because they refused
to acknowledge Apollo! They were also accused of being cannibals because they
“ate” this person called Christ! So, a stereotypical archetype is developed—
perfect for blaming! And, blamed they were for the fire; no evidence was
required, just gossip and accusation, and that is all that was needed to pursue
the persecutions.
In addition, many churches in Asia Minor were starting to undergo the
spiritual persecutions from ruthless or perhaps misguided, self-proclaimed
teachers who were mixing pagan ideas of mysticism and philosophies in with
their faith (2 Peter 2:1; 3:3-4). This was causing the Christians to question their
own faith. Is Christ all? Is there more? Then, a crisis of faith was at hand. The
false teachers gave them what they wanted—a license to sin. After all, Christians
have liberty; and, since we are saved anyway, we can do as we please. Other
arguments sprang up to support this, saying the body is evil but the soul is good,
so one can engage in adultery or fornication at his/her pleasure and be OK in
God’s sight. Or, one can get secret codes from spiritual beings and they will
protect him/her and show him/her spiritual enlightenment. These Christians got it
from both ends—dysfunction in the church, and dysfunction in the community.
Christians were a people in persecution and in great need of instruction, hope,
and the comfort of assurance. What would they do now?
And, it gets worse! Tacitus, a contemporary Roman historian who had a
distain for Christians, stated that Nero frequently had Christians brought to him
so he could pour tar on them, tie them to poles, and ignite them to give
luminance to his garden at night. When that bored him, Nero fed the Christians to
the lions for public entertainment. And, the main persecutions had not even
started yet! All of the churches of Asia Minor were in jeopardy due to spiritual
blindness, apathy, and being overwhelmed (Acts 4:17-18; 28:25-28; Rom. 10-11;
2 Cor. 3:13-15)! Ironically, both the persecutors and the persecuted suffered from
the same root problem—ignorance of the grace of Jesus Christ! They put their
hope either in themselves or in the mysteries of unseen and unknowable forces
yet had no real solution for them.
Along comes Peter—the Apostle of Hope! First Peter is a letter about the
hope we have in Christ, regardless of what we experience or face. He gives us
the ultimate weapon to fight discouragement—the ultimate hope that what we
face and go through is temporary. Peter is telling us that Jesus offers His
forgiveness and grace, then enables and empowers us. He indeed has a plan
and a purpose for us! Our citizenship is to come in a glorious, wondrous eternity;
our life here and now is preparatory and temporary. Our God is in control and
totally sovereign. He gives us the faith and the ability to face whatever comes our
way.
Peter is, perhaps, writing to both Jewish and Gentile Christians. The
Jewish Christians were once traditionalists and the Gentile Christians came out
of pagan backgrounds; both groups are embracing Christ for the first time. In
contrast, James was mainly speaking to Jewish Christians. The principle of Peter
was to bring forth encouragement for people being persecuted for their faith while
teaching them humility and submission. Dependence on God is the quintessence
of growing in faith, handling life, and becoming more mature so we can be our
best for His Highest, as well as a blessing to those around us (1 Peter 1:6-7;
3:13-17; 4:8, 10, 12-19; 5:1-2, 8-9). Maturity was essential for handling conflict
and the growing hostility Christians were beginning to face. But, these
persecutions/sufferings—other than Nero’s escapades—seem to be harassment
from religious leaders and family members, such as expulsion from their
synagogue, being beaten, insults, and slander (1 Peter 2: 12, 20; 3:16; 4:4, 14)
not from “organized” government oppression. This government oppression
comes later after Peter is martyred. Perhaps, Peter is also preparing for the worst
to come.

Theme and Purpose: First Peter is a short epistle and 2 Peter is even shorter.
Peter tackles various doctrinal issues as well as how to live the Christian life with
excellence. It is hard to pinpoint a principal theme. Like James, Peter writes in a
series of exhortations or “sermonettes” (1 Peter 1:13 to 5:11), each section
involving a different subject matter. Peter gives us imperatives with which to deal
with suffering, persecution, hope, courage, our acceptance of truth and grace,
and our duty before God. The book of Jude challenges false teachers and is
more of a sermon or a “letter essay” (written as a speech and then read when the
speaker could not be present) than a formal letter. It is often referred to as a
“Pocket Epistle,” like 2 and 3 John and Philemon.
The principle theme of 1 Peter is the encouraging of new Christians in a
new church, scattered across a wide area, and going through trials and
persecutions. They were losing their families and businesses, beaten by mobs,
and taken advantage of by tax assessors and local authorities, etc. They were
bewildered that once they accepted this new life in Christ, the freedom from the
restraints of the Law and the guarantee of salvation, they would be really hurting.
What happened to Christ’s Gospel of hope and freedom they wondered, as we,
too, wonder when we go through the tough stuff. The suffering—what they were
going through and perhaps what you are going through—is unjust! So, what do
we do?
Peter reassures them and us, telling us to stand firm. We have joy now;
our hope is in Christ. The ultimate hope is the eternal assurance we have in what
is to come. Life is not just about the here and now; it is also about our eternal life
to come (1 Peter 1:3-13; 4:13; 5:1, 4, 12). Peter also challenges them to behave
and watch their character. Freedom in Christ and enduring suffering gives no one
license to sin or do wrong to others (1 Peter 2:12; 3:16; 4:1, 19). What we go
through, what we endure, is never a waste; there is hope, and there is a plan and
purpose. God is there—loving and carrying us through.
Thus Peter tells us, But, in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be
prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the
hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. We can learn and
live through whatever the world brings when our faith is in Him; our humbleness
is what we bring. The key is to prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled;
set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
And always remember that, your faith and hope are in God. The quintessence of
our faith and what we do is summarized in these two verses: So then, those who
suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator
and continue to do good. And, Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty
hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because
he cares for you. (1 Peter 1:3, 13, 21; 3:15; 4:19; 5:6-7). Bottom line? Trust and
obey, no matter what, for there is no other way than His Way!
In 2 Peter, Peter is combating false teachings from within the church and
warning the people to be on guard from those ideas elsewhere (2 Peter 2:1).
There is Truth; there is absolute Truth—even when you may not feel it or when
others proclaim otherwise. We are called to learn and know the truth and be on
guard against false truths.
The church to which Peter writes seems to be suffering not only from
persecutions, but from an early form of Gnosticism. This “false doctrine” asserts
we have to learn the secret and esoteric ways of God through His angels and
solve the riddles; then, we are released to spiritual enlightenment. They also
believed the body is evil, but the soul is good; so, one can do all one wants, such
as sin, and as long as one’s soul is clean, one is OK and saved (2 Peter 2: 1,10,
13-19)! Also, Greek philosophies, oriental mysticism, and other unorthodox
teachings were emerging and influencing the Christians negatively. Peter,
perhaps with Paul’s help (2 Peter 3:15-16; Gal. 1:18; 2:1-21), takes a bold stance
and sets them straight, saying it is faith in Christ, not obscure philosophies that
save! Peter again addresses the issue that we are not to sin, either because we
can come up with the good excuse when we feel wronged and we want to get
back at someone, or to feel good. Sin is never excusable, thinking we can sin
because we can rationalize that it is not wrong.
Jude confronts false teachers as does 2 Peter (Jude 1:4-19). These
teachers were teaching that we have the liberty to sin because we have grace.
They were also being arrogant—a true sign that a person is not from God (Psalm
5:5; 107:17; Hab. 1:7-9; Titus 3:3-8). Like Peter, Jude realized that false teachers
were the biggest threat to the church—even more than tribulations and/or
persecutions! Jude tempers his attack of the false teachers by focusing his
readers on drawing on and growing in the knowledge and truth of Christ (Jude
1:3, 20-23). Jude is also being comporting and encouraging, telling them to
remain in the faith and trust in Christ, and, like Peter and James, to go after those
who have fallen away from the faith.
We can apply this by realizing the veracity and impact of spiritual error!
We do not have the right to rationalize sin, or to bow and be influenced by the
world; rather, we are called to be the influencers of it. We live in a world that sees
truth as relative, but truth is not relative. There is one Truth, Jesus Christ, and
any thoughts of a Christian that stray from that truth causes that Christian and
perhaps others around him or her to stray from the faith and into confusion,
disillusionment, and even sin, corruption, and the world!

Authorship: In both First and Second Peter, the first chapter and the first verse
identify for us the author: Peter, an apostle (1 Peter); bondservant of Jesus
Christ.” (2 Peter) The obvious conclusion is that the author is Simon, the one
whose name was changed to Peter by Jesus (It is “Cephas” an ancient Aramaic
language called Syriac spoken in Syria. This is Peter’s surname, the Greek
transliteration is Petros which is also a transliteration of the Aramaic kepa,
meaning rock or a detached stone or boulder). Peter was one of Jesus first
disciples, and he was a principal leader in the early church (Matt. 15:15; 16:15-
19; 18:21; Mark 1:26-37; 8:29; 9:5-6; Luke 12:41; John 6:68; Acts 10:18; 15:14; 2
Peter 1:1). Peter was one of the first disciples called, and was among the “inner
three” who, along with John and James, were the closest of the twelve to Jesus.
Peter was given the special call of feeding the sheep and his faith being the
foundation of the church (Mark 1:16-18; 5:37; 9:2; 14:33; John 21:15-19). After
Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to Peter, although it was much later on (1
Cor. 15:5). He was “evangelized” by his brother Andrew who was also a disciple
of John the Baptist. Peter was never a disciple of John (John 1:35-42). He was a
fisherman from the Trans Jordan area of Bethsaida, east of Galilee, and had a
home in Capernaum just three miles away (Mark 1:21, 29; 14:70; John 1:44). He
was a married man as most, if not all the disciples were (Matt. 8:14; Mark 1:30;
Luke 4:28; 1 Cor. 9:5). Peter is also the “author” of the Gospel of Mark, as Mark
was the scribe who dictated and edited this most precious work.
It would have been almost impossible to impersonate him at that time and
then to carry on the impersonation to the rest of the church—from the early
Church Fathers down to our time. The evidence is overwhelming and no serious
theologian who takes the Bible as God’s Word has contested Petrine authorship.
Others have, to prove a point of contention so to disprove the Bible, or to bring
disrepute to the church and our Lord. Some have said the epistles were written
long after the Apostles’ deaths without any historical or textual evidence to
support such a claim. Such sloppy, rhetorician scholarship tends to be useless
and even repugnant when it becomes intellectual dishonesty.
The internal and external exegetical evidence of Peter’s authorship is
clearly supported. Chapter one, verse one is where he identifies himself
personally. In chapter 5, verse 1, Peter gives his testimony as a witness and
even having been a participant in suffering for our Lord. The book of Acts gives
us a historical account of the early church and Peter’s activities that jump right in
where the Gospels leave off. The speeches in Acts that are attributed to Peter
clearly correspond to his epistles textually by word use, style, and grammar.
Thus, his authorship of 1 Peter is exegetically supported through textual criticism.
Second Peter has been in some dispute due to stylistic differences between the
two epistles (Matthew 17:1-8; John 21:18-19; Acts 4:10-11; 1 Peter 2:7-8; 3:1; 2
Peter 1:14-18).
Also, research through the writings of the Early Church Fathers as well as
archeology, church tradition, and other forms of redaction criticism also clearly
support Peter as the author. There has been no evidence brought forth to
disprove Peter as author of both 1 and 2 Peter other than stylistic diversity and
Hellenistic and philosophical word use and expressions, which can be easily
explained by time, location, or secretarial dictation. None other has claimed this
work, nor have there been any disputes.
The only textual objection worth mentioning is Peter’s claim to be
persecuted (1 Peter 1:11; 2:19; 4:12-13; 5:1, 8-9). Most believe the “real”
persecution did not start up until later under Domitian's reign (A.D. 81-96).
Because the liberal contention is that these persecutions did not start until
Domitian's reign, their conclusion is that Peter could not be the author. Granted,
under Domitian’s tenure it was far worse, but that does not discount the veracity
and impact of Nero! Also, the fact is that the epistles are about preparing people
for greater persecution than what they were enduring at that time!
But, what is major tribulation? Peter’s suffering and that of his church were
the result of the typical religious leader’s persecution most Christians endured
then. These included being kicked out of the Temple and losing family support,
as well as the periodic harassment of fellow Jews and Romans which were deep,
impacting, emotional hurts! Thus, to what magnitude is hurt hurtful?
This debate over the severity of persecutions has led some liberal
scholars to suggest that 2 Peter was a later work by a pseudonymous person’s
writing who then, for authentication, claimed Peter wrote it. Also, there are
striking similarities in imagery and allusions with Jude and 2 Peter, but this only
indicates they both used the same secretary or that Jude used 2 Peter as a guide
and inspiration and did a commentary on Peter. Using different literary devices
for each work is common for most writers. Also, forgeries and the heretical
epistles (pseudepigrapha) which claimed authorship was from a greater authority
were quickly identified, then refuted and not tolerated. It would be a poor attempt.
Attestation to style is a legitimate concern, but the stylistic parallels are far more
impressive than the deviations (Acts 3:12; 2 Peter 1:3, 6-7; 3:11). The objections
are neither absolute nor conclusive.
The bottom line is that 2 Peter, chapter three, verse one tells us that Peter
wrote both. The Early Church Fathers, such as Irenaeus, Against Heresies
(185AD), Tertullian (160-225AD), Origen (185-253AD), Clement of Alexandria
(150-215AD), Jerome (340-420). The Church Historian, Eusebius (265-340), and
the rest of the church Fathers such as Athanasius, Cyril, Ambrose, and
Augustine all state, without a doubt, that Peter is the author of both. Origen, who
firmly affirmed 1 Peter but at times listed 2 Peter as a “disputed book,” still
acknowledged its power and purpose. Clement of Alexandria and Jerome both
said Peter dictated both Epistles and used a different secretary for each letter,
accounting for the stylistic differences. All of the Church Counsels, as well as an
archeological find of a second century Roman memorial also affirmed Peter’s
timeline, authorship, and canonicity. The end result is that there is no question
that Peter, the Disciple of Jesus and early church leader is the author of both
First and Second Peter.
The objections that have come about in the last two centuries regarding
Peter not being the author center upon the quest to devalue the Bible for
“enlightenment” reasons or personal endeavors. The same argument has been
used to discredit all of the disciples of Jesus as being capable of writing beyond
their competence. It is further challenged by whether uneducated fisherman from
Galilee were able to write idiomatic Greek in as a sophisticated and polished
manner as those from the Mediterranean (Acts 4:12-19; 5:6-9). Another objection
is that Peter’s Greek is too similar to the type of Greek used in the Septuagint
(early Greek translation of the Torah and Writings in 70 A.D.). The logical
conclusion for the objectors is that fishermen are uneducated and therefore
unable to write, or to write in a polished way. And, the assumption is that the
Greek used was not developed until after their lifetime. The answers to these
objections are rather simple. First, the objectors make unrealistic presumptions in
both cases. They assume the Greek was not in use, but this contradicts the
archeological evidence that it was. Also, saying, without serious investigation,
that fishermen are not educated, is both not knowing or understating the Judean
and Hellenistic trade culture and practicing intellectual dishonesty.
It is a popular, liberal belief that the disciples were uneducated and even
perhaps illiterate. But, this is just not the case! In fact, the disciples had the
equivalent of a college education, as they attended schools and were able to
read and write well. It is highly likely that they also had the further “formal
education” that the Scribes and Pharisees had, which was equivalent to a
postgraduate degree of today.
Liberal commentators quickly jump to the Gospels saying they tell us
these men were uneducated. But, if you exegete those passages carefully, you
will find that the reason the Pharisees looked down on them and said the
disciples were uneducated was because they did not have “their” education and
title, and they were not under the care of another Rabbi (that they approved of)—
not because they were uneducated (Mark 6:2-3; 11:27-28; John 7:14). In the
Acts passage, unschooled refers to being bold in speech while not being trained
in the proper rabbinic schools. It also means that they did not hold official
positions, nor were members of the recognized religious circles of the day. It
further means they were not trained in “rhetoric” (public speaking), as the priests
of the Sanhedrin were.
So, take your pick on the accepted meanings, all of which apply, but none
of which mean “uneducated” as being unable to read or write (Acts 4:13).
Furthermore, modern research now suggests that Ezra did indeed set up schools
and that most of the population, as in ours today in the U.S and Europe, were
educated to read and write. In addition, they were taught to know the Torah. The
Romans also set up schools where people learned to read and write Greek, then,
“forced it “as the official language. Thus, the people of Galilee were bilingual—
speaking both Aramaic and Greek.
Peter and all of the disciples would have been more than capable of
writing such a letter and/or had access to “Amanuenses” (secretaries). Peter's
comment in 1 Peter 5:12 regarding Silas may indicate that he wrote "with the
help of” Silas (Acts 15:22-29). A further point is that Paul, the most educated of
all of the disciples, dictated his letters, as did the very educated Josephus. Peter,
being a fisherman, was running a commerce and trade; thus, he would have had
access to an even higher education than was necessary for this profession then
because it was also a valued and praised profession! In addition, Galilee was not
the backwards, small town as many commentators have advocated. It is near the
city of Capernaum about which recent archeological evidence suggests was a
thriving metropolis. It was a large, industrious city which, in addition, would also
have afforded many other educational opportunities. Furthermore, during the
twenty to thirty years that passed from Jesus’ resurrection to the writing of this
epistle, Peter could easily have gone “back to school” if he needed to. Thus,
Peter certainty could have written it or, perhaps, as Paul and many educated
men of his day, dictated it (Acts 12:12; 15:22-29; 1 Peter 5:12-13; 1 Thess. 1:1).
We are told by the Early Church Fathers and tradition that Peter was
martyred in Rome under Nero, and was crucified. Because of his high reverence
for the Lord, he felt he was unworthy to die in the same way, and requested to be
crucified upside down. The date for his crucifixion during Nero’s reign and by his
hand was 68 A.D.
The authorship of Jude is more complicated. Jude, a one chapter, very
short “Pocket Epistle,” identifies in the very first verse, Jude, a bond servant of
Jesus Christ and Brother of James, as the author. But, who is Jude, and which
James is this (see James background article)? Jude is a declension of the name
Judas—a common name then, as was James. There are eight different persons
with this name in the New Testament, including two of the disciples (Luke 6:16).
But, because of the assertion made by Jude and the research in the Early
Church Fathers, a good case is made that it is James, the half brother of Jesus.
In conjunction, this Jude was known to his readers and did not need to clarify
who he was. Also, Jude does not make the claim to be an apostle; he even
seems to disconnect himself from the other apostles in his humility (Matt. 13:55;
Mark 3:21, 31; 6:3; John 7:5; Acts 1:14; 12:17; 15:13; 1 Cor. 9:5; Gal. 1:19).
Because of these traits, it is highly unlikely a pseudepigrapher (a false person
claiming apostleship or authorship) would introduce him self in this humble way.
Thus, Jude, like James, is a half brother of Jesus, and a son of Joseph and Mary.
He, like James, was not convinced that Jesus was the Messiah until after the
resurrection. Jude, with such an honored position of family and authority, does
not overstate who he is, and exercises the humility of a true follower of Christ
(John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21; James 1:1-2).
Jude caused two of the Early Church Fathers, Jerome, and Didymus, to
have a primary problem for this book’s acceptance in the canon. The contention
was that Jude used some apocryphal material (a book that is “extra-biblical,” and
was sometimes used as Scripture but not included in the Bible for various
reasons such as authorship, dating, inspiration, and content) from “1 Enoch” and
“The Assumption of Moses,” but this practice does not say the “entire”
apocryphal work that is quoted is true or inspired, only the part they quote. This
means the apocryphal book referenced may be true or have truth in it, but not
enough to be in the cannon of the inspired-by-God Bible. Many parts of it were
used in other parts of the Bible because it would be familiar to the readers for
illustration’s sake or to make a point (Acts 17:28; 1 Cor. 15:33; Titus 1:2; 2 Tim.
3:8). The rest of the Early Church Fathers fully accepted Jude.
The same objections given to Peter as being the author were given to
Jude, and consist of the date of the sufferings indicating a later date and the
issue of literacy competence of the author. The other controversy worth
mentioning is concerning Gnosticism. Some scholars contend it was not
developed until the second century A.D., thus Peter and Jude could not have
written about a heresy that had not occurred yet. But, they make the logical error
of not realizing that Gnosticism was prevalent as an idea, but not a full blown
philosophy. Thus Gnosticism, just as other heretical ideas, was not formally
accepted and written on until the second century. Such ideas take root in various
forms and become more formal as they evolve and time moves on. However,
these were not issues considered until the nineteenth century when liberalism
and the attack of biblical authority started its reign. The Early Church Fathers
accepted it as orthodoxy and valuable, and it was widely circulated and used
without question. Jude was also listed in the earliest canons (listing of the
accepted books of Scripture) including the Muratorian Canon in 200 A.D.

Date and Occasion: Most conservative scholars give the dates of 1 Peter about
60-65, with a maximum of 68 A.D., and of 2 Peter a few years later (67-68) since
he was martyred in 68 A.D. Peter also mentions in 2 Peter 3:1 his other letter to
them. It is assumed to be1 Peter, or perhaps a Pauline circulating letter, such as
Romans, where he added an addendum to a lost epistle. Liberal commentators
state both letters were written after Peter’s death, but that would involve time
travel or something more ludicrous. Actually, their intention of a later date
presupposes Peter is not the author. In 2 Peter, Peter indicates in 1:14 he is
going to be with the Lord soon, as he senses his pending death. Thus, 67-68
A.D. would be reasonable.
Peter was in “Babylon,” (which could be modern day Iraq or perhaps in
Rome or Egypt, as “Babylon” was also a colloquialism for “Egypt” and “Rome,” as
seen in Rev. 17:5, 9-10) when he wrote this epistle (1 Peter 5:13). The theory
that he was in Rome has the most textual weight as Peter was with Paul there,
and was martyred there (Col. 4:10; Philemon 24). This also gives evidence that
Paul may have influenced or collaborated with 1 Peter, accounting for its more
eloquent use of words and style (Eph. 5:22-24; Col. 3:22; 1 Peter 2:18; 3:1-6). In
addition, the persecutions were far more advanced in Rome at that time, giving
Peter a glimpse into what would soon happen in the other provinces.
Judging from Peter’s use of frequent Old Testament quotes, his audience
may have been mostly Jewish Christians as with the Epistle of James. Peter also
used Greek philosophical terms indicating the inclusion of Greek Christians as a
once pagan-now Christian audience. However, Greek education and culture
were a part of Judaism at that time (1 Peter 1:18; 4:3). The contexts and textual
evaluation indicate both Jews and Gentiles were a part of the congregation
receiving Peter’s Epistle (1 Peter 1:18; 4:3-4). The debate on the date centers
upon when the sufferings of the church took place. When sufferings are
mentioned, as discussed in the previous section, it is usually considered the
persecution from Jewish religious leaders’ inquisitions, then the Romans’. The
first four chapters of 1 Peter do not mention persecution; then, in chapter 5, it is
mentioned. This sets the textual scholars off in debate.
But, as for the main picture of Peter issuing his teaching in a logical order,
he does not get to that topic until late in chapter four. The persecutions did not
fully erupt until the time of Emperor Trajan in the early second century; there are
also other periods, such as those of Domitian, Nero, and then Flavian. Peter was
martyred in Nero’s backyard. However, we also have to consider what Peter
meant by sufferings. Were they severe, as in tribulation, or moderate, as in
harassment? Both were serious emotionally and impacted the church. Also,
Peter, in His epistles, was, as said before, preparing his people for bigger
sufferings! The argument is that since he does not talk about it until later means
the suffering did not take place, and places the epistle at an earlier date. Or, in
saying the sufferings did take place indicates they were after Peter’s lifetime and
thus, its authorship is in question, too. Such debate does not take into
consideration the purpose and intent of the epistle, the actual impact of suffering
from family and Synagogue excommunication, or the role of the Holy Spirit’s
inspiration.
Since either 2 Peter “borrowed” from Jude or Jude was an addendum to 2
Peter, the dating of Jude is also very similar, occurring between 65-67 A.D.

Canonicity: In contrast to other Epistles, 1 Peter has no objections that are


worth mentioning, other than the issue of a fisherman being able to write. No
other N.T. Epistle has more universal recognition than 1 Peter. The early church
fully recognized, embraced, and accepted it. However, 2 Peter comes to us with
a couple of difficulties. This does not take away its power, inspiration, or veracity
as God still is the main Author! However, under close examination, 2 Peter either
“borrows” from Jude, or Jude “borrows” from 2 Peter. Just like the Synoptic
Gospels where there are commonalties, so is the case here. The argument is
that someone borrowed from someone because there is verbatim agreement
textually such as 2 Peter 2:17 to Jude 1:13. They also share the same words,
phrases, ideas, illustrations, and Old Testament quotes (2 Peter 2:1-18; Jude 4-
16). This can mean cooperation as both authors worked with each other, one
copied the other (the scholarly conscience is that Jude copied 2 Peter and
expanded on it for his congregation), both used the same scribe, or it was a
common speech and both quoted from a lost third source, and so forth (1 Cor.
5:9; Col. 4:16). But, quoting or copying was common practice, as was quoting
without stating the source because the source for them was well known, such as
Paul perhaps quoting early hymns in Phil. 2:6-11 and 1 Tim. 3:16.This is
interesting to study and know, but, again, does not take away from the impact
and authenticity of 2 Peter.
There is contention in that the style of Greek is weaker and less
sophisticated in 2 Peter than 1 Peter. This could lend further credence that Peter
dictated it to Silvanus (1 Peter 5:12), whereas in 1 Peter he may have dictated it
to Silas (1 Peter 5:12). Because of these difficulties and the problem previously
mentioned about the style, 2 Peter was in question of whether it belonged in the
cannon of the Bible. Although James is the most contested, 2 Peter seems the
second most contested. But, it was finally admitted as Scripture for profit and
learning.

Theological Value: Unlike the Pauline Epistles, 1 and 2 Peter are not theological
treatises. They do, however, like James, incorporate solid theological value.
Peter, like Paul, comes to God’s sovereignty as absolutely gracious, holy, and
righteous, and He will be the final Authority and Judge (1 Peter 1:17; 2:12, 23;
4:5-6, 7-19; 5:2, 10). Peter fully acknowledges that Jesus Christ is God, and the
Trinity is implied in that all three persons—Father, Son, and Spirit—are God and
there is only one God (Matt. 16:16; Acts 2:36; 1 Peter 1:3, 11, 19-20; 2:3-4,13,25;
3:15; 5:4,11). The Spirit is participating in our lives and our salvation (1 Peter 1:2,
11-12; 4:14), and we are in God’s world as His people. We are chosen in Him,
yet are still living in a rebellious world (1 Peter 1:2-5, 15, 20-21). Peter also
acknowledges that the Devil is there seeking to steal and devalue us, but he is
not omnipotent (all powerful and all knowing); only God is (1 Peter 5:8). Even
though this is God’s world and we are securely His children in Christ, we are still
subject to sin, the desires of our will, and the seeking of the ways of the world (1
Peter 1:14; 4:3-4).
Peter, in a loving, caring, pastoral tone also deals with suffering—why we
have it and, most importantly, what we are to do with it. Peter does not hold back;
we will face sufferings and trials—we will even be persecuted for following the
faith and being a good witness. It is how we grow though them and what we learn
that is the real matter to God and value for us. Also, Jesus, being fully God,
suffered on our behalf; we live in a world of sin that suffers due to the
consequences thereof. He bore our sins and took away our ultimate, deserved
suffering. Our Lord modeled to us how we are to deal with suffering (1 Peter
1:16-21; 2:21, 4-25). The key to the Christian life and our spiritual growth is our
faith that develops our trust in Christ, and our submission to His precepts that
produces character and maturity (1 Peter 2:12; 5:10-11).
First Peter also deals with the end times with Christ as Redeemer and
Glorious, just as Paul does in 1 Thessalonians (Acts 2:17; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1;
Heb. 1:1; 1 John 2:18; 1 Peter 1:11-12, 20). In addition, Peter confirms for the
church that the Messianic Period has come with Christ, and there is no other for
which to wait (1 Peter 1:7, 13, 21; 4:13).
Second Peter and Jude give us less theological substance, but
accomplish essential, needed tasks such as growing in faith (2 Peter 1:8-10,
12,16-21; Jude 1:3), how to face dangers (2 Peter 1:13-14; 2:1-3; Jude 1:20-22),
combating false teaching and false teachers (Rom. 12:8; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 3:3-
4,15-18; Jude 1:4-19), and the second coming of Christ (2 Peter 3:1-13)!

Genre and Destination: The type of literature is a Greek Epistle, or commonly


known to us as a personal letter. Thus, 1 and 2 Peter are letters of
encouragement and instruction to a church, but also “encyclical,” as in circular
letters like Romans. This means 1 Peter was addressed to God’s elect, and then
it was sent out to many churches in Asia Minor—Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and
Bithynia, which is now modern Turkey. Peter gives exhortation and hope to
Christians of a common faith who are facing common problems (1 Peter 1:1; 2
Peter 1:14). Tradition asserts that Peter went there in his early years to
evangelize and plant churches. At the same time, Paul was in the southern
region of Asia Minor preaching and planting there. These letters were sent by
messengers who also gave oral instructions and copies of other letters or
Gospels. Usually, a personal addendum was placed in the letter for each church.
This practice gives credence that Jude may have been an added in part of 2
Peter, which Jude personalized as a sermon for his congregation.
Peter, like James, parallels Jesus’ teachings. The rhetorical (literature
symbol types and placement) and didactic (educational nature) textual character
indicates he wrote his letter perhaps by incorporating aspects of his sermons,
and incorporating some hymnic segments (early church songs), and early
catechesis (doctrinal statements). He then organized them as a commentary,
directly from Jesus’ own teachings, giving us practical ways to put our faith into
practice by means of our Lord’s precepts (John 21:15-17 1 Peter 5: 2-3). Each of
these individual, literary aspects were incorporated into an intelligible, unified
literary work as an epistle. Like most epistles, it was designed to be read aloud in
congregations for reproof and teaching (Col. 4:16; 1 Thess. 5:27; Rev. 1:3).
Second Peter and Jude are also circular, personal letters addressed to the
providences in Asia Minor. Peter is less formal and comes across as a shepherd
of Christ's sheep (John 21:15-17). He seeks to praise his readers while
encouraging them to grow further in Christian faith, reason, and practice. Peter’s
purpose is to rekindle Christian growth (2 Peter 1), point out false teachings (2
Peter 2), and to encourage the vigilance and hope we have in our Lord's return (2
Peter 3) which they did not fully believe at the time. Jude follows the occasion of
2 Peter.

1 Peter Outline
Chapter 1: God’s grace and abundant mercy is available to us now and as an
inheritance!

I. Salutations of greetings, acknowledgments and hope (1:1-2)

II. As Christians we have hope, and assurance, so we can give praise to God for
His Grace and Salvation (1:3-12)
a. Gods abundant mercy
b. He is our Living Hope that will not fade away
c. We have salivation available to us and an eternal inheritance
d. Introduction to the running theme of suffering
e. We are kept by God by faith
f. Real, genuine faith is precious to God and will preserve us through
trials and life
g. Salvation produces hope and joy
h. Even if we do not see Jesus , He sees us, loves us, and perseveres
with us
i. We live in hope

III. Exhortations to live a life of holiness before God (1:13-21, a running theme
through 5:11)
a. Keep our mind focused on Christ to help see our hope
b. Conforming our lives to holiness
c. Reverent fear for our Lord
d. His precious blood poured out for us

IV. Live the life of holiness through His Word (1:13-2:3)


a. Obey the Truth
b. The Spirit guides us
c. Love one another
d. Do not be corruptible; rather, be incorruptible
e. Our life here is temporary and preparatory
f. Do not engage in evil; rather, grow in Christ
g. Crave the Word
h. Christ is gracious to us

Chapter 2: We have position in Christ, are chosen, and are a part of a spiritual
community!

I. We are chosen, even when rejected by others (2:4-10)


a. We are precious before God even when others hate and come against
us
b. We are a part of a spiritual house
c. We are to come to Christ in worship
d. We are chosen in Him
e. We are a holy priesthood
f. We are acceptable before God
g. We are called to praise and proclaim Christ
h. We have mercy in Christ whereas before, in the world, we had no
mercy
i. We are the people of God called to do the work of God
j. Our identity is in Christ, not with the world

II. Living Honorably (2:11-12)


a. We are on a journey in life
b. Stay away from lust
c. We are at war with God’s desires versus ours
d. Our conduct is to be honoring to God and others
e. All that we do is to be glorifying to God

III. Submission in Social Relationships (2:13-3:13)


a. Be submissive to those in authority
b. Show gentleness and respect to all
c. Do not be harsh; endure harshness
d. Our conscience toward God may beget suffering
e. Jesus is our example of submission
f. Christ suffered for us and is an example of suffering
g. Our Overseer is Christ
h. Submission In family relationships
i. The duty of wives and husbands to respect and love each other in
Christ
j. Adornment needs to be from within, not just outwardly
k. Inward beauty, which is our trust and obedience to Him,
is precious to God,
l. We are to exercise care, honor, respect, love, and understanding

Chapter 3: Duty of all is to be serving for God’s Glory!

I. Our grace, suffering and service in Him (3:1-12)


a. We are called to be a blessing to others
b. Compassion, love, and courteousness are prime
c. Be mindful of our words and deeds
d. God’s eyes are upon us
e. Make Jesus not just Savior but LORD

II. When we suffer for righteousness sake we are blessed (3:13-18).


a. Do not be afraid of others
b. Keep Christ in our hearts
c. Always be ready to defend our faith with love and reason
d. Show the hope we have by adding respect to our words and deeds
e. Others who come against us will be ashamed
f. It is far better to suffer in the will of God than to prosper in evil
III. Christ Himself suffered (3:18-4:6)
a. Christ suffered for our sins
b. He brings us to God
c. He makes us alive
d. The cleansing of baptism
e. Don’t waste any more of your life in evil deeds
f. We are called to live in the Spirit
g. Christ is our continual Example

Chapter 4: We are to have the attitude of Christ

I. We live and serve to glorify our Lord (4:7-11)


a. Our conduct and prayers are to be serious
b. Fervent love for one another
c. Love covers sin
d. Practice your spiritual gifts
e. Be hospitable and don’t complain
f. Be good stewards
g. Be careful how you speak and minister as we sometimes speak for,
and are used by God

II. Watch our conduct because when we suffer, we glorify Christ (4:12-19)
a. Trials are normal and should be welcomed
b. Rejoice in all things, including suffering
c. God’s Spirit of glory rests on us
d. Do not get into suffering by your own misdeeds
e. Do not condescend to others
f. Never be ashamed when we suffer, as it glorifies Christ
g. Beware: judgment is still coming
h. All that happens to us, when we are obedient, is the will of God

Chapter 5: Shepherd the flock of Christ with wise conduct

I. Caring for God’s people (5:1-4)


a. Serve as Elders with faithfulness and honor
b. Humbleness is essential in leadership
c. Leading is not compulsion; rather, it comes from a willing heart
d. Dishonesty devalues the Kingdom
e. We can trust Christ to lead us
f. Real leaders are real examples
g. Look to the return of Christ for hope

II. Submit to God and resist the devil (5:5-11)


a. Submit to elders
b. Submit to one another
c. Be faithful and humble to God and to others
d. God is the only One to exalt us
e. Cast your care to Him
f. Be sober and vigilant
g. Beware of the Devil and resist him
h. Jesus is our Promise, Strength, and Validation
i. To God be the glory and nothing else

III. Depend on God’s grace (5:12-14)


a. The purpose of this epistle is to lead us to trust God
b. We have true grace in Christ
c. Closing salutations

2 Peter Outline

Chapter 1: The Gospel is real, impacting truth

I. Greeting people in the faith (1:1-4)


a. Peter, the dedicated true servant
b. Faith is precious
c. Knowledge of Christ increases our faith and power
d. He gives us precious promises
e. We are called to virtue
f. We partake in Christ
g. We escape the evils of the world

II. Faithful growth in Christ (1:5-11)


a. We have privileges and responsibilities
b. Faith requires our diligence
c. We are called to grow in Him
d. We are called to emulate Christian virtues
e. Our growth has value
f. Our election is proven by our obedience and growth in Christ
g. Do not be shortsighted concerning your faith and the opportunities He
brings

III. The main theme of Peter’s message (1:12-15)


a. Our lives are temporary
b. We are established by Truth
c. We have a purpose
d. We have a legacy

IV. The prophetic testimony of Peter (1:16-21)


a. Christ is a fact in history and in our lives
b. God’s Word is a Light to the darkness of the world
c. Allow His Word to shine in your heart
d. Real prophecy and knowledge comes from God, not our agendas

Chapter 2: The Problem of False Teachers

I. False doctrines are extremely destructive (2:1-3)


a. False teachers will come, or, are already here
b. False teachers like secrecy, and work to undermine the real work of Christ
c. Number of followers is no sign of authenticity
d. They use deception and manipulation

II. False teachers will be judged and destroyed (2:4-11)


a. God did not spare the angels who fell; He will not spare those who live
ungodly lives, are self willed, and who refuse His grace
b. Hell is real; you do not want to go there
c. God is loving and will save those He has chosen
d. He will deliver us out of temptation

III. The Characteristics of False Teachers (2:12-17)


a. They are immoral and will be condemned
b. False teachers need to be revealed and dealt with swiftly
c. They love sin and will rationalize that it is OK, enticing others to sin also
d. If not dealt with, they will feast on you

IV. False teachers are deceptive (2:18-22)


a. They may use words to persuade, but, under careful examination, they are
empty.
b. They may lure you with sin or corruption, telling you it is liberty
c. It is better not to have known real truth then to know it and then reject it

Chapter 3: God’s great promise to keep us in the faith

I. God promises Christ's return to us (3:1-9)


a. Beware of scoffers who deny Christ’s return
b. Peter restates his purpose
c. Christ will return
d. There will be a judgment
e. We have no knowledge of God’s timing
f. God wants us to repent

II. Christ will certainty return unexpectedly (3:10-13)


a. Do not be ignorant of His promise
b. We are to conduct ourselves with good ethics, honor, and godliness
c. Great signs will take place

III. The exhortation to remain In Christ (3:14-18)


a. Be diligent in looking forward to Christ’s second coming
b. What we go through, even suffering, has meaning and purpose
c. Be steadfast in faith and in Christ
d. Do not be led away by error or personal desire
e. Grow in the grace and love of our Lord
f. Benediction

Jude Outline

Chapter 1: The Denouncement of False Teachers

I. Greetings (1:1-2)

II. Admonition to be alert


a. Theme and purpose—contend for the faith (1:3-4)
b. Stay focused on the faith
c. Beware that not all teach correctly
d. False teaching will contaminate you

III. Do not be an Apostate (1:5-11)


a. God will destroy those who do not believe and teach others not to believe
b. Warning against sexual immorality
c. Warning not to reject authority
d. The one authority is Jesus—even for an Archangel

IV. We are not to serve ourselves but serve our Lord (1:12-15)
a. Further warning about sexual immorality
b. Quoting 1 Enoch

V. There will be false teachers (1:16-19)


a. False teachers are apostate and will deceive you
b. False teachers show themselves by their bad character
c. False teachers show themselves by their false flattery
d. False teachers are combated by our focusing on Christ and His precepts

VI. Build yourself up in Christ (1:20-25)


a. Prayer is essential and builds us up in Christ
b. Love builds us up in Christ
c. Mercy builds us up in Christ
d. Compassion builds us up in Christ
e. We have eternal life
f. God keeps us from stumbling
g. Benediction: to God be the glory
References and Resources used:

1. Richard J Krejcir. Into Thy Word. “Into Thy Word Bible Study Method.” Writers
Club Press. 2000.
2. The Works of Justin
3. The Works of Josephus
4. The Works Eusebius
5. The Works of Early Church Fathers
6. J.N.D. Kelly. A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and Jude. Baker. 1981.
7. Peter Davids. The Epistle of Peter and Jude. Eerdmans. 1990.
8. Warren Wiersbe. With the Word. Oliver Nelson. 1991.
9. E.G. Selwyn. The First Epistle of Peter, 2nd Edition. Macmillan. 1990
10. Richard J. Baukham. Jude, 2 Peter, WBC. Word. 1983
11. Halley's Bible Handbook. Regency. 1927.
12. New Geneva Study Bible. Thomas Nelson. 1995.
13. Sturgeon's Devotional Bible. Baker Books. 1964.
14. Jerome H Smith, Ed. The New Treasury of SCRIPTURE Knowledge. Thomas
Nelson. 1992.
15. R.C. Sproul. Essential Truths of the Christian Faith. Tyndale. 1992.
16. Expositors Bible Commentary, I, II, Peter and Jude. Zondervan. 1994.
17. J.R. Michaels. 1 Peter. Word. 1988.
18. Craig S. Keener. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. Inter Varsity Press.
1993.
19. Research at the Scholarly Archives at Fuller Theological Seminary in
Pasadena, CA; Years of study & teaching notes; Seminary notes; Prayer

Richard Joseph Krejcir is the Director of Into Thy Word Ministries, a missions and
discipling ministry. He is the author of the book, Into Thy Word, and is also a
pastor, teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in
Pasadena California (M.Div.) and Canbourne University in London England
(Ph.D, Doctor of Philosophy in Practical Theology). He has garnered over 20
years of pastoral ministry experience, mostly in youth ministry, including serving
as a church growth consultant.

© 2005 Richard J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 1: 1-2: Christ our Living Hope!

General idea: God’s grace and abundant mercy is available to us both now and
as an inheritance to come! This passage is about salutations and greetings,
acknowledgments and hope. Peter writes to a group of struggling Christians,
whose hope is on the verge of extinction and whose options are limited. These
are mostly Jews who have been disconnected from their homeland and all that
they know, but also Gentile converts who are scattered from their families,
careers, and status because of their faith. They are all really aliens in a foreign
land; they are all—both Jew and Gentile—scattered physically and spiritually.
Now, they realize, when we are in Christ, we are all foreigners as the world is not
our real or permanent home; rather, our true home is to come. We become
scattered from all that we know and need so to honor and embrace our Lord
Jesus Christ more firmly, more fully, and more joyfully—to enjoy Him.
Thus, Peter starts off his letter with a song of praise for what God has
done, so we can express our gratitude and worship to Him (Eph. 1:2-14). Then
he gives us a litany of loaded theological words filled with power and meaning,
showing us who our God is and, more prevalently, what He has done for us. We
have to realize—for the ability to survive and to thrive on this earth—we are
precious in His sight! We have a Hope Who is real for us now and eternally. He
gives us kindness, protection, and understanding beyond what we can fathom,
love and forgiveness beyond comprehension, and the ultimate gift of our
salvation that will never decay even when we totally do not deserve nor could
ever merit it. We have a precious inheritance, expectation, privilege, and power
in Jesus Christ, our loving Savior and Lord. We have HOPE!

Vs. 1-2: These early Christians were desperate and needed protection from the
attacks of the world around them. Peter is reassuring them, confidently and
deeply, telling them the blessing of God’s special favor is upon them. The
blessings are realized when the more we stay firm in our faith, the more
protection is given to us. Peter tells us we are aliens in a hostile world; yet, at the
same time, we have the grace and love of our merciful God at hand. Then, he
springs on us the incredible, theological wonder of what Christ did for us! This
passage also references the three Persons of the Trinity!

• Peter. This is Simon, whom Jesus changed to Pete (see background material
for more info). He was one of Jesus’ first disciples, and was a principal leader
in the early church (Matt. 15:15; 18:21; Mark 1:26-37; 8:29; 9:5-6; Luke 12:41;
John 6:68; Acts 10:18; 15:14; 2 Peter 1:1). Peter was given the special call of
feeding the sheep and being the foundation of the church (Mark 1:16-18;
5:37; 9:2; 14:33; John 21:15-19). (See Peter background article for further
information.)

• Apostle. The word, Apostle (Apostolos), means emissary, or sent one, as in


Jesus’ personally commissioned representatives (Matt. 10:40; 15:24; Mark
6:7-13; 30; 9:37; Luke 9:1-6; 48; John 4:34; 5:24, 30, 36-38; 6:38; 1 Cor. 1:1;
9. 1-2; 2 Cor. 8:23; Gal. 1:1; Col. 1:1; Heb. 3:1). They also had to be an eye
witness of the resurrection (Acts 1:22; 1 Cor. 15:8), and they governed the
early church (1 Cor. 14:37; 1 Thess. 2:13; 4:8, 15; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14; 2 Pet.
3:15-16). In 2 Corinthians, the words, representatives/messengers, are also
used for apostle in a broader sense (2 Cor. 1:1; 8:23; Phil. 2:25). This title
does not apply today; it is reserved only for the original twelve plus Paul.
Today, all Christians are emissaries (2 Cor. 5:20). Also today, this role is filled
by Elders (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 28; Eph. 4:11)! Thus, the original
Apostles started the church and the Elders today continue to run the church.

• Pilgrims/ elect, strangers referred to the Jewish Christians who were on a


journey, scattered from their mission, work, and family, some even fleeing
from persecution. Chapter 2:10 gives us a clearer picture of their work
amongst the Gentiles, too. The word “saints” is used in 2 Corinthians 1:1 as a
general term, and here, referring to people who are in Christ. The word we
use now is “Christians,” which comes about later (Acts 26:28; Rom. 15:25;
Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 4:16).

• Dispersion (Greek diaspora) means “dispersed” or “isolated,” a colloquialism


that referred to the Jews who had scattered, or moved away from their
homeland (John 7:35; 1 Pet. 1:17; 2:11). For us, it means we are “resident
aliens” living in a foreign world; our real home is in Heaven to come (1 Chron.
29:15; Psalm 39:12; Heb. 13:14). This epistle was an “encyclical” letter,
meaning it was copied and sent out to many churches in Asia Minor. The
sequence of the names of the readers in this epistle may reflect the courier’s
route and schedule, or those who were on Peter’s heart.

• Elect here means our privilege to be eternally called in Christ, and that our
salvation is secured by God’s grace alone, received by our faith alone (1 Pet.
2:9-10). Elect or election in biblical theology means “to select” or “to choose,”
that God chose us by His purpose and nothing else. Because, if it was
accordingly by His foreknowledge, that would mean it was by our future
means, therefore the need and work of Christ would be thwarted (John 17:24;
Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10). Divine election is a continuous
theme in Paul's Epistles (Rom. 8:29-33; 9:6-26; 11:5, 7, 28; 16:13; Col. 3:12;
1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; Titus 1:1).
We cannot fathom this true implication, meaning, or reasoning. We have
to trust that God is God and we are not; thus, we have no idea of His plan or
purpose. All Christian groups who use the Bible teach election; the division is
in its meaning and purpose, which God has not revealed to us, and about
which we can only speculate. We only know what He has revealed and that
He does elect; our call is to trust and obey (1 Cor. 1:8-9; Phil.1:6; 1 Thess.
1:3-6; 5:23-24; 2 Tim. 1-12; 4:18; 2 Pet. 1:10). Our purpose is not to argue
over this, but to accept His amazing grace.

• Foreknowledge refers to God as sovereign and “omniscient,” meaning He is


all-knowing, crossing time and space; thus, He knows the future. This is
where “predestination” comes from, (Gen. 4:1; Psalm 90; Amos 3:2; Mal. 1:2;
Matt 1:25; 1 Cor. 1:9;) that God's plan is sovereign and eternal. We have a
personal plan and agenda to follow, a purpose that is God's. The argument in
theology is not that He elects us; rather by what means God uses His
foreknowledge or His purpose. The book of Romans says it is by His purpose.
Human reason says it is by God seeing ahead.

• Sanctification here means the application of our redemption, of setting us


apart from sin (Gal. 6:14; 2 Thess. 2:13). This is the growth we have and do
in Christ—in our trust and obedience that He provides. This is not saving
action; it is a response action where we become more like Christ's character.
The work of the Spirit intercedes in us; our response is our progressive
growth and spiritual formation in Him (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:1-10; Luke 24:26;
John 15; 17:2; Phil. 3:10; 1 Thess. 4:3; Heb. 2:10).

• Obedience means our continual acts of trusting in God and obeying His
precepts (John 6:28-29; Eph. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 1:9). We are chosen for
obedience! This is not initiated by us, only a response by us. This is our part
—our result, answer, and responsibility to His election and sanctification. This
leads us to the Will of God, which is God’s sovereignty and control, and He
places us where we need to be for His glory (2 Cor. 1:1-3).

• The blood of Christ refers to the O.T. rituals of sacrifice and the sprinkling of
blood for redemption, which Christ now takes the place of. It was the initiation
of the Covenant of God to Israel; now, it is the Covenant of God to us. It also
now means we have a covenant that we are forgiven (Gen. 4:10; Ex. 24:7-8;
Luke 9:23-24; 23:34; Heb. 9:11-14, 18-28; 12:24; 1 John 1:7).

• Grace…peace is a standard greeting meaning a pronouncing of a blessing or


God’s special favor upon someone. These would be cool, quenching words
for Christians in distress! The blessing is that we are right with God, no matter
what happens, when we are in relationship with Christ our Redeemer (Isa.
44:6; Jonah 4:2; John 14:27; 20:19; Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2)!

• Suffering, Glory. The greater our suffering, the greater we become in Him. We
shine in His glory and shine His glory to others when we endure trials and
learn and grow from them.

The key words of chosen, elect, foreknew, and predestined have been
topics of hot debate amongst many Christian groups over the centuries. The
principle theme is agreed upon, that God does choose us and makes us holy—to
which this passage attests and the rest of the Bible clearly proclaims. If He did
not, we could never obtain salvation on our own (Gen. 45:8; 50:20; Job 14:5;
Psalm 33:13-14; 115:3; 147:5; Prov. 5:21; 15:3; 16:1, 4, 9, 33; Is. 14:26-27; Dan.
4:33-34; John. 1:13; Acts 2:23; Rom. 8:29-30; 9:9-18; 1 Pet. 1:1, 20).
The debate rages over how He chooses: by His Sovereign purpose (which
the Reformers believed) or by His foreknowledge (as many Evangelicals today
believe.) Such debates, although invigorating and insightful to know more and
establish a position, sometime cause us to ignore the main thing—that God is
God, He loves us, He chooses us, He makes us holy, and now, because of what
He did for us, we are to spend our energies growing and serving Him. What we
are not to do is make a nuisance of ourselves by spending all of our energies in
supercilious debate, and ignoring what Jesus did, so it does not impact our lives.
The key thing we forget is our obedience and faith development, which is far
more important in God’s eyes than getting the particulars of theology correct.
Correct theology is very important because it teaches us who God is! But, our
faith development is even more important, because it is our response to what
God did!

This passage is a call to continue in prayer and faithfulness. In that way,


we can continue to be better used by our Lord. We are to remain firm in our
stand of faith even when life is falling apart around us, and when we do not see
hope or the light at the end of the tunnel. The call is to be encouraged and to
stand firm. When we persevere in our faith, we allow God to use us even more
where we are. Then, we learn and we grow further in Him, which helps us grow
and be used more. This is circular. The more we endure, the more we grow.
Then, the more we are used, the more we go through and so forth. This is the
spiral of our faith-building that draws us higher in Him. When we are growing, we
are ministering, too. As our faith grows, we are more likely to hear God’s call, see
the needs of others, and find opportunities to serve. Our faith development is not
to be selfish, although the primary benefit is for ourselves, but we also are to see
how it affects others. When we grow, then we inspire, encourage, and minister to
others faster and better!
So what is our call in this? To be joyful, thankful, and glad! To honor and
enjoy our inherence and love that we have received, so it overflows to others
around us. Then, we can grow and endure through all things! Why? Because, we
will face trials and sufferings, they are a part of this world and life. There is no
escape from them. We can either learn to grow or withdraw and stagnate!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?
7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. How scattered is your family and how often do you have reunions? Have you
ever felt disconnected from your home and all that you know?

2. Why do you suppose Peter starts off his letter with a song of praise? Have
you ever done that in your correspondences? Why, or why not?

3. What would a blessing or God’s special favor mean to you? What is it? How
could you receive it?

4. What does it mean to you that God’s grace and abundant mercy are available
to you now as well as being an inheritance to come?

5. If your hope was on the verge of extinction, your options limited, and you felt
desperate, what would it take to reassure you? How have you responded to
people in these circumstances?

6. Have you realized that when we are in Christ, we are all foreigners? This
world is not our real or permanent home; rather, our true home is to come!
What does this mean for your trust and growth in Him?

7. A lot of Christians today do not see the importance of theology. Why is that?

8. Why is correct theology very important? Why is responding to what God did
even more important? How do these two go together?

9. Have you realized the incredible, theological wonder of what Christ did for
you? Who He is and what He is? Well, this is all about theology; thus, to
know, grow in, and worship Christ, we have to know Him, and that is to know
theology. So, what do you think of this? What are you going to do about
theology?

10. Some misguided Christians think they are “apostles.” Why do you suppose
that a person would make that claim when Scripture tells us clearly what an
apostle is?

11. How does it make you feel that the greater our suffering, the greater we
become in Him? Does this scare you? What can you do to take comfort in this
and not be scared?
12. How can the favor of God speak cool, quenching words to Christians in
distress? So, what can you and your church do to be better at being a cool
refresher to others in need or distress?

Remember, the continual acts of trusting in God and obeying His precepts
are our part and responsibility. This will help us enjoy our inherence and love in
Christ and receive a blessing of God’s special favor.

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my


deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the
horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 1: 3-12: Christ our Redeemer!

General idea: We are chosen and given our new birth! We live in hope! As
Christians, we have God’s abundant mercy, hope, and assurance so we can
praise God for His grace and salvation! In our new life, we are set apart, as we
have salvation and an eternal inheritance available to us! God makes us holy in
His sight and relevant for life here and now as well as for the eternity to come.
This passage is about our God’s most abundant mercy, love, and grace,
given to us, without merit, before the foundations of matter and time. He loves
and cares for us beyond any depth or limit, beyond any human comprehension.
This inheritance is given to us so we can declare it to others. We know Christ
because He has made Himself known to us so we can make Him known to
others.
All this is a result of His sacrifice of redemption, His permanence, and His
love for us. He lived, died, and rose again for you and me! All we are to do is
trust and obey Him, and as we continue in this endeavor, He gives us even more
empowerment for enduring life and performing ministry along with His special
favor and peace! Even if we do not see Jesus, He sees us, loves us, and helps
us persevere. This may seem unattainable or even unfathomable when we are
under stress or the hostile occupation of life. However, we can do this because
we have access to His empowerment; we are literally kept by God through faith.
As we grow in our faith, we become even more precious to God and He will
preserve us through trials and life.
Vs. 3-5: Christ is our living Hope that will never fade away! We are chosen by
God and by God alone! The Spirit sets us apart. We are able to hear and receive
His Words of grace and life. We need to be reminded of what we have and who
we are in Christ. If not, we will soon forget and replace His guidance either with
our frailty or with the ways of the world.

• Praise be /Blessed be the God. This word, berakah, comes from Jewish
blessings, and means the God Who blesses us. It also means rebirth—that
God converts or “re-births” us. It is the theme that, as Christians, we are born
again because God adopts and changes our nature as in starting again as
new (Jer. 1:11-12; Ezek. 36:24-27; Mic. 1:10-15; John 3; 7:37-39). In Peter’s
time, this phrase also referred to Gentiles who converted to Judaism. Now,
He switches it to those who converted to Christ as their new living Hope,
inheritance, security, and God.

• Abundant mercy. This phrase continues from the previous phrase of God’s
blessing, and refers to how lovingly God goes out of His way to redeem us.

• Begotten us again/given us new birth. It is God who gives us new birth (John
1:12-13, 3:3-8, 16).

• Living hope is one of the main, running themes of this epistle. It does not
indicate wishing or thinking positively; rather, it refers to the confidence and
conviction we have that our living God keeps His promises and secures us in
Him. It is the assurance—and fact—that God has redeemed us, will bless us,
and will care for us (1 Peter 1:13, 21; 3:15).

• Inheritance means the “substance” of the hope we have in Christ. It refers to


salvation—our deliverance from sin; we are God’s children, sealed in Him and
joint-heirs with Him by His Work (Rom. 8:16-17; Heb. 1:14). For the Jews, this
meant inheriting a future world such as Israel’s inheritance of the Promised
Land while wandering the desert. It infers redemption and the process God
used to redeem us. To the Jews, then, it meant treasures stored up in
Heaven for them (4 Ezra—a Jewish apocryphal book). For us, by Jesus’
righteousness and our obedience, our treasures are also stored up, while we
still have opportunities now.

• Kept/shielded/reserved means that the righteous will be saved and the deeds
of the wicked will be known. Salvation produces hope and joy. He is our living
Hope that will not fade away! This bond ties us to the responsibility of
responding to what our God has done for us. He gives us faith; we are
responsible for keeping the faith going and growing because we will be
delivered from those who oppose us (Eph. 6:16; Phil. 2:12-13; 1 Pet. 5:8-9).

• Power of God, a military term to vigilantly defend a fort, means the priority,
vigilance, and permanence of God’s grace and protection He gives to help us
keep our faith going and growing (Rom. 8:23, 30; 13:11; 1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Tim.
1:9; Titus 3:5).

• Last time refers to Christ’s second coming and connects verse 7, the
revelation of Jesus Christ and testing. In the End Times, there will be great
testing and sufferings.

Vs. 6-9: We are to love Him, even though we cannot see Him or touch Him. This
may go against common sense, but the reality of His grace and impact can
sometimes be hidden by our desires, circumstances, and feelings. This is the test
of faith and trust, if we see no hope, we then must look to our Lord; then the hope
is given and can be seen. The reward of our faith far outweighs any endurance or
struggle we face. The joy we have is real and significant (John 20:29).

• Tested…be found, refers to a “crucible” for the refining of precious metals


resulting in the quality refinement brings. Testing is compared to sufferings as
a “crucible” which is a container made from a refractory substance such as
graphite or porcelain, used for melting and purifying precious metals (such as
gold) at high temperatures to separate impurities so to produce a finer and
more valuable material, such as 14 carat gold made into 24 carat gold. We
are purified and refined when we go through the effects and substances of
life. They have a purpose; nothing happens to us without a reason that is
meant to teach and grow us (Job 23:10; Psalm 12:6; Prov. 17:3; Isa. 43:2;
Jer. 11:4; 1 Cor. 4:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:5; 4:13; 5:1).

• Receiving. We have received His grace and are called to enjoy our
relationship with Christ. This brings us peace, but the fruition of our faith is still
to come in eternity. Our deliverance is still to come! Our testing should bring
joy and comfort, even with dire stress, because God is still carrying and loving
us through it and we will be better, stronger, and purer for it. We will be of
better use to Him and to all those around us. The key to get through it is in
seeing Christ as the goal and being more like Him in character, rather than
focusing on the situations in which we find ourselves. Persecution was the
main testing that Peter’s readers were facing.

• Souls. This means our self—the core of who we are as an individual person—
same as the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:20).

Vs. 10-12: Do you realize that the prophets of old desperately desired and
sought what we have—that which is free, and that we take for granted? Never
take your faith or what Christ has done for you for granted. If you do, your
spiritual journey will derail, your faith will stagnate, and the hopeless gloom of the
world will be your only “vesper” (a bell that summons monks to pray). You will be
seeking what is feeble and worthless and disavow what is real and jubilant. We
are to declare our faith internally, see its veracity and application, and then
declare it publicly.
• Manner of time/find out the time is a statement meaning the coming of the
Messiah, which Christ fulfilled. It means the prophets foretold there would be
suffering and that the Messiah would suffer as well as be exalted. Purpose
and meaning in life were often considered mysterious to the Jew. However,
for us, it has been fully revealed; it is to know Christ and make Him known
(Isa. 7:14; 9:6; 11:1; Dan. 12:6-9).

• The Spirit of Christ. This is one of the names for the Holy Spirit, meaning
Christ sent Him. It does not denote that Jesus is the Spirit; the Trinity is three
Persons in one Essence—one God, with three personalities or
manifestations. Here, the Spirit intercedes, breaking the sin barrier of our
heart to give us redemption. In the O.T., servants of God were given glimpses
and parts of the Spirit working in them, empowering them for a specified
function (Gen. 41:38; Num. 27:18; Acts 2:33; 16:6-7; Rom. 8:9-10; 1 Cor.
15:45; Gal. 4:6; Phil. 1:19; 1 Pet. 4:14).

• It was revealed refers to the mysteries to which God gave the O.T. prophets a
glimpse—of things to come that were to benefit and encourage future
generations. We do not know what they were exactly—probably the Gospel
message of Christ. However, for us, this refers to the message of the Gospel
being infused by the Holy Spirit and then lived out in our lives; it is that Jesus
Christ, being fully God, lived in behalf of us, took our place for God’s wrath,
suffered in our place, and redeemed us. It is a call to us to be the messengers
of the Gospel along with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:25-27, 45-47).

• Holy Spirit sent from Heaven refers to the role of the Spirit to inspire and
direct—from the books of the Bible to the messages of the Prophets to the
hearers of God’s Word. It also means that the place of origin, the source of
the Gospel message, and that is only from the Holy Spirit. Even though we
evangelize, only the Holy Spirit can cause the Word to make sense and allow
it to be received by the person (John 3:3-6; Acts1:8; Rom. 8:14; 1 Cor. 12:3;
Gal. 4:6).

• Angels desire to look. The celestial beings may seem ominous to us, but they
are created beings and have limited knowledge. They have the same
emotions and will that we have—the reason 1/3 of them fell—and they are
curious and interested in the things of God—the reason 2/3 remained loyal to
God. God, who had not told them everything, now made His plan known
(Eph. 3:10).

God does not test us to bring us harm nor does He seek to cause us to
fail. Rather, He wants to see if our faith and commitment are real and brings us
into situations where we can learn and grow in faith and so receive our reward.
We can take comfort in trials, as God is still sovereign over them. His purpose is
to refine us, form us, mold us, improve us, restore us, grow us, and strengthen
us. Testing can also be used to bring us to contemplate our attitude, mindset,
and deeds so we can seek repentance and so we will “wake up,” see our error,
and seek Him. He does this much as a loving parent disciplines a child. Other
times, God tests to bring about discipline, justice, and judgment. Jews believe
that suffering brings atonement, but this is not what Peter means; rather, that
faith is a precious commodity to God (Gen. 11:1-f; Deut. 8:2; 13:3; Judg. 2:22;
Job. 23:10; Rom. 5:3; James 1: 2-4, 12-16; 1 Pet. 4:17; 5:1-4, 8).

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Have you ever inherited anything? How did you feel about it? What kind of
inheritance would you like to leave your family one day?

2. Think this question through: What does it mean to you that you are personally
chosen, given new birth, are able to live in hope, and are given abundant
mercy and assurance by God?

3. What can you do to praise God more for His grace and salvation?

4. Even if you do not see Jesus, how can you have the confidence that He sees
you, loves you, and helps you persevere?

5. When you are under the stresses and hostile occupations of life, what can
you do to move away from stress and seeing only your situation to seeking
the improving of your faith?
6. How have you been purified and refined, as you have gone through the trials
of life? What would happen to your faith, character, and spiritual formation if
you never went through any trials?

7. How can knowing that trials have a purpose and reason help you focus away
from anger to being willing to learn and grow from them?

8. Do you feel, deeply, that God literally keeps you through faith? If so, why? If
not, why not? What can you do about it?

9. Do you realize that as you grow in your faith, you become even more
precious to God and He will preserve you through trials and life? How does
this make you feel? How does this strengthen you?

10. Do you realize that what we have free of charge—what Christ has done, and
what we may take for granted—the Prophets of Old so desperately desired
and sought? So, what can you do to prevent yourself from ever taking for
granted your faith or what Christ has done for you?

11. How and why do you need to be reminded of what you have and who you are
in Christ? How can this fact give you more confidence, conviction and
assurance in your daily life?

12. What can you do to show your love to Christ, even though sometimes we
don’t see Him or feel Him? How will this help you see Him? How can your
faith in Him give you comfort that the reward of your faith far outweighs any
struggles you face?

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as


warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think
you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you
except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be
tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also
provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:11-13

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 1: 13-21: Living with Holiness!


General idea: We are called to get our minds lined up with God—His Way, His
precepts, and His plan. We still have the old sinful nature residing within us. God
declares us clean, but we do not become completely clean. Perhaps, the reason
for this is that if we were “scrubbed clean,” we would not face the struggles in life
that produce depth and holiness. We would never struggle with thoughts,
desires, sin, and life; therefore, we would not learn, grow, and respond to God
within the realties of life. We would be robots, preprogrammed to respond—and
such mechanisms do not produce real fruit or love.
Thus, we have to exercise self-control. In addition, as with all exercise, we
gain the strength and endurance that provide the fortitude and courage to
engage life. Along with faith, we have the staying power—for all we experience
in life—to be His child and be a blessing to Him and others around us. God does
not just command us to be self-controlled; He gives us a reason to remain in our
faith development. He will give us His wondrous, special blessings for our trust
and obedience. His reward is His salvation and the rewards in eternity. However,
we are also given the strength to enjoy life and make the most of what we have
now!
Therefore, Peter urges us not to slip back into our old ways, because they
will cause us to slip away from God’s best and blessings. We are His children.
Like all children, we need structure and discipline and to know we are loved. God
has this for us!

Vs. 13-16: We are called to be holy! Do you have problems with containing your
desires and thinking? Do you seek the distractions of the world that will cause
you to stray off God’s path? Perhaps, what we need is a further realization of the
boundless love Christ has for us so we will seek to please Him and not our
desires. Because, His way is better than any plan we could produce on our own.
Before we were Christians, we did not know better. Now, as Christians, we do
know better. Therefore, we must remain self-controlled and holy!

• Gird up the loins of your mind/prepare your minds is a vivid call to action. It
refers to tucking one’s robe into one’s belt to move faster. This also alludes to
the Passover (Ex.12:11). It means to be prepared as in “fasten your seat
belt,” not because you will crash, but in case you do. We are called to guard
our mind so we can always be prepared and ready (Eph. 6:10; 1 Pet. 3:15).
This also means our spiritual formation is to be continual. So, to be prepared
takes action and application on our part. It is not a free ride where we just sit
and wait. Our spiritual journey requires our active participation. We should be
ready to follow Him because we are redeemed (verses 4 &19).

• Sober/self controlled. This is also called “sobriety.” It is not just about


abstinence from alcohol, but, rather, being dignified and self-controlled—
willing and able to be clear-headed. A person does not have self-control when
he/she is drunk. However, this applies to anything—not just drinking and
drugs.
• Obedient children means we are adopted into God's family and are made
new. So, because of what Christ has done, we should be willing to be
obedient (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 5:1; Col. 3:1-4, 1 Pet. 1:2-3, 22). Obedience means
that, as Christians, we are to submit to what God requires of us; we are to
follow His precepts regardless of the circumstances (Deut.13: 4; 1 Sam.
15:22; Prov. 19:16; Acts 5:29; John 14:14; 15:14; 2 Cor. 10:5; Heb. 13:17; 1
John 1:7).

• Called you. God effectually takes the initiative. He seeks us, He motivates us,
He picks us up; but we still have to reach out and grab His Hand and
respond! In this context, it is about our portrayal and obedience just as a child
obeys and portrays a father.

• Be holy means to set one’s self apart, in a distinct manner, so to be identified


and positioned in and with God and not in or with the world. It also means to
be “set apart” from sin and its influences as “garbage-in-creates-garbage-out.”
God called the Israelites to be set apart from the other nations. They were to
worship God and then influence the other nations for God. At the same time,
they were not to be contaminated by them. When they succeeded, they were
blessed. When they failed, they were judged and taken into captivity. For us,
it means we are not to be influenced by sin, so we are able to serve and
please God, strive for moral purity, and benefit others (Lev. 11:44; 19:2; 20:7,
26; Hab 1:13; Matt 5:48; Eph. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:9).

We can learn and become responsible in our faith so we can persevere


and completely trust in our living, loving Lord. When this comes about, we will not
lose hope but be able to stand for as long as necessary in whatever situation we
face.

Vs. 17-21: We may think that God plays favorites, as some people just seem
blessed while others are under constant struggle. However, we can take comfort
that God does not play favorites; we all are His favorites. Blessings of the world
are never a sign of God’s favor; they will fade. The faith we exercise will only
build and we will come to see more bountiful blessings than we could ever have
imagined. God is more concerned about what we do with what we have than with
what we have! Always remember that Christ is our living Hope that will never
fade away. Because He paid for us, we owe Him more than we could ever know!

• Father. This is Heavenly Father to the Jews as they called upon God in
prayer.

• Without partiality. God crowns us with His gifts. Thus, we can take comfort
that God loves and treats us all the same. God does not show favoritism; He
calls us to be unprejudiced, too. He does not condemn us for our wrongs
because we have His grace, but God does judge us for our wrongs and
rewards us for our obedience. He will reward us just for being in Him and for
our merits (Isa. 53:4-5; Rom. 2:11; 14:10-12; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; James 2:11; 1
Pet. 2:24).

• Your stay/strangers means un-naturalized aliens, people who are not native
or are not pursuing residency. Therefore, he is saying to watch how you
conduct yourself and your loyalties. This refers to the sojourn of life, that we
are not here permanently but, rather, are “pilgrims” on a journey until we
reach our permanent home in eternity (Acts 10:34).

• Fear is how we are to come before God, and with humbleness (1 Pet. 5:6). It
is a term of endearment and respect that is supercharged with more meaning
and power because it infers intense reverence and awe of God and His
holiness (Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; 3:5; 8:13; 9:10; 16:6; 31:30; Psalm 2:11;
34:11; 111:10; Isa. 12:6; Eccl. 12: 13; Mal. 1:14; Matt. 10: 27-33; Rom. 2:11;
James 2:1). It does not mean being afraid of Him, rather fearful of His wrath
(Romans 3).

• Redeemed is a term meaning the freeing of a slave by the paying of his/her


debt. We are freed from the bondage of sin by the great cost of His sacrifice
of His shed blood that gives us "justification." He frees us from the "curse of
the law" and “wickedness” (Ex. 13:13; 21:30; Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45; Rom.
3:24; 8:2; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; Col 1:14; Titus 2:14; Heb. 9:15; Rev. 5:9).

• Aimless conduct/empty way of life was a retort to the pagan worship services
that had no meaning and led people to sin and harm themselves and others.
Such conduct is futile and empty (Rom. 1:21; Eph. 4:17). It has no purpose
other than to deceive and to destroy. This conduct is not limited to pagan
practices, but for anything that distracts us from loving and worshiping our
Lord, such as desires and traditions (Jer. 2:5; Mark 7:8-13; Acts 14:15)!

• Like sliver and gold infers, in this context, that these metals are not valuable.
As under Nero, there was mass inflation and gold was devaluing and fading
away as a commodity. Do not trust in anything that fades away!

• Lamb is the picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. He represents the only effective
and ultimate sacrifice; He takes away the sin of the world. The sacrificial
animal of the Passover in the O.T. is the foreshadowing of what Christ will do
and has done for us. The price was invaluable and could not have been paid
by human measures (Ex. 12:3; Isa. 53:7; John 1:29; 1 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 9:14).

• Without blemish. The O.T. sacrificial animals had to be perfect in breed and
form with no defect; if not, they were not valuable enough for a sacrifice.
Those who sacrificed such blemished animals were dishonoring God. Jesus
was unblemished because of the sinless life He led on our behalf. Some Jews
take offence because Jesus was whipped and scarred before His sacrifice,
that He was blemished and could not take away our sins. But, they
misunderstand what blemished means for Jesus and us. It is not our bodies; it
is our sinful nature and soul. Jesus was without sin and thus unblemished
(Lev. 22:20-25; Heb. 4:15; 7:26-27).

• Foreordained/chosen means foreknew. He knows all that was, is, and will
come. He is “omniscient.” Here, it is referring to the fact that Jesus has
always existed and was chosen as our Redeemer before we were even
created (John 17:24; Ac 2:17; Eph. 1:4; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Tim. 3:1; Heb. 1:1; 1
John 2:18; Rev 13:8).

• Last times does not necessarily refer to the actual final days of our existence
as in the second coming is around the corner. Rather, it means the period
from the resurrection to His second coming. In other words, the present time
(Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:2).

• Through Him means that Jesus is the only access that humanity has to God.
He is our High Priest and Mediator. We do not need to go to any person to
present ourselves before God; Jesus does this for us (John 1:18; 14:6; 1 Pet.
3:18).

Most people get discouraged when they are no longer in control. But, we
have to realize that God still is in control. Thus, when our eyes are fixed on God,
we will never lose hope (Psalm 62:8; 2 Cor. 1:3-7)!

How is your “fertility?” That is, how is the fruit of the Spirit that should be
growing in and through you and that is meant to come through you in all things?
Our faith will be tested—not to attack or cause us to fail—but to teach us to be
more faithful, stronger, and better so we can be better to those around us. God
wants us holy and pure in Him.
To make us pure, He needs to prune and refine us. This is not drudgery
but an opportunity to be more than we could ever be on our own. Our growth in
Him means faith, spiritual maturity, and character development. These are things
more precious than any gold, personal success, or financial portfolio. As we go
through the tough stuff of life, we will grow and become stronger. We will worship
Him more deeply and purely. We will honor Him more deeply, more relevantly,
and touch the lives of others more deeply, too.
Life is not about our wants, needs, and comfort; it is about Christ working
in us more powerfully and triumphantly. The key to turn on this engine of our
spiritual formation is our willingness to pursue, endure, and grow. Allow the
holiness of our Lord, His grace, His patience, understanding, faith, loyalty,
goodness, and love to be exhibited in you—not by imitation, but with gratitude
and submission, kept by His power (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 1:27; Gal. 5:21-23; 1 Pet.
1:5)!
The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Do you think that you need structure and discipline? Why, or why not? What
happens to children when they are not disciplined? How does this compare to
adult Christians?

2. What does it mean to you to get your mind lined up with God? What would
your life look life if it were not “lined up” or self-controlled?

3. Have you ever thought that God plays favorites, that some people just seem
blessed while others are in a constant struggle? How can you take comfort in
knowing that God loves and treats all of us the same?

4. How can the struggles we face in life produce more depth and holiness?

5. What if you were totally “scrubbed clean” of bad desires, temptations, and
sin? Would you still be able to build a deep faith and grow closer to God?
Why, or why not?

6. Do you get discouraged when you are no longer in control? How does the
exercise of self-control give you staying power when you are in tough
situations such as temptations or trials?
7. Do you have problems in containing your desires and thinking? How would
further realization of the boundless love Christ has for you help you remain
disciplined to please Him?

8. Why is your spiritual formation not a “free ride?” Why does it have to be
continual? What do you need to do to be prepared for active participation,
action, and application in pursuing and growing in Christ?

9. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Lamb, the only effective and ultimate sacrifice for
our sins. What does this mean to you? How can you reach out, grab His
hand, and respond?

10. What can you do to resist the influences of desires, bad traditions, and sin so
you can become more responsible in your faith, serve and please God, strive
for moral purity, and benefit others?

11. What does obedience mean to you? How have you demonstrated it? Can you
recall a situation in which you were not obedient and why? How is obedience
a call to action? How could your personal and spiritual life be improved with
the ability to move faster in your faith?

12. How can the exercise of self-control and obedience help you submit to what
God requires of you and His precepts—regardless of your circumstances?
What can you do to help this better obedience come about? Can you think of
a specific instance or situation?

He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his
ways will die. Proverbs 19:6

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 1:22 - 2:3: The Enduring Word!

General idea: This passage is the “therefore” of the first chapter! The word
“therefore” is referring to the results, conclusions, or applications that are to be in
our lives from the reasons given. This is about what we are to do with the
information we have been given by our Lord. This is then combined with what
Peter is saying now, such as, by being cleansed of our sins, because of our new
life, and because we made our commitment in Him, we “therefore” have the call
and opportunity to respond to it. We have been given the inconceivable, amazing
gift of eternity and ultimate hope, contrasted to the hope we have in this world
that will fade and die in meaningless and helplessness. Because we now have
the Good News in us, we can get rid of all that blocks us from growing and
responding to Christ as our Living Lord.
The call for us is to love, as also stated in many other parts of the Bible;
we are to love authentically and sincerely. We are to love our fellow Christians
and others around us without hypocrisy. This means we are not to come against
others, manipulate them, or seek to control, subvert, or be jealous of them;
rather, we are to encourage and spur one another on in the faith, to cooperate
one with another, and by synergy, together further the Kingdom of God. We are
to do this with vigor and earnestness in an active pursuit from our heart that is in
Christ. This cannot be done by pretending; it has to be real, as we are called to
be real in all that we do and in the stricture of love!

Vs. 22-25: We have the “right” to put our hope in whatever we feel like, such as
money, career, education, position, or power; however, such hope will not last
and will become meaningless. We may think these things work, but do they? Just
as a cut flower will stay in a vase of water for a while but will eventually wither
and die, so will our human based hopes. Our hope must rest on nothing but the
real, living Hope—who is Christ the Lord! His hope will never fade because it is
living and eternal. His purchase of our souls is the ultimate hope that our Living
Word promises!

• Purified your souls/purified yourselves refers to the O.T. purity laws that
stated that a priest must cleanse himself before entering the Lord’s Temple so
he does not bring in defilement. This was both a ceremony and an actual
washing to remove dirt from oneself (Isa. 1:16; Jer. 2:22; 4:14). For the
Christian, it means we are called to moral and spiritual purity and holiness, to
be in the world but not touched by the world (Acts 15:9; Rom. 10:16; 2 Thess.
1:8). We are purified when we obey the Truth, which enables us to grow in
our spiritual formation, and show love and self-sacrificing character (Matt.
5:44; Luke 6:27, 35; 1 John 3:14-18).

• Love of the brethren simply means to love one another. This passage in 1
Peter gives us a list of reasons to do so because of what Jesus has done for
us (John 13:35; 1 Cor. 13; 1 John 4:7-11).

• Born again means regeneration (John 3). The emphasis is on the past tense
as it has already happened. We have been given a new nature, one that is in
Christ; thus, what are we doing with it now? Being born again means we are
born from above by God. It is the work of the Spirit (John 3:3-6; Rom. 8:14; 1
Cor. 12:3; Gal. 4:6; 5:22-23) while the Word of God presents the gospel as
the testimony (Deut. 6:4-9; 11:17-20; 2 Tim. 3:14-17). The point here is that
our new life must produce results (Titus 3:5; James 1:18)!

• Corruptible means human corruption contrasted to God’s Holiness and Word


(Luke 8:11).
• Seed, meaning “divine life,” was a colloquialism for God’s Word as “seminal”
(similar to “logos” of John 1), from “Plilo” which is a philosophical term
meaning it is the divine influence for us (Isa. 40: 6-8; Luke 8:11; 1 John 3:9).
God plants this in us, but we are required to care for and cultivate it for its
continual growth in us.

• Through the living and enduring word of God. Word refers to God’s self-
revelation, both spoken (by the prophets, who wrote it down for us) and
written (all that we have today) (Deut. 6:4; 11:13-20; 1 Kings 12:22; Psalm
30:5; 33:9; Luke 3:2). This phrase means God’s Word is inspired, continual,
real, relevant, imperishable, living, and lasting; it is the instrument through
which Christ is revealed to humanity from a God who is all powerful, never
failing, and who keeps His promises (Isa. 55:10-11; Heb. 4:12; James 1:18).

• All flesh is grass. This is a quote from Isaiah 40:6-8 from the “LXX”
(Septuagint, a Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, 3rd century B.C). The
phrase implies that God will redeem His people; our own efforts for
redemption are in vain (Isa. 52: 7-8). Our life here is temporary and
preparatory as our true home is eternity in Heaven (Matt. 19:28; Acts 3:21; 2
Cor. 4:17; Heb. 6:18-20; Rev. 21:1).

Faith produces faithfulness; this comes from believing that God will do
what He says and looking to Him, not our circumstances. It is about control—if it
will be God or me. It is trusting in His tug on my soul and not mine or the worlds,
so I can make the best righteous decisions. It is like a switch that turns God’s
power and Spirit unto us. Faith is the key to removing hypocrisy because it
focuses us on Christ, whereas insincerity and pretence focus us on our personal,
sinful agendas.

Vs. 2:1-3: We are called to crave the deeper things of the faith. There is a time to
learn the basics and keep revisiting them so they are cemented within us. This is
the babies’ milk, referring to who Jesus is and what He has done. But, a time
comes when we must grow beyond milk—not beyond the veracity of it, but into
greater depth, profundity, and application so we are living a life of holiness
through His Word and Spirit. If we stay in the shallow end of the pool, we will
never learn to swim. It is the same with our faith; we have to be willing and able
to take more nourishment and fullness from our Lord so we can learn and grow
more.

• Laying aside/rid yourselves is announcing what was called a “vice list” of what
should be avoided for purity’s sake. This was also a common phrase in the
early church, recited at baptisms as a further profession of faith (Mark 7:21-
22; Rom. 1:29-31; 13:12-13; 1 Cor. 5:10; Gal. 5:19-20; Eph. 4:20-24; 2 Pet.
2:10-14). Because Christ is gracious to us, we have no need to engage in
evil.
• Newborn babies refers to rebirth, to those who are new in Christ. It infers
dependence on Christ to be fed. When we become Christians, it is not a done
deal; our salvation is, but our faith, growth, and commitment need to be fed.
We are to crave the Word so we can grow in Christ! It is having the appetite
to pursue Him and the things of Him.

• Desire/crave means the passionate, eager, yearning desire for real spiritual
food so we can grow.

• Pure milk means certified and unadulterated, as a document of authenticity.


There is no deceit; the milk has not been diluted. Here, it refers to God’s
Word as pure, nourishing, and rational. These are not the elementary
instructions of 1 Cor. 3:1-3; we are to teach the elementary aspects of God’s
Truth, but also go on to the deeper things (1 Cor. 3:1-4; Heb. 5:11-15; 1 Pet.
1:5, 9)!

• Tasted means tasting something for the first time and finding it so good that
we desire more of it. We are exhorted to seek after more spiritual food. Our
character must reflect this new nature and the leading of the Spirit, both
publicly and privately. It is not because of insistence or feeling, but of
gratitude and fact.

• Gracious means the kindness of God is delicious, from Psalm 34:8. We are
called not be corruptible—rather, to be incorruptible!

What does this all come down to? Remaining in Christ against all that
buffets us in life. Do not try to predict or dread them; rather, be prepared by your
trust and obedience in Him. The Christian journey is about growing in faith and
maturity—both spiritual and social—in the church, then applying it in the market
place of life. When we withstand the tests and trails, we become stronger and of
better use to God and others. When we remain loyal, looking to Him and not to
what is happing in life, we gain His favor and blessings. This helps produce our
growth now and our reward to come. He will give us the strength to bear it while
we learn from it (1 Cor. 10-11-13). He will give us victory, but we must be careful
that we do not become conceited. If we do, the next trial will be much smaller and
we will fail it, as it will knock us down fast and hard.
The classic definitions of faith include the expression of ideals, loyalty,
allegiance, adhering to principles, and belief in something, someone, or God
without evidence or reason. Some secularists define faith as “an allegiance in
something subjective or objective without reason or evidence, by science or
observation, or in spite of which there is no proof.” However, this is blind faith
without merit or reason. Christian faith is a gift from God that allows us to believe
and trust in His love and providence. It is the acceptance of God's Word as true,
what Jesus has done as real and true, then trusting and obeying Him. But, real
Christian faith is far deeper because we have evidence and reason and God’s
Word. His historicity and care through time is demonstrable. God’s
trustworthiness has always been true, so we can have complete trust in and
commitment to Him for all of our lives.
Both Christians and secularists agree that faith does affect the
fundamental matters of life and the self. But, for the cynic, this is wrong; for the
faithful, this is what is sought. Because of whom God is and what He has done,
our faith becomes more real and effectual as it encompasses our identity,
confidence, conviction, and purpose. Thus, our faith is a growing process that
affects our life, moving us to action. It is not an intellectual concept or a
mysterious guidance, nor is it based solely on experience. Rather, it is trust in His
guidance obtained from His Work that we can experience more and more as we
move on in life. James’ assertion that faith without actions is dead come to us
from God because real and true faith affects our behaviors and actions (Matthew
8: 5- 13; Acts 11:22-24, 27:21-25; Romans 4:18-21, 1 Corinthians 12:9,
Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 11; James 1:2-4; 2:14-26; 1 Peter 1:7-9; 2 Peter 1:2-
9; 16; 1 John 5:4).

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Do you have a favorite food that you crave? What would it mean to crave
God’s Word the way we crave our favorite food?

2. What does “therefore” mean to you? What would be the result from the
information our Lord has given you?
3. What does it mean to you to love? How would you define love? How would
you explain it to someone?

4. What would it mean to love with vigor and earnestness? Why can’t love be
done with pretense?

5. How can a Christian have love for his or her fellow Christians or neighbors
and at the same time manipulate them, seek to control, subvert or be jealous?
How would one rationalize that this is a good practice and is acceptable God
from what this passage states?

6. Do you cry out for greater depth and implication of the Word? Do you seek
greater awareness of God’s precepts so you can grow more and be used
more? If not, what and why do you think you are here? Consider church,
family, work, and life in general.

7. Have you realized the depths of His grace and that you have been given the
incredible, wondrous gift of eternity and hope? If so, what have you done with
it? If not, what would it take for you to further reason, trust, and believe in the
incredible impacting grace of our Lord?

8. What do you need to do to grow in the Word? What needs to take place so
you can respond to the “therefore” God gives us?

9. How can you make sure that you do not trust in anything that fades away?

10. What happens when we put our hope in whatever we feel like, such as
money, career, or power? How have you experienced that this does not last
and becomes meaningless? What must our hope rest on? What are you
going to do to further this idea in your life?

11. How can being purified help you obey the Truth? How would this enable you
to grow? What would your life look like in this paradigm?

12. What can you do to be more “dependent,” as in being dependent on Christ to


be fed? What would this mean for your personal and spiritual growth and
commitment? What will you do about it?

We love because [God] first loved us. 1 John 4:19

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org


Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 2: 4-10: The Chosen Stone!

General idea: The previous chapter gave us a litany of what Christ has
passionately done for each of us as individuals. Now, Peter takes the argument
of what our Lord has done for us to show how we are to be as a corporate
collaboration of people in Him. The call is to come to Christ because He is the
Living Stone, just as He called us to in Matthew 11:28-30. Here, we have an
image of how our Lord is our cornerstone and how we as a Church should
function, as we are all interlocked, plumed with purpose with our calls, gifts and
abilities to one another all in Him (Eph. 4)! Christ is constructing a building of faith
and eminence to be His Church made up of the stones of “us” laid upon the
foundation of Him. Thus, our faith needs to grow from us personally and then
move into our community, so we can interlock with one another, fastened by the
mortar of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:19-22).
Peter tells of the incredible transition from the Temple and the priesthood
to the Church—foretold, but still inconceivable to the Jewish mindset. Christ is
our stone bridge and gives us continuity and purpose. Jesus is the Foundation,
Pillar, and Purpose of the Church, and we, as His people, are the church. We are
not cold stones that are stationary and which decay; rather, we are living and
movable, cemented together as a corporate identity in Him.
Yet, as perfect and precious as our Living Stone is, people do not
understand Him and therefore reject Him out of fear of conviction. His way gets in
the way of their way (my way), because they want a warrior Messiah, not a
Savior and Convictor of their souls. However, when we are in Him, we have no
need to fear. He gives us the comfort, protection, and the deep love we need.
We, too, are precious in God’s sight!
Our identification as a “corporate” church is not a building; rather, it is a
relationship of community, where we are His priests! The entire sacrificial and
priestly system, as God directed Moses to set up, is now obsolete. It has been
replaced. Its purpose was to point to Christ and get people ready; now, He is
here. He is the sacrifice, the Altar, and the Temple, and we are the priests (Ex.
19:1-9). The key is that we have to listen to His Word; we must relinquish our
self-absorbed mindsets and focus on Christ as Lord over all.

Vs. 4-8: The Living Stone, our temple, is He who gives us grace and comfort and
does not disappoint! How wonderful and comforting to be able to allow Him to be our
haven of rest, our continual comfort. At the same time, a warning is given to those
who reject the Living Stone. He still gives us His grace—until it is too late and we are
called to account. Do not be the one who rejects the Living Stone! Allow your faith to
empower your obedience because obedience is what pleases God; disobedience,
from a lack of faith, is detestable to Him!

• Coming to Him. This is an image from Isaiah 28:16, as we are chosen and
precious in Him. Our call here is to continue to draw near to God! The key issue
here is even though we are chosen, in order to be fully accepted, we must have
repented! Our repentance is a result of our salvation; it comes after His saving
grace. If repentance came first, our salvation would have been earned, and we
can’t earn it (Acts 13:38-39; Rom. 1:17; 3:31- 5:21; 10:14-17; 1 Cor. 1:18-2:16;
15:1-8; 2 Cor. 5:13-6:2; Gal. 2:15- 5:1; Phil. 3:4-14; Eph. 1:3-14; 2:8-9; 1 John
1:9)!

• Living stone means the foundation, the source of something, such as a building
or a family (Psalm 118:22; Isa. 8:14; 28:16). This means Jesus is the Spiritual
Temple. He is the place and focus of worship. It is no longer a building; it is a
community in relationship to Him. Jesus was a carpenter in His human
occupation and perhaps frequently worked with stonemasons or did masonry,
too. Peter picks up this image from the Gospels. Christ is the Stone, our Giver of
life, our Source and Foundation for all we are and do (Matt. 21:42; John 1:4; 1
Cor. 3:1-3; 15:45)!

• Living stones. The plural refers to our union in Him. This means Christian
community and fellowship is a “spiritual house,” as we are all in Christ as one and
we derive our life from Him. Our identity in Him must affect us personally and
publicly, synergizing as a community (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 15:45) that is formed,
indwelt, and empowered by the Spirit (Acts 2:33). We are all precious, important,
and have a job to do as a moving, living temple, reflecting His love and holiness
(John 2:19; Ro 12:1; 1 Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Heb 7:26; 10:10).

• Chosen by God means people belonging to God for a purpose. Just as Israel
was set apart to be priests and missionaries to the world, we too are designated
to reach the world (Gen. 12:1-3; Duet 4:20; 7:6; 14:2; 28:9; Isa 43:10, 20-21;
44:1-2; 61:6; Hos 1:6-10; Mal 3:17; Acts 2:11; Rom. 9:25-26; 10:19; Eph 1:4).

• Spiritual House refers to the O.T. Temple as God’s dwelling place. Here, house is
more than a building; it is also a legacy, a large family or dynasty such as the
“House of Israel.” Thus, the Church is God’s dwelling place and legacy (2 Sam.
7:5-7, 12-16; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-22; Heb. 3:6).

• Holy priesthood refers to Exodus 19:5-6. We, as Christians, are now a part of His
Kingdom, representatives of Christ, His living Body on earth. Now, as believers,
we hold the role of priests too, because we all have the same access to God that,
prior to the Cross, only the priests had (Ex. 23:22; Isa. 61:6; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor.
5:20; Heb. 2:9; 13:15). Jesus Christ is our only Mediator; we do not need to go to
another person—priest or rabbi—or object, but directly to God ourselves (John
14:6).

• Spiritual sacrifices means that Christ’s work on the Cross—which is “spiritual”—


replaces the “material” sacrifices of the O.T. because His sacrifice is complete for
us (Psalm 51:16-17; Heb. 8:13; 10:9-18; 13:5; Rev. 8:3). This is called
“propitiation.” It means that Christ took our place in life and in death because we
cannot be saved by our own actions. We cannot rely on our own efforts, skills,
personal connections, family background, or our beliefs. Only Christ can wash us
clean and declare us righteous, so we are saved from our sins (Eph. 2:8-9). God
imputes His righteousness unto us by declaring us righteous because of what
Christ has done (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:10-19; 10:3; 12:1). This declaration means we,
as the elect, are free from our debt of sin. But, we as debtors are to be witnesses
to the lost! We are to respond with our sacrifices of praise (Phil. 4:18; Heb 13:15-
16).

• Acceptable to God. God accepts us by His sacrifice for our sins (Heb.13: 15-16)!
Because of His work, we are complete in Him, we are deeply loved and
accepted, and we do not need to have acceptance by any other person or means
to be fulfilled (Col. 1:21-22; 2:13-15; James 1:4; 1 John 4:9-11)!

• Behold I lay in Zion is a quote from Isaiah 8:14; 28:16 and Psalm 118:22. Here,
Christ is the true God and representative of us all. This is an image of how God
delivered Israel from slavery to the Promised Land, and how He delivers us from
sin, from darkness to Light. The same stone they worshiped is the stone they
stumbled on because they refused to understand (Rom. 9:30-10:4).

• Cornerstone. This was a large stone laid at the foundation of a building to be a


“footer,” and to “plum” the rest of the building so it was square and secure. This
was essential to the structure of the building. These buildings were laid by cut
stones, interlocked by gravity and force, and without mortar, all relying and
leaning on one another. Without proper stone placement, buildings in the ancient
world would not last long or would fall during construction. (Psalm 118:22; Matt.
21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; Eph. 2:20). Chief cornerstone means
the chief, the head of the corner; for our Lord, it means He is our All in All—we
can trust in Him (1 Cor. 15:20-28)!

• Living stones…spiritual house. Together, these refer to a living, sacred temple,


empowered by God to worship God. Some Jewish sects saw themselves as
living temples or a new temple, such as the Qumran community that produced
the Dead Sea Scrolls. Our dependence must be on Christ, as He is the One who
supports us, lifts us up, and houses us in His presence (Ex. 19:6; Mark 12:10-11).

• Stumble, meaning disobedient, refers to condemnation and Judgment, because a


person is so “self willed” and prideful, he or she is not willing to acknowledge God
as his or her Lord.

• Were appointed alludes to the total Divine Sovereignty of our Lord; He is in


control. This also means we have the responsibility for our faith and actions
(Rom. 9:14-24).

The rejection of the world did not diminish Christ and does not diminish those
who are in Christ. Our glory and place are far greater than anyone who rejects Him
could ever conceive of. Faith in Christ requires our efforts and yielding; such effort is
hard for most, and impossible for the person who is self-absorbed and only sees him
or her self and will stumble. We have to see Christ as our Capstone or all we see is
what we want—things that fade and become meaningless.

Vs. 2:9-10: In order to do the work of God, we must be the people of God! As
Christians, we are chosen by Him to be in Him as His possession in love. He
called us out of our darkness into His Light by His mercy; He sets us apart to be
holy participants in His Kingdom (Heb. 12:14). Thus, we are called to show this
wonderful, incredible place we have in Him to others by our goodness, attitude,
and deeds—and, if necessary, with words.

• But you are means we are destined, we have a purpose, and we have status
before our Lord! This passage is almost a direct quotation from Exodus 19:6;
referring to our sharing in God’s Covenant, both as Jews and Gentiles. Our
identity in Him must affect us personally and publicly, then synergize into a
community (Gen. 12:1-3; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

• Proclaim. Peter has already stated our election in Christ in the first verses of
the first chapter. Now, he uses it to call us to service because of what Christ
has done for us. Our call is to be a joyful, mature, obedient witness with love
toward others.

• Out of darkness refers to God having redeemed us out of the darkness of sin
into the Light of His presence (Isa. 60:21; 61:3; Jer. 13:11).

• Who once were. Peter again quotes the O.T.; here, it is Hosea 1:10, 2:23.
This means how God reversed His verdict of Judgment upon Israel for their
continual disobedience and gave them restoration and the promise of Christ
(Isa. 19:24-25; 56:3-8; Hos. 1:6-9; Rom. 9:24-26).

• The people of God refers to Israel. Now, it refers to all those in Christ, no
matter what their heritage is (Hos. 1:6-10; 2:1, 22-23; Rom. 9:25-26). It shows
how God elected the Israelites, they rejected Him, God judged them, and then
He restored them. It is all about God’s gracious mercy that we do not
deserve.

The Living Stone is defined as a dwelling! Dwellings need to be cared for,


maintained, preserved, and, of course, used. His dwelling is where we can take
rest and comfort out of the “weather” of life, and then regroup, recharge, and go
out into the world with His Word. The incredible news of this is we still remain in
His dwelling. When we go out, we are still inside His presence and care! His
Living Stone is also the mobile Stone; thus, wherever we go, we are still under
His shelter and care, no matter where we are or what we face.
The context of this passage is also that of 1 Peter 1:1-12. The theme is
that Omniscience and free will go together—beyond our comprehension.
Spurgeon said it best: “they’re friends” (Psalm 139)! Here are some thoughts to
consider: God knows all things and His understanding is totally comprehensive.
All that is in the past, all in the present, and all to come in the future are complete
in His knowledge. In addition, His foreknowledge is contingent and
interconnected but not moved by all the freely done choices and actions of
humanity. Thus, our actions cannot change or move God, and all that we think
and do are in His providence. At the same time, His providence does not
necessarily cause us to act or respond. We still do so out of our free will. Our free
will is in conjunction and in the boundaries of God’s perfect, sovereign will and
foreknowledge. Yes, this is a mind blower, but we are not God, nor do we have
His omniscience and omnipotent thinking power!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. If you had to build your own house, what materials would you use and what
would you hope it would look like? What if you could “rebuild” your church
(building and/or people); what would it look like?

2. Have you ever thought of the church as a corporate collaboration of people in


Him? How so? Why not?

3. The Church is made up of stones of “us” laid upon the Foundation of Him. So,
how is your church a reflection of this passage? How is your church a building
of faith? How could your church be a better building of faith? What could your
role be?
4. How is the faith of some Christians like “cold stones” that are stationary and
that decay? What causes this? How can you guard yourself from this
mindset?

5. How can the precepts of this passage help you become a more joyful,
mature, obedient witness with love to others?

6. Why does your faith need to grow in you personally before it can move into
your community? What would it mean for you to have a faith that is a “living
stone?”

7. Why did people back then reject Jesus? What are the reasons today that
people reject Him? How do we reject Him with our behaviors, attitudes,
feelings…?

8. What does it mean to you that you are acceptable to God, deeply loved, and
complete in Him? How can this mindset enhance who and how you are?

9. How do you feel that you are a priest, a representative of Christ? What can
you do more with this call?

10. How can your faith and conviction be strengthen by knowing deeply that
wherever you go, you are still under His shelter and care—no matter where
you are or what you face?

11. How is Christ the Foundation of your church? What needs to take place so
that people will fully realize this? What would your church look like if people
did?

12. What can your church do to be more like this passage? For example, how
can each person interlock with one another, fastened by the mortar of the
Holy Spirit in a healthier way? What would your church look like if this were
so? What needs to be done to make this so?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 2: 11-12 "Living Honorably!"

General idea: This passage is about living honorably, even in the face of
oppression and enticement. This is a call and challenge for us to see the world
differently so we can respond in kindness and virtue. The world, with all of its
lusts and evils, is not to be the place of our identity or the place in which we want
to be enveloped; rather, it is to be the place we are to influence.

We can be influencers even if we are being influenced from the wrong areas and
guidelines. Our guidelines come from the character and teaching of our Lord
Jesus Christ. If they come from any place else, our thinking is influenced, and
thus, all we think and do becomes inclined toward the negative. Then, we
become the carnal Christian who repels people from the Lord, giving the
message that Christ is not sufficient or adequate.

We are on a journey in life. Basically, we are not made for this world; we are
made for eternity. We are here on this earth to live and learn, to experience and
grow so we can personally and passionately know Christ and make Him known
to others. We do this best with our good character and virtue, seeking Him, so all
that we are (as in our will, thinking, heart, and direction) is permeated by His care
and call. This all comes down to how we are in this world and that all we do is to
be glorifying to God. When we are lined up to this, then our conduct is honoring
to God and others.

Vs. 11: We are called to stay away from evil desires because they will entice us
and lead us away from His loving and best plan for us. When we are thinking in a
wrong or dysfunctional way, it affects all we are and all we do because our lusts
fight against our very soul! Our relationships, how we treat others, and how we
proclaim God’s Word through our attitude and lifestyle all stem from how and
what we are thinking. Our thinking must come from the precepts of His Word.
Our opinions, judgments, outlook, and approach to life and people need to come
from the heart of a will that is bought by Jesus Christ.

• Beloved/Dear friends. Our position in Christ is as His friend; we are dear,


cherished, and fully, deeply loved by Him! As Christians, we are all bound
together in and by love (John 14)! We are loved not because we are lovable
or there is something within us He sees as good; rather, we are loved in spite
of our sinful rebellion. This is a much greater love, which is what Grace is all
about.

• Sojourners/aliens here refers to being “resident aliens” (see 1 Peter 1: 1-2).


We are not native to the world. We Christians are on a journey, separated
from the home for which we are made—eternity. Our citizenship is in heaven.
We are only on this earth temporarily. This is about how we view our place in
this world, how we conduct ourselves, and where we place our loyalties (Gen.
23:4; 47:9; Lev. 25:23; 1 Chron. 29:15; Psalm 39:12; 69:8; 119:19; Acts
10:34; Heb 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:1, 17). The saying that “Christianity is not just a
destination; it is a journey,” applies here. We are made for heaven and
destined to be there in time; meanwhile, we are to live, learn, grow, and show
His love and holiness to all those with whom we come in contact.
• Pilgrims/strangers conveys a similar thought as above, with the point that we
are “God’s people (1 Pet. 2:4-10).” We are not here permanently; rather, we
are “pilgrims” on a journey until we reach our permanent home in eternity.
Philo of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher born in 25 B.C., viewed the soul as
on a journey and us as strangers in our bodies and in the world. His point, as
well as Peter’s, is that we are not made for this world, so let’s make the best
of it while we are here for God’s glory. Our “homecoming” will come soon
enough.

• Abstain means to control sinful desires toward immorality in a pagan culture,


and to live as God’s people in a hostile world. The argument is that because
we are aliens here on earth, we are called to be separated from the corruption
of the world so we should not let it influence us. When we refuse to yield, we
will avoid its destructive consequences.

• Lusts refers to “fleshy passions” or sexual desires,” things that lure us away
from God’s path, holiness, and the character to which He calls us. The call?
Stay away from lust! This lust here can refer to anything that distracts us from
God! Some of the lusts are not wrong. For example, sex is not wrong, but
becomes so when our sinful nature gets involved and we pervert or seek to
use it against that for which it was designed. Sex is meant for intimacy only
between a man and woman who are married to each other (Rom. 1:18-32;
Gal. 5:19-21).

• War. We are at war with God’s desires versus ours. Thus, we must know
what a mortal threat there is to us! Since our soul is not made for this world
but for eternity in heaven, it is in foreign occupied territory. Thus, our soul is at
war between the ways of God versus the ways of the world. The question is,
which side are your heart and mind on (James 4:1-17)?

• Soul. We will never truly be able to free our soul from earthly temptations and
distractions. We have to learn self-control and to keep our focus on Christ
rather than the lure of lust! The philosophers sought to free the soul from
earthly passions, producing Gnosticism. The call of God is to be on guard so
we can still live in a proper, pleasing way to glorify our Lord and people will
see Christ exhibited in us!

The Church has taught for centuries that sex is for procreation only and there are
still Christian groups proclaiming this. However, this is not what the Bible
teaches. Sex was created by God to populate (Genesis 1:28), to express unity
(Genesis 2:24), to know your mate (Genesis 4:1), to express love (Genesis
24:67), to meet each other’s needs (Genesis 24:67; Deuteronomy 24:5; 1 Peter
3:7), to play (Proverbs 5:19; Song of Songs 2:8-17; 4:1-16; Ecclesiastes 9:9),
and to prevent sin (1 Corinthians 7:2-5). Intimacy also includes our being
available to our spouse (1 Corinthians 7:3-5), and showing him or her our
undivided interest as an expression of love (Song of Songs 4:16; 5:2).

Sex causes a bond and is meant for a sacred occasion. When it is misused, it is
devastating to all involved. This is also the reason sexual abuse is so devastating
for people! The victim is bonded to his or her attacker in a perverse way, so the
act stays in the mind as he or she keeps living it out. So, in the case of abuse or
mistakes, we have to be diligent to seek professional counseling to overcome the
experience through God’s grace, love, and forgiveness. In a marriage, where one
or both of the spouses were not previously faithful, extra work and care needs to
go into the relationship to seek the healing and forgiveness of that broken bond
(Gen. 2:24-25; 34:1-3, 8; Prov. 5:15 -22; Rom. 8:12-17; 1 Cor. 6: 12-20; 7:3-5; 2
Cor. 10:5-6; Eph. 1:3; 2:4-10; 5:21-32; Col. 3:1-4; Heb. 13:4).

Vs. 12: We are called to be careful how we live. People will be watching us
wherever we go; how we are, and what we are will be scrutinized. Therefore, we
must strive to do our best, so our Lord is represented with excellence through us.
Even if we never do wrong, we may be accused of wrong. However, character
always triumphs because it convicts those who do not have it. They will see
Christ through us, but we have to remain firm in our trust and obedience in Him.
Others have the option to believe in Christ, but the key may be in how you
remain faithful to Him as His witness!

• Conduct. A modern reflection in this context is “traditional family values.” We


are to act nobly to others in spite of how they may treat us. We must work out
a biblical character balance between exhibiting holiness and setting
boundaries from potential harm. In Peter’s time, Christians were accused of
being cannibals because of the Lord’s Supper, of being disloyal and atheists
because they did not worship Caesar (John 19:12), of causing civil unrest
(Acts 16:16-24), of being hateful because they did not participate in pagan
practices (Col. 2:16), of teaching that slaves are free (1 Cor. 13:13; Gal.
3:30), and of being antisocial (Acts 15:29).

• Gentiles normally refers to anyone who is not born in or converted to


Judaism. Here, it is referring to those who are anti-Jewish or anti-Christian
who use their agenda to slander and manipulate those who are in God. It
means when we make a commitment to Christ, people will come against us
either because they do not understand or they refuse to know or be
convicted, and we become a threat to their complacency and smugness.

• They observe/see your good deeds refers to people who are “carefully
watching” what we do over a period of time to determine whether it is good
(Matt. 5:16). This is about our influence on the unbeliever!

• Day of visitation/the day He visits us refers to God’s coming in judgment (Isa.


10:3; 60:3). This phrase can also mean when God “visits” someone and gives
him or her salvation. Here, it means that when the end times occur, the
Gentiles will finally recognize God’s sovereignty. Some commentators have
stated that this means the return of Christ. Perhaps so, but this is problematic
because of context and the quotes from Isaiah.

We are called to have lifestyle, character, outlook on life, and behavior that is
about living honorably! Who and how we are make up the things we bring with us
into eternity that will echo and resound, so let our actions be worthy of His praise.
In this way, we can be the windows through which people can see Christ.

The attitude in this passage is like that of a missionary who studies a culture and
then lives among those people. His or her job is to learn and to model Christ, but
he or she is never an active part of or consumed by the culture. He or she is to
be active in representing Christ and the virtues He proclaims as ambassadors of
Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). The call is to remain in Christ and in His percepts and virtue,
and not become contaminated by what the world offers us. What may seem good
may be misleading and will cause us to rot physically by disdain and disease,
erode our mind with dysfunction and false thinking, and then eat away our soul
spiritually.

As we are the mirrors of Christ, He is seen by who we are. When we stand up for
the faith and act in good character, people will come against us with gossip and
slander because their plans become disrupted and their desires are found guilty.
But, when we remain faithful, regardless of the circumstances, they will see virtue
and honor in action and, thus, have a glimpse in God’s character and call even if
they reject Him and seek to kill us. There will be times when it seems our efforts
are weighted because people do not listen or do not repent. But, they are not.
Each action we share is looked upon by others. We are watched! So, when we
live to honor God, people will have the example they need to accept His grace or
reject Him. We may never see the fruits, but they are there. We have a God who
will judge and return, so let us get busy and make sure all those who come
across our path see Him in us!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?


6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Have you ever backslidden or turned your back on God? How so, and why?
What made you return to Him?

2. What are some of the things that distract you from loving and worshiping our
Lord? What are some of the things that cause you or others oppression or
enticement?

3. What does it mean to you to live honorably? How have you succeeded? How
have you failed? Remember, we all succeed and fail at times!

4. What happens when we are the ones being influenced from the ways and
evils of the world? How do they entice you and lead you away from His loving
and best plan for you?

5. Does knowing that we are not made for this world, but made for eternity give
you hope and confidence? How can this eternal thinking help you stick it out
in life and do all that you are called to do with excellence?

6. What does it mean that we are here on this earth to live and learn, to
experience and grow? How can this mindset help us personally and
passionately to know Christ more so others can see Christ exhibited in us?

7. What do you need to do to stay away from evil desires? What can be a mortal
threat to you? Which side is your heart and mind on (James 4:1-17)?

8. How does thinking in a wrong or dysfunctional way affect all you are and do?

9. What does it mean to act nobly to others? How can we do this in spite of how
they may treat us?

10. What can you do to work out a biblical character balance between exhibiting
holiness and setting boundaries from potential harm?

11. What does it mean to your self-esteem that Christ says you are His friend,
that you are dear, cherished, and fully and deeply loved by Him? How can
this help your outlook to the church, community, and people who are close to
you?

12. What is a place or situation that may need your positive, godly influence?
What will you do about it? When will you do it?

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law
of the LORD. Psalm 119:1

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 2: 13-17: Responsibility to the Government!

General idea: This passage is all about respect. How do you show respect? Do
your words line up with your beliefs? Do your actions show that Christ is living
within you?
This passage adheres to “household instruction codes,” rules of etiquette
and behavior needed to run a household effectively with as few conflicts and
problems as possible. This also falls under philosophical ethical codes that the
various schools of philosophy had as obligatory for their students. Such rules
were for servants, guests, and children and included what was expected and how
others were to be treated. Ancient aristocrats ran their estates like mini
governments, and this new sect of Christianity needed some boundaries and
behavior examples.
This tells us how we are to behave, the management and tempering of our
personal freedoms and liberties for the greater good of civil peace and prosperity.
God is calling us to be good citizens no matter what government controls us. In
this passage, Peter uses some of the same exaltations as did Jeremiah to the
captives being taken to Babylon (Jer. 29).This passage calls the early Christians,
who were living under a hostile, oppressive government, and who were facing
persecution, to still respect and obey the laws and exhibit good character. This
call is even for when the government is evil.
The second point in this passage is about our liberty, our freedom in
Christ. Christ’s work has freed us, but that does not mean we can do whatever
we please. The laws of physics are still in place; thus, if we pray in the street
while a truck is coming, it will hit us. If we use an unkind word to someone, we
will hurt him or her, and so forth. We are called to use wisdom and restraint, to be
discerning, and not overpowering or condescending.
Vs. 13: Why must we submit to a government (legitimate authorities), even an
evil one? God set the governments up and placed people in places of authority.
He expects them to be responsible (Prov. 8:15; Dan. 2:21). We are called to
obey the will of God; this, as hard as it is to take, is the will of God, no matter
what the qualifications or spirituality of the leadership.

• Be submissive is a call to voluntarily submit, even though you are not required
to do so. Submission is respect, and thus is not to exceed the parameters of
the will of God or of love and righteousness. Submit translates from a military
term (Ephesians 5:22 Greek: hupotasso), which means "to place under" or "to
subordinate" as a line relationship (1 Peter 3:1). This is not because of
weakness or inferiority, or, that one is better than the other is. This introduces
the theme of submission and obedience for the rest of the chapter (Eph. 5:21;
1 Peter 5:5).

• For the Lord’s sake is about authority. God establishes and is the authority.
For this reason, Christ is extolled; His name and reputation remain good and
shown in good light because we are His windows to the world! When we are
submitting to others, we are submitting and serving Christ as Lord (Col. 3:23-
24)! When we disobey the government, we are disobeying God who set up
those people in their leadership positions (Prov. 16:10; 21:1; Rom. 13:1-7).

• The king is supreme. We are to show respect. Keep this in mind: when Peter
wrote this Epistle, Nero was the evil, godless, and vicious emperor (A.D. 54 to
68). We Christians are to obey as long as our obedience to the government
does not contradict our obedience to the Lord and His precepts. We are never
to violate the law of God (Matt. 22:21; Acts 4:19; 5:29). (Incidentally, Peter
was martyred by Nero in a heinous way. See background article.)

• Praise/ commend possibly refers to legal acquittal or thanking people who


provide service for municipalities, such as the garbage man.

• Will of God refers to God’s sovereignty. He is in control and He places us


where we need to be for His glory.

• King possibly referred directly to Nero, whereas Governors were identified as


local authorities. The emperor sent vassal kings, legates, proconsuls, and
governors to rule most of the Roman Empire. They then ruled on Rome’s
behalf. All of the early Christians were under such authority.

• Free/free men means we have freedom from the world’s ways but we still are
not permitted to do as we please. We can be slaves to sin or slaves to God; it
is our freedom to choose. God treats us with respect, while sin destroys! We
are to be wise with how we use our freedom and liberty, and pursue virtue
and excellence. A balance must arise, through biblical understanding,
between boundaries to protect us from tyranny, and character, which upholds
the laws in order to show Christ to others. Our true freedom is how God has
freed us from the bondage of sin and how we choose to show our gratitude to
Him for who He is and what He has done (Rom. 2:23; 6:23). The stoic
philosophers at the time advocated obedience to the state.

• Cloak/cover-up means to say one thing and do another, to hide your true
identity as a Christian, or to act outside of God’s call and virtue. It also
includes the erroneous idea that because we have grace, we have a license
to sin. The historical context cautions Christians not to use the excuse of
liberty to violently rebel against Rome (1 Cor. 7:20-24; Gal. 5:13; 2 Pet. 2:19-
20).

• Bondservants /servants. We are called not to abandon our responsibilities


and duties, because Christ, as our ultimate Master, is the one we obey,
respect, and worship (Rom. 1:1; 6:22; 9:3; 1 Cor. 15:3-8; James 1:1). A
bondservant was the lowest form of a slave in Greek times, totally at the
master’s disposal, and even expendable. He, along with others like him,
rowed the boats of war with a whip at his back. For us, it means total,
surrendered devotion to the Lord; our will has been sacrificed to God's will
and thus we are totally at the disposal of our Lord (Acts 6:1-6; Rom. 12:7;
Gal. 1:15; 2:20; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:8-3:13; 4:6)!

• Silence the ignorance/ ignorant talk. Christianity was getting a bad reputation
from rumors and false allegations, and was being expounded by the bad
actions of some Christians. When we are good citizens, and when we are
behaving with good character, we prove false allegations wrong. When we act
foolish, we prove our accusers right. This is an important call and is
instrumental in countering false accusations and persecution; it also shows a
better picture of the Gospel to unbelievers!

• Honor all peoples/ Show proper respect. We are called to recognize and
respect those in authority (Ex. 22:28; 1 Kings 21:10; Prov. 24:21). We are
also called to recognize, respect the significance, and value the personhood
of all people—regardless of race, color, or creed (Prov. 1:7; 8:13; 16:6; Rom.
2:11; James 2:1.)! As human beings, we are all the same, and we bear the
image of God (Gen. 1:27; 6:9; 1 Pet. 1:17)!

• Fear God means to reverence God as Lord, not as an afterthought or when it


is convenient. We are to come before God in this way, along with humbleness
(1 Pet. 5:6). It is a term of endearment and respect that is supercharged with
more meaning and power because it infers intense reverence and awe of God
and His holiness (Job 28:28; Prov. 1:7; 3:5; 8:13; 9:10; 16:6; 31:30; Psalm
2:11; 34:11; 111:10; Isa. 12:6; Eccl. 12: 13; Mal. 1:14; Matt. 10: 27-33; Rom.
2:11; James 2:1). It does not mean we are afraid of Him; rather, we are fearful
of His wrath (Romans 3).
Why? It is about respecting the order of society and the structure for the
greater good of all people. Otherwise, things would be worse and anarchy would
result. If we model goodness, it is convicting. The misdirected leaders may get
the message that their ways are not so good. They need examples of character
and virtue, especially when they do not have it or have never experienced it. God
is the One who appoints leaders. He is still sovereign, even when a Nero or a
Hitler is running things, because God is still ultimately in charge. The leaders will
be held accountable for their ways, whether good or evil; we are to remain faithful
to God and show our love for Him by being respectful to others around us. They
will see His love in us; love does drive out fear (1 John 4:18). Foolishness and
the misdirection of government authorities will be more thwarted by good
examples than by terrorist hostilities (Rom. 13:1-7). By being the good example,
and by ethics, the Christians can prove that they are not the evil government-
haters for which they were being accused. By remaining good examples, they
showed support for the Roman government; thus, persecution was frustrated as
such threats and gossip fell on deaf ears!
Imagine if the people in Palestine stopped their violence against the Jewish
government, and begin a campaign to show the Fruit of the Spirit? The Jewish
officials would have no reason to retaliate, no reason to build a wall, no reason to
oppress them. The Palestinians would be in a position to negotiate for freedoms
and privileges that the Jewish citizens get—a higher standard of living, an end to
Fourth World living conditions, an end to preventable disease and hunger, and
clean, nice, affordable housing. However, the problem of the violence continues;
thus, the problems do not go away, but, rather, escalate.
Yes, there are times to fight back, and we should never do what is contrary to
the will of God just to obey a government. If the government wants us to kill
babies or those who are invalids, we should fight back with force, but as much as
possible in the parameters of His Fruit.
Our Founding Fathers in the U.S. struggled over this issue to remain loyal to
England or proclaim liberty and freedom. England was oppressing and robbing
us, and many early Americans, especially Christians, sought to continue to allow
it. Other Christians sought to fight. Our country was divided then over this issue
as we are divided today over recent national elections.
We must strive to remain loyal and model good character in all we do,
especially to our government, even at the DMV, trying to get a driver’s license
after several weeks of run-around and, while waiting in line, discover we are in
the wrong line, were given the wrong forms and instructions, so we have to start
over. The more important issue is not how they treat us, but as Christians, how
we respond and treat them!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?


3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What kind of household instructions did you have growing up? What about
now? Were such rules needed? How so?

2. Have you ever had problems respecting authority? What about a Governor or
President you just cannot stand? How should you see them?

3. This passage is all about respect. How do you show respect? Do your words
line up to your beliefs? Do your actions show Christ is living within you?

4. Why are proper etiquette and behavior needed to run a household or a


government effectively? Why would people be opposed to this? How can we
thwart the misdirection of government authorities more by good examples
than by terrorist hostilities?

5. How do rules counter conflicts and prevent problems? Why is it important to


manage our personal freedoms and liberties? What happens when it goes
unchecked? How does our personal behavior help promote a greater good of
civil rest and prosperity?

6. During this Epistle’s writing, a hostile, oppressive government was


persecuting the early Christians. How would you feel if you were told to
temper yourself and respect those who were doing these things to you and
your family? Why would heeding such advice be beneficial to you? What
would be the consequences?

7. Why is it a bad idea to think that because we are made free by Christ’s work,
we can do whatever we please? What would happen if Christians did this?
8. God is the One who set up the governments and He holds them responsible:
How can this point help you respect and obey the laws of the land?

9. How would you define submission? Why would you submit, even though you
do not have to? Can you give an example? How is submitting to those in
authority serving Christ as Lord?

10. The important issue is not how the government treats us, but how Christians
respond and treat it! So, what can you and your church do to be better
examples of this?

11. How can you make sure that your obedience to the government does not
contradict your obedience to the Lord and His precepts, knowing that we are
never to violate the law of God?

12. How can you come up with a balance, through biblical understanding,
between boundaries to protect you from tyranny and still model character by
upholding the laws, and showing Christ to others? How would you react to an
unjust law? Can you give an example?

As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with
compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 2: 18-25: Responsibility to those in Authority!

General idea: Peter is calling upon servants to obey their masters. This not only
applies to slaves but also to us today! We may not be slaves, but we are called to
accept the authority of those who are in authority over us, even when they are
harsh and cruel. This is hard for most Christians to understand because it is a
call that goes against our nature and even our culture. This passage is not saying
we are to be mistreated, taken advantage of, or abused; it is a firm call to be a
good employee, student, and to strive to be a model Christian by sowing
kindness, respect, and following through with good work ethics.
We are not to give up or skip out on opportunities or duty because they
get difficult. We also are not to seek revenge or conspire to hurt others because
we have been hurt. This is about being a good worker so we reflect Christ and
give Him glory. It is also about being a good witness by showing that extra-
ordinary virtue. The backside of this is there is no glory or honor in enduring
rebuke and punishment that we deserve!
This passage was originally directed to servants who worked as
household slaves to look at their situation as a privilege rather than despair over
it. They were, as a whole, treated much better than the field slaves or war slaves.
Peter knew there was nothing he could do to free them, so he gave them
pastoral advice to work within the system and do their best for a greater purpose.
It is far better to deal with your situation constructively then to cause more unrest.

Vs. 18-20: This passage is a tough one as it asks us to do what we naturally do


not want to do and for which we can easily rationalize our disobedience.
However, to God, a greater theme is presented, one we usually do not see in our
horizon, of putting Him first so our character and virtue are the display case for
His work and person.

• Servants referred to slaves or hired workers. They were much like the butlers
and maids we have today, except they were usually owned by another
person. Some could save their money and buy their freedom, but most did not
as their lifestyle was better than it would be if they were on their own.
However, even the best-treated servants were subjugated to extreme
prejudice. Others were in a hopeless situation. They were being encouraged
to obey and allow their virtue to win others over. The stoic philosophers also
taught this. The flipside is salves and servants were to be treated with respect
and dignity, never mistreated, and as spiritually equal before God (1 Cor.
12:13; Gal. 3:28; Eph. 6:9; Col. 3:11; 4:1). Peter is not condemning or
condoning slavery, just stating it as a matter of fact; thus, he urges them to
learn to live with it and reform it by good character and the Gospel (Deut 24:1-
4; Matt. 19:8; Eph. 6:5; Philemon). Slaves were also encouraged to seek their
freedom by all legal means (1 Cor. 7:21-24; Philemon). (I firmly believe if we
had done that in the U.S., we would not have the ongoing racial bigotry that
we have in the U.S. I write this as a man who is descended from African and
European ancestry!)

• Conscious of God means submission; we should focus on our duty and


respect authority because it is for God. This is about being a good worker as
our work reflects God (Eph. 6:5-8; Col. 3:22-25; 1Tim. 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10).

In the ancient world, such people were treated as property and had little to
no rights. There were many slave uprisings, but they only accomplished the
killing of the slaves and made matters worse for future slaves. Peter wanted to fix
the problem, but he could not. So, he called slaves and everyone else to a higher
standard.
Slaves, in the early slavery period of Europe and America, were the vital
forces that kept the economy going. Peter is not condoning slavery, but calls us
to work within it for reform. If slavery had suddenly been eliminated, the society
and economy would have broken down and anarchy would have replaced it. This
would have made life worse for everyone, just as it did in 1860s America. It was
the American and English Christians in the 1750s and onward who led the end of
slavery by understating and applying this passage. If slavery here had been
eliminated gradually, as it was in England, we might never have had the Civil
War or the racial problems that have followed for decades! Ironically, such
problems are not as apparent in England as they are in America—the “land of the
free.”

Vs. 21-25: Jesus faced all of the temptations we face, yet remained true to and
never disobeyed God. He cut no corners and took no shortcuts; therefore, we
can have eternal life by receiving and enduring His extreme suffering that He did
not deserve! This section gives us the picture of the sinless nature of Jesus
(Luke 14:25-33; Heb. 12:3-13; 1 Pet. 1:19). This is important because if Jesus
were not sinless, He could not have been God nor paid the debt for our
Redemption (Acts 3:14; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet. 1:19; 3:10; 1 John
3:5)!

• You were called. The call is the patient endurance of injustice and suffering, a
call that seems no sane person should desire, yet it is our call. The Christian
life is not about health and wealth but just the opposite—suffering and growth
(John 15:18-20; 2 Tim. 3:12). Christ suffered for us and we are to understand
the significance, power, and impact of this (Isa. 52:13-53:12; 2 Cor. 1:5; 4:10;
Phil. 3:1-14; 1 Pet. 5:12). Thus, do not be harsh; endure harshness. Our
conscience toward God may bring about suffering!

• An example. Philosophers were obsessed with the idea that we must have
good and perfect “forms” of templates and examples from which to learn and
follow. Jesus is our perfect example! Many people today are fixated on justice
and proper treatment. This is important; however, who we are in our situation
is more important!

• Who… is a quote from Isaiah 53:9. The rest of this passage has the entire
chapter in mind, the model of the suffering servant and a prophecy about
Jesus, which He fulfills.

• Committed no sin. Jesus was perfect and totally sinless (John 8:46; 2 Cor.
5:21; Heb. 4:15; 7:26; 1 Pet. 2:22; 1 John 3:5). This was necessary to please
God, so He took our place by living a perfect life in our behalf; this is called
“propitiation.” All have sinned, and we are separated from God because of sin
(Rom. 3:23; 8:7). Only Christ, who pleased God for us, was sinless.

• His mouth meant Jesus had the right and power to defend Himself in a
society that valued and respected authority. He chose to submit and take the
abuse. Not responding is the greatest defense, as God is one’s defense
(Matt. 27:12-14, 34-44)! This would have been astonishing yet of incredible
encouragement to a slave. Hence, many slaves became Christians, as they
could identify with Christ.

• Bore our sins refers to Jesus, who not only set the example, but more
importantly, also redeemed us (Isa 53:12). This also refers to the
“substitutionary atonement.” Christ was the innocent, sacrificial lamb who died
for the guilty—for our sins!

• Tree. This is metaphorical reference to the cross (Isa 53:5; Acts 5:30; 10:39;
13:29; Rom. 6:3-14; Gal 3:13).

• His stripes/wounds refer to what Christ endured for us. He suffered for us and
gave us an example of suffering (Isa 6:10; 53:4-5; Jer. 6:14; 8:11). The
wounds were not from the literal, physical torture; rather, they were from sin—
our sin that He bore for us! Jesus is also our example of submission!

• Have been healed normally refers to a physical healing. However, here it


means something a whole lot more—our atonement (Matt. 8:16-17). This is
about how Christ's work on the cross brings salvation to those who put their
faith in Him.

• Sheep is a metaphor for people who follow God (Psalm 23; Isa 40:11; John
10:1-18). Sheep going astray refers to the nation Israel, how they tended to
stray far from God’s path, and how He kept disciplining and rescuing them
(Psalm 119:176; Hosea—whole book, Isa. 40:11; 53:6; Jer. 50:6; Ezek 34:6).
This is a call to us to heed their history lest we too go astray!

• Shepherd provides for us an image of leading and protecting. Jesus comes


as the Good Shepherd to rescue His lost sheep. We have gone astray and
have given in to sin; He brings us back to His fold (Psalm 23:1; Isa. 53:6; Jer.
50:6; Ezek. 34:5; Matt. 14: 13-21; John 10:11; Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:20; James
5: 19-20). This is also a name for Jesus (Psalm 23, 79:13, 95:7, 80:1, 100:3;
Gen. 49:24; Isa. 40:11).

• Overseer/Guardian refers to being a guardian and protector—like a sentinel.


This was someone who protected an estate or farm, and served its owners.
Our Overseer is Christ (John 10:1-18)! Elders now fill this role, as Christ’s
workmen, as both shepherds and overseers; they are to look out for the
welfare of the flock—the church—by training, caring for, and administering
His love and precepts (Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; 1 Tim. 3:2-7; 5:15; Titus 1:5-16;
1 Pet. 5:1-4).

We glorify God when we endure with our faith and character—no matter
what we might face or experience. The chief purpose for Christians, above all
else, is to glorify God (Luke 22:42; John 17:22; Eph. 4:1-16). Christ is our great
example for respect and endurance; He endured and suffered for you, He took
your place in God’s wrath, and as a sinless, innocent person, went to the cross
for us all. We then follow in His steps—not for our salvation, as it has already
been given to the Christian—but to show another picture to those who are
watching us. We exemplify Him by being a good example! Why? He has healed
and saved us, so we need to trust Him out of our gratitude, and allow Him to be
our Shepherd, Guardian, and Lord over all.

The key to this passage is possessing the attitude that Christ is our
employer so we do our work for Him. We should view our job as a mission field
and keep coworkers and bosses in constant prayer. If you feel stress, hatred,
lack of accomplishment, or if you are unhappy and in the wrong place, then pray
more! We are to be our best for His glory, regardless of our circumstances (Rom.
8:17; Eph. 6:5-8; Phil. 2:1-11). We may have a paycheck from McDonald’s and a
boss who may need some acne treatments, but our ultimate authority and
manager is Christ Himself! We show our value—that Christ paid a price for us—
so we in turn can respond with a good work ethic (1 Cor. 7:23). We must adjust
our mindset to see work as an opportunity to please Him, and in so doing, be a
blessing to those around us with our practical obedience and diligence! This
allows us to do our best for Christ’s highest with excitement and passion in order
to complete our work and call from the Lord. He asks us to love our call and
pursue our work so we are doing our best for His glory. (Prov. 10:4; Rom. 12:11;
Col. 3:23).

Here are some more Scriptures about being an employee: Exodus 23:12;
35:2; Proverbs 10:26; 25:13; Ecclesiastes 2:4; 5:12; Colossians 3:17, 22-25; 2
Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 6:2; Titus 2:9,10; 1 Peter 2: 18-20
See the article Employment: Blood, Sweat, and Tears!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?


8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. How do you feel about authority figures? Do you automatically respect them?
Despise them? Fear them? Want to be one of them if you are not already?

2. Why would Peter ask servants to obey their masters? Why nor lead an
insurrection or an underground railroad (some Christians did these for good
reasons)? How does this apply to you today?

3. What does it mean to you to accept the authority of those who are in authority
over you? What about when they are harsh and cruel? Why is this hard for
most Christians to understand?

4. How is this passage a call to be a good employee, student, and to strive with
a good work ethic to be a model Christian?

5. How can this passage help you persist and to not give up or skip out on your
opportunities and duty when it gets difficult? What is the balance between
putting up with a hash environment and show Christ there and moving on to a
new location?

6. How does a good worker reflect being a good witness for Christ and give Him
glory? Why is Glorifying God so important? What would this mean to you in
further practice?

7. How does suffering and enduring headships help us see a greater purpose in
life in others and in God?

8. Why is it important to obey and allow our virtue to win others over in our work
situations?

9. Why is the sinless nature of Jesus so important? How can what He did for
you encourage you to remain faithful?

10. Knowing that Jesus faced all of the temptations we face and remained true
and never disobeyed God help you when you are in a difficult situation?

11. How can you help urge yourself and others to learn to live with hardship (as
long as there is no illegality or abuse), work for improvement so we can
reform it by good character and the Gospel?

12. How can you do a better job at focusing on our duly and respect authority?
How can knowing that we are doing it for God help you in this endeavor? How
can the suffering of Christ help you go though situations that are difficult for
you or outside your control?

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of
full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not be slandered. 1
Timothy 6:1

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 3: 1-6: Submission; Christ our Example!

General idea: This passage is a tough one to understand in our postmodern,


women’s liberation culture. We typically see it as harsh oppression and
subjugation; however, this is not the point of the passage. Rather, it is about
honor, order, and being practical for God’s glory. The primary call here is to a
Christian wife married to an unsaved husband and the call to hold fast to
Kingdom principles with gentleness and love. When we are gentle and loving, we
provide an atmosphere of trust that is contagious. When we nag, manipulate, or
go overboard with glamour, we create a negative atmosphere and push people
away. No one is won to Christ by manipulation, hostility, or pretentiousness.
Rather, people are won over by sound reasoning, respectful, godly examples,
and the practice of love and kindness.
This is absolutely essential in a marriage. If one person in any
relationship is a nagger—that is, a person who constantly finds fault in others, is
annoying, one who scolds, complains, or is an overly pushy Christian—it creates
anxiety and leads the other person away from Christ. This passage is about the
essential conduct we are to have because our behavior is our witness. How we
treat others shows Christ’s work in us.
The second point of this passage is the meaning of real beauty. It is;
rather, Real beauty is in how one presents himself or herself, not in how one is
fixed up with outward adornment, although this is not prohibited. It is a good idea
to look as good as we can (As the saying goes, “If the house needs painting,
then paint it!”), but beauty is also about one’s demeanor and how we show our
love.

Vs. 1-6: This passage is about soteriology (salvation), how Jesus transforms
even the vilest offender from his or her sins to His Way through grace. It is a call
to incorporate the godly manners that lead our life and relationships. Our patterns
of action are so important to the non-Christian; they must have an example,
played out in their midst, to help them make a decision for salvation. We do not
contribute in any way to our or another’s salvation; rather, God uses us in such a
way that we become His example. Christianity was spreading more to the
oppressed and women than any other group back then!

• Wives likewise be submissive. The context is submission to Christ, not to


being domineered or mistreated. It is about the order and structure needed for
a happy and fulfilling marriage (1 Pet. 2:13). This type of submission is a
relational partnership with spiritual equality, not as a dictatorship or that of a
slave or servant (Gal. 3:28)! Rather, it is the loving exercise of love and grace.
Wives are asked to submit—as in giving respect to their husbands as the one
who has the role of headship—as a witness for Christ, while husbands are
asked to love and honor their wives. A Christian is to do it as an act of loving
the Lord (1 Cor. 7; Eph. 5:21-27; Col. 3:18-21; Gal. 2:20-21; 5:22-26; 1
Thess. 3: 11-13; 4:1-8; 1 Tim. 2:8-15; James 4:7-8; 1 Pet. 3:7; 5:5).

• Without a word does not mean being silent, or not using the “Word of God
(John 5:24);” rather, it is being wise in how we use words, being gentle,
sensitive of character and conduct, not argumentative or preachy, and
allowing true faith to be exemplified. Although being silent was a virtue for
women then, here it indicates respect of the spouse and his concerns while
not being rebellious, insubordinate, or condescending. This would allow for
the opportunity of the Gospel to be heard and to be an influencer.

• Likewise/in the same way…obey refers to the principle of submission that


Jesus Christ gives us, using humbleness and love—not domination. Verse
seven teaches it is with understanding and love. This also refers to the
reciprocal nature of submission (Eph.5:21-25), the context of 1 Peter 2:18-25.
It can also refer to a comparison of other kinds of submission as in how Christ
submitted to the civil authorities. In context, we are to be like sheep—their
gentleness, not their stupid tendencies—in all areas of life.

• Be won. A spouse with good character will win them over; a hassling spouse
will push them away! Godly behavior always wins out over arguments in
witnessing! This was also essential to prove that Christianity was not
subversive!

• Chaste/respectful/purity and reverence refer to the rules and society-


approved behaviors. Back then, women were to be inconspicuous. They were
to be enchanting and attractive, such as head coverings in the Middle East
today (1 Cor. 11:2-16).

• Conduct …accompanied by fear refers to remaining to your commitment with


Christ (Prov. 3:5)!

• Adornment is the stuff we put on ourselves to make us look good. This is not
condemned, but it is not important and it will fade. However, our growth in
Christ will not fade when we continue in Him! A real man, one after God’s
heart, is attracted to a woman of virtue, not just to her physical appearance or
fashion—and visa versa!

• Outward. True beauty is not about makeup or dress; it comes from spiritual
maturity exemplified by meekness and a quiet spirit that shows His Spirit. It is
about drawing attention to Christ and not to self. Moralists and philosophers
at that time also spoke out on women’s over-adornment that led to sexual
temptations.

• Arranging the hair. This is about being modest, not obsessing on our looks,
trends, or fashion. They were cautioned to set themselves off from the
pagans who used elaborate fashions, elaborately braided hair, and gold
jewelry worn to adorn them so they would please the gods. Many Christian
women and men, both then and today, are preoccupied with fashion and
looks. The Bible calls us to please the One True God by seeking Christ and
producing character. At the same time, be presentable; however, do not let it
take away from virtue or become an obsession (1 Tim. 2:9-10).

• Calling him lord. This is not god or even godlike; it is like our word for “sir,” a
term of respect and endearment in marriage. Sarah was a good example of
one who trusted in God, and respected and obeyed her husband (Gen. 18:12;
33:13-14).

• Daughters, in context, refers to women who have a “submissive attitude,” like


Sarah, and who exemplify the Fruit of the Spirit and confidence in Christ
which produces attitude and character that is wondrous and contagious
(Proverbs 31).

• Do good refers to our allegiance, loyalty, and commitment to Christ. Here, it is


seeing the bigger picture of modeling Christ over how the spousal attitude
and treatment are.

• Not afraid means to stay firm in faith and not allow circumstances to get the
best of us. Our unbelieving spouse need not intimidate us when our
confidence and commitment is in Christ; we remain loyal to our spouse
because of our commitment to Christ. Making sure our respect of them is real
and not pretentious shows this. However, this does not mean to purposely
marry an unbeliever when one is a Christian; dire consequences will result (2
Cor. 6:14-18)!

• Terror refers to the strife and dysfunction that come from a household where
submission, respect, and love are not working! In addition, allowing the fears
and intimidation to be your focus and not Christ as Lord brings dysfunction!
Peter’s main theme was reducing marital strife, tensions, and allowing
respect to create an atmosphere of communion and love. Women were expected
to submit; if they did not, they were divorced and left destitute. For women and
servants to change their religion was not a big deal as it was for men; for
husbands, this was taking a big risk socially. Women could be charged with
atheism and, at worst, could lose their marriage. For men, a greater social loss of
property and positions could be experienced—even the loss of one’s life.
In Roman and Jewish cultures, the wife was expected to submit to harsh
treatment by the husband—almost to the point of being property—and also to
adopt his religion. Here, it is about the spouse being won over through love, not
the escalating of conflict. Peter was seeking to balance the norms of society to
prevent persecution in the church and strife at home. However, like Paul, he has
great sympathy for the oppressed, including women, and offers liberation to
women that they would not receive from society until nearly two thousand years
later. Talking to women, let alone his instructions to love them was revolutionary
back then!
Our lives as Christians are about how we glorify and honor our Lord; we
can best do this by applying our faith and growth in Him to our relationships,
especially protecting our closest ones. There is a phrase that says, “familiarity
breeds contempt.” When we are close to someone, we tend to get careless in
relating to him or her with faith and grace. We feel we do not need to, when, in
reality, these are the people who need the most from us, even though we usually
give them the least. Many marriages fail because of the neglect of effort put forth
in them, like refusing to keep a car tuned and maintained. Even the very best car
will not last very long if the owner does not care for it.
If you want to be successful in life and marriage, you need to get this point:
the primary purpose of marriage is not to please ourselves (yeah, that surprised
me too!), but to glorify and serve God. Our desires and pleasures are not God's
number one priority! Yes, God wants us to be joyful, happy, and content, but
being happy means focusing on Him and not on our circumstances. Thus, to
have a successful marriage, you must be aware of what you are getting into and
prepare for it. The most important guarantee for it to work is to follow His
principles from His Word, not what you think, want, or have experienced.
Remember, God designed marriage and us. He knows best (Col. 3:18-19; Eph.
5:21-27; James 4:7-8a; 1 Pet. 5:5)!

Consider this: without the right attitude and perspective on life, without
glorifying God and following His Will, you will not find the real, quality love
relationship for your life! You will be taking a big gamble that you get what is
priceless and precious.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What characteristics do you, or did you seek in a mate?

2. Why do some people become obsessive with looks, trends, or fashion? What
can one gain from such things?

3. Why would people typically see this passage as harsh oppression and
subjugation? Have you? Why, or why not? How is the point of this passage
practical?

4. Why would Peter tell women to be submissive? How can this be good
advice? How would a typical women today react and why? Is Peter telling
women to stay in an abusive marriage?

5. How is being submissive reciprocal, as in “what goes around comes around?”

6. What would happen in a “bad marriage” if one of the partners sought to


provide an atmosphere of trust that was contagious and to hold fast to
Kingdom principles with gentleness and love? How would this be difficult?
How would this pay off?

7. Do you believe that someone can be won for Christ by manipulation, hostility,
or pretentiousness? Why, or why not? Why would it be better to win someone
to Christ by sound reasoning, seeing respectful, godly examples, and the
practice of love and kindness?
8. How would you describe what real beauty really is? How does going
overboard with glamour and fashion attract someone? How does it repel?
How is beauty shown by our demeanor and our demonstration of love?

9. How can the incorporation of godly manners be essential in a marriage or any


relationship?

10. Why do you suppose Christianity was spreading more to the oppressed and
women than any other group then?

11. How and why does good character win people over while a hassling attitude
will push people away or make things worse? How does godly behavior
always win out over arguments in witnessing?

12. Knowing that nagging, being annoying, scolding, complaining, or being overly
pushy creates a worse marriage or a negative work environment help you be
better in your demeanor? What can you do to work on how you come across
to others in a marriage or in witnessing?

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 3: 7-12: The Responsibility To Do Good!

General idea: This passage has two main themes that tie together. The first is
the role of the husband whose call it is to love his wife intimately, and with
precious care. This is not about being served or even serving each other; rather,
it is about co-serving with God to each other and then for others! This is to be a
partnership, not a dictatorship. The theme poses the question do we see our
spouse as someone just to take care of our needs or do we see her as our
helpmate and co-laborer with Christ? We are called to see her as precious and
not take her for granted. We are stewards of the precious love that God has
extended to us; it needs to flow from us to other people in our lives, especially a
spouse. This is to be our utmost responsibility, and done with care. It is a call to
careful, steadfast love, like caring for a precious, priceless object.
The second theme is like a bookend holding up the theme of submission
to God, and harmoniously relating to others. Real submission breeds closeness
when it is formed from love. If it is subjugated, such a barrier to God is formed
that even our prayers will not be heard! Thus, compassion, care, and love pave
the way to effective, relational harmony and blessing from God. Pride and our
strong-willed attitude set up a barrier, making all we do ineffective, destructive,
and meaningless. If we want God to be attentive to us, we must do our part by
being attentive to others without iniquity.

Vs. 7: Submission is respect, and thus is not to exceed the parameters of the will
of God or of love and righteousness. As an example, submission is not an
excuse to batter or put one’s wife down in any way. In the previous passage,
Peter spoke to converted wives who had unbelieving husbands; now, it is the
other way around. The directive to husbands is even more daunting than that
given to the wives! Husbands are called to love, which is much greater in
importance and prominence than submission! Love is what sets the tone and
standard for the relationship.

• Be considerate refers to treating a spouse with the utmost care and love.
Submission is also a response! Because the husband loves, because the
husband cares, because the husband puts his wife’s best interests forward,
the wife submits, and he earns her devotion. It is the husband’s responsibility
to set the tone of love and care! Keep in mind that this was called for in a time
and culture that considered women lower than farm animals! It was taught in
a culture where the “alpha” male (i.e. the lead man of the family) ruled in
absolute dominance for order, organization, structure, protection, and
community. The mandate to love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) was, and still is to
some, an extreme wake-up call that commands the husband to thoroughly
exhibit all of the qualities of biblical character in his relationship with his wife.

• Weaker partner refers to the physical condition of women, as in general


lower/upper body strength, and perhaps also their social standing. The
application is to show more consideration. This is not because of mental,
spiritual, moral weakness, or inferiority, or that one is better than the other;
rather, it is because God has placed, in the order of creation, the husband as
head of the home, just as Christ is the head of the church. They have different
roles, yet each one is equal in the sight of God! Thus, when the husband
loves and respects his wife and earns her devotion, the result is the continual,
mutual respect that builds an effective, strong marriage relationship.

• As heirs means fellowshipping together in Christ. This is referring to both


husband and wife receiving the beneficiary love from Christ, equal in His sight
and purpose, but with different roles. Thus, we show respect to our spouse
because Christ has died for her just as He has for the husband (Gal. 3:28)!

• Hinder your prayers means the husband who fails to show consideration
jeopardizes his spiritual formation. When we refuse to follow God’s clearly
revealed will or are estranged from others, we become estranged in our
relationship with God, thus cutting ourselves off from God’s blessings and
power. There is a connection that goes deeper than we realize between how
we treat others and how God responds to us, especially in a family situation.
We are in relationship to Christ through the Church that then flows from the
husband to the wife and children (Matt. 5:23-24; Rom. 8:14-17; Eph. 5:23-24;
1 Tim. 3:14-15; 5:1-2; 1 Pet. 1:14-17).

In ancient times, marriage contracts would advocate that the husband force
his wife to submit with absolute obedience. They could throw out unwanted
babies and, in the lower classes, make life miserable for them. In the higher
class, there was more social pressure and liberation for women. Some of the
philosophers stated since women are physically weaker (this was desirable for
cohabitation), and Jewish theologians stated that they were also morally weaker,
using Eve as the example.

However, Scripture does not uphold this! Peter and Paul emphasized a
very radical idea to the churches and readers when they instructed them to love,
and because of love to submit. To Paul, love was a duty (1 Corinthians 13). It
was even considered weak by the macho mindsets of the times as well as with
many people today. But, it is not weak; it is building the strength of a relationship
and the bond of a family by creating a mutual partnership!

Vs. 8-12: Peter is concluding his line of reasoning in verses 2:13-3:7 to work
within the boundaries of culture with the Fruit and Call from God. The bottom line
is to be considerate in all that we do to whomever is in our life. Here, Peter is
actually reminding his congregation to show love as if they have forgotten what
Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit are all about. We must use this passage as a
template, a Christian living checkup of how we are to treat others and see if we
are healthy in Christ and in showing the work that He did in us (John 17:20-23;
Rom. 12:9-21). This passage also echoes what James told us in Chapter Four.

• Harmony means to show peace in all situations.

• Sympathetic means understanding and identifying with another person,


putting ourselves in their shoes so we can have real compassion.

• Do not repay. This is a call not to seek revenge or to retaliate against those
who have wronged us (Prov. 20:22; Rom. 12:17). Peter is, perhaps, directly
quoting Jesus in this passage. We are called to bless and do good to those
who do not like us or who When we pay someone back to get even, we only
end up escalating the issue and thus hurting ourselves and usurping God’s
authority to judge (1 Cor. 4:12; 6:12; 6:18; Eph. 5:8-10; 1 Thess. 4:1-2; 5:12-
15). This does not mean we are to endure abuse or unlawful actions; rather, it
has to do with our attitude. It is a balance between the exercise of the Fruits
of the Spirit and setting up boundaries to protect us (Prov. 16:32; 25:28; Rom.
13:12-142; Gal. 5:22-23; Tim. 2:22, Heb. 12:2; 13:4; 2 Peter 1:5-7).
• Insult with insult. Again, we are told not to retaliate. Nowhere in the O.T. does
it say to hate your enemies (Ex. 23:4-5; Lev. 19:17-18; Prov. 25:21-22). Some
have used Psalm 139:19-22 as an excuse; however, in context, the request is
clearly for those who are wicked. Proverbs 25:21-22 tells us that when we
overcome evil with good, it totally disorientates those who hurt us, sending
them into chaos and confusion, until they are convicted or fall deeper into sin
and death. This should give you a wake up call that this is the best revenge;
let their own misdeeds haunt them, and let the perfect Judge deal with them!

• Bless means to help out (as in lending money), hospitality, various acts of
kindness, and, most importantly, pray for them (Prov. 25:21-22; Matt. 5:44-46;
Luke 6:27-35; 10:29-37).

• Whoever would love life is a quote from Psalm 34:12-16. The point of using
an O.T. quote here is to reiterate the importance of this call to the pursuing of
peace. This demands an active participation to get involved, not just sitting on
a couch and hoping for it.

How many of us have ever ventured into a church that was filled with
unkindness, where we were ignored or even mistreated? As a pastor, I have a
tough battle to make sure my flock behaves so that Christ would be pleased. I
can try my best to set an example and I can teach, but I cannot make them
behave! Real, authentic Christian love only comes from real, authentic Christian
formation. If someone is not growing in the Lord, they are not willing or able to
treat others with love and respect. Care, compassion, and love will be moot, and
the church will be an annoying club of stubborn pride, devoid of harmony and
brotherly love.

In the Ephesians passage, the verb for love (Greek: agapete) designates
a continuous routine of action all of the time, not just when one feels like it. Christ
loved the church not because it was holy, but in order to make it holy! Thus, we
are not only called to find the person who is best for us, but to work at keeping
the relationship within the parameters of love, submission, and commitment.
Even if you made that wrong choice through impatience, wrong thinking, lust,
and/or sin, you still have the call and opportunity to make it right, to make it work
with the mate you have! Remember that special something that brought you
together in the first place, and that can be rekindled into a roaring fire (Eph. 5:25-
33).
The wife is in submission as a response to the husband’s love for her and
his providing, as well as for having her best interest and care at heart. It is like
our response to Christ with love and service because of His free gift of grace. We
do not earn salvation for our service; rather, it is a fruit of our gratitude. In the
same way, this is how submission works. It is not to be forced, but offered freely
in response to love. It is something we replicate as we respond in kindness, so
our response to each other is fueling the other’s response, and so forth. In this
way, we will be escalating love and kindness instead of repression and
dysfunction.

Christ and the church are the prime models for us in a lifelong
commitment of monogamous marriage. He did not give up on us when things
went from bad to worse. His grace, forgiveness, and perseverance came
through. It is the model relationship for the home, for the love of children, and for
the fellowships and relationships we are to have. The church is the bride of
Christ, and He loves her. Your spouse, or spouse-to-be, is your bride or groom
with whom righteousness, love, commitment, and holiness are to be practiced
and exercised in the best and fullest way possible (Revelation 21:1-2)!

Remember Christ did not give up on us when things went from bad to
worse with our sin. His grace, forgiveness, and perseverance came to us
anyway!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What do you have trouble remembering—anniversaries, birthdays, facts and


figures, etc?

2. Why is the role of the husband to be in a partnership with his wife and not be
a dictator? What happens when it is not?
3. How is love like stewardship? What happens when love is being harmonious
to others? What happens when the husband fails to show consideration
and/or to follow God’s clearly revealed will?

4. Do you believe that the directive to husbands is even more daunting than
what has been given to the wives? How so? Why not? Consider the culture
and times!

5. How does submission help us be considerate to others? What about in a


marriage relationship? Do you think a deeper connection develops when we
are considerate? Have you experienced this?

6. Why do you suppose Peter has to remind his congregation to show love as if
they have forgotten what Christ and the Fruit of the Spirit are all about? When
have you needed this reminder? What can you or your pastor do to remind
your congregation?

7. How would you define the exercises of compassion, care, and love? How
does this pave the way to effective relational harmony and blessing from
God?

8. Have you ever had a problem with pride or a strong-willed attitude in creating
and/or keeping good healthy relationships? How does pride set up a barrier
that makes all we do ineffective, destructive, and meaningless?

9. If we want God to be attentive to us, we must do our part too, being attentive
to others without iniquity. How is this so? How can this be made more in your
life?

10. Some men think being considerate to their wives is being weak according to
the macho mindset. Why do you suppose this is so? What can the church do
to help people with this mindset to turn to God’s precepts?

11. How is this passage a template, a Christian living check-up of how we are to
treat others? How could your church be healthier in Christ and show the work
that He did in them? What can you do about it?

12. What can you do to work within the boundaries of your culture with the Fruit
and Call from God to be more considerate? What would this look like? Can
you think of a specific instance for this?

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of
kings. Proverbs 25:2
© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Pastors Page
Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 3: 13-22: Suffering for Doing Good!

General idea: This passage begins Peter’s discourse on suffering (3:13-5:11).


When something bad happens to someone who is bad, we should not be
surprised. We should expect to suffer if we do evil and reproach to others. We
may think because we are in Christ, we are not subject to the laws of society.
However, we are not above others in rights and liberties; we are only saved by
His grace. This passage has some more tough stuff for us to grapple with—a call
to endure suffering for doing what is right and good while serving our Lord. The
logical thinking is if we do good, then good should be paid back to us in return,
and in most cases this is what happens. However, in a sin-infested world we
sometimes get paid back with evil for our faithful goodness and sincerity. Peter is
warning us of the realities of the world, as those who are not in Christ (even
misguided fellow Christians) may come against us in harsh ways because they
do not like to be convicted or bothered about their will, mindsets, and sin; so,
they attack us.
The other aspect to this passage is the continual theme that Christ, as our
example, did not fight back. When something bad happens, we tend to quickly
resort to lawsuits, and sometimes even physical actions to pay them back. But,
our call is to not pay back evil with evil. Most cultures see this attitude as
indicative of weakness and helplessness, but God sees it as a display of trusting
in Him, and as displaying real strength with meekness and self-control. By being
gentle when someone is challenging us with words, deeds, threats, or abuse, we
show Christ, help defuse the situation, and make a huge impact for those who
need an example to follow to know Christ.

Vs. 13-17: Life has suffering as a prime motif; everything suffers, as we will find
out in the next passages. The emphasis is not on answering why; rather, how we
can live though it. There is a glory to pursue in life greater than our desires and
emotions, and that is how we can grow closer to God and make Him known to
others around us. Thus, we need not fear and worry; rather, we should pray,
prepare, and trust in God (Isa. 8:12).

• Harm you indicates rhetorical meaning that when we do good, who would hurt
us? However, we will suffer for righteousness and it is not realistic to think
otherwise. Thus, we must prepare our attitude and faith for it (Pet. 4:12). This
refers to when others seek to harm us, as the more we exhibit His Fruit, the
less likely, in most cases, we will be harmed unless it is outright persecution.
This was, perhaps, a Jewish axiom that when we are good to others, they are
good to us. The better our behavior and attitude are towards others, the better
we are treated. The worse we are, the worse we will be treated.

• Even…suffer. When we are in Christ, no harm will come to us that is not


allowed for a purpose; so, we can trust in Him and endure.

• Blessed echoes Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:10-12. This is


more than an emotional state of satisfaction, well-being, and contentment
because it results from being approved by God for our fulfilling our duty. It is
enjoying God’s special favor and His grace working in us. It is not based on
how we are feeling or our circumstances; rather, it is the reality of God’s
grace, love, and favor in us. It is like being told by our parent/father that he is
proud of us. Here, it refers to when we suffer for the truth, we are blessed
beyond measure and rewarded for our faithfulness (Psalms 1; 15)!

• Fear. We are to fear God, not other people. Peter was seeking to pastor his
people so they could make sound decisions and not be afraid of those who
hate God. We can take comfort that no force can take away what Christ has
given. Our security is in Him, not in how we are treated (Psalm 56:4; Luke
12:4-7; Rom. 8:31-39).

• Set apart. This is referring to the divinity of Jesus Christ, that He is God, He is
Divine, and He is the True Holy God (Isa. 8:13)! Our call is to make a firm,
ongoing, deep commitment to Christ.

• Be prepared means we are the ambassadors of Christ and are called to


show, through our lifestyle and words, that He is The Lord and Savior (2 Cor.
5:20). We may come across hostile people who hate God and will hate us for
being in Him; even so, we are still to operate with respect and gentleness!

• Answer refers to “apology,” as in apologetics, to give a defense as a lawyer


defends his client. We should know about our faith and with our best efforts
and abilities share it with others, even use words when necessary! A good
Christian should know about the Bible and faith, and practice it, not only to
grow, but also to share it with other people. We do not need to know all of the
answers (I certainly do not), but we should know where to get the info and
then get back to them. We are always to share with maturity of character
even when others combat us. Our faith will eventually undermine those who
are against us. Our apologetic ("answer") is always to be given with love,
never in degrading terms.

• Ashamed. Good Christian conduct will be convicting to those who are not in
the faith or have backslidden; then guilt and the Holy Spirit can work on them.
At the same time, when we are above reproach, it is hard for anyone to make
a slanderous accusation against us because it will be obviously untrue (1 Pet.
2:12-15).
• God’s will means all that happens is in the providence of God. Here, it
signifies that our suffering should only be from others seeking to harm us, not
from making wrong decisions or sin (1 Pet. 1:6-7; 4:19).

Peter was trying to get his people to trust further in Christ and thus have
more patience when times got tough, because people will come against us all. If
someone pays back your good deeds and words with evil, God will judge them,
in His better way and better time. Do not usurp His authority; allow Him to be
God, allow Him to shame those who harm you. If the abuse is unlawful or you are
being harmed to the detriment of your metal and physical state, then involve
other church members as stated in Matthew 18 in addition to any civil authority.
However, in doing so, we still must show the love of Christ. There is a balance
between being meek and carrying a sword or using it to defend and protect (Luke
22:36; Acts 25:11; Rom. 13:4-5).

Vs. 18-22: This passage is about how we are as a witness, and that this is more
important than our feelings to get even or hesitancy to do good. This comes
down to how we, as an example of the Lord, are being a witness for the Lord.
Our desire to fight back is a temporary solution to our emotional struggle. This
only ends up escalating the situation and proving true the critics of Christ and His
Church. When we remain in control of our emotions and physical reactions, our
witness will resonate into eternity.

• Christ died, Jesus takes our sins and covers them from God’s sight by His
work on the cross! This is called atonement. We are justified and saved by
Him and Him alone; no work on our part contributes to it. We only respond,
out of our gratitude, to do good (Lev. 17:11; Job 15:14-16; Psalm 5:4-6; Isa.
53:4-6; 64:6; Jer. 44:4; Hab. 1:13; Matt. 27:37; Luke 22:37; John 2:2; 4:10;
Rom.10: 2-3; Gal. 3:13; 4:4; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14-22; 2:14; Heb. 2:17; 9:11-15;
Rev. 1:5).

• Once for all means Christ bore the sins of all (Isa. 53:12; Heb 9:28).

• For the unrighteous. Jesus not only paid our debt of sin, He is the example of
how we are to be in our conduct and character (Phil. 2:5-11).

• Made alive by the Spirit. Who and how we are should manifest what the Spirit
does in us. The image is that God and the Spirit, separate in distinction, yet
One God, gives us our witness along with our own spirit (John 10:17-18; Acts
2:32; Rom. 1:4; 8:1-11; Gal. 1:1; 4:6; Eph 1:20).

• Preached to the spirits in prison. The theme is God’s just judgment and His
offering of undeserving grace that must be accepted by faith to
commensurate. Also, as suffering servants, we are vindicated! There are two
views to this verse. 1. Jesus, as a “theophany” (His pre-incarnate state,
meaning before He became to earth as Jesus), preached through Noah and
the rest of O.T. personalities to call sinners to repentance. 2. Jesus, in those
three days before His resurrection, visited “Sheol (Hebrew),”/“Hades (Greek),”
the place of the dead. As the Apostle’s Creed says, He “descended into Hell,”
and gave one last opportunity for repentance to the sinners and/or the fallen
angels who rebelled before His declaration of victory (Gen. 6:1-4; Job 1:6;
2:1; 2 Pet. 2:4-5; Jude 6). This does not mean that Jesus “finished” His work
of our redemption there or fought with Satan for the keys of Heaven!

• Sons of God/spirits refer to a type of angel (Gen. 6:1- 4; Job 1:6; 2:1; Rom.
8:38-39; Eph. 1:21-23; 6:12).

• Water…baptism. Water is a significant image in Scripture from the creation, to


Noah, and then to John the Baptist and the call to baptize. The flood
symbolizes sin and judgment that point to our need for salvation (2 Pet. 3:6-7)
as well as how God intervenes and saves. Baptism symbolizes our
identification from the sign and seal of the salvation we received from Christ
and also represents Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. This tells us the
importance of sincerity in repentance and baptism and the proclamation of
our faith.

• The removal of dirt. Baptism is not to be just a ritual, rather our response for
the gift of His grace, so we make a declaration, a promise to be a committed
Christian of principles and virtue (Gen. 7:7; Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Pet. 4:1).

• Right hand means status and a display of power and authority. Here, it refers
to Jesus as being Sovereign, Supreme, and fully God (Eph. 1:20-23; Col. 1;
Heb. 1:3).

God is the One who keeps us and rewards us. Even when the world is
falling apart around us, He cares for us, so we have no need to worry or fret. If
we do good (and we should always strive our best to do so), people will come
against us. We should not stop or become afraid, frustrated, or disillusioned;
rather, we should keep it up, showing the work of Christ in us. We do this by
worshiping Him! Let Him be your Lord; that means He leads in all aspects of your
life. We do this by being readers of the Word so we can be doers of the Word,
and be a person who is the Lord’s display case as the Word of Life is played out
in your actions and relationships.

How do you display the wonder of His love and grace in your daily life?
How do you react when someone at school or work hurts you? How do you hope
in Him, worship Him, and allow Him to be your lead? What you say, how you say
it, what you do, and how you do it will be prime witnesses for our Lord. We are
called to be ready to explain our life in Christ, but we cannot do that if we are not
showing that work of Christ. When we do, it will always be in the parameters of
the Fruit of the Spirit. If we argue, we demean our Lord who Himself did not
argue when He was persecuted. When we argue, it puts the other person on the
defensive and they do not listen; therefore, they do not learn. Our efforts of
evangelism will not only be wasted, but it could also have a negative effect, doing
more harm than good. Thus, we are called to respect, listen, and be gentle so the
real Gospel message goes out from us not only in how we are, but also in how
and what we say.

He suffered and endured the ultimate evil for being the Ultimate Good,
and did the ultimate good for us. He is our example in life and upon whom our
eyes must always stay! Thus, we are called to be enthusiastic and faithful! It is
far more important how we are to others than anything we say; if we are not what
we should be, the message gets compromised and distorted!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. When something bad happens to you or to someone around you, what do


you tend to do first? What should you do?

2. How do you hope in Christ, worship Him, allow Him to be your lead? Does
knowing that your security is in Him and not how you are treated help you
when you are going though a tough time?

3. How do you react when someone at school or work hurts you? How should
you react?
4. What do you think about the concept of suffering? Why does God call us to
endure suffering, even for doing what is right and good, while serving Him?
What does it mean when we remain faithful in suffering?

5. How does the fact that Christ is our example in suffering give you hope and
endurance?

6. Given that our call is to not pay back evil with evil, why do you think most
cultures and people may see this as being weak and helpless? How do you
see it? How should you see it?

7. How would you explain that there is a greater glory we are to pursue in life?
How do your desires and emotions play in this? How should they be used?

8. Why do you suppose that the emphasis found in the Bible about suffering
does not answer why, but rather tells how we are to live though it? What does
this mean to you?

9. Have you experienced that when we are good to others they are good to us?
How so? What do you do when someone is challenging you with words,
deeds, threats, or abuse? What can you do to help defuse the situation?

10. What happens when someone is gentle with you when you are going though
a tough time? What can you do to be a person who is gentle and gives hope
and respect to others for the faith? What would your life look like by doing
this?

11. How do you react when someone at school or work hurts you? How should
you? How can the reality of God’s grace, love, and favor help your endurance
and faith in your circumstances?

12. How can you prepare your attitude and faith for suffering? When we are in
Christ, no harm will come to us that is not allowed for a purpose. Knowing
this, how can you further trust in Him and endure all that comes your way?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 4: 1-11: “We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ!"


General idea: Are you chasing your desires or our Lord? The answer to this
question will determine what direction in life you go as well as if, when, and how
sin will entice you to fall! Sin is coming; we can either draw near to God to stay
clear, or draw near to sin and thus away from God and His best for us. The great
news is that Christ gives us the ability to stand firm in Him. The key is, we need
to want to! Peter’s people were being slandered and taken advantage of, and
they were becoming disillusioned. Peter’s call was to stand firm in faith and not
worry what others do as long as we look to Christ wholeheartedly (1 Pet. 2:12,15,
23; 3:9, 16; 4:4,14). Thus, the best defense is the offense of righteousness and
demonstrating the good life in Christ!
This passage gives us comfort in suffering because Christ Himself
suffered. He, who is God incarnate, who totally did not deserve to suffer, suffered
on our behalf. He endured great physical, mental, and spiritual pain on our
behalf, and exemplified the attitude and conduct we are to have when we go
through the tough stuff of life. The call for us is to be prepared and equip
ourselves for what lies ahead in life. We must have our expectations based on
reality and in faith, so when something comes our way—whether it is a blessing
or a problem—we can take it, handle it with excellence, learn, and grow from it.
Then, in turn, we can be a blessing to others because of it. However, we cannot
do that if we are not following Christ and taking heed to His example, His grace,
and His love so we want to respond. Otherwise, our desires will fill that gap and
will get the best of us. The sins of others and the sins of our heart will break us
down and take us over unless we focus on Christ, His ways, and His path.

Vs. 1-6: The challenge to this call is the world’s ways. Sin is so enticing we can
easily slip off God’s path. Thus, we need to be willing to suffer so sin does not
entice us. We become more guarded against sin because a bigger picture is in
our sight—Christ, His example, and our willingness and commitment to follow.
When we see Him and not our personal viewpoints and desires, we will grow,
mature, and be prepared for anything!

• Therefore is a parenthetical term that refers to a conclusion from the previous


chapter, 3:18-22, and is now presenting us an application. We are in union
with other Christians as we are all bonded to Christ and we may suffer
unfairly when we do good. Suffering also bonds and helps form us deeper in
Him. It is not to be seen as shame. Rather, it is an honor to serve our King
(Rom. 6:1-14; Phil. 2:5-11; 1 Pet. 3:21).

• Christ suffered. Our Lord withstood the full brunt of all human temptations
needlessly, yet purposely (Mark 1:12-13, Heb. 2:12; 4:15). He was a man,
subject to the power and enticement of sin. He did not need to do this, but for
our sake He did. He was fully man and identified with us. He remained sinless
and took our sins upon Himself. Now, sin has no power over Him or us other
than what we allow on ourselves (Rom. 6:1-10; 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 5:14; 1
Pet. 2:22)!
• Arm yourselves refers to as soldiers train and prepare for battle, we are to be
trained and are to be prepared with Christ's attitude, outlook, knowledge, and
experience. We are to prepare for injustice and suffering!

• God's will is the determining factor in life! It all comes down to this; will you
follow His will, or yours and the world’s? Which one do you think brings the
most blessings and contentment?

• Time in the past refers to sin and its power to weigh us down so it defines
who we are and traps us in the past. We all have past mistakes and wrong
choices, but Christ freed us so we no longer need to be weighed down by
them! Peter’s congregation had a pagan background that was very alluring;
he is telling them (and us) not to let it draw them or become a part of their
new life (Rom. 1:12:13; 6:1-14, 19; Gal. 5:19-21)!

• Debauchery means unrestrained indulgence, seeking sinful, physical


gratification, or giving into one’s desires. This leads to being merciless and
unscrupulous in one’s dealings with others! When we fight against one
another, especially in the church, it is hurtful and even pathetic in God’s eyes
(Gen. 4:8; Duet. 25:17-19; Joshua 7; Matt. 21: 1-17; Luke 9:54; Rom. 13:13; 2
Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19).

• Lust refers to sexual immorality, meaning evil desires that trap us and bring
down others who are around us—the very opposite of God’s call for us.

• Orgies refers to great excess, such as over-eating and Bulimia, sex, and
multiple partners. This was considered common practice to the Greeks. They
used the rationale that they were pleasing their gods, yet it ended their
civilization and led to the Dark Ages!

• Carousing refers to wild parties, over-drinking of alcohol, and general excess.

• For this reason. Peter is strengthening his position, referring to the power of
the Gospel and our responsibility to heed it. These early Christians were
seeing their friends, families, and neighbors in sin and were confused about
their role. This is also a heads up for judgment that is coming! There will be
no occasion for people to be saved after they die (John 5:24; Heb. 9:27).

• Preached to those who are dead probably refers to the people who had died
since Peter’s church was started and the arrival of this Epistle. This may also
refer to 1 Peter 3:19-20 (see last study). The definitive reason for us to
proclaim the Gospel is so that God's elect in a wicked world may see faith
demonstrated and explained, to see the work of the Holy Spirit in salvation,
and to have eternal life.
• Be judged refers to that we will all die and be held accountable for what we
have done with Jesus’ dying for us. Also, we have to realize that the world will
not understand Christ; therefore, it will not understand you (Acts 2:22-24, 36;
3:13-15; 5:30-32; 7:51-53).

• Regard to the Spirit. We now have spiritual renewal and assurance because
Christ has obtained for us victory and triumph over death and sin (Rom. 6:5-9;
1 Cor. 15:25-26).

Vs. 7-11: The end of the world is coming! Life and our opportunities are limited;
thus, we are to make every effort to represent Christ and make the most of what
we are given for His glory. We are stewards of all that we have, whether small or
great. The better we use our gifts, the more generous He is with us with more
gifts, abilities, and opportunities. We are called not to waste our opportunities, but
to be diligent and faithful with our call, abilities, and prayer with love and
hospitality. Do what God has called you to do and do it with passion, truth, and in
love!

• Is near refers to the period from the Resurrection of our Lord to His Second
coming; this is called the Last Days. This is not a time reference, meaning
either limited or unlimited time, although it does mean that the longer we go,
the less time we have. We can have a week left or another two thousand
years. The point here is the End of Days is a period of time and covenant with
Christ, and it will be marked by great sufferings. No one will be immune; we
will all have to give account for our life. Looking forward to the End of Days
and Christ's return is also meant to encourage and influence the attitudes and
actions of suffering Christians (John 5:27; Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:5, 16),
therefore be in serious prayer (Dan. 12:1-2; Acts 2:17; 1 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet.
1:20).

• Pray is meant to line us up in His will and with His empowerment (Luke 18:1;
1 Cor. 7:5; Eph. 6:18; 1 Thess. 5:17; 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 John 5:14-15).

• Love covers means that real love continually forgives (Matt. 18:21-22; 1 Cor.
13:5; Eph. 4:32; 1Thess. 4:9-10; 2 Pet. 1:7; 1 John 4:7-11). This means we
are to overlook the faults and transgressions of others against us within
reason and with love. We are also not to gossip or slander one another (Prov.
10:12; James 5:20)!

• Hospitality specifically refers here to taking in travelers with generosity—not


grudgingly or with complaining. In general, since we have Christ’s love flowing
in us, it should flow to others around us. This means we are to be willing to
give preference to others, to look out for and look after one another, and to
share, with discernment, what God has given us, including our family, home,
finances, and food. We are to have an attitude of stewardship where we do
not own anything because we are merely the caretakers for the real owner,
God. He desires us to share His stuff, and we comply out of reverence and
gratitude to Him. Thus, as we come along side others, we are to welcome
them and act out our faith in real, helpful kindness, generosity, and deeds.
This includes providing help and lodging to fellow Christians, helping those
who are being persecuted, and helping out in our community (Matt. 25:34-43;
Luke 10:30-37; Rom. 12: 3-8, 13: 16:33; 1 Cor. 12:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:2; 5:10;
Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:5-8).

• Use whatever gift means to practice your spiritual gifts, and realize that the
diversity we have is beneficial for one another. It also means being charitable
or generous to others with what Christ has given you, and to serve Him
without being held back by fear, time, or lack of talent. As Christians, we are
to typify faith and reason together so we can exhibit the maturity needed to
make wise decisions and have a purpose in life. This also means directly
caring for those in need, such as the sick, infirmed, and poor. However, some
Christians will have a specific call and empowerment to do this. People in the
world may be more concerned for their own needs and agendas than they are
for God’s clear doctrine and purpose, but as Christians, we are called to go
beyond ourselves to serve others well (Titus 2). Kindness is the proof of
authenticity (Rom. 2:1-4; 12:4-21; 16:1; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-
14; 1 John 3:16-23)!

• Very words of God refers to Scripture, the words that God has spoken to us.
This means to be careful how you speak and minister as we sometimes
speak for God as He uses us!

• God may be praised. Here, this means for us to be good stewards, as we are
called to live, serve, and do all that we do in life for the honor and glory of our
Lord and Savior (Acts 7:38; Rom. 3:2; 1 Cor. 1:26-31; Jude 24-25)!

Does Love cover you? Do you use it to cover others? We are to be fueled
and empowered by love in all situations. Christian love is the turning of our backs
on our self-concerns and facing our neighbors. It is the surrender of our will to
His. If love does not take us beyond our self-interests, then we have only lust and
pride, not real love! God's love must be our model for life. It must flow into us
from Christ, and in return, flow out from us to those around us. God's love is the
ultimate power for the Christian. Love is more than a feeling; it has segments and
characters to it. Love is also a choice, a decision that must be perused and
worked on (John 13:1; 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 John)!

God does not want us to be controlled by the past or to be fearful or


cowardly. Rather, we are to learn from our experiences and grow from them, but
not be tied to them so they become our identity. We have been born again in
Christ; our old life is old, and it is no longer who we are. Thus, we are to grow
closer to Him and be an example to others who are still in the old life without
being influenced and enticed by them. Our focus needs to be what is going on
now, what God is doing, and how we can contribute to it. Not just what can I get,
but what can I learn and gain to be better for His glory? Take comfort; God does
indeed have a plan for you even when you cannot see it. His will for your growth
in Him is clear! He wants you to be faithful and good so others can see in you a
demonstration model for the new life that they can have too. He gives you the
ability, the power, and the strength to endure and to enjoy (Gal. 6:7)! The most
important aspect is for us to keep our eyes focused on Christ, with racehorse
blinders on to block off the rest.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. How would you describe your personality—a person who likes to just do it, or
one who would rather watch others carefully and then do it, or one who just
likes to think about it and never gets around to do it?

2. Are you chasing your desires or our Lord? How can the answer to this
question help determine what direction you take in life?

3. How has sin enticed you in the past? How has it become an “identity” for you
or for others whom you have known?

4. When others come against you, how is the best defense an offense of
righteousness and demonstrating the good life in Christ?
5. Knowing that our Lord Jesus Christ did not deserve to suffer, yet still did, and
endured great physical, mental, and spiritual pain on our behalf help motivate
you in times of hurting and confusion?

6. What does it mean to exemplify the attitude and conduct of Christ? What
would that look like in your life?

7. When something comes your way, whether it is a blessing or a problem, how


can you take it, handle it with excellence, and learn and grow from it? How
would your walk with Christ grow and in turn be a blessing to others if you did
this?

8. What does it mean to wholeheartedly look to Christ? How can you better
implement this in your life? What would your life look like with this mindset at
full blast?

9. Why does God not want us to be controlled by the past or to be fearful or


cowardly? How can you have a better mindset to learn and grow from your
experiences?

10. What can you do to be on guard against the sins and enticements of others?
If you are not, how do you suppose the sins of your heart would break you
down and take you over? What can you do about it?

11. How does the fact that the great news of Christ gives us the ability to stand
firm in Him take you through your tough days? How can it better keep you
from stress and worry?

12. What has caused people you know to become disillusioned? What can you
do to stand firm in faith and not worry about what comes along in life?

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in
very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in
human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself
and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:5 – 8)

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 4: 12-19: “We May Suffer for Faithfully Being in Him!"


General idea: Persecutions and sufferings have a reason and a purpose! They
have a way of refining and purifying us to allow the waste products of pride and
selfishness to be tossed aside while His real redemptive work and sanctification
comes into us in power and conviction. When the filth of pride has been removed
(and God will use whatever to do this—even extreme suffering), we become
more real and relevant to others. We also become better, more passionate
witnesses when we remain faithful in Christ in spite of whatever we go through.
Other people will become purified and better able to know Him and make Him
known because of our lives, experiences, and dealings with others. The
pretenders and counterfeit Christians will drop out of their dysfunctional service
and their pride will no longer infest us, as people will see the real, wondrous,
risen Lord displayed in the faithful.
Sufferings are also a warning, a sign to get right with God. He is the Great
Judge and He has the right and power to do as He wills. He will show us our
sins; if we are not convicted to repentance, we will suffer. This suffering has no
purpose or glory other than to punish. We cannot blame God for this punishment
for we bring it on ourselves! However, we can also be assured that when we are
faithful, our sufferings serve to glorify Christ and to show Him and His majesty to
others. We will be powerfully and effectively used in ways that will echo into
eternity. Our time here is short; our time with Him is eternal.

Vs. 12-14: Trials are normal and should be welcomed. The theme here is to be
prepared. Times are tough now, but they will get worse, so watch out! The
reference here is to Nero, who was using Christians as the scapegoats for his
actions as he went insane and burned down Rome. The world was now coming
against the early Christians, but worse things were ahead. We are to expect bad
things—not to seek them, bring them about, or rationalize our sin. Rather, we are
to seek Him and His glory. We are to see persecution and bad things as
opportunities to get closer to God and closer to one another. Life is not about
what we have and what we lose; it is about our connection with God and with
others. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we prepared? What will we
do when times get tough and then get tougher?

• Dear friends/Beloved means "loved ones." It is a pastoral expression that


indicates sincere love that shows care, tenderness, compassion, and
affection. This expression is intended to show and give hope and real love to
those who are weary in the midst of persecution (1 Pet. 1:22; 4: 8).

• Do not be surprised. Christ, who being God of the universe suffered; why
should we be surprised when we go through it (Matt. 16:21-23; John 15:18;
Col. 1:24-27; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 John 3:13)? At this time—in 64 A.D.—Rome was
laying siege to Jerusalem, and many Christians were either being killed or
captured as slaves and being burned alive by Nero to light his garden. Bad
times are coming, so do not be surprised and lament; rather, get ready and
learn to grow from them. Daniel 12 tells us that there will be great suffering
before the End of Days when the wicked will be judged. The Jews believed if
they suffered, they would hasten the end of days. Peter once scoffed at the
idea that either he or Christ would suffer (Matt. 16:21-23). Peter’s people
were wondering if this was the end. All believers in all times have wondered if
we are in the end times. The point is not if we are, but how we are in them
with character and faithfulness!

• Painful trials/Fiery trial is figurative; it alludes to a furnace that melts down


metal to flush out impurities. It means sufferings will show proof of your faith
(Psalm 66: 9-10; Peter 1:6-7). This refers to any loss of physicality or
property, but even more in losing our earthly relationships because of Christ.
The Spirit that raised Christ also rests on us and will raise us! We have to
beware that suffering can persuade us to doubt God's love and plan for us
(Job 2:9; 2 Cor. 2:15-16)!

• But rejoice means rejoice in all things, including suffering, because we have
His Divine grace and love. At the same time, we are responsible for moving
ahead with our faith (Eph. 6:16; Phil. 2:12-13; James 1:2; 1 Pet. 5:8-9). This is
an opportunity for us to show our good attitude and to be motivated (Matt.
24:30; Luke 17:30).

• Participate in the sufferings of Christ. As the Church universal, we are


collectively the Body of Christ. Thus, when a Christian or a church suffers, so
does He. Our sufferings do not add to His work of redemption or earn
anything because of it; rather His sufferings cover us as atonement. It further
identifies and intensifies us in Him (Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 1:5; Phil. 1:29; Col.
1:24).

• Insulted because of the name of Christ. We can have staying power in


suffering because we have exultation in Him, so it does not matter what else
we have or do not have (Matt. 5:11-12; John 15:18-20; Acts 5:41; 14:22;
Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 1:5; Phil. 3:10; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 1:6-7).

• Blessed means fortunate, because what we will gain in eternity will out-weigh
anything we experience (Luke 6:22-23). We are also fortunate because the
presence and power of the Spirit and His glory rest on us!

• God is the God of Judgment also; He will have us, His children, give an
account. How much more will those who refuse His grace give an account
(Prov. 11:31; Ezek. 9)!

The key to dealing with suffering is a willingness to be anxious for Christ—


to seek Him, and to have a firm desire for Him so nothing else that the world
offers even interests us! Also, do not see it as a personal attack; rather, see it as
an opportunity to be better for His glory!
Vs. 15-19: We will have friends who will think it strange that we have decided to
follow and serve God. They will not understand and even try their best to entice
us away. When their efforts fail, they and others will turn on us, betray us, and
even become our enemies. Our comfort comes in knowing that for whatever they
say or do, they will be held to account before our most Holy God. They are
accountable for what they do, and they have the opportunity to receive Him. If
they do not, it is not your fault as long as you exemplify Christ to the best of your
ability with tact and maturity.

• It should not be. Do not come into suffering by your own misdeeds! Watch
your conduct because when we suffer, we glorify Christ. However, there is no
glory in evil acts, causing suffering in any way, or our pride thinking it will
draw God’s favor. The only charge a Christian should face is being a
Christian!

• Meddler refers to people who scorn others, cynics, or those who are
busybodies and snoop into the affairs of others negatively. Do not
condescend to others!

• Christian. This term only appears twice in the Bible, and identifies a follower
of Christ. It was only used by those who were persecuting the believers and
was a term of shame and scorn—like calling someone a thief (Acts 11: 26;
26:28)! The point here is that it is noble to suffer for doing right. The term
"Christian” eventually became our designation; we are never to be ashamed
when we suffer, as it glorifies Christ!

• Time for judgment means beware: judgment is still coming! Sufferings and
trials purify, refine, and strengthen us. They focus us on what is important and
true, and away from the trivialities of the daily and the sinful life, drawing us
deeper and more powerfully to Him (Mal. 3:1-5; Heb. 12:1-13). Peter was
using this theme to encourage his people and us that God is still in control;
His Kingdom is here and it is coming! We can then be faithful in Him.

• What will come. All that happens to us, when we are obedient, is the will of
God! This is a rhetorical question meaning since we will be held accountable,
so much more will those who are against Him and us. This also points to the
judgment of the Church, where the fakes and the ungodly are held
accountable and condemned while the righteous ones are exulted (Jer.
25:18-25; Ezek. 7:7-12; 9:6; Amos 3:2; 1 Pet. 4:6). Suffering can also be used
as discipline! Thus, always seek the reason for suffering. Did you cause it? A
real Christian whose faith is in Christ has no need to fear judgment; rather, he
or she should look forward to it and to their reward (Phil. 1). The prideful and
unbelievers on the other hand….

• Hard for the righteous to be saved. Peter is saying that even those who
conformed could not be saved without God’s supernatural intervention! This is
a quote from Proverbs 11:31, and refers to phony righteousness. There is a
clear distinction between those who are in Christ, who follow His precepts and
conform to and from His love, and those who are pretending to be in Him or
do not conform to Him (Psalm 11:6; 73:18-19; Prov. 1:18, 31).

• What will become of the ungodly. Even though God gives us His grace and
elects us, we still must respond to Him. This is difficult even with the Spirit’s
intervention, as our sinful nature always rejects God. We have no salvation,
hope, or purpose without God’s grace (Acts 26:1-11; Rom. 1: 10; 17 3:23; 5:5;
8:2; 10:5-8; Gal. 1:13-14; Phil. 3:4-6).

• Commit themselves. This is a prayer similar to a benediction as our lives are


committed into God’s hands and care (Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46). Entrust
yourselves to Christ! Faith requires our faithfulness to continue in, to pursue,
and to build on what God has given. Even when we face extreme suffering,
God is still is with us, empowering us. We can remain faithful and grow from
our experiences. Thus, we must not become disillusioned, fearful, or turn
away from Him! Faithfulness will be rewarded beyond our grasp to envision it
(Micah 6:8)!

Are you being harassed, gossiped about, slandered, or mistreated? If not,


it will come. We are called to prepare for it and seek reconciliation if possible; our
good character will prevent others the ammunition to fight us. However, we also
need to examine what we are doing wrong. Is there reason from our behavior
that what they say is true? If so, we need to mend our ways. If their accusations
are false, then take comfort as Christ went through it, and He will take you
through it too. You will learn, grow, and be stronger, and God will be glorified by
your good faith! We have to get this important point: suffering has a purpose and
a reason—it is for our benefit and God’s glory. We should never think of it as
shame or as meaningless; rather, we should see it as a badge of honor. Because
we live in Christ, we can have great confidence and hope. This material world is
very temporary; we are being shaped for eternity!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed so I can learn and grow?


6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. How do you feel when someone calls you a “dear friend” or lets you know that
you are a “loved one?”

2. Why is it important for us to show care, tenderness, compassion, and


affection to others—especially those in stress?

3. How do you think persecutions and sufferings have a reason and a purpose?
How do they refine and purify us? How do they help us become more real,
helpful, and relevant to others?

4. How does going through tough times help remove pride and selfishness?

5. How do sufferings act as a warning, as a sign to get right with God? Have you
seen this in your life? How so? When this happens, what should you do?

6. Do you know that bad times are coming? How do you feel about it? Why
should we not be surprised or lament about it? What can you do to get ready
for it and learn to grow from it?

7. Peter once scoffed at the idea that Christ or he would suffer. What do you
think took place to change him? How does his growth help motivate you?

8. Many Christians fret or become obsessed about the End Times. How do you
feel about it? Have you considered that the point is not if we are in them or
when they will come, but how we are with character and faithfulness when
they do come?

9. Knowing that suffering can persuade you to doubt God's love and plan for
you, what can you do to take heed?

10. Have you seen Christians who have gone through suffering become better
and more passionate witnesses for Christ? How so?

11. What does it mean to have staying power in suffering? How could you grow
with more trust in Him? Do you recognize that you are exalted in Him? Can
you see that it does not matter what else we have or have not? How does this
help you?

12. What does it mean to take comfort in Christ when times are hard? How can
you make this more so? How can the fact that when you are faithful, your
sufferings glorify Christ and show Him and His Majesty to others, give you
further resolve and comfort?

In this world you will have trouble but take heart! I have overcome the
world (John 16:33)

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 5: 1-4: “Be a Good Leader!"

General idea: We are called to follow the Good Shepherd in order to be a good
shepherd! Peter is addressing those in church leadership who had the same
problems we have today. Thus, he extols them to clue themselves into Christ and
follow His example--to care and pastor others with excellence and fortitude. Peter
does not ask them to do something that he has not done; rather, he uses himself
as an example and points them to the Ultimate Example.
The Church has always been riddled with strife and conflict, because our
fallen nature causes us to fight with one another using the ways of the world,
while the devil also uses us for his means. When we do this, we forget who
Christ is, and we forget what the Church is here to do--to know Him and make
Him known. We leaders can easily be tempted to chase what is not godly. So,
when we are not following the Good Shepherd, we are not being a good
shepherd. We will then get our lead from our desires; consequently, we will seek
means to get what we want and not what God has called us to. Then, wham! The
sheep are in conflict and strife because the shepherd is leading them astray.
Another way we can cause dysfunction in the Church is to “lord it over”
people by micro-managing them, and seeking to belittle, exploit, and manipulate
while we are clearly called to lead by the example of our Lord. We must see
leadership as helping people draw near to Christ as we eagerly seek to know
Him better ourselves so we can be a good example. The fruit of this will be a
sense of a willingness, of humbleness, unselfish servitude, and encouragement
by discipleship (Matt. 20:20-28; Luke 22:26; Gal. 5:19-26). All with the goal that
we will share His glory in eternity!

Vs. 1: From the context of this chapter, we are urged to have the attitude of
Christ! We are called to live in the Spirit! We need to see what He has done for
us: He brings us to God, He makes us alive, He cleanses us, and He is our
continual Example! Therefore, we do not need to waste any more of our life with
evil deeds or have evil desires. This will translate into our conduct and our
prayers (as these will become more serious), as well as our fervent love for one
another (John 16:33).

• Elders generally refers to those who are older and wiser in life, those able to
share wisdom and advice. This was also a specific title for community leaders
who ruled their provinces and/or who were judges. These people held great
respect and responsibilities in their communities (Acts 20:17; 1 Tim. 3:1; 5:17;
2 John 1; 3 John 1).

• Fellow elder. Peters is assuring his solidarity that as an Apostle, he is not


above them in exercising God’s love. He will not ask them to do what He has
not done himself. This was to encourage and identify with them in the midst of
sufferings and discord.

• Witness of Christ's sufferings. Peter is reminding them of his ties and


personal ministry with Jesus and all the wonders he witnessed (Matt. 16:27;
17:8; 26:58; Mark 14:54; Luke 22:60-62; John 1:14; 2:11; 18:10-11, 15-16;
Acts 1:8; 1 Pet. 2:21-24).

• If we are claiming Christ as Lord, we need to be living the life--not just talking
about it or just showing up for the club meetings (church)!

I urge you to seek God’s Will by recognizing God’s love for you. In that
way, you will be able to apply biblical principles to help you become a much
better leader. Additionally, if you are already a leader, you can use the principles
of His Word to spruce up your attitude so your character becomes good in action.
You can take a look at what you have done wrong, and then correct it by
removing your false thinking and realigning your behaviors.

Vs. 2-4: Conflicts have buffeted the early church and Peter is seeking to restore
them to a proper perspective and call. The leaders were also experiencing the
first waves of persecution and were the ones being tortured and imprisoned. The
call is simple, yet so not followed in most churches! The call for us is to exercise
watch and care over God’s people, to encourage and shepherd them in a godly
direction from a godly example. Leadership is never about what we get out of it
or a force of our will; rather, it is about the mobilization of His precepts from His
Word in our life so it flows and it is “happening” onto theirs! We will have an
eagerness to know Him more powerfully so we can serve with more humility.

• Shepherds is a term that had great depth and meaning for an agrarian
society. Sheep and shepherd are often-used words in Scripture; they denote
a concerned guide who describes God, the church, and His people (Eza. 34:
1-10; Luke 15:3-7; John 10:1-18; 21:15-17; 1 Pet. 2:25). A shepherd does not
lead by being harsh or the sheep will refuse to go with him, and perhaps will
even die. Rather, he leads and guides them in the right direction with
gentleness; then the sheep will follow him. The sheep do this out of a need to
be protected, to be led to food and water that they cannot find on their own.
Humans are to lead others to the percepts of His Word and character. We are
to lead by being a shepherd.

• Overseers refers to and implies the leaders of the leaders, such as bishops
(Acts 20:17, 28; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-2; Titus 1:5-7). This word however, also
applies to all those who are supervising others such as elders, pastors, or
anyone in any leadership capacity. We are all to carry out the principles of
these offices.

• Not by compulsion/not because you must. Many Greek philosophers and


teachers and some Jewish leaders were very strict and controlling; this
created a negative, non-enriching atmosphere that led to discord and strife.
Real leaders are real examples that exemplify true virtue (Matt. 16:24-27;
Mark 10:42-45; Philp. 2:6-11; 2 Thess. 3:9)!

• Greedy refers to the breaching of trust with others--catering solely to our


personal needs; in so doing, we usurp God's will in favor of ours, for
manipulating others. Leading is never by compulsion; rather, it comes from a
willing heart. This is not about pastors not needing to get paid, as fair
compensation is biblical; any worker is worth a decent wage. It is about how
dishonesty devalues the Kingdom (1 Cor. 9:9-14; Gal. 6:6; 1 Tim. 5:17-18).

• Lording over means haughtiness, arrogance (which is to abuse one's power),


to be controlling, not leading by example, to “lord over” and not encourage, to
micro-manage, to not serve. Humbleness is essential in leadership (Job 41:34;
Psalm 10:5; 18:27; 101:5; 131:1; 6:17; Prov. 16:18; 21:4; 30:13)!

• Be examples means to show others and influence them--not just tell them.
We are to shepherd the flock of Christ with wise conduct through the
exercising of humility and the demonstration of wisdom. The light we use to
guide others needs to be His Light--not ours. Our light is pride versus the
Light we are to follow, which is Christ (Mark 10:42-45; John 13:1-17; Phil. 2:5-
11; 1 Tim. 4:12). As leaders, we are responsible to care for God’s people
with faithfulness and honor, and never out of severity or improper motivations
(Matt. 23)!

• Chief Shepherd means a shepherd who is over other shepherds. This is a


name for Christ, and refers to how he cares for and gently guides us. He, as
God, serves as our prime example, the One to whom we are responsible for
the people he has entrusted to us. We can trust Christ to lead us (John 10:11;
1 Pet. 2:25).
• Appears is a reference to Christ's return, and that He will reward those who
have served with distinction and judge those who led people astray. We can
look to the return of Christ for our hope!

• Crown of glory was not like the gold medals we have today, but still were
praised for their significance. They were bound olive leaves, formed as a
garland, and given to sporting and soldier victors. These were perishable; our
reward is never ending and will not perish!

If you are in leadership, then be a good leader! Our attitude and behaviors
will be closely watched and mimicked! We are the ones who will encourage
others to seek and know Him more, or distract them away from the Church and
our Lord. We must be growing in the faith with conviction and fortitude so we will
have good motives. Good motives are essential to good leadership; otherwise, all
you have are power plays, strife, and dysfunction! Churches that have problems,
for the most part (in my experience), are mainly because the leadership has
forgotten who Christ is in their personal lives, and they do not practice His
precepts. They are not willing to be good followers and therefore end up leading
the people with personal agendas and trends. Christ is left out of the loop (1
Kings 3:9; Luke 22:25-28; Matthew 25:21; Mark 9:33-37; John 5:19; Philippians
1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-5; 2 Timothy 2:24; Hebrews 13:17)!

Leadership embodies the fruit and character of our Lord. It must be Christ-
directed in a godly. purposeful direction. It requires being a servant before
attempting to direct others. The leadership for the Church must come from the
Jesus model, not the business model! It is never a force of personality; it is
earning that respect because of your love and care. It must come from Him,
disseminating through our personal disciplines of growing in Him by faith and His
Word, and modeled from good mentorship. This will mean we serve unselfishly
so we influence, equip, and empower people to accomplish God's purpose and
plan. Disintegrating or bad leadership is more destructive to a local church than a
legion of demons, as it corrupts godly principles and displays a skewed
understanding of our call to follow Christ. It seeks its own, and not the Word.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?


5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Have you ever led a group that was unruly or uncooperative with you? How di
d you feel? What did you do?

2. What does it mean to have the attitude of Christ? What would your church
look like if the pastors and leaders did this to the best means possible?

3. How would you define church leadership problems? Have you experienced
them? How so? What was done? What should have been done?

4. Does it make you feel secure, distressed, or…, that church leadership has
faced the same problems and been riddled with strife and conflict all though
its history?

5. What does it mean for a leader to follow the example of Christ? How would
this translate into better care and pastoring? How would excellence and
fortitude be shown? What would your church look like if this were true of her
leaders?

6. What happens when leaders do not follow Christ (when we forget who Christ
is and what the Church is here to do)? What would your church look like if this
were true?

7. Have you experienced or seen leaders easily tempted to chase what is not
godly? How so? What was done about it? What should have been done?
How can we guard against bad motivations and false thinking?

8. Do you firmly believe that by following the Good Shepherd, we can be good
shepherds? If so, then why does it seem most Christians forget this?

9. What would it take for the leadership in your church to be helping people draw
near to Christ and desiring with eagerness to know Him better and make Him
known? What would your church look like if this were so?

10. Why is it important for leaders to be good examples? What happens when we
get our lead from our own interests and personal motivations?

11. How does the goal that we will share His glory in eternity help facilitate better
leadership? What about living in the Spirit? Allowing Him to cleanse us? The
application of fervent love for one another? What would your church look like
if all these were applied? What are you going to do about it?

12. What can be done to effectively apply, by example, a sense of willingness to


be humble with unselfish servitude? What do you need for this to happen in
your life? How do encouragement and discipleship apply? What are some of
the false thoughts that need to be removed? What behaviors need realigning?

If we are claiming Christ as Lord, we need to be living the life--not just


talking about it!

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 5: 5-9: “Submit to God and Resist the Devil!"

General idea: Peter is calling the church (and us) to be mature and faithful which
requires us to submit and to be humble. The result is respect, cooperation, unity,
community, and the power of His Fruit at work. But, if we do not submit, have
disregard for unity, or have no respect for authority, our sinful nature will win out;
the result will be quarrels (because of pride), discord, and shame. We have to
see that God wants us to submit; this is best for us both individually and
collectively as a church. Being a Christian and a church is about relying on Him,
not ourselves; it is about His mighty power at work in us--not our feeble ways! His
favor and power will be poured out on us when we are faithful, obedient, and
meek (strength under control). Nevertheless, be warned that pride is the opposite
of these, and that it will destroy relationships and churches fast and furiously; that
is why God hates it so much! Thus, to be confident in Jesus and be used by Him,
we need Him to empower us. With this mindset and empowering, we do not need
to worry or fret because our mind is not on our status, situations, possessions, or
experiences, but on Christ! This comes about when we realize that Jesus does
indeed care, and loves us ever so deeply!
The second aspect of this passage is about spiritual warfare. The devil
gets a hold on us when we are not complying with the previous precepts! He will
attack to discourage and sway us away from God and His ways. Our defense is
simple; we are to stand firm in Christ, pray, and allow His work in us and not
ours; what we would bring to the table is just fuel for the devil and his ways!
Vs. 5-7: Peter seeks to comfort his congregation that is experiencing great
trouble, suffering, and being manipulated by friends, family, and society. This
was causing them to be scattered and persecuted. So, he brings them back to
the fundamentals, the basic attitudes of spiritual growth and maturity. The
building blocks for spiritual maturity must be grasped and implemented by every
one who claims Jesus as Lord; the foundational block is an attitude of
submission and humility. This will greatly affect how we think which influences
who we are and what we do. It is all about centering ourselves to the root of the
problem; our motives will direct our actions.

• Young men be submissive. The Greek is "hupotasso" which means to line up


under. It is a military term that means to “get in line” under the leadership of
those who are more mature.

• Those who are older, as in verse one. The term “elder” refers to church
officers. To submit to elders means to give the church officials respect, but it
actually applies to all (1 Tim. 5:1). Respect for elders was considered very
important in Judaism, as those with more experience in life were considered
to have more knowledge and wisdom; the younger people should learn from
them and take heed. In practice this means having the elders speak first and
younger people listen. It is about the attitude of submission, because young
people are inclined to be aggressive and enamored with their own will and
ideas, and thus tend to be stubborn and ignore older, wiser people.

• Clothe yourselves. "Enkomboomai" literally means to cover something on


yourself with something like a work apron. It refers to the apron that a slave
would put on over his clothes to keep them clean. It means to submit to one
another by putting on humble service just as Jesus did in John 13:1-18!

• Humility means our correct understanding of who we are in Christ and how
we are to go before God. This does not mean we are to hate ourselves;
rather, it means to have a right respect and relationship with God (Prov. 3:5).
Our attitude toward God will greatly affect our attitude in how we
communicate and how we act. These will be revealed by the motives of our
heart. We learn humility by the spiritual disciplines of being in His Word, and
practice--before God--our dependence on Him, seeking of His will, and being
in prayer. Our motivation is to be the realization that we are saved by grace,
and kept by His love (1 Kings 8:58; Psalm 25; Mark 1:7; Luke 9:23; 18:9-14;
22:27; Romans 12:3; Eph. 4:1-3; Col. 1:18; Phil. 2:8; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:3-
5).

• Humble yourselves… God opposes the proud, is a quote from Proverbs 3:34,
and refers to the irrationality of foolish people who do not use wisdom, but
choose rather to seek folly and thus bring adversity upon themselves. This
also is refers to submitting to the sovereignty of God (Proverbs 1:24-33; 6:16;
8:13, Isaiah 57:15; 66:2; Micah 6:8). We remove our pride by “clinging” to the
cross, confessing our sins, and seeking forgiveness from God and others
whom we have offended. Our discipline in the faith will help strengthen our
walk as we continue to grow in Him.

• He will lift you up. God alone deserves the right to be exalted and honored.
God is the only One to exalt us! This is an essential attitude we must take
before effective Christian character, maturity, or spiritual growth can be
possible. God’s plan for our life is far better than any desire--evil or good--we
could ever have. His promise is relief from persecutions, either in this life or
our life to come. The application is to trust Christ, to keep praying, and trust in
our Lord, knowing that His love for us is real and true. God is merciful and is
moved by our struggles; He does care (Ex. 2:23-25; 3:7-9; Jug. 2:18; 10:16;
Psalm 107:9; Prov. 3:34; Isa. 2:11-12, 17; Ezek. 17:24; 21:26; Luke 1:52-
53).Thus, it is logical and beneficial to be humble in Him (2 Chron. 7:14-15; Pr
ov. 3:34; 25:6-7; Isa. 2:11-12; 5:15; Matt. Mt 18:4; 23:12 Luke 11:43; 14:11; 1
8:14; 20:46; 1 Pet. 5:62)!

• God's mighty hand means God's covering power, God's controlling power,
and God's sovereignty; God is in charge. The mighty hand of God is the
loving, caring hand of God in charge of us. It can be a shelter, a deliverance,
a testing, or a chastening. God's mighty hand is always His best love for us so
we become our best for His glory (Duet 26:8; Phil 4:13)! So do not debate
with God; humble yourself under His will, under His Word, and under His
power.

• Humility is mutual. When we are faithful and humble to God and to others, it
builds our character and community. This parallels James 4:6-10. James puts
the emphasis on poverty and oppression while Peter’s emphasis is on our
being disillusioned from persecution and subsequently falling away from God.

• Cast all your anxiety/your cares to Him. Being humble denotes being active in
our faith and trusting in Him, so we trust God to direct our lives. When He is in
control, we need not worry. Life is not about our circumstances; rather, it is
about how we learn and grow in Him by our trust, faith, and obedience! It also
means being repentant of one‘s behaviors and attitudes; but, furthermore, it
means that being totally dependant upon God produces a better attitude that
creates better actions.

We are to accept His mighty hand; then, we will be lifted up. We are to
endure the pain and difficulties that life brings, for He will lift us up. We are to
endure the trouble and trials, for He will lift us up. We should never think that our
circumstances are too difficult; rather, we should seek to cast our anxiety on Him
because we have the confidence that He does care for us. Take heed; God will
not lift us up until we are ready for it. Our grace came after the cross. Our crown
comes after the cross. Suffering comes before glory.
Vs. 8-9: God is totally sovereign and Satan can do nothing to us other that what
God allows. However, he still has power and has not been tamed yet. Consider
that your will is the door through which he comes prowling and attacking; why
give him an open door! Satan is still our adversary; he wants to not only take you
away from God‘s love and precepts, he wants to utterly destroy you! Peter’s
point? Be on your guard and resist him; do not let Satan have that open door--as
Peter has personally experienced (Luke 22:31-34; Eph. 6:10-20)!

• Be self-controlled means allowing God to be in control of our will and heart


and seeking the Spirit to enable us. Then, we will know what not to do and be
able to guard the areas in which we are weak. This will allow us to have
discipline and restraint as we are obedient to God and others. It means not
allowing distractions to derail or remove us from His will and plan; that way,
we will not be held back from what Christ called us to do (Prov. 16:32; 25:28;
Rom 13:12-14; 1 Cor. 6:12; 9:25-27; 1Thess. 5: 22; Titus 2:12; Heb. 12:2).

• Your enemy, the devil/Satan means “the slanderer,” and “our adversary.” His
name here refers to being the accuser or the prosecutor (Job 1:6-12; 2:12;
Zac. 3:1-2; Rev. 12: 9-10). Peter says Satan is seeking to accuse us of wrong
so he can blind us to God’s love and grace. He twists our mindsets to be
ashamed or seek apostasy (because we think God does not care), or into not
taking our faith seriously.

• Roaring lion was the most feared animal at that time, striking absolute fear
into the people who had no real defense against them (Psalm 7:2; 10:9-10;
22:13). This refers to Satan’s power and destructiveness. It was also a
colloquialism meaning someone who is out to get you or an enemy of God. At
this time, Nero was starting to use Christians as entertainment by having
them fed to lions.

• Resist him/ the devil. This means to beware of the Devil and resist him, to be
sober and vigilant (as in alert) of Satan’s tactics and influences, to flee the
Devil’s kingdom, his values, and his wisdom, and embrace God’s kingdom,
values, and wisdom. This has more to do with moral values than spiritual
warfare. The devil does not have equal authority or power as the popular
“Ying/Yang” philosophy states; rather, he only has the power we give to Him.
God has absolute power. The devil is not invincible; he is easily thwarted. We
put on God’s armor so we can fight his temptations and flee from him; we
evade the lusts of our heart and world by running from it, not toward it (Eph.
6:11-18; James. 3:15, 17; 4:4, 7-10)!

• Your brothers means we are all the body of Christ, in community with one
another and in unity by Christ and His work. Therefore, we are never alone,
away from God, or away from one another (unless you isolate yourself).
Humbleness and submission help us to be accountable and to honestly
assess our actions and performance. This attitude of humility is a parallel to an
attitude of submission. Submission attacks self-promoting posturing and pride;
the attitude of humility attacks and nullifies the self-love mentality that causes
pride. Humility minimizes arrogance and removes pride. It is the
misunderstanding of our fallen nature and weaknesses that causes us to think
we are better than we are, and that causes us to strive to lift ourselves above
others and God. Humility admits that, most importantly God, but also others are
responsible for our achievements. Humbleness enables us to be a teachable
person who is willing to have a good attitude of submission and servant-hood, a
person who confesses sin and remembers how Christ served us! Humility is not
self-hatred or having a “poor me” attitude. In contrast, arrogance lifts our self-
interests and self-sufficiencies, which seem necessary and good. However,
when we are self-sufficient, we not only fail to see our need for redemption, but
also fail to see our need for growth in spiritual matters. Therefore, self becomes
the god, and any work of the One True God is muted and put aside.
If you are looking for a solution to your problems, then search no more. If
you feel life is overwhelming you, seek your comfort in Him. He does care for
you! Receive His care, receive His love, and surrender your doubts, your
frustrations, your concerns, and your frailty. Trust in God's love in all of your
circumstances. Allow Him to be your inward peace and contentment! We are to
have an attitude of accepting whatever God provides, and being happy with it.
We are not to seek self-gratification or temporary happiness in the shallow things
of life. The fruit of anxiety is discontent, distrust, selfishness, unhappiness, and
stress, as the focus becomes your situation, and not who you are in Christ. Being
discontented will prevent the work of God in your heart and your will (Proverbs
16:9; 19:21; Romans 9:19-21; Philippians. 4: 10-13; 1Timothy 6:6-9; Hebrews 13:
5).

So cast you anxiety, fears, trepidations, stress, and difficulties… upon


Him! All of our cares are to be surrendered to our Lord. Not some, not a little, not
almost all; all, but all of our cares--all that we have held in the past, the present,
and will be in the future.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?


6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What do you do when you are anxious, worried or stressed? What should you
do? How does this passage help you?

2. What does it mean to you to be mature and faithful? What do you think is
required to submit and to be humble?

3. How does humbleness promote respect, cooperation, unity, and community?


Consider your work, school, family, and church! Why does God honor these?
Why would Christians--especially those in leadership--not want to use these
foundational building stones of submission and humility?

4. What blocks humility from working and being exhibited in you? How does
humility give God the “power line” to empower you with His Fruit? What would
your life and church look like with these percepts at work?

5. What happens when we do not submit, we have disregard for unity, or no


respect for authority? How does this collectively affect a church?

6. Why do you suppose that His favor and power will be poured out on us when
we are faithful, obedient, and meek? How does being confident in Jesus help
you in this?

7. Do you worry? Why? Why do you not need to worry or fret? What happens
when your mind is on your status, situation, possessions, or experiences and
not on Christ?

8. What will happen to your spiritual life and relationships when you realize that
Jesus does indeed care and love you ever so deeply?

9. How does the devil get a hold on you? How does he discourage or sway you
away from God and His ways? How does he twist your mindset? How can
you form a defense to him?

10. How do the foundational blocks of attitude, of submission, and of humility help
prepare you for life and leadership? How do they influence who you are and
what you do?

11. Do you realize that your motives will determine your actions as well as your
correct understanding of who you are in Christ? So, what can you do to make
sure you have good, healthy, biblical motives? What are you going to do abou
t it?

12. What do you need to do to more fully take hold of your dependence on God,
seeking His will, and being in prayer? What does it mean to you to cling to the
cross? How will confessing your sins and seeking forgiveness from God and
others whom you have offended help you? Now, what are you going to do ab
out it?

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that
devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who
pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-
19

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 1 Peter

1 Peter 5: 10-14: “Depend on God’s Grace!"

General idea: Have you considered how kind God is with us (even when we are
in the depths of stress and despair), how His hand is guiding, and how He will
restore us for our benefit and His glory? This passage is about the great hope we
have because Christ our Lord is our Great Hope! There is no escape from
suffering; living in a fallen world, we will, at times, experience pain and despair.
The incredible news is that He still cares. Jesus will lift us up out of whatever we
are in now or will ever face! And in the meantime, He will give us the strength to
endure and even to learn and grow from it. This process will make us better and
more mature so we will be a better help to others and more insightful and
character-driven ever than before. Our foundation is secure and our standing is
firm when we are in Him; we can withstand anything this world throws at us when
we are in Him!
Peter’s main mission was to be an encourager to the people who were in
distress. How sweet words of encouragement are to those in anguish, and how
much more impacting those words are when we know that the person saying
them is real and sincere! Peter also offers the assurance that the Gospel is real
and is relevant. It is for us now, no matter who we are, where we are, or what we
face, Jesus Christ loves us and has a plan for us. God is not far off,
unapproachable, detached, or antagonistic. He is here, He is with us now, His
love is real and He is totally concerned for us. Peter then closes his epistle to let
his people know they are not alone or distanced from God or from others. We are
in this world as a community; we are together. The only time we are not is when
we cut ourselves off from others; however, we can never cut ourselves off from
God!

Vs. 10-11: Jesus is our Promise, Strength, and Validation! God called us to
eternal glory, but we must never think of ourselves as equal with God. Rather, we
are to humble ourselves, whatever comes into our lives--strife, adversity,
goodness, or riches. We are to accept God’s hand. Otherwise, Satan will have
his hand upon us!

• The God of all grace means that God is a God who blesses us. Thus, we can
have firm faith and confidence in Him for whatever we face. Here, it is
referring to Christ’s return; we have hope now, but the ultimate Hope will
come, in His time, and He will lift us out of our situation (Isa. 44:6; Jonah 4:2;
John 14:27; 20:19; Rom. 5:1-2; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 1:2)!

• Called you here is a doxology, that God has a plan and purpose for us (Rom.
8:1, 28-30; 2 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 2:10)! Consequently, we have an ultimate
Hope beyond the hope we can see! The only barrier to this hope is our
discouragement, our feelings that result from a lack of faith and spiritual
maturity; this impacts all that we are and do in life! Peter, in this context, is
calling for an attitude of self-control.

• In Christ refers to how He has freed us from sin, how He suffered for us, and
our union in Him, as He dwells in us and represents us before the Father. All
that we are, have, or could have comes from Christ. This translates into how
we are to treat others (Rom. 6:3-11; 8:9-11, 17; 1 Cor. 6:15-17; 2 Cor. 1:5;
13:3-6; Gal. 3:26-29; 5:24; Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24; 3:3-4, 11-15)!

To God be the glory and to nothing else! It may not seem that we are in
the loop with God's plans and purpose, but we can take comfort in that He is
indeed in control. God does not need us to reconcile all the truths, reasonings,
and intricacies of theology or understand His dealings with humankind. He only
desires that we exercise simple faith and trust in Him. We can praise Him for His
glory, even when we are being persecuted and are suffering. The key is to keep
our focus on who He is, and not on ourselves or our circumstances .

Vs. 12-14: Closing salutations. In the context of submission and humbleness, the
application is for Peter’s audience to realize their dependence upon God so they
can accept their situation. We are still to be proactive, but dependence on God
removes our frustration, prevents disillusionment, and keeps us centered on what
is important in life, which is Christ. We can depend on God’s grace because God
will provide a way out--in His time (Job 1-2 ; Psalm 31:9, 15; 62; 103; 119:50; Isa.
26:3; 41:10; Jer. 27:11; Luke 10:20; Rom 8:28-29; 35-37; 12; John 14:1; 1 Cor.
10:31; Phil. 1:6; James 1:2-3; 1 Pet 4:12-19; Rev. 21:4)!

• With the help of Silas. Perhaps Peter (as with Paul, the most educated of all
of the Disciples) dictated his letter; here it may mean it was dictated to Silas
or that Silas delivered it for him. Silas was Paul’s companion on his second
missionary journey (Acts 15:22-29, 40). (Acts 16:37). Peter does not go
about ministry or live his life alone; even this epistle is a collaboration by
others united in Christ and guided by the Spirit to glorify the Father.

• She in Babylon was, perhaps, a cryptogram (codeword) referring to the


Christians in Rome. It may also refer to the coming judgment that takes place
a few hundred years later.

• Mark refers to John-Mark who was the secretary who dictated the Gospel of
Mark. Peter was also a prime author of the book(Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5-13;
15:37-39).

• Kiss of love was a common form of affectionate greeting among those who
were close, such as friends and relatives. It is more than just a handshake,
but has no sexual connotations to it at all (Luke 15:20; Rom. 6:16; 1 Thess. 5:
26).

This passage in First Peter composes the final section of this great epistle.
We are given the essential, fundamental postures and exercises for being a
spiritually mature Christian, a Christian rooted in the call to be solid in the
foundation of our Lord! This is not to be for selfish gain, rather for an attitude of
spiritual maturity. If we desire to be close to Christ, walking in the Spirit, spiritually
mature and effective, and to be all that God wants us to be, then we will build our
lives on what our Lord has done. This does not mean just saying our doctrines
and being faithful to our faith and our church; rather, it means being right with
Christ and right in our being. It is essential to have correct thinking, be in
personal study of His Word, prayer, and devotions, and know the fundamentals
of doctrine. So, the result is not just self-gratifying knowledge for us to sit on and
ponder, but to know more and be more than a surface imitation of following
Christ (1 Cor 11:1). We need to model His character because our whole being is
in Christ!

The purpose of this epistle is to make us realize that we have true grace in
Christ; this leads us to trust God in all things! It is about who we are in Christ,
what He has done, and our response to Him that is rooted not just in our actions
but also in the core of self--who we are. Because our core values come from our
inner most thoughts and desires, they are a result of how we see ourselves, our
world, and most importantly, our God. This translates into how others see us!
Peter’s main theme was submission. Our Lord showed us the way of
submission, the way of obedience, and the way for us to live out our lives. If
there ever was someone who did not need to submit, it was the Creator of the
universe; if there ever was a being who could have gone it alone, without any
submission, it was God. Yet, He did submit; do we consider ourselves higher
than God? Do we refuse His call and replace it with our fallen self? Real
spiritual maturity is being submissive, even though it goes against our culture and
our own preferences. This is the essential foundation for healthy growing in the
Lord, and for a Christ-centered church!

One of the clearest evidences of being a mature Christian is an increased


awareness and knowledge for the need to be in Christ so that our focus is no
longer on ourselves. When we have an increased awareness of others that goes
beyond self, then we are humble. When we have an awareness that goes
beyond our self-confidence, then we are humble. When our confidence is in our
Lord, then our self-confidence becomes Christ-confidence. So, our confidence is
humbleness, rooted and dependent on Christ who is working through us. The
result is that we are not self-driven, but Christ-driven. Thus, we will be in total
surrender to God's will as the driving force for our existence.
Spiritual maturity is essential! Nothing is more distressing than a church
filled with people who do not have respect for those who are in spiritual authority
over them. Conversely, nothing is more discouraging to a congregation than
immature and irresponsible spiritual leadership. Many churches go under every
year mainly because of pride, arrogance, bitterness, envy, and strife, the
opposites of what God calls us to--the opposites of maturity (Phil. 2:5-11).
When we are not focusing on maturity, then we are focusing on self which
ends up destroying the Lord's work rather than building His kingdom. We are not
perfect. It is a question of spirituality that we are to submit as we are called
because Christ did. Without a life approach of submission, we will reveal that our
foundation for life is not spiritual maturity; hence we and our churches will be
hindered in growth. We cannot be a caring community if we are not submissive
and humble in our relationship to God and then to one another (Eph. 5:21; 1
Thess. 5:12)!
God sometimes brings pressure against us to test us, to purge us, to
purify us so that we become stronger and are more willing and able to be used to
give Him glory. God's goal is not to personally attack and destroy us; rather, He
seeks to improve us and to make us our best for His glory. He wants to grow us
like an oak, which grows its strongest under harsh conditions. We are to accept
and grow from our experiences. The other choice is to become bitter and harsh,
ending up as a burden to others and to ourselves. Our Lord will bring us the
solution to our problems on His time schedule and for our benefit. We want it
done yesterday; He may say tomorrow.
Our Lord gave us the prime example of this in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Three times, as it is recorded, Christ asked that the suffering that was to come be
stopped; but each time He said to the Father, not my will, but yours be done!
Jesus demonstrated the way. Will we not follow (Psalm 88:8-9; 119:50; Matt.
26:36-46)? These things do not come to you by chance; they come by knowing
and following Christ (Proverbs 12:4; 28:20; 31:10)!

Remember that people will always disappoint us; we will even disappoint
ourselves as well as others. Christ will never disappoint us; He gives us the care,
love, and His grace that we do not deserve. Submission is a risk; there is a
danger to it because people may take advantage of or lead us astray. However,
this can only happen if we take our eyes off our Lord (Psalm 37:5; 55:22; Isa
41:10; John 14:1; Rom 8:28-29; 35-37; James 1:1-5; 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:12-19).

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?

2. What does this passage mean?

3. What is God telling me? How am I encouraged and strengthened?

4. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?

5. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?

6. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?

7. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?

8. What can I model and teach? What does God want me to share with
someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What have you received from this study series? Have any issues really hit
you? How have you grown?

2. What does it mean to you that God has a plan and purpose for you? How has
this epistle helped reveal that to you?

3. Have you considered how kind God is with you even when you are in the
depths of stress and despair? He will restore you for your benefit and His
glory. Do you believe this? How so? Why not?

4. What do you suppose it meant to the early church for Peter to identify with
and encourage them in the midst of their sufferings and discord?
5. How is knowing that Christ is not just your Lord but also your Great Hope give
you the strength to endure the rough times of life?

6. How is knowing that Christ will restore you for your benefit and His glory give
you encouragement? Now add to this that He still cares and that He will lift
you up, giving you further support and assurance in your daily life? What will t
his mean to you?

7. What does it mean to you that Christ is your foundation, hope, and
conviction? Do you believe that you can withstand anything this world throws
at you when you are in Him? How so? Why not?

8. What does hope mean to you? What are the barriers to hope? How do
discouragement or feelings impact your hope?

9. How can you take comfort in that He is indeed in control? How does this help
you with submission and humbleness? What about preventing
disillusionment? How does this translate into how you are to treat others?

10. Real spiritual maturity is being submissive--the essential foundation for a


healthy growing church. Why? What can you do to model this in your
church? How can your church be more centered upon Christ as Lord rather
than on trends or personal ideas?

11. Why should we not go about ministry or our lives alone? How does
collaboration with others help us produce better modeling of His character?

12. What needs to take place in your life for you to be more insightful, spiritually
and socially mature, and character-driven? What is in the way? What are you
going to do about it?

He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O
God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm 66:9-10

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 1: 1-4: “His Divine Power is Given!"

General idea: Peter sends his greetings and blessings with solemn humbleness
and intimacy to the people in the faith. He writes his second letter to challenge
them to truthful and decent thinking and sends his sincere compliments to those
whose faith is real, impacting, and growing. That faith is precious and genuine
because it is given to us. We are to take what we are given and then add more to
it. We obtain faith then add more faith to it. As a Christian, we have faith to begin
with; we are then called to multiply it. Just like the Parable of the Talents (Matt.
25:14-30), we are expected to invest and develop further what is given to us, not
for personal gain, but rather to glorify Christ and bring honor and growth to His
Church. The key to faith‘s multiplication is answered hereour knowledge of
Christ. The more we know and then subsequently apply to our lives, the more we
grow; this is reciprocal. Peter also sends his blessings so that we can take what
is given and make of it ever so much more. Cultivated faith in Him produces
immeasurable divine blessings!

Christ has given to us all we need in order to grow. We have His Spirit, His
Word, His Fruit, and our faith community. This does not even include the
countess resources we have in our modern age. He has called us and
empowered us, so what more could we expect? The clincher is that we have the
responsibility to make it happen. Our faith is in our hands. He gives us the water,
the fertilizer, the ground, the air, the “SON,” and the seed. He even plants it! All
we have to do is cultivate what He has given. What stands in the way of the
cultivation of our faith? Usually, it is not recognizing and taking to heart His
promises, which leaves us unsure of what we can do.

Vs. 1-2: Christ has made us right with God. So, how do we live that faith? We
can only begin to fathom all the precious privileges and wondrous blessings
given to us by Christ. We have the responsibility to act upon them, and for the
growth of our faith, character, and maturity.

• Simon Peter, the dedicated true servant. This is Simon (Acts 15:14), whom
Jesus changed to Cephas, which means, “Rock” (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 1:12).
(See background material for more information.) He was one of Jesus’ first
disciples and was a principal leader in the early church (Matt. 15:15; 18:21;
Mark 1:26-37; 8:29; 9:5-6; Luke 12:41; John 6:68; Acts 10:18; 15:14; 1 Peter
1:1). Peter was given the special call to be the foundation of the church and to
feed the sheep (Mark 1:16-18; 5:37; 9:2; 14:33; John 21:15-19).

• Servant means a slave. Here, it refers to the fact that as a committed follower
of Christ, I attest that I belong entirely to Christ. He purchased, restored, and
renewed me and He empowers me (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Pet. 1:18-19)! Thus, I
will trust and obey Him and follow His precepts!

• Apostle, the word (Apostolos), means emissary, or sent one, as in Jesus’


personally commissioned representatives (Matt. 10:40; 15:24; Mark 6:7-13;
30; 9:37; Luke 9:1-6; 48; John 4:34; 5:24, 30, 36-38; 6:38; 1 Cor. 1:1; 9. 1-2; 2
Cor. 8:23; Gal. 1:1; Col. 1:1; Heb. 3:1). An Apostle had to have been an
eyewitness of the resurrection (Acts 1:22; 1 Cor. 15:8); in addition, they
governed the early church (1 Cor. 14:37; 1 Thess. 2:13; 4:8, 15; 2 Thess. 3:6,
14; 2 Pet. 3:15-16). In 2 Corinthians, the words, representatives/messengers,
are also used for apostle in a broader sense (2 Cor. 1:1; 8:23; Phil. 2:25). This
title does not apply today; it is reserved only for the original twelve plus Paul.
Today, all Christians are emissaries (2 Cor. 5:20). This role is filled in our day
by Elders (Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 12:7, 11, 28; Eph. 4:11)! Thus, the original
Apostles started the church and the Elders today continue to run the church.
If someone claims to be an apostle today, they either do not understand the
term or are exceptionally full of pride and thus are not of God.

• Righteousness here refers to God being Righteous, thus He is ethical and fair
in His dealings with us. Also, in Peter, the word is used to refer to people who
are righteous meaning virtuous and of good character (1 Pet. 2:24; 4:18; 2
Pet. 2:5, 21; 3:13). Faith is impartial in its acceptance; it sees no race, creed,
culture, time, place, or person, for we are purely justified by His will and
purpose, vicariously placed upon us (Rom. 3:22-23; 4:6).

• God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a strong testament for the divinity of
Jesus as fully God and our Savior. This would have been a great offence to
both legalistic Jews and pluralistic Greeks as His Name is today (Matt. 1:23;
28:19; Luke 1:35; 5:20-21; John 1:1, 3, 10, 14, 18; 5:18; Rom. 9:5; 1 Cor.
15:45; 2 Cor. 13:4,14; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:15-20; 2:9; Tit. 2:13; Heb. 1:3, 8; 2 Pet.
1:1; Rev. 1:13-18; 22:13).

• A faith as precious, Received a faith, a faith of equal standing all refer to real
faith as subjective to each person‘s experience, and is to be true and
valuable. Each person grows at a different rate and depth. It also refers to the
body of believers (as in Church) who share in a common belief and practice;
there are no different castes or classes for those in Christ! Peter will later
combat various false doctrines. He is setting up the theme that there is one
faith through Christ, and all are on an equal playing field before Christ. There
may be varying levels of growth and maturity, but all are equally accepted
(John 20:29; Jude 3; 1 John 3:1-3).

• Grace and peace is a greeting and a blessing, pronouncing God’s special


favor (Rom 1:7; 1 Pet. 1:2).

• Abundance/multiplied. We are called to stretch and grow beyond what we


think we can do! Peter offers his encouragement for all those who are in
Christ to grow in Christ!

• Knowledge means the fundamental saving knowledge we need in order to


know whom Christ is before He can be our Savior (Matt. 11:27). This refers to
what is true and real and that God can only be known through Christ. It
denounces what is esoteric, manipulating, or counterfeit. Peter uses this word
as a baseline of truth to attack false doctrine (John 1:18; 2 Pet. 1:2-3, 8;
2:20).

Being a servant of Christ means we surrender all of what we are so He


becomes more and we become less (John 3:30; Gal. 2:20-21). We do this
because what we gain is so much more; it is peace, serenity, confidence, hope,
and, especially, His Fruit that impact us as well as those around us. Peter,
through a slow and arduous process, found this to be true. He went from being
the arrogant, headstrong, and reckless fisherman to calling himself a slavea
remarkable picture of Christ’s imputing and impacting work that we can also
have.

Vs. 3-4: We are called to partake of His divine nature. He gives us the power to
do so, even to overcome temptations and evil. If we do not sidestep corruption
and evil, we will become consumed with all that takes us away from Christ and
His call to develop and mature our faith! Goodness cannot work when we are
distracted away from Him. If we are not living the godly life, but rather are
defending our positions from our pride, how can we lead others to Him?

• His divine power. The knowledge of Christ increases our faith and power! This
is also to counter Gnostic philosophy that states the soul and body are
separate and we can do as we wish with our bodies as long as our hearts
remain pure. Our hope is not in what we do; it is in what Christ has done for
us!

• Given everything we need/granted to us. We have no excuse not to grow in


Him. All that is important and eternal has already been given to us. What is
important is what grows our faith and our spiritual formationthe Holy Spirit,
God’s Word, other believers who are mature, and most important, Christ’s
work for us!

• Godliness is a synopsis of character that shows our attitude, moral fiber,


disposition, and how we treat one another, either good or bad. We are called
to virtue; this refers to being pious and living a good, reverent life toward God
and others because of what Christ has done in us. This is a response from
our worship of Christ with an authentic desire to know Him in a greater way. It
creates our desire to be pious, which means to rearrange our priorities,
mindsets, and character to line up with God's character and be able to see
the importance of virtue, therefore becoming equipped to use it to value
others (Psalm 15; Micah 6:8; Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31; Eph. 5:1; Col. 3:15-17; 1
Tim. 3:16; 4:8; 6:11; 2 Tim. 3:5; 2 Pet. 1:3, 6; 3 John 11; Rev 14:6).

• Precious promises/has granted to us. He gives us precious promises.


Knowing the promises of God will help us escape the evils of the world. This
is a tremendous way to take hold of our trust in Him and grow our faith
through our obedience. A Bible Promise book is a necessity! (Many are in our
Devotional channel for free)

• Participate/partakers of the divine nature means we partake in Christ. We


participate as sons, children of God as we are conformed to the likeness of
Christ. We are not made divine through our efforts or His, or purification, and
we are not little gods. What this means is we have the image of God in us; we
have the Holy Spirit, the Divine Nature living in us guiding, leading,
motivating, and fulfilling us (Gen. 3:5; John 1:12; Rom. 8:9-21, 29; 2 Pet. 1:9,
11).

• Escape the corruption of the world. Our sinful nature creates our sinful
desires that lure us with passion to what is deceitful and evil. The decay of
our standing in Him and of virtue will cause the decay of our selves and our
culture. The question is, whose lure are you biting intoSatan’s or God’s (2
Pet. 2:14; 3:3)?

God has given us the power to live for Him victoriously and with
excellence! He feeds us the spiritual food, pays our spiritual debt, and gives us
knowledge and the assets to be godly and good. If we truly trust in Christnot
just as Savior but also as LORDwe are given the power and ability to live a life
of fullness, distinction of character, and spiritual maturity so He is glorified by our
lives and living testimony. He gives us the resources. They are here for us, and
are at our disposal. We are not alone or cut off from what we need! But, there is
a catch. We have to go for it; we have to appropriate His gifts and opportunities
into our lives, as in finding and engaging them. We take firm hold of our faith
(make our election sure) when we trust and then obey what He has for us. If we
do not, we live a life of waste and even sin, missing out what is soooo good and
precious for us. Why would anyone forsake His love and gifts (Deut. 31:6; Phil.
2:13; 3:13-14; 4:13)?

There is a second aspect to receiving and applying His power into our
lives. We have the responsibility to practice it. We are not great at it at the start.
Just like learning to drive or play a game, it takes time to master, no matter how
talented we may be. We have to work at it by learning, absorbing, and then
applying what we have learned. In using it, we grow and mature. The price is not
too high since Christ paid for it. We have no excuse not to grow and serve Him!
Never consider that it is too difficult or that you are not gifted or worthy enough,
because the Spirit in you is able to do it (Psalm 87:7; Isaiah 40:29-31; John
14:13-14; 2 Cor. 9:8; Col. 3:23)!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. How do you feel when someone talks or writes to you with humbleness
and intimacy? How do you suppose Peter’s people felt?

2. How is your faith real, impacting, and growing? How should it be?

3. What difference would it make in your spiritual growth if you were to


realize that your faith and what God has given you in gifts and opportunities
are precious and to be genuine?

4. What do you think the key is to the multiplication of your faith? What can
you do to recognize God’s wonderful provisions for you?

5. Whose lure are you biting intoSatan’s or God’s? How does knowing the
promises of God help you escape the evils of the world?

6. How can you be encouraged by the fact that Christ has given to you all
you need to grow, as well as the assurance and confidence to pursue Him
more?

7. Take an opportunity to recount the wonders that God has given and done
for you over time. How can what He has done in the past help empower you
to become more vigorous and faithful now?

8. What will it take for you to be a more committed follower of Christ? How
does the fact that you belong entirely to Him because He purchased,
restored, renewed, and empowered you help you take this call further?

9. God is Righteous. He is ethical and fair in His dealings with us. What can
you do to show Him gratitude as you live your life with virtue and good
character?

10. There are some so-called “Christian” groups that proclaim prejudice as
being from God. How does this thinking match up with this passage or the
veracity of Scripture? Faith is impartial, so how can you be better in your
treatment of others who are different from you?
11. We are called to stretch and grow beyond what we think we can do! What
would this mean to you? How can you apply His power? Remember, more
knowledge of Christ increases faith and power.

12. What stands in the way of your faith cultivation, the taking a firm hold on
your faith? What do you consider your responsibility to be in cultivating what
He has given to make your faith grow better and faster? What specifically
needs cultivating? What can others do to help you? What are you going to do
about it?

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the


LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 1: 5-11: “Our Faithful Growth in Christ!"

General idea: The authentic knowledge of Christ that is revealed to us is the


foundation of our faith. We are being directly called to make every conceivable
effort to put into practice our faith and the Fruit that is given and is at our disposal
to use. Our faith is the benefit we have as Christians, just like working for a
company and having health and life insurance, a retirement account, and various
other benefits. Employers are not always obligated to do so, but in order to make
a healthier and more productive work environment, they do. The employees are
responsible to sign up and use the benefits. If they do not, those benefits will not
be available for use. Their use is not mandatory, but needed and necessary for
life. The parallels are similar with what God has given us. He is not obligated to
give to us out of His love and grace, but He does so because of that love and
grace.

We are called to know Christ better and to practice moral excellence. But
before moral excellence can happen, our hearts and minds must be lined up with
God; and before we can do this, we have to know Him. Character and Fruit are
only exhibited when we are communing with Himnot when we are negating or
neglecting Him. The more we know God, the more we know His call, and the
more we will have the desire and ability to grow in and apply it. Then we grow
more in character, as the knowing and practicing also helps us to be built up in
Christ. But, beware when we are myopic in our outlook on life; not seeing Christ
or applying Him in our lives will cause us to fail at what is important, which is
virtue and character!

Vs. 5-8: The order of the Fruits here is not comprehensive or in a sequential
order like in Galatians where each one is a stage that begets the next one.
Rather, here it is arranged in rhetorical “sorites,” a type of argument that uses
syllogisms to build to the climax of love. Each end is a “bookend” that holds the
others; faith is what we all start with. It is the foundation. Then others build to the
preeminent essential significance of what love is, the quintessential fruit of the
Christian life.

• Add to/supplement. This is referring to fruit, which is what we are given when
we grow in Him, what we add to, and what He then multiplies (Rom. 5:1-5; 1
Cor. 13).

• Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen
(Heb. 11:1). Christ is what we hope for; Christ is what is to be seen! Faith is
the promise of God that gives us the hope and confidence so we can receive,
act on, obey, and trust God’s promises, because God is sovereign and
trustworthy. We can trust God for the future because we can see what He has
done in the pastfrom creation, to testimonies, to His infallible Word (Rom.
10:17; Gal. 3:1-14; Heb. 2:4; 11: 1-6; 12:2; James 1:2-4; 2:14-26).

• Goodness/ virtue refers to moral excellence, the engagement of love, and


doing the right thing. Virtue is the application of being good from both the
conscious will to do what is right and from personal responsibility. It
encompasses integrity, honesty, compassion, and endearment and this is the
quintessence of what biblical Character (that is right standards, strength,
courage, modesty, and purity all done in excellence) is to be. We acquire
Virtue by our faith, our obedience to Christ, being persistent in Him, and
clothing ourselves in Him. This is what results when we truly repent; we will
represent the nobility that we have in Christ (Amos 5:15; Psalm 103:17; 131;
Prov. 8:13; 25:22; Matthew 7:12; 19:16; Luke 6:27, 35; Rom. 12:17; 2 Cor.
5:20; Eph. 5:8-9; Col. 3:12-17; Phil. 2:14-18; 4:8; 1Timothy 4:12; 5:22; Tit.1:
15; Heb.10: 5-10; 1 Pet. 3:11; 2 Pet. 1:3-8; 2:9).

• Knowledge here refers to knowing the salvation we have in Christ because


we have a personal relationship with Him. The Christian message, if it is real
in our lives, will affect our attitudes and lifestyle (Luke 11:42; 18:10-14; John
14:1-6; Eph. 2:8-9).

• Self-control is allowing God to be in control of our will and heart, and seeking
the Spirit to enable us. Then we will know what not to do and guard the areas
in which we are weak. This will allow us to have discipline and restraint with
obedience to God and others. It is refusing to let distractions derail or remove
us from His will and plan so we will not be held back with what Christ called
us to do (Prov. 16:32; 25:28; Rom 13:12-14; I Cor. 6:12; 9:25-27; 1Thess. 5:
22; Titus 2:12; Heb. 12:2; 2 Pet. 1:5-7).

• Perseverance is having confidence in God so we trust Him in difficult


situations and still see His grace and love. We can do this by being
encouraging with Christ-like temperament (2 Chron. 32:1-8; Esther 7; Luke
16:22-31; 18:9; Acts 19:8-10; 26:19-23; Rom. 15:14-16; Phil. 1:6; 12-14, 25; 2
Tim. 2:25).

• Godliness means living out our disposition with respect and reverence to
Christ in all aspects of our life. This is rearranging our priorities, mindsets, and
character to line up with God's character, and to be able to see the
importance of virtue then be equipped to use it to value others. Godliness is a
collection of personality traits within our personality that show our attitude,
moral fiber, and how we treat one anothergood or badwhich is what
Character is about. This results from being pious and living a good, reverent
life toward God and others because of what Christ has done in us (Psalm 15;
Micah 6:8; Matt. 7:12; Luke 6:31; Eph. 5:1; Col. 3:15-17; 1 Tim. 3:16; 4:8;
6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22; 3:5; 2 Pet. 1:3, 6; 3 John 11; Rev 14:6).

• Brotherly kindness/Brotherly affection means love for a brother or friend (in


the Greek, Philadelphia). It is a call to treat others as family because we are
all in God’s family (Rom. 12:10; Heb. 13:1).

• Love is the turning of our backs to our self-concerns, and facing God and our
neighbors. It will enable us to appreciate others in the Lord. Love desires to
seek and apply what God has to say. When you have the wrong idea and
definition of love, it will adversely impose on all those areas in your life.
Understanding what love is not is as important as understanding what love is
not. God's love must be our model for life. It must flow into us from Christ, and
in return flow out from us to those around us (John 13:1; 15:13; 1 Cor. 13;
Col. 3:12-17; 1 Thess. 4:9-10; 5:8-13; 1 John)!

• Possess these qualities. The Greeks believed that the knowledge of


something was what was important, not the practice of it. Here we are called
to not just know but also to do.

• Ineffective/…unproductive. This means we are being called on to be


productive and useful in the Kingdom as well as the community. If not, we are
in disobedience and ignoring His love and gifts for us. Why would a Christian
not want to be productive for the Kingdom (Phil. 4:8-9)?

We have privileges and responsibilities in Him. God has given us gifts,


abilities, and promises that we are not to store when needed. When they are
needed, they are for us to persistently use! Such benefits given will not only
benefit us in our intimate relationship to Christ, but also empower and build much
heartier relationships with others, too.
Vs. 9-11: We are called to grow in Him! Why? Because when we receive a faith
and salvation that we do not deserve or earn, we consequently respond with
gratitude for what He has given, and we will even desire more. But to be so, we
need Christ’s empowerment. This will come from knowing Him, growing in Him,
and then having the desire for more.

• Does not have them/lacks these qualities refers to not exercising our faith
perhaps not even having saving faith. If there is no fruit from a person
claiming to be a Christian, the odds are he or she is not one, but rather is a
pretender (1 Pet. 4: 1-11).

• Nearsighted/…blind. This refers to having faulty vision. You do not “squint” to


see better, or for us today, use no glasses to see better. This can also mean
to have good sight and yet refuse to use it, or only see what we want to see
as in myopic. This is a failure on our part to either utilize His call or seek to
understand and apply His precepts (Isa. 42:19; John 9:39-41; 2 Cor. 4:4).

• Cleansed is a Jewish depiction of being purified by getting rid of moral


corruption and anything else that defiles us before God. For us, it means
staying in our sinful ways or “the flesh” and ignoring our new life and
responsibility (2 Pet. 2:20).

• Calling, in Judaism, referred to being close to God.

• Make your calling/ election sure. God calls us. We do not call on Him for our
salvation. We receive it only as an act of undeserving grace that we cannot
get on our own by merit or birthright. Now that we are transformed, we are
called to show it and grow in it (Rom. 12). The Spirit gives us testimony and
empowers ours; we are then to persevere in our faith. This is our assurance
of salvation; what we have done with what He has given is the evidence of
who we are in Christ (Gal. 4:6; Eph. 1:4-6; 2 Tim. 2:19; 1 John 3:10-14).

• If you do these things refers to practicing what God gives, as God gives us
salvation and eternal life that we continue in. Doing our Christian life is not
sitting and doing nothing or only what we can get away with. Practice
preserves and grows our faith and then produces fruit, character, and virtue
(Matt. 10:22; 24:12-13; Gal. 5:6, 22-23; Phil. 2:12-13; Heb. 3:6).

There is a stern warning here for all of us! We have a responsibility to


pursue our faith development and do a good disposition of modeling Christ (2
Cor. 5:20)! If we ignore our call to pursue our spiritual growth thus not developing
our virtue and character, we will face life without God’s empowerment and
benefits. When we have forsaken Him, He does not forsake us; nevertheless,
because we did not take a hold of the benefits He gives, they will not be in our
arsenal or developed enough to be of much use in dealing with life. Our
shortsightedness and refusal to be prepared results from taking our eyes off
Christ and placing them on our circumstances and stresses, thus making us
empty and bankrupt to deal with those circumstances! Do not let this myopic
thinking happen to you!
We are called to emulate Christian virtues! We are also duty-bound to be
diligent to take and receive them, not for our salvation but to grow in life and
ministry. These benefits, which are the Fruits of the Spirit, God’s love and
working in us, need to be known and then applied to be effective and real to us
and those around us. If we know them and then do nothing with them, they are
as useless as having health insurance but when you are sick not using it. The
same is true with trying to apply a Fruit without understanding what it is and how
it is to be used. We would be having an imitation or a skewed and perhaps even
rotten fruit as His marvelous fruit goes unnoticed and unused. It is like never
filling out the forms and starting the benefits. Not knowing God’s precepts means
we will not be able to apply, because what we may be applying is not of Him!
Do not be shortsighted concerning your faith and the opportunities Christ
has and will still bring. If we do not have a desire to pursue the will of God, we
have to ask ourselves why and what is in the way. Most, if not all of the time, it is
the desire of sin that blocks us. Sometimes we may not recognize sin and
perhaps rationalize it away. This happens especially when it is dumbed down and
shown as OK in the media and entertainment, which are at our disposal. Our
election is proven by our obedience and growth in Christ!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Why are called to grow in Him? Why do so many Christians see their faith
as “on hold” until when it may be needed, and/or doing nothing or just what
they can get away with?

2. What have you received from Christ that drives your life? What is in the
way? What are you going to do about it?
3. What does it mean to you to make every conceivable effort to put into
practice your faith and fruit? How is this necessary for your life?

4. How would you describe moral excellence? Can you give an example of
it? Is it something that just happened? Why, or why not? What must happen
for character and fruit to be exhibited?

5. What does it take for you to have a greater desire and ability to grow,
practice, and apply your faith?

6. What happens when we are myopic in our outlook on life? How will
neglecting our faith and Lord cause us to fail at what is important? How have
you seen this?

7. Why is love the essential, quintessential fruit of the Christian life? How
would you define it? How do you know when it is real?

8. What does it mean that God supplements and multiplies our faith? How
has He done this in you? How can He do this more in you?

9. How do we acquire Virtue and Character? How does repentance play a


part? Do you realize that we all have privileges and responsibilities in Christ?
What are yours? What are you going to do about the abilities and promises
He has for you?

10. Has shortsightedness or a refusal to be prepared affected you in any area


of your life? What can you do to make sure you do not become shortsighted?

11. How does the practice of Character build much heartier relationships with
others? Can you think of a specific area in your life where one of the virtues
that are listed needs to be more manifested? If so, how can you make this
so?

12. Take a close look at each of the virtues listed. Which ones are you
exhibiting well? Which ones do you lack? What are you going to do about the
ones in which you are weak?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in Second Peter

2 Peter 1: 12-21: “Paying Attention to Christ!"


General idea: The main theme of Peter’s message is stated here, to pay
attention to Christ, not to falsehoods. Have you ever wondered about situations
you have faced with faith and confidence in the past but now, somehow you have
misplaced that confidence or knowledge? Perhaps you once stood firm in your
faith in Christ, but the busyness and stresses of life have distracted you. Or
perhaps you have started to believe in teachings that tingle your interests and
emotions but are not rooted in Scripture. Peter is seeking to point his people
back to what they once knew. He reminds them of the significance and relevance
of Christ. He also restates to them his authority as an eyewitness and a personal
disciple of Jesus Himself. This reminder is to a church that has slipped from truth
to what is new and fleeting. We all need reminders from people in our lives who
are mentors and good examples, and we need to be on guard against those who
seek to derail us from His Word and Truth.
Peter then shifts his focus to his coming departure from this life. He
conveys to us that life is short and we must take the initiative to do what we can
here and now with what Christ has given to us. We are called to work hard,
efficiently, and with meaning concerning His Truth. Peter warns of the power and
influence of personal philosophies people have made up for themselves that
make us feel good and give us a sense of accomplishment when we “discover”
them. What Peter has taught has not been made up. Jesus is real and is Power;
He is the real Truth! And, Christ is coming again! The message from Peter and
the Prophets was not manmade or clever philosophical wisdom; rather, it came
from God Himself. In addition, the Prophets and Apostles as well as science,
reason, history, and personal testimonies verify it.

Vs. 12-15: The people to whom Peter was writing were being clever with words
and arguments in making up their own spurious doctrines. They were confusing
others and twisting what Peter had said. Peter shows them his Apostolic
testimony, that what he has taught from Christ is real, impacting truth.

• Remind you/stir you up was an ancient “moral exhortation” to illustrate that


false teachings by manipulative and prideful men have taken a foothold.
Peter’s theme was that the Word of God, the Gospel, and all teaching must
be true to His Word. His congregation should and would have known what
was true (Matt. 28:10; Heb. 10:24-25).

• Tent/in his body was a colloquialism that meant body. Perhaps Peter was
warned by the Spirit that his time was limited. Thus, his point is that time, for
all us, is short, but we have hope. The physical nature of our humanity, our
life here on earth, is transitory and temporary. Our real home is Heaven (John
1:14; 2 Cor. 5:1-4).

• Make every effort indicates to pay close attention. This was, conceivably,
Peter’s last chance to inform his people of what was important. His passion
and purpose was not to have a life of laziness or leisure, but be fervent in
proclaiming Christ and His Gospel. The questions for us are what are we
doing? And, how are our efforts going? We have a purpose! The results are
not as important as our obedience to follow and practice His call (John 21:18-
19)!

• Departure literately means exodus, as in leaving one place for another. Our
bodies are corporal, temporal, and temporary; we are not made for this world
but for eternity. Peter was not afraid of death, but saw it as a conversion to
the next step, which was his eternal life with Christ (Luke 9:31)!

We are called to take the spiritual initiative and be productive! Does God
need to stir you up? Are you spiritually lazy or apathetic? Does your Christian
activity line up to His revealed truth or is it based on your plans and agenda? Is
your teaching from His Word or a counterfeit? Always be willing to know the
difference and be willing to repent and seek forgiveness when you are wrong!
True Christianity and its practice never retire or become counter-productive
(Matthew 28)!

Vs. 16-21: Peter had seen the glorious, majestic splendor of Jesus firsthand and
he had heard the very voice of God. He had even replicated some of Jesus’
miracles. Many say that Peter’s confidence came from directly seeing Christ
firsthand, but that the full impact did not occur until after Jesus left them bodily
and sent His Spirit. Thus, we do not have to have seen Jesus personally to have
the same confidence that Peter and Paul had!

• We. Peter does not stand alone; he is connected with others and real Truth.
He has the witness of the other Apostles, the Law, the testimony of the
Prophets, and most importantly, the Spirit. We have all this too, plus the
completed cannon of God‘s most precious Word!

• Stories/Myths refers to untrue stories as well as flawed, thoughtless


reasoning, philosophical nonsense, mythical ideas, hearsay, and fake wisdom
coming from false, misguided, or heretical teachers (1 Tim. 1:4; 2 Tim. 4:4).

• The power. Christ is glorious; He is a fact in history and in our lives as


Believers. We are established by Truth!

• Coming of Christ. In the Greek, parousia refers to coming, imminent in its


power and approach, but not limited to a timeframe. The point is, He will
return and in incredible, unimaginable power,so be prepared (Matt. 16:27-
17:8; 24:27-30; 1 Thess. 3:13; 2 Pet. 3:4, 12).

• Eyewitness refers to Peter‘‘s Apostolic testimony and his call and


empowerment to proclaim the Truth. Here, Peter is establishing his authority
and credentials that show he was with Christ firsthand. Eyewitness accounts
and testimonies were not as reliable in ancient courts as they are today.
Thus, our faith as a testimony is but one facet among many other factual
evidences.

• Majesty. Here Peter is referring to the Transfiguration, which literally means to


change in form. This was a glimpse into the things to come,the revelation of
Jesus’ divinity in being fully God. He rarely showed His divinity, but now the
disciples could begin to fully comprehend who Jesus was and confirm their
faith and what was ahead for them (Matt. 17:1-8; Luke 9:29; John 1:14; Heb.
1:1-4). Peter uses this as his authentication. Today, we have the Spirit and
God’s Word as our testimony plus what He is personally doing in us by the
Spirit‘‘s working in our inner life to transform us (Rom. 8:11; 12:2; Col. 3:18).

• Majestic Glory/the glory. This is a Jewish circumlocution (idiom) referring to


God’s incredible presence used so to not demean, deface, or misuse the
sacred, divine name of God.

• Sacred mountain refers to the title for Zion. It also refers to Moses on Mount
Sinai and other events where God spoke to man on holy mountains (Isa. 2:2-
4).

• Made more certain/something more sure refers to the Prophetic testimony of


the Prophets plus hard evidence. We have a legacy; we do not stand alone.
Peter may also be inferring that with the Law, Prophets, and Gospel, we have
a better testimony because we have more information and power giving more
confidence and hope than the Jews have. This means we have solid proof
that no argument or human reason could stand against, unlike the seductive
conjecture and pseudo-experiences of the false teachers.

• Pay attention...you do well/you ought is an expression to do something


with your faith and life!

• A light shining in a dark place. The Prophets, and sometimes God‘s Word
today are lights shining in darkness that people may not want to see lest they
be convicted by them. And, they are never to be used for personal gain or
agendas. Real prophecy and knowledge come from God, not our agendas.
The real Prophets of the Old Testament did not seek to be Prophets or to
have an audience merely for their own power or glory. Rather, they just
obeyed God. God’s Word is a Light to the darkness of the world. We to are
not to seek glory or honor for ourselves. We are only to seek Him and allow
His Light to be used in us!

• Morning star referred to the planet Venus, and was a depiction in Judaism
meaning the advent of dawn or a new day or age. This is also a name for
Jesus‘ first coming and messiahship. It also alludes to the kingship of Israel
and refers to His second coming (Num. 24:17; Psalm 84:11; Mal. 4:2; Rev.
2:28; 22:16).
• Rises, as a sunrise gives a new day light, possibly refers to the future effect of
Christ‘‘s coming on believers as well as hope for us now. Also, His full
revelation will finally be revealed, eliminating all deceptive philosophies and
teachings. Allow His Word to shine in your heart (1 Cor. 13:8-12).

• No prophecy. Prophetic words from Divine inspiration were never from the
prophet‘s own mind, nor should any teaching in the Church be so. All
teaching must be rooted in God’s solid precepts. Even with the limits of
human vocabulary and understanding, speaking the real truth must be sought
with all diligence, as God will protect His truth (1 Cor. 5:13; 7:40; 12:4; 14; 1
Pet. 1:10-12; 2 Pet. 2:1).

• Interpretation. The Catholic Church uses this verse to mean the Bible cannot
be read by the common man. Others have taught the Bible must never be
interpreted. This is, in fact, what it does not say. Rather, it says we are not to
make up things, read into God’s Word what is not there, or merely rely on
human interpretation or tradition.

• Spoke from God meant that God’s Word is reliable and authoritative and does
not need our extra verbiage, only our application and obedience of it. The
authority is God’s, not that of the pastor or teacher who gives it commentary,
no matter how good or insightful it may be (Dan. 8:15; Zach. 1:9).

• Carried along by the Holy Spirit. This is further testimony that the Spirit is the
source of the Prophet‘s prophecy and God’s Word, all representing God’s
instructions, precepts, and authority (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:10-12).

Peter points out that the Prophets preached and wrote to an audience in
darkness and despair and who would not be convicted. He feels the same, as his
words are shining in the dark. Perhaps, you feel your efforts are the same, but
being faithful does not always means having results. We are all called to be the
bright light of His Light shining in us. We are to realize our place and in humility
realize He chooses to use our weak verbiage to enthuse and equip others to
apply His percepts and call! God is the deliverer; we are the receivers. We are to
receive in humbleness. God’s Word does not come from us, but it is moved into
us by the Holy Spirit and then proclaimed by us! The writers of the Bible were
human authors who were used by God. They actively spoke His Word as they
recorded. How heinous for us to seek to twist and manipulate His Word for our
own agenda!

Our growth in Christ has value! Real, impacting, growing faith requires our
diligence. Thus, we are asked to rekindle our Christian growth as an ongoing
effort and apply His Truth so our hearts become centered upon Him. Just think
what self-control, patience, endurance, godliness, and love would do for you and
those close to you (2 Pet. 1: 5-11)! Our failure to obey God will cause us to lose
out on so much in life and in eternity. Our diligence to remain faithful and
obedient with virtue will help enable others to do so. When we obey God, He will
reward us beyond our ability to fathom!

My four year old niece asked me, since Jesus lives in me, does He take a
nap? Jesus lives and is to shine in our hearts, and He never naps!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Do people have to remind you of important things to do so you do not


forget? How important are their reminders to you?

2. Have you ever compared what you had with faith and confidence in the
past with what you have today? Have you grown, have you remained the
same, or have you taken a backward slide?

3. What would it take for you to recover that confidence or knowledge you
once had and grow it further?

4. What can you do to pay more attention to Christ and not to falsehoods or
misleading teachings?

5. How have the busyness and stresses of life distracted you from fully
following Christ and His call and gifting for you?

6. What are some of the teachings that seem to tingle your interests and
emotions or that of others, but are not rooted in Scripture?

7. What does the significance and relevance of Christ mean to you? How
can you communicate this with more impact to others?
8. How does knowing that the message from the Word of God and Prophets
was not manmade or some clever philosophical wisdom, but rather from God
Himself give you hope and confidence to share your faith with others?

9. Can you name some of the reasons for your faith that is attested by
science, reason, history, and/or personal testimonies?

10. What is your passion and purpose in life? What are you doing about it,
and how are your efforts going? What gets in the way of these? Do they line
up with God’s precepts? How do laziness and apathy get involved?

11. We are called to take the spiritual initiative and be productive! What does
this mean to you? How does God need to stir you up? Are you spiritually lazy
or apathetic? Does your Christian activity line up to His revealed truth or is it
based on your own plans and agenda? Does the teaching you receive come
from His Word or is it a counterfeit?

12. What can your church do to remind its congregation to be on guard


against those who seek to derail them from His Word and Truth? How can
setting up mentors and good examples in order to help others make your
church be more glorious for His Glory? What is needed to make this a reality?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in Second Peter

2 Peter 2: 1-3: “The Problem of False Teachers!"

General idea: We are living in a time where the pulpits and airways are filled
with impiety, licentiousness, vain prophesies that do not come true, and shameful
counterfeit truths by false teachers and their distorted teachings. It is a darkness
that is unprecedented; those who love the Lord and are following His precepts in
servanthood become more and more rare while shallow thinking, seeking hidden
meanings, emotionalism, social trends, and the latest and greatest ideas take
center stage. False teachers are a way of the Christian life. Not THE Way; rather,
it seems they have always been with us and they will always be with us. There is
something wrong with human nature, as we want to put ourselves in the story as
the main character. We want to be the center of attention and thus lead others to
ourselves and not to Christ. We tend to do this in life and in ministry. We love to
proclaim our ideas, fantasies, and dreams and rationalize them as truth,
conniving others into following them, while Christ stands at the door and knocks.
Peter is giving us a “false teacher detector” in this chapter. Peter is
warning us of how deceptive and tricky they are, so we can be on guard and root
them out. Consider that a true follower of God is humble and operates in the
virtues Peter has already set in the first chapter as a template for us. A false
teacher sneaks and schemes in our churches, and starting to manipulate others,
seeks to lead others to their camp, which is pitched in deceptions and
falsehoods. God is put down and they are lifted up. Fanciful ideas and
personalities are shown rather than Christ crucified or as LORD. The end result
is the destruction and desolation of the churchthose people who followed even
though they knew better. But take heed; the false teachers will get their judgment
in the end. In the meantime, we have to be on security alert to protect the flock,
not allowing them in to get a foothold on His sheep. Sheep will run astray. As
shepherds, we are called to guard the sheepeven when they do not want to be
guarded!

Vs. 1: Heresies come from the minds of people who are not in Christ, who refuse
to know Him, or who do not have the conduct of Christ, even though they may be
Christians, saved by grace. They rely on opinions and not facts. The end result is
divisiveness and conflict in the church while Christ and the work He has called us
to do goes unmet and undone.

• False prophets refer to people who make up stories of future events, claim to
have visions when they did not, or confuse a vision from their imaginations as
being from God. In contrast, real prophets were humble and proclaimed what
God had clearly revealed, His heart to ours without contradiction or personal
gain and power (2 Kings 18:19; Isaiah 9:13-17; Jer. 5:31; 14:14; 23:16-32,
Ezek. 13:3-10).

• False teachers refer to counterfeit or blatant heresy as teaching what was not
revealed by the Apostles at that time or by God’s Word for our time. False
teaching is not just about doctrine; it is also about character, virtue, and
faithfully following Christ and living for Him. True teachers correct what is
false and do not appeal to people’s vanity; rather, they seek to glorify Christ
(Matt. 24:4-5, 11; Acts 20:29-30; Gal. 1:6-9; Phil. 3:2; Col. 2:4, 8, 18, 20-23; 2
Thess. 2:1-3; 1 Tim. 1:3-7; 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-8; 1 John 2:18-19, 22-23; 2 John
7-11; Jude 3-4).

• Among you. God, in many places, warns of false teachers. They are already
amongst us and will still come to us.

• Destructive refers manly to moral, spiritual, and social damage because of the
failure to have good Christian conduct.

• Heresies is a Greek term meaning to convey a truth that is not aligned to


accepted truth, or another group玍s proclaiming something different or
referring to different sects of religion. Peter and Paul used this term to
illustrate that our responsibility is to real Truth and we must fight anything that
departs from what Christ has modeled and taught, or it will lead to judgment
(Acts 24:5; 1 Cor. 11:9; Gal. 5:20)!

• Denying the sovereign Lord/Master. This means denying who and what Christ
is and has done. They were teaching and practicing immorality. This is not
about losing our salvation; if once saved, you are always saved (John 10:28-
29; Rom. 8:28-39). This means their profession of faith was possibly spurious
at best, or fictitious at worst (1 John 2:3-4, 19). Some have used this passage
to mean Christ s death was for all, not just the elect, which would allow for
universalism. This view falls away from other passages (John 6:37-40; 10:14-
15; 27-29; 11:51-52; Rom. 5:8-10; 8:28-29, 32; Gal. 2:20-21; 3:13-14; 4:4-5; 1
John 4:9-10; Rev. 1:4-6; 5:9; 22:17).

• Who brought/accept them refers to people who are in Christ, saved by grace.
These are Christians who were once of the faithful, but who turned their
backs on correct doctrine, denied His Lordship, and/or did not continue in
faithful living. This is betrayal to Christ Himself, to receive the Blood of the
Lamb and then throw water on it to dilute it and wash it away (Heb. 6:4-9;
10:26-29; 2 Pet. 2: 10-19; 1 John 2:3-4)! This is what we call backslidden in
doctrinal or moral mindsets (Prov. 14:14; Acts 21:21; 2 Thess. 2:3; 1 Tim. 4:1;
Heb. 6:4-6; 10:38, 39).

• Swift destruction refers to judgment and accountability to God that will


happen, not necessarily in a human, immediate, timely way but in God’s
perfect timing. The calamity can mean physical death or our Lord's second
coming (Matt. 24:50-51; 2 Thess. 1:9).

The references to false teachers, or those who follow such teachings, do not
necessarily mean that people who follow them were not real, sincere, saved
Christians when they got hooked, as many true followers are led astray and even
good teachers can be misled. And, there are those who purposely seek to be
deceiving, claiming to be believers when they are not. Good intentions or not, be
warned. When we do get hooked in to what is false, Christ is the One who is
pushed away! The end result s the same; people are led astray. If this happens to
you, rundo not walkaway from them! If you are a leader, confront them. If they
refuse to heed, get rid of them until they stop and make obvious repentance.

Vs. 2-3: False doctrines are extremely destructive! Why is the teaching of false
doctrines wrong? Because it distorts Christ, and God is a God of Truth. When we
do not realize His truth, we will error in other ways too, thus leading us away from
His Ways and Truth while bringing disrepute and chaos to all we do.

• Shameful ways/sensuality means “debauchery” as in reckless, incorrigible,


unrestrained, sensual indulgences of sexual immorality. This is about seeking
sinful, physical gratification, or giving into one’s desires. This leads to being
merciless and unscrupulous in one’s dealings with others! When we fight
against one another, especially in the church, it is hurtful and even pathetic in
God’s eyes (Gen. 4:8; Duet. 25:17-19; Joshua 7; Matt. 21: 1-17; Luke 9:54;
Rom. 13:13; 2 Cor. 12:21; Eph. 4:19; 1 Pet. 4:3).

• This also refers to “shame,” something that is often foreign in our society. It
means we feel guilty because of our sin or our failure to live as Christ has
called, and it affects our self-identity. This, in context, is profiteering at
another’s expense, oppression, and gaining profit from twisting truth, stealing,
or manipulating like pirates of the sea (Gen. 3:7-8; 2:25; Psalm 31:17; 35:36;
44:7; 119:30-31; 132:18; Rom. 3:23-24).

• Disrepute/blasphemed means we dishonor Christ and His Church. Because


of immorality, a lack of accountability, and rationalizing that the sin is OK, we
miss the point of Christianity.

• Greed means to love the gain of wealth over all else. It refers to being
motivated by the desire for money and seeking whatever means to get it, as
in “fleecing the flock.” Today, it can mean to commercialize the Christian faith
for personal gain rather than to glorify Christ. This abuses the church, abuses
the position of leadership, brings distrust to the standing of the church, and
brings dishonor to Christ (1 Cor. 9:14-15; 12:17-18; 1 Tim. 5:17-18; 6:5; 1 Pet.
5:2).

• These teachers referred to people who traveled from one place or church to
another and charged fees to perform divinations, visions, occult practices, or
held new theories in theology that did not come from the Apostles or the Old
Testament. They were about exploiting people for the money and glory by
perverting the truth (Prov. 28:23; 29:5; 1 Thess. 2:1-6)!

• Not been sleeping. It seems false teachers have the money, fan base, and
advantage, but God is not asleep; judgment is at hand for them!

The Bible warns us that when the clever lie, appealing to people玍s lust
for what is new and counterfeit and appealing to vanities by fake flattery, and the
deceit of the false teachers does not take hold, they will resort to claiming that
what is true is false. Because their ideas are divorced from sound reason or
scriptural foundation, they will scoff and scorn the real Truth and the tenets of the
faith. They will make fun of it and twist it so the truth becomes the lie and the lie
becomes the truth. Their goal is to take you away from Christ as Lord and
enslave you to vain philosophies and ideas that glorify people and the self rather
than Christ. Christ is their enemy. It is all about control. Will it be God, you, or
them (Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:1-2)?

How can you tell if someone is a false teacher? Simply by the fact that
what they teach is not rooted in the precepts of God’s most precious Word! Just
as a bank teller must learn what a real hundred-dollar bill looks and feels like so
when the fake comes he/she will be prepared, so it is regarding false teachers.
However, most Christians may not be able to tell what is truth compared to what
is fable or false. There is also another way to tell, and that is how they are in
disposition and Fruit. False teachers are typically self centered, egotistical, and
manipulative; life is all about them. The Fruit of the Spirit is not flowing, and in its
place are pride and strife. They tend to have charismatic personalities so people
become enamored by their celebrity and persona while they ignore their goods.
In contrast, our example is humbleness and virtue, love and kindness, as well as
strength under controland that is our Lord Jesus Christ. Is he/she acting like a
servant, or positioning self for power and prestige? Rather than in flashy
manipulative personalities, in bait and switch, or in secretive or scheming
teachers, the truth of God is revealed in the character and in words that are
spoken by the teacher. Rarely if ever have I seen a false teacher be humble,
caring, or loving, or have a servant玍s heart. It is all about them; God may be
proclaimed, but the message will be so rare or watered down, it is diluted beyond
being usable.

What is to stop false teachers is our discipleship and accountability with


others? Being immersed in the Word so we follow His percepts, not ours or those
of another person.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What do you consider to be false teachings? Why do you suppose they


have always been with us?

2. How would you describe shallow thinking? Why do you suppose people
prefer not to think or examine something carefully to see if it is true or not?

3. What teachings are in the Church that, in your opinion, need to be


confronted and countered?
4. Have you ever been attracted to false teachings? If so, how and why? If
not, how have you guarded yourself from them?

5. Why do you suppose that many pulpits and airways are filled with false
prophecies and false teachings?

6. Why would a church be taken in by social trends, fanciful ideas,


personalities, or the latest and greatest ideas that are contrary to God’s
Word? How do false teachers connive others into following them?

7. How do false teachers work to undermine the real work of Christ? What is
an example of their use of deception and manipulation? How do they twist
God’s truth?

8. What is an example of what they teach? What is the difference between


what is essential and orthodox, what we can agree to disagree about, and
what is counterfeit that needs to be fought and removed?

9. What does it mean to be motivated by the desire for money? How are
false teachings a betrayal to Christ Himself?

10. How do people become enamored by a false teacher’s celebrity and


persona while they ignore their goods? What can the church do to better
educate people to avoid them?

11. When we fight against one another, especially in the church, how is this
impacting our communities for the gospel? It is important to know when to
fight and when to let it go so it does not divert others from Him.

12. What can you do to be on guard against false teaching? What should your
church do if a pastor or any other person teaches what is false and
misleading and refuses to repent? True teachers correct what is false and do
not appeal to people’s vanity; rather, they seek to glorify Christ. What are you
going to do about this?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 2: 4-11: “False Teachers Will be Judged and Destroyed!"

General idea: Take heed, God will destroy those who are wicked; but take
comfort, for He also will rescue those who are in Him. No one is immune from the
judgment of God. No one will escape God’s wrath! We cannot think that because
of grace we have a “license to kill,” or to teach as we see fit, or to do as we
please, thinking God will forgive us. Yes, we have special favor and dispensation
with grace and receive a multitude of forgiveness. However, to deliberately sin,
do wrong, or teach what is false or misleading and knowingly continue in it,
thinking it is OK, will cause us big trouble. God did not excuse the angels when
they sinned and fell to become demons. God did not spare any ancient culture or
people group, tribe, clan, family, or person who transgressed His law. For all
have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God. Cities were destroyed,
and vast civilizations were wiped out, never to be known to us today. Such
judgments set a tone for us to heed. We are to consider ourselves as clearly
warned. To distort or pervert God’s most precious Word has a well-deserved
death sentence attached to it in the Kingdom.
Humanity is bent on seeking what is false and trading truth for a lie. We
love arrogance and lust, despise authority, scoff at those who are righteous, and
seek sin rather than Him. Yet, in the midst of judgment and doom, God has grace
and spares those who fear and love Him. We have hope and certainty when we
hold on to truth in Jesus and point out lives in His direction. With grace, God
does not seek perfection, as no one would be able to make it. However, He does
seek for us to be the best we can be. We will make mistakes and be forgiven, but
we need to keep moving in His direction, perfecting and improving our spiritual
and earthly lives to glorify Him as Lord (Rom. 3:23; 6:23)!

Vs. 4-9: Take the warning. God did not spare the angels who fell and He will not
spare those who live ungodly lives, those who are self-willed, and/or those who
refuse His grace. This is serious! God does not want hucksters in His church,
people who use devious methods to promote themselves or false doctrines.
There is no escape from God’s judgmentthen or now. So, be wise, get real, and
fall to your knees in repentance if you have ever misled someone in the name of
Christ. You may think you have escaped God’s notice or care. But, your judgment
will be a reality; it will be swift and heinous, and you will be deserving of it.
However, our repentance is sweet to His ears; He forgives us in abundance, but
our repentance is a must to obtain His forgiveness (Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:28ff; Titus
1:10-16)!

• Angels when they sinned. There are two main references in Scripture that
depict how angels sinned. The first is in Genesis 6:1-4 where the “sons of
God” (as in angels) intermarried and cohabitated with humans, producing the
Nephilim. (God has since made this impossible for them.) The “sons of God”
could have been another created order we do not know about. See Mark
12:25; Jude 6; and 1 Enoch (Pseudepigrapha, a non-canonical book). The
second main sin was when one-third of the angels (satan and His legion of
demons) fell to evil and sin (Gen. 3; Psalm 148:2, 5; Isa. 14:12–15; Ezek.
28:12, 17; 1 Cor. 10; Rev. 12:7–9).

• Sent them to hell. The Greek is Tartarus, which was a Greek term (from
Homer’s metaphors) to indicate where the wicked spirits and peoples were
“cast out” to be penalized and severely tortured. Tartarus was made for the
Titans who were super beings, the children of Uranus and Gaea, who
conspired to rule the heavens but were defeated by Zeus. For the Jews, it
was a place for fallen angels. For the Kingdom of God, this is a “holding cell”
for the wicked while they await their trial and judgment. Scripture seems to
indicate some demons are allowed to run free (while others are in prison for
reasons that are not given) perhaps to do God’s bidding to test and perfect us
(Acts 17:28; Titus 1:12).

• Judgment. This refers to the final judgment, called the great white throne
judgment (Rev 20:11-15). Hell is real; you do not want to go there!

• Ungodly people. A reference to our total depravity (Gen. 6:5, 11-12, 8:21).

• Preacher of righteousness is a description of Noah who was a person


dedicated to righteous living amongst a pagan culture of debauchery. In
Jewish traditional writings (Sibylline Oracles and Jubilees), Noah is portrayed
as preaching against sin and condemning the lifestyles of the wicked who, if
they did not pursue repentance, would not inherent eternity (Gen 6:1-14).

• Seven others refers to Noah's family who were eight in number (Gen. 1 Pet.
3:20). God is loving and will save those He has chosen.

• Condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah conveys the image of the
embodiment of ultimate sin (Gen. 19; 32:32; Isa. 1:9-10; 3:9; 13:19; Jer.
23:14; 50:40; Lam. 4:6; Ezek. 16:46; Zeph. 2:9).

• Distressed by the filthy lives. Lot was called a "righteous man," even though
he performed the dubious action of offering His daughters to be raped, not to
mention what happened to his wealth and what he was doing in that city. This
is very perplexing. Perhaps hospitality customs, a code of honor, and the
honor of entertaining and protecting the angels when the city folk wanted to
rape them was greater than the rights and honor of women then. Later on, Lot
allowed his daughters to rape him twice to produce sons, thinking the world
was ended and they were all that was left. Thus, maybe he just was not wise
like Abraham and acted with good intentions, and, even though he was
wrong, thought he was doing the right thing. Perhaps he was forgiven;
perhaps the veracity of his life was good. In any case, God chose him to be
righteous by grace just as he has done with us. Perhaps God honored
Abraham’s intercession for him. Take comfort that when we are in Christ, God
will deliver us out of temptation and rescue us (Gen. 13: 10-11; 18:23-32;
19:1-17, 30-38).

• Continuing their punishment/keep under punishment points to a reference to


the future or the possibility that God does preliminary punishment before the
judgment, and/or that God holds those who are wicked and destined for
punishment before the Judgment, just as the police do with criminals before
their trial. The point is the certainty of their punishment.

God will destroy those who are wicked! As we look at church history and
what goes on today, the devil continues his work of evil and is persistent in
assaulting the work of our Lord and what He calls us to be doing in the world!

Vs. 10-11: Peter is dedicated to condemnation and getting rid of false teachers in
the church. And, he makes it clear that false teachers will be judged severely,
because those who teach are under a great responsibility to teach correctly and
in truth. When we deceive others because we follow the will of our ways, we
prove our sinful nature is in control and that we do not care. The other main
reason why false teachers engage in their wicked craft is they have a distain for
authority and disrespect for God.

• This is especially true. This is a reference to the power and actuality that
heretics will be judged. This may also have been a reference to the practice
of immoral sexuality and/or homosexuality because of the reference made to
Sodom and its reputation.

• Slander celestial beings/glorious ones. The Greek means to slander “glories.”


This means to blaspheme angels or anyone who represents God and His
sovereignty. The false teachers may have also denied the reality of angels or
demons, or mocked them since they also denied the reality of Christ. This
also refers to those who hate authority, challenging, disrespecting, and
despising authority, even that which comes directly from God. Some of the
false teachers were being theatrical and were slandering demons and making
fun of them, thinking they were muting their power, which they were not. They
were only subverting true spiritual warfare which is to invoke Christ’s power
and Supremacy, not ourselves. This also applies to despising and slandering
of pastors and church leaders who speak out against false teachers (Acts
19:13; Eph. 1:19-23; Jude 8-11).

• Angels . . . do not bring slanderous accusations. Angels seem to have the


right to talk back and to place blame where blame is due, or to defend
themselves, but they, by reason of the character Christ demonstrated by
going to the cross, chose not to dare to bring accusations against demons.
Possibly, this was because this is God’s providence, and they showed respect
for His sovereignty over them. This can also mean a dismissive attitude
towards demons and spiritual warfare, thus allowing the influence of Satan to
flourish by denying his power and influence (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Tim. 1:20).

The problem with false teachers is that they corrupt the church. To
propagate lies that devalue, demean or distort the Person and Work of Christ is
heinous. Consider that Christ is the One who loves us beyond measure and
rescues us from our sins, which we do not deserve. When we distract others
from whom and what He is and has done, we not only bite the hand that feeds
us, but we betray our only hope and reason in life.

God is a God who loves to rescue us. But, we have to want to be rescued
from of our distorted lives and thinking. He sends the Spirit ahead to prepare us
for salvation. Then, when we become Christians, the Spirit lives and works in us.
We are still sinful and seek sin, so we must make the determination to allow the
Spirit and His Word to influence us to seek His Truth more, and learn and grow in
Him. We are naturally bent on rebelling and hating authority, wanting to do things
our way and not His Way. God will be hard on us until we get itto love, trust,
and obey His Truth because His ways are best; ours will leave us unhappy and
bankrupt. God does not want us to be bankrupt. He wants us to be triumphant in
Him, and to proclaim Him in our lives.

We must be aware that we have a problem in the church today, and that
problem is false teachers! Our awareness needs to jump to being proactive,
doing a better job of screening people and providing church discipline, sanction,
and even removal of people who willfully, purposely distort God’s most precious
Truth. We have to ask are we, as Lot was, sick of the immorality and hatred of
God? For someone to deliberately distort His truth shows they are perhaps
mentally ill, delusional, or they hate God, because God is a God of Truth and if
you do not love truth, the only logical conclusion is that you must hate God.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

What does this passage say?


What does this passage mean?
What is God telling me?
How am I encouraged and strengthened?
Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of my
listening to God?
How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
What can I model and teach?
What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. How much influence do people in church authority have on you? Are


position and authority important to you? Why, or why not?

2. Why do you suppose that no one is immune from the judgment of God?
How can God’s will to judge give you hope and comfort?
3. Why do people think that because of grace, they can get away with false
teaching? Considering that it is clear that God will judge false teachers, why
do people follow them?

4. Can you give an example of someone seeking what is false and/or trading
a truth for a lie? What do you think would be the motivation to do this?

5. Why are arrogance, lust, and despising authority attractive to people?


Why would someone scoff at those who are righteous, and deliberately seek
sin rather than Christ?

6. What can motivate you to seek to be the best you can be? How can you
take comfort that God will deliver you out of temptation and rescue you from
harm?

7. How can a dismissive attitude toward demons and spiritual warfare


actually permit the influence of Satan to thrive? Why would some people, who
claim they do spiritual warfare, engage Satan by their own authority rather
than by invoking Christ’s power and supremacy?

8. How and why does being theatrical without teaching or only a little
teaching attract people versus just quality teaching? What should a pastor do
or not do to attract people?

9. What are some of the reasons why false teachers engage in their wicked
craft? Why would someone in church authority hate, disrespect, and despise
authority, even that which comes directly from God?

10. What needs to take place in some people for them to have the desire to
be rescued out of their distorted thinking?

11. What would it mean and what would your will and your life look like if you
became more triumphant in Him and lived to proclaim Him? So, how can you
make the determination to allow the Spirit and His Word to influence you to
seek more of His Truth, and to learn and grow in Him more?

12. How do false teachers corrupt the church? How do false teachings
devalue, demean, and/or distort the Person and Work of Christ? What can
you and your church do to be proactive and on guard?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org


Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 2: 12-16: “The Characteristics of False Teachers!"

General idea: This passage gives the reason and point of why Peter attacks and
wages war against false teachers. It is a main theme of his message. Peter is
telling us that false teachers are like untamed, wild animals that only follow their
instincts; they do not think about what they do, or care that what they do is
harmful. Their arrogance is like that of a useless animal that is a danger to
people and must be put to death to save others from harm. Like a wild animal,
they only live to satisfy their own needs and pleasures. They seek to devour and
feast on the unstable minds of others and their inability to discern, and do not
care about real, authentic teaching. Most people seem to prefer the excitement of
emotionalism or the self-help from a Dr. Phil type, and not the wisdom of God or
the accountability and insights from the shepherding of a man grounded in God’s
Word. False teachers, in their lust for new nuances that are not true or seeking
what is a lie over and against what is clearly revealed in Scripture as truth are
foolish and harmful to others. By seeking evil and harm when God’s call is to
display excellence and correctness in teaching, they create chaos in His Church.

Vs. 12-13: False teachers are immoral and will be condemned! What gets the
false teachers in more trouble is that they teach what they do not know, while
claiming they do know, and they do not care that what they teach is wrong. They
seek people who are allured by fantasy, emotionalism, or the lust of a new
nuance that is not true.

• Matters they do not understand refers to seeking special knowledge and


secrets for greater self-fulfillment that are so esoteric and illogical they do not
make sense. This was the way it was in the early development of Gnosticism.
It is ironic for those who sought knowledge by their arrogance because the
knowledge they sought was completely absurd and showed them to be fools.
This was also, of course, blasphemy to our Lord!

• Like brute beasts. This is a sarcastic insult condemning their irrational


teachings and behaviors, which were like that of wild animals who are
dangerous and worthless to commune with. They are only usable to hunt for
food and destruction is their only future. The contrast is that people are to be
reasoning beings, whereas animals are not able to think. They only have
instinct. Stoic philosophers considered unreasoning humans to be as wild
beasts.

• Paid back with harm. What you “dish out” will boomerang back to you. This is
not the karma of Hinduism; rather, we reap what we sowgood or bad (Job
4:8; Psalm 126:5; Jer. 12:13; Hosea. 10:12; Luke 19:21; Rom. 6:21-23; 2 Cor.
9:6; Gal. 6:8-10).
• Carouse in broad daylight refers to the reveling associated with all-night
pagan parties, and the corrupt practices that ruined empires, clans, and
families. Sin is usually committed in the darkat nighttimewhich is why
shady nightclubs and such places are always dark. Turn on the lights in such
a place, then run in fear of your life, as the yelling and cursing will surely
happen. People do not want to be found out for their sin. However, these
people pursued their wickedness in the daylight and did not even care and
about being found out. They flaunted sin unashamedly, showing themselves
to be worse than the pagans. God calls us to good conduct and to self-control
(Isa. 57:20; 1 Thess. 5:7).

• In their pleasures refers to self-indulgencesseeking to distort, connive, and


manipulate others for one玍s own amusement or purpose. Being self-
indulgent pushes God away by our refusal to acknowledge Him in all aspects
of our lives, forsaking maturity for what is dangerous and corruptive. They
were turning the holy observance of the Lord’s Supper into a shameless
nightclub scene of debauchery and sexual sin.

• In their pleasures/their deceptions. They were deceiving people, changing


truth for a lie, and calling lust love. Thus, they were not promoting real love,
rather lies and covetousness!

• They feast with you refers to the communion the Early Church did which was
a shared meal and then a retelling of the Last Supper (Jude 12). The false
teachers were making a parody of the Last Supper, diminishing its scope and
value by perverting it and using it to entertain, connive, and as a “put down” to
others (1 Cor. 10:14-17; 11:17-22, 27-34). There is also a Greek word play
here where the word for pleasure and deception, apatais, is similar to the
word for “love feast,” apapais. If not dealt with, these false teachers will feast
on you and your church!

False teachers need to be revealed and dealt with swiftly. In Peter’s time,
they were proclaiming union with God and peace without worrying about sin, that
there is no judgment, and that Christ is not coming back so we can do as we
please with grace. This gets people excited and focused on things that are not in
God’s plan or purpose. Hence, He is ignored and the false prophet is lifted up.
Twisting God’s truths to fit our whims and to rationalize our sin is blatantly evil.
Do not allow this in your church!

Vs. 14-16: Teaching what is clearly wrong or leading others in error is a disgrace
to who Christ is and what He did for us. It betrays Christ, blasphemes Him, and is
adultery to God. It mutes His precepts from those who are unwilling or unable to
think about, research, or realize a truth from a lie. The sad thing about this is that
the counterfeit teachers have nothing while thinking they have everything. In fact,
all the false teachers have is their judgment and destruction to look forward to
unless they repent.
• Eyes full of adultery means “eyes full of adulterous women,” and refers to
desire and seeking women for sin, always thinking about adulterous or “easy”
women, and seeking to sin with them. This is unquenchable sensuality. One is
so full of thinking about the opposite sex that there is no room for industrious
pursuits or godly thinking. Hence, the importance of moral training is
understood (Matt. 5:27-28)!

• Seduce/entice means ensnare by the means of deception, as in to hunt


animals or to lure fish with bait to catch them. Here, it is tempting and enticing
unbalanced, naïve, and unthinking people for evil desires. God calls us to
practice moral strength so to not be enticed. A firm foundation of faith and
trust in Christ will keep us from being enticed and being deceived. If not, we
will be easy prey (James 1:14; 2 Pet. 1:12).

• Experts/trained in greed. Expert means having a heart or passion. Greed


means self-indulgence, and implies the exercise and training of an athlete but
not for sport. Rather, it is to pursue decadence and bad behaviors. They were
literally teaching and training people for greed and debauchery, and
personally profiting from their “disciples!” False teachers love sin and will
rationalize that it is OK, and enticing others to sin also!

• Accursed brood/children means disinherited children who received a curse


and not a blessing or inheritance because of their wicked acts or betrayal
and/or refers to just being doomed, under a curse.

• Balaam was a Jewish proverbial saying for being foolish, seeking greed, and
dishonorable character. Balaam was a Midianite and was a prophet of God. In
the book of Numbers. His story was of one who sought riches and his desires
over what God had gifted him with and the call to use the gifts appropriately.
He became a mercenary of greed who enticed the Jews to sin and they were
judged. He symbolizes gluttony and the seeking of evil, and was considered
worse than an invading army. He was a man who wanted it both waysGod’s
and his. Thus, he engaged in what was futile and foolish. Peter was using the
most foolish person typified in the O.T to show how absurd and irrational the
false teachers were. (Num. 22-25, 31:1 -18, especially 23:7; 24:5-9, 17; 25;
31:8-16; Deut. 23:4; Josh. 13:22; Micah 6:5; Jude 11; Rev. 2:14).

• Rebuked. Balaam was chastised for his insanity in choosing to pursue evil
rather than what God had called. He knew better, yet he did not yield (2 Kings
9:11; Jer. 29:26).

• Beast without speech/speechless donkey. God directly opened the donkey玍s


mouth, or perhaps he used the angel who possessed the donkey to speak to
Balaam. The angel then stood in Balaam’s way with a sword. Notice the ironic
context of animals in this passage. Here, an animal is used to instruct a so-
called wise man! The “ass” had more spiritual insight than this so-called
Prophet. The angel and donkey only temporarily restrained Balaam, who then
resorted to manipulation to get his unjust reward. The people in Peter’s
church were acting like animals; they sought what was forbidden, conniving
and manipulating others for their personal gain and evil desires (Num. 22:27-
35).

Balaam. He had the knowledge and some power from the One True God,
yet he purposely allowed Balak to manipulate him with riches to curse the
Israelites and bless the Midianites, which God had forbidden him to do. Balaam
sought money over God’s call and precepts and engaged his gifts for foolish
gain, enticing the Israelites to evil. He played a dangerous game of deception
and straddling the fence between God’s ways and his faulty desires and lust.
God had to use a donkey to talk to him as he refused to heed God and His ways.
However, he still did not listen, and God was forced to constrain him to have him
utter prophecies concerning the future of Israel and of His glory. Thus, He did
bless the Israelites, but he also showed the Midianites how to get them by
enticing them to sin with their women, which the Israelites soon did. Balaam’s
name went from meaning a prophet of greatness to being a reference to a feeble
foreigner or glutton, a name of shame.
Balaam shows us we can choose our path in life. We have two paths we
can takethe way of Balaam or the way of God. One leads to hell and
destruction by our seeking foolishness. The other leads to eternity with Him by
accepting the righteousness of Christ. There is no straddling the fence in the
Kingdom of God. We can choose to be foolish or we can choose to be righteous.
Which way will you choose? False teachers show their path, for they do not have
good character. You will know them from the Fruit of Galatians 5:19-21 whereas
a true teacher of God will personify the Fruit of Galatians 5:16-18, 22-23!

Do not let false teachers feast on the people in your church!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?
Additional Questions:

1. Have you ever been attacked or sacred by a wild animal? How did you
feel? How does this compare to listening or accepting false teaching?

2. Why do you suppose sin is usually preformed in the darkness? Can you
give an example of exchanging truth for a lie?

3. Why do you suppose Peter states that false teachers basically are like
untamed wild animals? How does arrogance play a part in false teaching?

4. How do misleading teachings and watering down the Word create chaos
in His Church?

5. How have you seen false teachers devour and feast on people’s inability
to discern?

6. Why do some Christians prefer the excitement of emotionalism or the self-


help teachings from a Dr. Phil type rather than the wisdom of God from a
good Bible teacher?

7. What do you suppose the motivations are of someone who, like Balaam,
causes another to seek evil and harm or desire his own way rather than His
way? Do you understand the importance of good teaching done with
excellence and correctness?

8. How does the desire to give people what they want to hear over what they
need to hear affect your church?

9. What are some of the ways false teachers use to promote themselves or
their false doctrines? How and why do they attract people? What would
happen if your church screened its teachers and provided church discipline
for those who teach falsehoods?

10. Why do false teachers need to be revealed and dealt with swiftly? How do
Christians set themselves up as easy prey for false teachers? What happens
when we think we may offend and thus take no action?

11. How can having accountability, good teaching insights, and the
shepherding from people who are grounded in God’s Word help spare your
church from false teachings and going astray from God and His call? What
can you and your church do to keep the church grounded in the Word?

12. What can you and your church do to stand up for virtue and morality, even
when the community around you is disgusted by it? How can the commitment
to model and teach God’s Word clearly with good, self-controlled conduct
prevent false teaching? So, what can you do about this?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 2: 17-22: “False Teachers are Deceptive!"

General idea: The false teacher is depicted as absolutely useless and downright
dangerous! In an arid environment where thirst is great, there is nothing worse
than coming upon an expected stream of fresh water and finding that is has dried
up. The trek and energy wasted can be insurmountable. A false teacher is
someone who has a clever plan and show, seeking to water those who thirst, but
their water is bitter and dangerous. The real, needed water is absent. The people
of God need to be watered and fed upon the precepts of His incredible Word.
When we teach what is wrong, we waste not only good opportunities, but we
contribute nothing of real value. We only deceive, harm the flock, and bring ill
repute to God’s glory and reputation.
In Peter’s day, the real, sincere philosophers were often overshadowed by
uneducated, whimsical, and manipulative people called “pseudo-philosophers”
who claimed and propagated ideas, using rhetoric and sensationalism to move
the people in debauchery. These are the people who led in the downfall of the
Roman Empire! Goodness was ridiculed while sin was upheld. Virtue was scoffed
at while indulgence was taught and sought by conniving men. These
manipulative men put down knowledge, goodness, virtue, and the real
philosophers who proclaimed them. Socrates, who taught ethical knowledge and
confronted the loose mores of his day, was accused of immorality and corrupting
others; then, he was sentenced to death. He was teaching virtue when the
governing leaders were living in extreme “un-virtuous” lives. The Jews and
Christians were attacked for the same reasons. They stood for virtue and
morality in a society that abhorred it. How little has changed since 400 B.C.!

Vs. 17-19: When we deliver nothing to the people in our churches, we miss not
only His call, but we forsake our own faith and obligations. We have to see the
seriousness of this. God’s Word tells us that false teachers are doomed to the
blackest darkness of Hell. Why would anyone want to tread on such thin and
dangerous ice?

• Springs without water/waterless springs means barren wells that the parched
traveler, expecting water, would have trekked hard and far for, only to be
deceived by finding them empty. Water in the Palestine area is a precious
resource; a dried-up well is useless and frustrating. Referring to water to feed
our physical body, our spiritual life needs to be watered by what is nutritious
and good for us, and that is the truth of God’s uncorrupted Word. Living Water
is a continual theme used in Scripture and by John in particular. A false
teacher will promise fulfilling truth, but he can only offer cruel deceptions by
misleading, disappointing, and frustrating people, giving them dried-up and
useless water (Prov. 13:14; Jer. 14:3; John 4:13-15).

• Mists refers to the fine water a storm blows that is so dispersed it can’t be
caught or used. This also means storm clouds that in a time before irrigation
just go overhead and never drop their water to the needy people below. False
teachers cannot provide needed spiritual nourishment (Jude 12).

• Blackest darkness/gloom of utter/outer darkness was sometimes a symbol of


Hell and torment. Here the false teacher’s destiny is Hell!

• They mouth empty words/loud boasts of folly means that they may use words
to persuade, but, under careful examination, the words are empty and
meaningless.

• Entice people. This is referring to luring people back to sin after they have
escaped it by turning to Jesus. When we are new to the faith or not grounded
enough in the faith to know His principles, we can be easily deceived.

• Promise freedom. The false teachers were twisting the concept and reality of
grace, saying that because of it, we are no longer bound to the Law but rather
have the liberty to do as we please and God will forgive. But, the point is that
we are not free from His moral law and we do have responsibility and
obligations. True freedom is to flee indulgences and sin not seek and engage
them (Rom. 6:15-18; 1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 3:25; 5:13-18; 2 Pet. 3:16).

• Slaves of depravity/corruption means that we can become too entrenched in


our passions and sin so that we see no way out and even do not desire to
come out of it. The slave here refers to the captives of an invading army, who
desperately desire freedom. The theme is ironic, as they do not want their
freedom. Passions that drive us will soon overtake us. The passion of
exploiting others is evil; this is prostitution. Sin captivates us when we seek
freedom from God. Rather, we should be joyful slaves to God so we can be
freed from sin (Rom. 6:15-18).

Have you ever actually seen a dog vomit and then go back and try to eat
it? How is this like sin? This is disgusting, but Scripture uses this metaphor as a
Proverb for a reason. Returning to sin or to bad ideas that we escaped from is
the same. False teachers will lure you with sin or corruption, telling you it is
liberty. They even lure those who turned away from the pagan practices to return
to them, saying it is OK. They trip them up, right back into the prison from which
they made their escape by God’s jailbreak. The irony is these false teachers who
teach about knowledge and freedom are themselves trapped in their own prison
of nonsense, empty of God’s instruction.

Vs. 20-22: What enslaves you? What enslaves us is what controls us, whether it
is a bad codependent relationship, an actual jail sentence, or following
sensationalism and faulty ideas. It will all trap and blind us. If we leave it, it is still
there following us at a distance, seeking to lure us back. The devil will use this
powerful means as well as your will and desires. We must be strong and hold
onto our faith with assurance and confidence, or we will be like the dog that
returns to its vomit!

• Escaped the corruption refers to professing Christ and then retuning to the
ways of the flesh, seeking falsehoods and not righteousness. They were
being superficial and naïve at best and blatantly evil and manipulative at
worst. Both the false teachers, if they were really saved, and the people they
infected jumped from the frying pan of sin into Jesus loving lap, only to go
ahead and jump into the fire below! They had His freedom, grace, and
knowledge, but rejected it for that which is dark, foolish, and foreboding.

• Better not to have known. It is better not to have known real truth than to
know it and then reject it. This is the ultimate idiocyto have something great
and true, then to trade it in for what is fallacious and evil. We have
responsibly as Christians. We know the truth and we are responsible to follow
the truth (Luke 12:47-48).

• The way was the original name for Christians and the Church. The name
Christian, once a derogatory term, did not take hold until many years later.

• Turn their backs. We are called to persevere in the faith and preserve the faith
(John 10:26-30; 1 John 2:19).

• A dog…pig. Dogs in the first century were not the beloved pets we have now.
They were mostly wild, mangy, roamed the streets, and were regarded with
contempt. Some dogs were used for guarding homes, and pigs were for
feeding Gentile travelers. Pigs were considered the most filthy and unclean of
all animals. These animals preferred the filth to cleanliness. This was casting
a very derogatory picture of how bad false teachers were, calling them utter
fools because they were enticing others to be in filth (Ex. 22:31; Lev. 11:7;
Prov. 26:11; Isa. 65:4; Math. 7:6; Rev. 22:15).

• Washed means that just because we appear clean on the outside, that is no
guarantee that we are clean on the insideunless Jesus has washed us
clean! Religious traditions, rituals, and piety are no real proof of a person’s
faith, whereas one’s character and visible fruit is.

Many of Peter’s people knew the truth of Christ and remained in His truth,
but some of them decided to reject the truth for new, more exciting teachings that
gave them comfort and excitement without personal responsibility or obedience.
They sought the honor of their own thoughts and teachings and rejected the real
honor of being in Christ. When we claim to be Christians and do not act like it we
will hinder the Gospel’s message and lead others astray from The Way. This
gives Christianity a bad name and reputation. We are called to practice
exceptional behavior and excellence so we can show Christ through our lifestyles
without even using words. Then, when we do use words, they will have impact (1
Tim. 6:1; Titus 2:5-10).

A false teaching is anything proclaimed that compromises the Person and


Nature of God or His teachings. We do this by seeking our own insights and
ungrounded rationales, and not the precepts of Scripture. By relying on intuitions
rather than realities and facts, people are led astray. We must always compare
what we think to the principles of Scripture, never to others who may be of like
minds, because “group-think” will take over. Groupthink absorbs the decisions
made by a group or charismatic leader, manipulating all to think alike. It is
exemplified by the gullible approval and conformity to the “group’s” popular
opinion and not facts or rationale. This type of thinking minimizes individual
responsibility and is used to rationalize one another’s faulty views as well as sin.
We are also to pay attention to Balaam’s error in the previous passage and not
make our ministry and life a game or get caught up in sin. Rather, we are to see
the importance of who Christ is and what He taught so we can emulate Him and
His ways, not ours.

False doctrines usually come to us in the disguise of new nuances and


revelations that others in the past just did not see before. This could be
something like a new or deeper understanding of a Greek word, or a meaning
that was hidden, but is now fully revealed to us. Such counterfeit new ideas are
false because they contradict or pervert. We do get new insights and applications
from understanding customs, history, word meanings, exegetical insights, and
the like, but they never twist or contradict what is already clearly revealed. The
bottom line is there has been nothing new since the close of the Canon of
Scripture. What has been new is how many ways people have been deceived
and led astray! The Bible says what it says and means what it means; there is
nothing new under the Son. It is only our pride that needs to be fed by what is
new so to point to the good fortune and insights of what we have found.
However, if you pay attention, these new insights usually do not last long and
lead many, many astray. The fruit is noise and strife, not trust and obedience. If
the greatest Christian minds who ever lived in an eighteen hundred year period
of time did not find what you think you have, pray carefully that it is not your pride
that is being revealed. If you think you have something new, oh my, what pride
lays inside you; my, oh my, how you have been deceived by it. Please don’t
deceive others, too!

Teaching what is clearly wrong is wrong! It is corruption at its worst; it is


prostitution as in atrocious sin. The root of all this, and what is most scandalous
before our God of grace, is our heinous pride! What comes from a person who is
a false teacher who is based on pride? It is absurdity! A person grounded in the
Word should be able to detect and discourage others from following him or her.
However, we succumb to the emotionalism and slick enticement and forget about
our God of Truth.

Never think that popularity or the numbers of followers are signs of


authenticity, as people can easily be swayed to believe lies. There is no real
comfort in crowds, only in the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ! Do not let false
teachers prey upon the people in your church! Name them and claim them as
being of Satan and boot them out of your church, because they are not of God.
Use their words against them and show them the door!

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Have you ever actually seen a dog vomit and then go back and try to eat
it? Yes, this is disgusting. How is this like sin? Sin is disgusting!

2. How does being very thirsty compare to the desire and thirst for God’s real
and true Word? How have you seen people exploit the passions of others?

3. How are false teachers dangerous? How do personal responsibility and/or


obedience come into play?

4. Why do you think some people will ridicule goodness? Why would
someone scoff at virtue while teaching indulgence?

5. Can you name some ways of sensationalism and how and/or why it is
appealing to some people? How does discernment play a role here?

6. How does it make you feel that false teachers taught and were sought by
conniving men in ancient times just as in our day? How and why does what
Socrates went through typify what goes on in some churches that seek to
destroy good teachers and bring in false teachers?

7. How can you tell a false promise or a mistaken or half-truth? Why is it that
false teachers cannot provide the needed spiritual nourishment?

8. How and why are people who have escaped sin and turned to Jesus lured
back to their old ways? How and why are they so easily deceived?

9. What enslaves or controls you? What do you have to watch out for that
can trap and blind you?

10. Why is it better not to have known real truth then to know it and then reject
it?

11. Why would someone profess Christ and then return to the ways of the
flesh? What can your church do to make sure this does not happen in your
church?

12. What can you do to be fed and watered with the percepts of His incredible
Word? How can you be on guard against faulty and misguided
sensationalism?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 3: 1-9: “God Promises Christ's Return to us!"

General idea: Peter restates his purpose, and desires to get his people thinking
about Christ, not the trends of the day, not the new philosophies, false teachers,
or the scoffers. He wants them and us focused upon Christ and the precepts and
hope He brings. Our thinking needs to be based on Christ, not what we want or
how we think things should be. This takes trust and seeing hope. God wants us
to understand that He has real, true substance for us to know and do! We have
the responsibility to know this trust and hope and put both into our life and
practice them.
Peter then cements his reprimand by showing his people the ultimate
hope we have in Christ, that our life is all about Him—what He has done, and
what He is yet to do. And, the big yet to do is His Second Coming. Yet, in the mist
of our great hope there will be great distracters who seek to derail us off His
tracks by seeding our fears and unbelief. If a false teacher can’t get you to see a
variant view of a skewed truth, they will turn and ridicule real truth. Thus, they will
get you to laugh at the truth to demean it so you will not take it seriously. Scoffing
puts the item being scoffed at down while it lifts up the scoffer. Pride is at the
base of this, which is always the way Satan works. They will say, “Do you really
believe that? How can you take that seriously?” We are to see where their
arguments come from, mainly faulty thinking and conniving agendas causing us
to forget God’s promises and even His past provisions.

Vs. 1-4: Peter was writing about some of the same root problems, namely, those
of forgetting Christ’s power and impact. So, he shows them from God’s Word. He
has apostolic authority and is a principle church leader with the job of giving them
instructions. The problem is that the depraved human mind still will refuse to
listen, no matter by what means or authority the message is relayed. God’s
patience with and love for us is so amazing!

• Second letter. The first would probably be First Peter. Peter is restating his
purpose by reminding them of some essential precepts from our Lord he
stated in his last letter (1 Pet. 1:13-2:12).

• Dear friends means "loved ones" (1 Pet. 2:11; 4:12). Peter wants us to know
for certain that Christ will return!

• Stimulate you/stir you up. Peter is seeking to help them remember who they
are in Christ and the wonders of Him, not the lusts and desires of the flesh.
God wants us to live lives that are worthy of being given grace and to show
excellence in our character for His glory, and our contentment in Him.

• Wholesome thinking means to have a pure mind, undefiled by the filth of false
teachers so we can be better prepared (Matt. 24:42-44; Rom. 12:1-3).

• Prophets… apostles. Peter is now identifying the Old Testament prophets with
the New Testament Apostles as of equal authority. Both are specially called
and used by God to spread His truth. However, this does not apply to us
today! What does apply is that whoever is in Christ is now a representative of
Christ and has responsibility and His authority to spread His knowledge (2
Cor. 5:20).

• First of all. This means "above all," as to call attention to an important issue.
The issue is, there will be a judgment!

• Last days/last times means the “Christian era.” It does not necessarily refer
that the actual, final days of our existence, as in the second coming, are
around the corner. Rather, it means the period from the resurrection to His
second coming. In other words, the present time. Many have mistaken this
term to mean that Jesus is right around the corner. Maybe He is, but for
countless generations who have said that, well, they have been wrong and
have missed the point (Acts 2:17; Heb. 1:2).

• Scoffers ridicule and make fun of what you do not comprehend or understand.
Such behavior only makes the person who scoffs the fool. The Gnostics did
not believe in the idea of a judgment because they did not believe in moral
accountability. Each one needs the other for either to work. Here, the false
teachers were ridiculing the idea that Christ would return, since He had not
yet. Also, in Jewish tradition at the time, to ridicule a righteous person was
considered evil. They also argued that God neither cares for us nor
intervenes in our lives and we should not trust in Him. Just because
something has not happened does not mean it will not happen. Many lives,
businesses, and opportunities have been destroyed by this feeble way of
thinking.

• Evil desires. Not being rooted in good thinking will create evil stemming from
a lack of accountability or a basis for a morality to be built upon.

• Coming… He promised/promise of His coming. Some people in the Early


Church thought Jesus was coming right back and thus were teaching that as
fact, and the false teachers used their impatience and misunderstandings of
what Jesus taught against them. Thus, the false teachers were spreading
gossip as they mocked them. Ironically, scoffing is one of the evidences that
we are in the last days. We must be careful that what we believe and teach is
authentic, or others will use our own words against us and perhaps be just in
doing so.

• Fathers died/Ancients… fell asleep is possibly a reference to the Patriarchs


who were venerated with great prestige, and have since passed on to
Heaven, or the people who came before them who died, such as Steven and
other church leaders or martyrs, appealing to their testimony (John 6:31; Acts
3:13; Heb. 13:7-9).

Peter is calling us to think back to what the Lord has done for us, so we
don’t forget His grace, His provisions, and His answered prayers and blessings.
We are not to be overcome with the struggles of the moment so we do not see
how He has brought us through them in the past. We are to refresh our memory
in Him.

Vs. 5-9: God is sovereign and in control! God’s mighty hand was in the
environment and in humanity before the beginning of time, and continues today
and on to eternity. He will judge the quick (alive) and the dead (Acts 10:42; 1
Peter 4:5; The Apostolic Creed). He made the universe; He made you for a plan
and a purpose. You are no mistake; therefore, you are wanted and have a
destiny. Thus, we are called to realize that and not let false teachers, scoffers,
and/or connivers distract us from seeing Christ and applying His Lordship to our
lives.
• Deliberately forget. Forgetting or refusing to heed God’s Lordship.

• Formed out of water. An image of creation when the Lord separated the
waters from the sky, and how He is indeed involved in creation and with us
(Gen 1:1-10).

• God's word/word of God refers to God’s ability and authority to command,


create, and be Lord. By God’s word, the universe was created out of nothing.
We were created and saved (Gen. 1:1-30; Psalm 33:6-9; Heb. 11:3).

• World of that time means at the time of creation. It refers to history and that
God is a God of involvement and action. He is not passive as the deists
teach; there is no reason or need to doubt God!

• Deluged and destroyed/perished means destroyed by water. God intervenes


in history and in our lives. He will judge, as He demonstrated with the Flood
(Gen 6-8).

• By the same word means “God’s divine Word” as in His utterance that creates
and commands, referring that God is “all powerful.” He repeats the judgment
of the flood and the importance of God as the One who is in control and who
will judge.

• Reserved for fire/stored up for fire refers to an eschatological inferno of fiery,


divine judgment, and possibly refers to Sodom and Gomorrah (Deut. 32:22;
Isa. 65:17; 66:15-22; Mal. 4:1; 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Thess. 1:7-8; 2 Pet. 2:6).

• A day is like a thousand years means God lives outside of space and time
and is not governed by our physical or temporal laws of physics or humanity.
For God, time is totally relative and in the scope of eternity. This does not
necessarily refer to a literal timeline. Rather, it is a figure of speech that God’s
view and perspective of things is not our view and the converse thereof. This
is an aspect of His sovereignty. Also, this is a quote of Psalm 90:4.

• Slow in keeping/slowness. We have no knowledge of God’s timing! It seems


that God is slow to us, but He is in absolute control and we can have patience
and trust in Him and His timing. We are impatient with our thinking and
expectations, whereas God is patient, allowing His grace and plan to work
out. There is no need to make up dates or predict His Second Coming. We
are called to be obedient and wait actively in His Word and truth.

• Patient means that our God is a long-suffering God. When God delays His
judgment, this means He is demonstrating His love, grace, and forbearance
for the consummation of His purpose. We are to take comfort in that He is a
God of grace and mercy and is patient with us when we do not deserve it. He
seeks our repentance and trust. Therefore, we have no need to be impatience
or confused or allow the mocking or misleading of others to distract us from
His purpose and plan (John 6:39).

• Repentance. This does not mean all will be saved. But, all are loved and
desire to be saved, but somewhere is our rebellion and sin and God’s
providence to elect us anyway. God wants us to repent! We are to repent of
our indifference and lack of trust in Him (John 10:28-29).

Peter is restating his purpose of being an encourager and, at the same


time, is shepherding them. A shepherd protects his sheep. If the sheep run
astray, he will do what it takes to keep them safe and put, even if he has to beak
their legs so they will not be eaten. A pastor needs to rout out false teachers and
discipline those who cause others to stumble. If not, others will fall prey to things
that are misleading, counterfeit, and dangerous. We can’t just look the other way,
hoping all will work out. We have to be proactive and engage the enemy, even
the ones in our own flock. Of course, we do this in love—but not just with feelings
of love because we will not feel like loving them and, unless one has a
disparaging personality, dispensing discipline will not be a joy. However, we are
called to act and to do so within the Fruit of the Spirit and love, carrying a staff to
remove the wolves that desire to carry off our flock.

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. Has someone ever made a promise to you and then did not follow through
with it? How did you feel?

2. Where does your thinking need to be stimulated? How does remembering


what our Lord has done for you in the past help strengthen your faith for the
future?
3. How important is the “Second Coming” to you concerning how you live
your life?

4. Do you realize that most arguments with God come from our faulty
thinking and conniving agendas, causing us to forget God’s promises and
even His past provisions?

5. What are some of the fears and unbeliefs that you have you heard people
say about the Second Coming? How does scoffing put the item being scoffed
at down, while lifting up the scoffer?

6. How and why does laughing at a truth demean it, causing us not to take it
seriously? Can you give a modern example of someone scoffing about
Christianity?

7. What does it mean to be established in your faith? How does keeping your
mind in Him enable you to practice His precepts, character, and maturity?
What blocks this from happening in you?

8. What happens when we forget about Christ’s power and impact on us?
Why is it that some people will refuse to listen to truth, no matter by what
means or whose authority the message comes?

9. How does it make you feel and/or strengthen your faith that God
intervenes, cares, and He is involved, with the intention of making you for a
plan and a purpose? What about the idea that you are no mistake, so
therefore, you are wanted and have a destiny? So, what can you do to put His
willingness to infuse and use you into practice? How do we live lives that are
worthy of being giving grace and excellence in our character for His glory and
our contentment in Him?

10. Why do you suppose that many have mistaken the term last days to mean
that Jesus is right around the corner? Maybe He is; but, do you realize that for
countless generations, the people saying that have been wrong and missed
the point? What do you think the point is?

11. Have you ever thought that God seems slow? What needs to take place
so we can understand that we can have patience and trust in Him and His
timing?

12. What do you need to do so to be always thinking about Christ? To be


focused upon Christ? How would focusing your mind more on being in Christ
help you see the hope He brings? How would it affect your daily life? What is
stopping you from doing this?
© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 3: 10-13: “Christ will Certainty ReturnUnexpectedly!"

General idea: Peter, in graphic imagery and hopefulness, is making a strong


argument that Christ will return and when He does, it will be un-expected with un-
surpassing wonders the world has never seen. This is the climax of the Kingdom
of God, the time when it comes into its fulfillment and fruition. The earth and all
we know and see will be destroyed and re-formed as a new earth and a new life.
There will be a judgment from which nothing will be exempt. Because all will be
judged and destroyed (or renewed), we must make the most of our lives here
and now, not wait for a future that may not come, or bask in the past. We must
live for Christ with the hope and purpose He gives us with power, passion, and
conviction. The promise of His Second Coming is to give us hope and
confidence. We live in a sin-infested world now, but the one to come will be
perfect, as all in it will be right with God. We look forward to His Second Coming
and the fruition of his Kingdom. But, beware of sitting and doing nothing; we will
delay His work and impede the preparation of His Kingdom. Our participation
helps His coming, as we help build His Kingdom now.

This passage is very figurative. The purpose of figurative or apocalyptic


language is to describe the indescribable. Peter attempts to help us understand
these events and the importance of our being ready (Matt. 24: 36 through
chapter 25). This is about being hopeful for the future, but living and being viable
for the present. We can take comfort in the fact that Jesus is coming back. This
time it will not be a subtle event, as a baby born in a feed trough in a cave.
Rather, the entire creation will glow and bend to show the whole world His glory.
This passage gives hope to a persecuted church, hope to people in despair, and
hope that He is indeed in charge, even when we cannot see it!

Vs. 10: These early Christians were being discouraged by the persecutions and
seemingly insurmountable sufferings and loss. The comfort of Jesus’ retuning
was like cool water for a person dying of thirst on a hot day. Consequently, false
teachers were taking advantage of them. These so-called Christians, who were
making apocalyptic predictions, had bad motivations. They operated just like
Satan, seeking to disrupt, seduce, and carry people away from Christ and to their
way. If you are not sure who they are, watch their character and Fruit, which will
show their true nature (Jer. 23:13; Micah 3:5; Matt. 7:15; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Cor.
11:13-15; Eph. 4:14; Phil. 3:2; 2 Tim. 3:4-6; Titus 1:11,12; 2 Peter 2:18,19).

• Day of the Lord means the Lord’s final Day of Judgment where He settles all
accounts and injustices. It is a synonym for the Second Coming and refers to
the anticipated eschatological climax of events. Victory over darkness and sin
will be achieved after God intervenes in the world with judgment and
destruction to His enemies, and rewards and blessings to those who are in
Him. Although this Day started with the resurrection of Christ and His victory
over sin and the coming of the Spirit, it comes to its consummation and
fullness after Christ’s Second Coming and Judgment (Isa. 2:11-20; 13:9-13;
Joel 1:15; 3:14-21; Amos 5:18-20; 1 Thess. 2:1-3; 5:2).

• Like a thief in the night, a quote from Jesus Himself, is a vivid image of
anticipated End Times, and literally means to “break in,” as to dig into the clay
and brick sides to get inside the home. Here, it is a metaphor, and does not
refer to a literal thief who would rob us, but that Christ’s coming will not be
predicted or expected. It will be a surprise and a shock. This could only
happen if the people were not there, as in not ready. Do not be ignorant of His
promise (Ex. 22:2-3; Matt. 24:43; Luke 12:39-40)!

• The Heavens…disappear… with a roar refers to an Old Testament image of


purification and renewal (Isa. 34:4; 64:1-4; Matt. 24:29-31).

• Elements/heavenly bodies refer to the building blocks of the universe. It is


interesting that the Greeks theorized about molecules centuries before
science discovered them. The basic elements in ancient times usually refer to
earth, air, fire, and/or water. This term also refers to all that is in the universe
such as celestial beings, planets, and stars. Here, it is most likely referring to
the heavenly bodies. Peter’s point is that everything will be destroyed (some
believe transformed or rebooted). (Isa. 34:4)

• Earth and everything… possibly refers to God’s judgment, that He will remove
all evil and iniquity, and all of humanity’s works will be held in account.

• Laid bare/ burned up/exposed means to be found out or found, and refers to
the judgment that is coming. The earth will undergo a climatic destruction or
reformation. This could also mean that the earth will be destroyed and made
new (1 Cor. 3:13-15). Also, it could mean being aware of our own
motiveswhy we do what we do. Is it to please our curiosity or manipulate
others to see our way of thinking, regardless of revealed biblical truth?

The main point of this passage is to tell us not to be discouraged, but to


remain faithful and vigilant. We are to live our lives preparing and planning as if
Christ would be coming tomorrow or if He were coming a thousand years from
now. We are not to be preoccupied with the details and trivialities. That is why
Jesus did not give them to us. Rather, our faith development and steadfastness
are far more impacting and real on others around us (Matt. 24)!

Vs. 11-13: God’s call for us is to be confident and exuberant that He is in control
and things will work out. He does not want us forsaking our duty as Christians in
the world here and now by using our energies in nonsocial and nonsensical
ways, trying to predict the future and arguing our views of it. If you really think
this through, it is like focusing on your favorite junk food and arguing why it is
good while forsaking healthy food that is good for you and helps you to grow and
thrive.

• Since everything refers to what should I do now. This is also a calla call to
keep you from being spiritually or emotionally defeated when tough times
come. We are to always see our Lord, not our situation (John 10:28-29; Rom.
8:31-39). This is an aspect of the character of faithfulness, as it will help you
persevere under stress and chaos. Christ is the One who keeps us secure,
not our environment!

• What kind of People you ought to be means to watch our motives and
behaviors, making sure they are lined up to Christ and not with what is false
and pretentious. We are to conduct ourselves with good ethics, honor, and
godliness. What we do as a Christian is in response to what Christ has done
in us. Works are not for our salvation; they result from our gratitude for the
salvation that was freely given to us. Thus, what we should be thinking, as
committed Christians, is how do we now live for Him and His glory, not how
do we live for our desires and needs. He has given us everything in
abundance and in love. This is not a time to be impatient; it is a time to grow
and do more in Him and for Him (Heb. 13:9).

• You ought…live holy and godly/lives of holiness refers to not letting suffering
overtake us or move us from His Way. Suffering is a part of life; it will happen.
We have to learn to cope, seek Him, and prepare so we can help others and
ourselves through it (see our article on “Suffering“). We are called to not be
discouraged when bad things, troubles, disasters, and tribulations happen in
the world (2 Chron. 15:6; Isa. 13:8; 19:2; Jer. 51:46; Hosea 13:13). We live in
a fallen world where sin has corrupted everything and everyone, so disasters
will come. We are called to prepare, plan ahead, and look to Christ as the
Deliverer. He is in control!

• The day of God. This is slightly different than the “Day of the Lord” and refers
to “The Coming One,” as no one else but God Himself. Both terms are
interchangeable, meaning great signs will take place, and He is seeking us for
our salvation as well as for our spiritual growth. (Rev. 16:14)!

• Speed its coming/eagerly waiting/hasting means to hasten on as we desire


for Him to come back now. But, we cannot change God’s mind or speed
things up. His timing is deemed and decreed by God’s providence and by
God alone (Eph. 1:11). Peter uses this term so we will not diverge into
sensationalism, emotionalism, or fatalism, but can see it from God’s view and
trust in His timing. Contemporary Jewish thought was divided on whether we
participate in God’s intervention. Some rabbis taught we do hasten it by our
repentance, piety, and good deeds, while others said it was fixed and we
have no sway over God. The debate continues today amongst Christians.
Many Christians feel we hasten God’s timing by our missions and evangelism
to all people groups (Matt. 24:14). The fact is, we have no knowledge of the
factors God considers or how His providence, mercy, and patience are
working out for our benefit, too. We do contribute; our actions matter. We
hasten this day by our fervor, our humble and honest prayers, and our
obedience to know Him and make Him known to others. These are the only
contributions we make to His timing (Matt. 6:10; Mark 13:10; Luke 11:2; Acts
3:19-20; Rev. 8:3-5; 22:20).

• Coming refers to when Christ will come back and gives us blessings as
Christians who are faithful in Him. This is an aspect of great hope, that our
righteousness does matter and it will come into fruition when He comes (Isa.
9:7; 32:16-17; 62:1-2; Jer. 32:40).

• New heaven and a new earth could refer to an entire, new, created order after
God destroys this one, but other passages indicate this means God reboots
this one, cleanses it, and restores it as in a transfiguration process. Whatever
means is used is because of His redemption that allows us to have a home of
Righteousness. His righteousness will exemplify the world, not sin (Isa. 11:4-
5; 45:8; 65:17-25; 66:22; Dan. 9:24; Rom. 8:21-23; 1 Cor. 15:35-57; Rev.
21:1).

Peter makes the point that since everything will be destroyed and judged,
we should focus ourselves on Christ. He is our Hope and reason for life and
living. He will return. There is no “if;” only “when.” It is not theory, but fact, and it
points us to a faith that is sensible and useful. Our lives need to be in pursuit of
Him and His Truth and principles so we are not spending our energies in
sensationalism and endless debates, but rather in knowing Him and making Him
known.

God calls us to be curious and hopeful with what is to come. This is to give
us strength for endurance and anticipation for His work to come. But, we are not
to be obsessed and impatient or slip off the path He has for us. Our focus is to be
in and on Him, not on our agendas. We are to make sure we do not fall prey to
sensationalism or are not carried away by those who are deceptive,
manipulative, or condescending or who play to our fears, hopes, and desires.
Nor, are we to fall prey to our own faulty thinking, negating the real, revealed
truths. Our footing is in Christ. Let us not lose it and fall of a cliff! Our security,
salvation, and lives are in Him and in Him onlyall for His glory.

His promise to return is the climax of our life and the beginning of life
everlasting. It is our hope in the midst of our trials and sufferings as well as in the
daily grind of life. He wants us to live in the contentment of His love, not in the
circumstances of ours or other’s notions or trepidations.
The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

1. What does this passage say?


2. What does this passage mean?
3. What is God telling me?
4. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
5. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is needed?
6. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
7. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the way of
my listening to God?
8. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
9. What can I model and teach?
10. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. When you were a kid, how did you feel about waiting for a birthday or
Christmas or some other big event? How is this like waiting for Christ to come
back?

2. How is seeking sensationalism like focusing on your favorite junk food and
arguing why it is good? How do you feel physically when you forsake healthy
food that is good for you to grow and thrive? How is this like forsaking good
Bible teaching?

3. What do you think is the purpose of figurative or apocalyptic language?


How do you feel about it? How has it brought you fear? What about hope?

4. The earth and all we know and see will either be destroyed or re-formed
into a new earth and a new life. How does this make you feel? How does this
give you hope?

5. Do you believe that when Christ comes, it will not be predicted or


expected, perhaps even be a surprise and a shock? How, and why?

6. How can the Second Coming give you hope and confidence? How does
this passage give hope to a persecuted church?

7. What do you think discourages hopeful Christians? What can be done to


inspire someone who is discouraged to remain faithful and vigilant?

8. What preparation and participation do you think we are to do? What


happens when people do nothing with their faith and just wait for a future that
may not come?

9. What does it mean that we are to live our lives as if Christ would be
coming tomorrow and also preparing and planning as if He were coming a
thousand years from now? Is this a contradiction, or a plan to do?

10. Why do you suppose that Jesus did not give us the details of His second
coming? What would have happened if He had?

11. Can you think of a specific area in your life that could use more hope?
What does it mean for you to be confident and exuberant? What can you do
to be more confident and exuberant?

12. From this passage, what do you understand God’s call to be for you?
What can your church do to discipline and/or warn people who make
apocalyptic predictions or have bad motivations for their teaching?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

Into Thy Word Bible Study in 2 Peter

2 Peter 3: 14-18: The Exhortation to Remain In Christ

General idea: We are to wait, but we are not to be idle while we wait. We are to
be involved and make every effort to know Him and make Him known.
Consequently, we are to remain firm in our faith regardless of when He comes
back. We do this actively with the contribution of our trust and assurance in
Christ, making the most of what He has given us in His call, precepts, and
opportunities. This means being pure and blameless in our obedience to and
trust in Christ and being humble, the opposites of the character of the false
teachers.

Peter is communicating to us that God is involved, that He does indeed


care, and that He is concerned and does intervene in history, thus we can trust
Him. If people come against your belief in Christ and good character, take
comfort. No matter what others say or do, God will intervene in His time, and
make them the ultimate fools. Peter continues to tell us to beware of scoffers who
deny Christ’s return! We often need to be reminded of this, no matter how long
we have been in the Lord. We need that gentle refreshing to stimulate us into
correct thinking so we can have the faith and strength to stay on His path. We
are to know the Scriptures and be disciplined in the faith because this is what
keeps our minds on Him, and when we practice these precepts, they become
rooted and make us firmer in our faith.
Vs. 14-16: Peter is closing his Epistle with encouragements and blessings. He is
reminding his people of the importance of Paul’s letter(s) to them and that they
are to take what he says seriously. He also warns that if they do not understand
something, they are not to twist it to fit what they do understand or want. Doing
that only disrupts His Truth with our whims, resulting in disaster for all who do this
heinous act.

• Make every effort means for us to serve Christ with lives of holiness, being
devoted to the worship and service of Him. This also means to be diligent in
looking forward to Christ’s Second Coming (Matt. 25:13; 1 Thess. 5:6, 8, 11; 2
Pet. 1:13-16).

• Spotless… blameless means to be at peace with him. This means that as


Christians, we can have peace with God as a result of being justified by faith.
By the same token, we can still sin, disappoint, and displease God even
though we are saved. He calls us to live according to His requirements, and if
we refuse, we need to take heed. Our salvation is secure but we are still
accountable for our actions for we will receive commendation and rewards
when He returns (Rom. 5:1; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Pet. 1:19).

• Patience means salvation. This reference indicates that instead of whining,


complaining, and theorizing about when He will return, we should trust in
God’s timing and providence. It is because of God’s patience that He has the
will to save us, for we tempt His patience all of the time (Gen. 6). We are just
in God’s sight; we are just because He declares us so!

• Wisdom. Peter is stating the case; these are not his words but His words,
because Paul’s letters were inspired by God (Eph. 3:2-5; 1 Cor. 2:12; Gal.
1:1).

• Hard to understand was not necessarily a demeaning statement, rather one


of respect as meaning inspired and complex. In such matters, it is important
we remain diligent to persevere in searching for better understanding. If we
allow our emotions and first impressions to stop us, we will miss out on a lot
that God has for us.

• Ignorant and unstable people. Ignorant refers to people who are not educated
or refuse to learn and grow, such as Christians who have not been discipled
and do not know the precepts of Jesus. Unstable refers to those who
manipulate, perhaps are mentally ill or just scheming, whose thinking is
twisted, and who seek to lead others away from sound teachings and God’s
Word.

• Distort/twist refers to misrepresenting and manipulating something so to make


it what it is not. This is done by deliberately making a declaration of what it
means when it really says otherwisejust to fit a personal or group agenda.
This can also arise when we misinterpret God’s Word from a lack of research
and study, catering to a particular viewpoint without considering the merits of
it, or being sloppy in our exegesis. The people in Peter’s day were
allegorizing (seeing the text as abstract thoughts for deliberation but not for
application) Paul’s words, and other Scriptures, muting the value and
application of it. Today, we would call this liberalism.

• Other Scriptures refers to Paul’s Epistles, possibly a copy of Romans, which


was a circular letter to many churches, and/or possibly an early Gospel and
that they are God’s inspired, authoritative Word. This passage also testifies to
Peter’s acceptance of Paul’s Apostleship, a testimony of unity in teaching and
purpose (Rom. 1:1, 21; 16:4; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Pet. 1:1).

What we go through, even suffering, has meaning and purpose to it. We


can remain spotless, as Jesus showed us by His words and His example. When
something happens which you do not understand, seek answers in prayer,
asking God what you are to learn. This is how we can better grow in the grace
and love of our Lord. Then, your faith-development and steadfastness will be far
more impacting and real for you and those around you.

Vs. 17-18: Peter’s Benediction. He calls us to be on our guard by pursuing our


relationship with Christ, allowing our bonds to grow and become stronger so no
reproach can come against our church.

• Lawless men refers to the false teachers who have ignored God or have no
regard for truth or morality. Do not be led away by errors or personal desires!

• Fall/lose…stability means to fall away from Truth, which includes God’s


percepts, call, and standards. This does not mean we lose our salvation.
Rather, it refers to our weakness (John 6:37-40; 10:28-29; 17:2-24; Phil. 1:6;
1 Cor. 1:8; 9:1; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:32; 2 Tim. 1:12; 4:18). We are to
be firm in our faith and not allow our desires or others to distract us from
Christ. This reinforces the importance of sound doctrine and teaching (John
6:39; Phil. 1:6).

• Grow means to be steadfast in faith and in Christ. We do this by pursuing holy


living through deepening our relationship and experiences with Christ. We are
called to learn as much as we can about our Lord and His teaching and then
apply it wholeheartedly into our lives. This is in contrast to the arrogance and
pretentious knowledge and pseudo-growth of the false teachers and
hypocrites who know little and apply none. Growing is an ongoing experience
that should never stop until we are called home to heaven. It is not enough to
know; we are also called to do. In conjunction, our persistence to know Him
and His Word prevents false teachers from getting a hold on us or our church
(2 Pet. 1:2-3)!
• Knowledge. The antidote to heresy is knowing the real truth, and we do this
by going to God’s Word. We are called to pursue education and practice
knowledge so we can learn and know more about God, live for His glory, and
help one another.

• To him be glory means that because of the deity and supremacy of Christ as
God and Lord, all that we do in our Christian lives is to be about glorifying
Him. This ties into Peter’s opening statement in 1:1 (Col. 1:15-20; Rev. 1:5-6).

• Forever means “unto eternity.” Time is endless and glory, through all time
past, present, and future belongs to Christ alone (Isa. 60:19-20).

In Acts 13, the Church in Antioch was in a dilemma about who to send to
the mission fieldsto parts unknown and unclear. There were many gifted and
qualified teachers to choose from, so they inquired of God who to send out. In
their considerations, what was not pursued is as important as what was. They
chose to send Paul and Barnabas. Their decision was authentically sought, as
God was adored through worshiping, fasting, and prayer. This is “mission critical”
for us to recognize the real work of the Holy Spirit. The results were from the
Spirit's initiative and not from a planning or strategy session. The lesson for us
today is that when leaders and churches worship God and not trends, God
moves (1 Tim. 4:1-8, 14)! We are still called to plan, but God is to be first and
foremost in our sights, and that starts with our humility (Col. 1:18; 1 Peter 5).

Humility was not a virtue in the pagan world of Peter’s day, just like it is not
a virtue today. Humble people today get mocked and trampled by the media and
society. They're called wimps by the world. This is the day of the macho, rugged
individual who does not need anyone, and who steps on anyone who gets in the
way. Humility was no virtue. Humility was for the weak and cowardly. Humility is
what Christ wore as an apron of a servant to show how He came to serve (John
13:2-17). Our apron will keep our ministry, one another, and us clean, so put on
the one-size-fits-all garment of humble service. Put on the apron of the slave. We
should all be slaves in Christ if we are to be mature in Christ. We are called to tie
humility on ourselves with a knot or a bow as a covering, so that it is tight and will
not fall offan attitude that we are not too good to serve others!

So, clothe yourselves with an attitude that you are lowly, an attitude that
you are not too good to serve, that you are not too great to stoop down to help
another. And, by the way, this was the only humility the pagan world tolerated the
involuntary humility of slavery. Therefore, Peter is saying you need to put on the
garment of a slave and take on a voluntary humility, a subordinate mentality "first
toward one another." With this essential attitude, we will be glorifying Him to keep
our faith growing and in Him, thus preparing our church for now and our selves
for His return.
God has given us a great promise to keep us in the faith: He is here and
He is returning. Thus, we need to live our lives worthy in Him and not forget who
and what He is and has done. If we have no accountability because we believe
there is not anyone to whom we are accountable, we will engage in doing what
we want; and that is sin. Many people in Peter’s time (as well as ours) did not
believe there would be a judgment and therefore there were no personal
responsibilities or obligations. This thinking produces relativism and our
postmodern mindsets (nothing new here), and leads to immoral behaviors and a
society in distress headed for ruin. Such thinking says we can do as we please;
however, that will only bring us damnation at worst and missed opportunities at
best. Why would we want to play these games?

Disgrace and shame take place when we only fear and honor one
another; scruples and character come from when we fear and honor God (Prov.
3:5).

The Essential Inductive Questions (for more Inductive questions see Inductive
Bible Study):

11. What does this passage say?


12. What does this passage mean?
13. What is God telling me?
14. How am I encouraged and strengthened?
15. Is there sin in my life for which confession and repentance is
needed?
16. How can I be changed, so I can learn and grow?
17. What is in the way of these precepts affecting me? What is in the
way of my listening to God?
18. How does this apply to me? What will I do about it?
19. What can I model and teach?
20. What does God want me to share with someone?

Additional Questions:

1. What are you hopeful for or looking forward to? What does it mean to live
worthy in Christ?

2. How does it make you feel knowing that God is involved and that He
indeed does intervene and care for you? How can this help you trust in Christ
more? What would your life look like with this working more effectively?

3. Why is it important to have a basis upon which to build a morality?

4. How do you tempt God’s patience? What does it mean to your faith that
God is patient with you more than you can fathom? That He saves you even
though you tempt His patience all of the time?
5. Peter asked, what kind of people you ought to be; how would you respond
to God saying this (by the way, He does)?

6. Growing is an ongoing experience that should never stop. Why is this


true? Why would a Christian think otherwise?

7. How can you balance being curious with being hopeful so you do not
diverge into obsession, impatience, or sensationalism regarding Christ’s
Second Coming?

8. What does it mean to you to make the most of your life here and now?
What would your life look like if you did?

9. What can you do now so your Christian life will be more about glorifying
Him? How can this combat liberalism and false teachers?

10. When something happens which you do not understand, what can you do
to grow from it? How about seeking the reason in prayer, asking God what
you are to learn from it? How would this help you grow further and firmer in
the faith?

11. What does it mean to be established in your faith? What can you do to
keep your mind in Christ?

12. How can you make the most of what Christ has given? When will you do
this? Now, how would you respond to make every effort? What are you going
to do about becoming better in your faith in response to these questions from
our Lord?

© 2005 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org

This concludes our study in Peter, still coming is Jude. It is my prayer that you,
too, have found it insightful and empowering for your life and practice. What is
next? By popular request, we developing new character studies, and, in the fall of
05, we will start in the Book of Revelation and then Colossians!

References and Resources used:

1. Richard J Krejcir. Into Thy Word. “Into Thy Word Bible Study Method.” Writers
Club Press. 2000.
2. The Works of Justin
3. The Works of Josephus
4. The Works Eusebius
5. The Works of Early Church Fathers
6. J.N.D. Kelly. A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and Jude. Baker. 1981.
7. Peter Davids. The Epistle of Peter and Jude. Eerdmans. 1990.
8. Warren Wiersbe. With the Word. Oliver Nelson. 1991.
9. E.G. Selwyn. The First Epistle of Peter, 2nd Edition. Macmillan. 1990
10. Richard J. Baukham. Jude, 2 Peter, WBC. Word. 1983
11. Halley's Bible Handbook. Regency. 1927.
12. New Geneva Study Bible. Thomas Nelson. 1995.
13. Sturgeon's Devotional Bible. Baker Books. 1964.
14. Jerome H Smith, Ed. The New Treasury of SCRIPTURE Knowledge. Thomas
Nelson. 1992.
15. R.C. Sproul. Essential Truths of the Christian Faith. Tyndale. 1992.
16. Expositors Bible Commentary, I, II, Peter and Jude. Zondervan. 1994.
17. J.R. Michaels. 1 Peter. Word. 1988.
18. Craig S. Keener. The IVP Bible Background Commentary. Inter Varsity Press.
1993.
19. Research at the Scholarly Archives at Fuller Theological Seminary in
Pasadena, CA; Years of study & teaching notes; Seminary notes; Prayer

Please keep us in your prayers!


Please see our website for continual serialized installments of other
Bible studies!

Richard Joseph Krejcir is the Founder and Director of “Into Thy Word Ministries,”
a missions and discipling ministry. He is the author of several books including,
Into Thy Word, and A Field Guide to Healthy Relationships. He is also a pastor,
teacher, and speaker. He is a graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary in
Pasadena, California (M.Div.) and holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Practical
Theology in London, England (Ph.D). He has garnered over 20 years of pastoral
ministry experience, mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a church
growth consultant.

Dr. Richard Joseph Krejcir


Into Thy Word Ministries
Director

Into Thy Word Ministries


129 South Lotus Avenue
Pasadena, Ca 91107
info@intothyword.com
www.intothyword.org
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon
you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give
you peace.” Nub. 6:24-26