Saturday, November 18, 2017

Is the Bible really true and trustworthy?

This week we have been looking at a section of a letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible called the book of 2 Peter, where we have discovered a timeless reminder about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives. And that timeless reminder is that we need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible.

In 2 Peter 1:12-21, we saw Peter reveal three aspects of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of. First, in 2 Peter 1:12-15, we see that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their timeless truth. Then, in 2 Peter 1:16-18, we saw Peter reveal for us the reality that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their eyewitness testimony. Today, we will see Peter reveal for us a third aspect of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of in 2 Peter 1:19-21:

 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Here we see Peter explain that because he and other early followers of Jesus who would go on to write the letters that have been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible had firsthand knowledge of the glory and grandeur of Jesus, we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. Now to fully understand what Peter is communicating here, we first need to understand a few things.

The first thing we need to understand is what Peter means when he uses the phrase the prophetic word. With this phrase, Peter is referring to the inspired interpretation of the Divine words of God and the inspired words of God that are contained in the letters that make up the Bible. In addition, when Peter uses the phrase made more sure, this phrase refers to something that can be relied on not to cause disappointment. Peter’ point here is that the inspired interpretation of the Divine words of God and the inspired words of God that are contained in the letters that make up the Bible are reliable and will not disappoint.

Now that leads us to the next thing that we need to understand, which is what Peter is referring to when he uses the phrase “until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.” Peter here is making an allusion to a section of a letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the Old Testament of the Bible called the book of Numbers. In Numbers 24:17 a prophet named Balaam predicted and proclaimed the coming of a rescuer, a deliverer, a Messiah that would come from the Jewish people to rule over the world. Peter connects this allusion to Numbers 24:17 with the phrase the morning star arises, which referred to Jesus return to earth at the end of God’s story here on earth, where Jesus will defeat selfishness, sin, and death and to usher in the kingdom of Heaven in its fullest sense.

Peter’s point is that the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel as proclaimed by Jesus and as proclaimed by himself and the other writers of the letters that make up the New Testament are inspired by God and are reliable. And because of that reality, Peter explained that the readers of his letter would do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place. With this word picture, Peter is revealing for us the reality that the letters that make up the Bible are worth paying close attention to, because they are reliable and they are able to reveal and expose what is present in the world along with providing guidance and direction in an otherwise dark world.

Then, in verse 20, Peter stated but know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation. Peter here is basically saying “The first thing that you need to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, is that none of statements made by those who are communicating God’s Divine will or purpose and none of the interpretations of the Old Testament of the Bible that are being made by those who are communicating God’s Divine will and purpose are simply the result of human opinion. Peter then reinforced this reality in the first half of verse 21 by stating “for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will”.

In other words, Peter is basically saying “No one who is communicating God’s Divine will and purpose by applying the predictions and promises of the Messiah from the message and teaching of the Old Testament to Jesus is doing so at by their own desire and direction. What is being communicated by those who are writing these letters is not the result of their own desires to proclaim their own opinion.” Instead, Peter explained that these letters were the result of “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”  Peter’s point here is that what was being communicated by those who were writing these letters was the result of the Spirit of God moving and motivating them to direct their energy and efforts to speak for God through the writing of the letters that we know today as the New Testament of the Bible.

Now the big fancy church mumbo jumbo talk word for what Peter is referring to here is the word inspiration. When we talk about inspiration, we are talking about a dynamic process that was led by the Holy Spirit where God worked through the personalities and life experiences of the writers of the letters that make up the Bible to place His timeless truths on paper. We see this dynamic process most clearly in the gospels, which are the four accounts of Jesus life that are found in the Bible.

We see a tax collector, a doctor, and two fisherman moved by the Holy Spirit to write about Jesus life. Each one of the gospel writers had different levels of education and experiences that God used while inspiring, or moving them, to choose and write His timeless truth of His story of the rescue and redemption of selfish and rebellious humanity through Jesus life, death, and resurrection. One of the best ways to summarize this idea of inspiration is to think of inspiration as the process by which God worked to ensure that what God says the Bible says and what the Bible says God says.

But not only do we believe that the Bible is a collection of letters that were written by men who were inspired by God to write the very words of God to humanity. We also believe that the letters that make up what we call the Bible are without error. In other words, we believe that the Holy Spirit not only inspired the thoughts of the writers who wrote the letters that make up the Bible, but that the Holy Spirit also led the writers of these letters to use the very word structure into which these letters were written so that the original documents were inerrant as to fact and infallible as to truth. In other words, the letters that make up the Bible are totally true and are totally trustworthy.  

Now you might have heard people say that we cannot be sure about whether or not the 66 letters we have in the Bible are the only letters that we should have in the Bible because the church did not establish what letters were to be in the Bible until a bunch of men got together because of the Roman Emperor Constantine hundreds of years after these letters were written. Another common objection or pushback to this idea of God inspiring human writers to write the letters that make up the Bible is often made by asking “Well Dave, how do we know that we have all of God’s truth? Who and how did they decide to have 66 books?” What about other books like the gospel of Thomas, and the Apocrypha in Catholic Bibles? What about the books that the Mormon Church views as being equal to the Old and New Testament?”

Good questions. You see, the Council of Carthage, which occurred in 397 A.D., merely approved what was already an accomplished fact generally accepted by the early church for a long period of time. In addition, as we will discover later in this series, the letters that make up the New Testament of the Bible were already widely circulated and had been collected together within 50 years after their original writing. And it is here that we see Peter reveal for us the reality that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in the Holy Spirit bringing them into circulation.

You see, it is the activity of the Holy Spirit that brings a reliability that requires that we pay attention to the message of the letters in the Bible as we await Jesus return. It is the activity of the Holy Spirit that brings a recognition that the letters in the Bible were not written as a result of the desires men. And it is the activity of the Holy Spirit that brings a recognition that the letters in the Bible were written as a result of the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Because the timeless reality is that we need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible. We need to be reminded that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their timeless truth. We need to be reminded that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their eyewitness testimony. And we need to be reminded that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in the Holy Spirit bringing them into circulation.

So here is a question to consider: What is the source of authority in your life when it comes to your relationship with God and how you live out your life? How do you view the letters that make up the Bible what it comes to their authority?  Do you submit your thinking to the letters that make up the Bible? Or do you submit the letters that make up the Bible to your thinking?

Do you need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible? How often do you find yourself thinking “I know the bible says but?” Do you need to be reminded that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their timeless truth?

Do you need to be reminded that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their eyewitness testimony? Do you need to be reminded that authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in the Holy Spirit bringing them into circulation?


Because the timeless reality is that we need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible…

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their eyewitness testimony...

This week, we are looking at a section of a letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible called the book of 2 Peter, where we have seen the Apostle Peter remind us of another timeless truth about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives. Yesterday, we began to look at 2 Peter 1:12-15, where we discovered the timeless reminder that we need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible.

 And in 2 Peter 1:12-21, we see Peter reveal three aspects of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of. Yesterday, we discovered that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their timeless truth. The timeless truth contained in the letters in the Bible was known to the first followers of Jesus.

We discovered that it was the timeless truth contained in the letters in the Bible that caused early followers of Jesus to be firmly committed in their faith. In addition, the timeless truths contained in the letters in the Bible were communicated by those who felt compelled to arouse followers of Jesus to remember the truth. Those who wrote the letters contained in the Bible often recognized that time was short. And those who wrote the letters contained in the Bible were eager to make sure that the message would be available after their death.

Today, we will see Peter reveal for us a second aspect of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of in 2 Peter 1:16-18:

 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased "-- 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Here we see Peter begin to defend the contents of his letter against potential accusations from false teachers who were questioning the truthfulness of his letters. When Peter uses the phrase “for we did not follow cleverly devised tales”, the word follow literally means to accept something as authoritative. In other words, Peter is basically saying “What we accept as authoritative when it comes to the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel is not the result of some cleverly created myth and legend that we made up on our own.” Instead, Peter proclaimed that he and other close followers of Jesus were eyewitnesses of His majesty. Peter’s point is that he did not need to make up a cleverly created myth and legend about Jesus because he had firsthand knowledge of the grandeur and greatness of Jesus. 

And to provide proof of his firsthand knowledge of the grandeur and greatness of Jesus, in verses 17-18, Peter pointed the readers of his letter to an event from history that is preserved and recorded for us in an account of Jesus life in the Bible called the gospel of Matthew. Let’s take a minute and look at this event from history together, beginning in Matthew 17:1-8:

Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" 6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. 7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, "Get up, and do not be afraid." 8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.

And it is here that we see Peter reveal for us the reality that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their eyewitness testimony. The timeless reality is that the letters contained in the Bible were not the product of a craftily created myth. Instead, the letters contained in the Bible were the product of events in history.

This reality is what separates Christianity from every other religious system. Christianity is distinctly different from every other religious system because Christianity is rooted in events from history.  What we believe about God, or our theology, is inseparably related to an event that occurred in history. As followers of Jesus, we do not follow Jesus because of doctrine or theology; we follow Jesus because of something that happened in history.

We see this in the incredible detail that is in the Bible and its accounts of Jesus death and resurrection. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus occurred in real time, in a real place, with real people. And the early church responded to this historical reality by leveraging their time, their talents, and their treasure into what they had seen and the kingdom mission that they had been given by Jesus.


Friday, we will see Peter reveal for us a third aspect of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

We need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible...

At the church where I serve, we are in the middle of a sermon series entitled reminder. During this series, we are spending the month of November looking at a letter that was written by the Apostle Peter and has been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible called the book of 2 Peter. The Apostle Peter wrote this letter because he was concerned that the readers of his previous letter would end up forgetting the timeless truths about Jesus and the message and teaching of Jesus that he had written to them in his previous letter as a result of the passage of time and the influence of false teachers in their lives.

And because of the danger that false teachers and the passage of time presented to the readers of his first letter, the Apostle Peter sat down and wrote this letter that we know today as the book of 2 Peter to remind the readers of his letter of several truths about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that were to always be at the forefront of their lives.  And just as it was for the Apostle Peter, as we go through this series, our hope and our prayer is that God would move by the power of the Holy Spirit in our heads, hearts, and minds to remind us of several timeless truths about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives in a way that results in us living out those truths so as to reveal and reflect Jesus to those around us.

This week, I would like for us to pick up where we left off last week. And as we jump into this next section of this letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible called the book of 2 Peter, we will see the Apostle Peter remind us of another timeless truth about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives in a way that results in us living out those truths so as to reveal and reflect Jesus to those around us. So let’s discover that timeless reminder together, beginning in 2 Peter 1:12-15:

Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. 13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

Peter begins this section of his letter by letting the readers of his letter throughout history know that he will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. When Peter uses the phrase “of these things” he is referring to what he had just written and what he was about to write in this letter.

You see, Peter wanted the readers of his letter to clearly understand that his sole intention was to keep reminding them of the reality of the rescue that they had obtained through Jesus. Peter wanted the readers of his letter to clearly understand that his sole intention was to keep reminding them of the reality that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well. Peter wanted the readers of his letter to clearly understand that his sole intention was to keep reminding them of the reality that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually. Peter wanted the readers of his letter to clearly understand that his sole intention was to keep reminding them of the reality that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious commitment to confirm God’s choice to rescue us through Jesus.

Now, it wasn’t as though this was new information, as Peter pointed out that they already had heard the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel so as to have the information about the rescue that they had obtained through Jesus. And it wasn’t as though the information about the rescue that they had obtained through Jesus hadn’t impacted the lives of the readers of this letter. After all, when Peter used the phrase have been established, this phrase, in the language that this letter was originally written in, means to cause to be firmly committed to something. The readers of his letter were firmly committed to the truth of the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel.

And it wasn’t as though they did not have access to the truth of the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel, for Peter makes it abundantly clear that the truth of the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel was at their disposal.  However, as Peter pointed out in verse 13, he considered it right, as long as he was present on the earth, to stir you up by way of reminder.
In other words, Peter considered himself to be under obligation to awaken and arouse the readers of this letter to all that God had done to rescue them through Jesus by reminding them of all that God had done to rescue them through Jesus. As long as Peter was still on this earth, Peter believed that he was rightly obligated to keep the timeless truth about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus at the forefront of their lives in a way that awakened and aroused a desire to live out those truths so as to reveal and reflect Jesus to those around them.

In addition, as Peter pointed out in verse 14, there was an urgency behind his sole intention to keep reminding them of the reality of the rescue that they had obtained through Jesus. And that urgency was that he recognized that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent. In other words, as Peter sat down to write this letter; Peter knew that he was going to die in the very near future. Peter explained that the reason that he knew that he was going to die in the very near future was due to the fact that Jesus had made it clear to him that he was going to die in the very near future.

Now a natural question that arises here is “how did Jesus make it clear to Peter that he was going to die in the very near future?” Most likely, Peter here is referring to a conversation that he had with Jesus after Jesus was raised from the dead that has been preserved and recorded for us in a section of an account of Jesus life in the Bible called the gospel of John. Let’s take a minute and look at a part of that conversation together, beginning in John 21:18-19:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!"

And as Peter remembered and reflected on this conversation with Jesus; as Peter remembered and reflected on the responsibility that he had been given by Jesus to be a foundational leader in God’s new movement in history called the church; Peter had an urgency to make sure that these early followers of Jesus were reminded of their rescue by Jesus and the mission that they had been given by Jesus before he died.

And, as Peter points out in verse 15, it was that urgency and sense of obligation to awaken and arouse the readers of this letter to all that God had done to rescue them through Jesus that led him to write this letter. By writing this letter, Peter was making sure that, even after he was gone from the earth, the readers of this letter would be able to recall what he was going to write down in this letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible today.

And it is here, that we see Peter reveal for us a timeless reminder about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives. And that timeless reminder is this: We need to be reminded of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible. And in 2 Peter 1:12-21, we see Peter reveal three aspects of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of.

First, in 2 Peter 1:12-15, we see that the authority of the letters contained in the Bible is found in their timeless truth. The timeless truth contained in the letters in the Bible was known to the first followers of Jesus. It was the timeless truth contained in the letters in the Bible that caused early followers of Jesus to be firmly committed in their faith.

In addition, the timeless truths contained in the letters in the Bible were communicated by those who felt compelled to arouse followers of Jesus to remember the truth. Those who wrote the letters contained in the Bible often recognized that time was short. And those who wrote the letters contained in the Bible were eager to make sure that the message would be available after their death.


Tomorrow, we will see Peter reveal for us a second aspect of the authority of the letters contained in the Bible that we need to be reminded of...

Friday, November 10, 2017

The rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious commitment to confirm God’s choice to rescue us through Jesus...

This week, we have been looking at the opening section of a letter that is recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible, called the book of 2 Peter, where we have discovered a timeless reminder about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives in that we need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus. In 2 Peter 1:1-11, we see Peter reveal three aspects of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of.

So far, in 2 Peter 1:1-4, we see that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well. In addition, in 2 Peter 1:5-9, we see that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually. Today, we will see Peter reveal a third aspect of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of in 2 Peter 1:10-11:

 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

Here we see Peter command the readers of his letter that, in light of the reality that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well; in light of the reality that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually; be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you. The word diligent here conveys the sense of being especially conscientious in keeping an obligation. And that obligation is to make sure about His calling and choosing you.

Peter is basically saying “make sure that you are committed to live your life in a way that provides confirmation of God’s gracious choice to rescue your from your selfishness and rebellion through Jesus.” Peter then explains that as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble. But what does Peter mean when he uses the phrase practice these things? 

Peter here is referring to a lifestyle that responds to the reality that God has already provided everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well by engaging in serious effort to grow spiritually that provides the evidence of a growing and maturing relationship with Jesus that is marked by increasing moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.  What is interesting is that the word stumble literally means to experience disaster.

Peter then reinforces the significance of his command with a word picture in verse 11: for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. Peter paints the word picture of God’s kingdom community as a destination that followers of Jesus are traveling to. However, to reach that destination so as to gain entrance into God’s eternal kingdom community, a follower of Jesus must demonstrate the evidence of a genuine and growing relationship with Jesus as they travel on the road here on earth towards eternity.

To fail to demonstrate the evidence of a genuine and growing relationship with Jesus that responds to the reality that God has already provided everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well by engaging in serious to grow spiritually will result in the disaster of never making it to the entrance of God’s kingdom community.  And because of that reality, Peter commanded the readers of his letter to make sure that they were committed to live their life in a way that provides confirmation of God’s gracious choice to rescue them from their selfishness and rebellion through Jesus.

And it is here that we see Peter reveal the third aspect of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of in that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious commitment to confirm God’s choice to rescue us through Jesus. As followers of Jesus, our serious effort to strive to grow spiritually produces a lifestyle that confirms God’s choice to rescue us through Jesus. And as followers of Jesus, our serious effort to strive to grow spiritually produces a lifestyle that will result in a warm welcome into God’s kingdom community for all eternity.

Because the timeless reality is that we need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well. The rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually. And the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious commitment to confirm God’s choice to rescue us through Jesus.

So here is a question to consider: Do you need to be reminded of the rescue that we have obtained through Jesus? Do you need to be reminded that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well? Are you living as a follower of Jesus as though you are lacking something that you need in order to live a life that represents Jesus well?

Do you need to be reminded that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually? Does the message and teachings of Jesus produce in you a desire to live like Jesus? Or are you just thinking that Jesus gets you a “get out of Hell” card that enables you to do what you want, with who you want, whenever you want?

Do you need to be reminded that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious commitment to confirm God’s choice to rescue us through Jesus? How have you responded to the message of the gospel in the past? What does it mean to be a Christian? Does the evidence of your life demonstrate that you actually have a relationship with Jesus?

Because the timeless reality is that we need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus...

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually...

This week we are looking at the opening section of a letter that is found in the New Testament called the book of 2 Peter, where we have discovered a timeless reminder about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives in that we need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus. And in 2 Peter 1:1-11, we see Peter reveal three aspects of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of.

First, in 2 Peter 1:1-4, we see that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well. As followers of Jesus, we have obtained a rescue that produces a state of confident trust in Jesus as a result of God’s right actions through Jesus life, death, and resurrection. As followers of Jesus, we have obtained a rescue that provides God’s Divine favor and a state of well being with God.

And as followers of Jesus, we have obtained a rescue that provides the opportunity to experience eternal life with Jesus and to live a life that looks like Jesus. This opportunity is based on God graciously choosing to give us the gift of a true knowledge of Himself. And this opportunity is based on God graciously choosing to give us the gift of His miraculous promises. God’s miraculous promises are precious and extraordinary in nature.

And God’s miraculous promises result in us taking part in His nature. As followers of Jesus, we will participate in Divinity with the Trinity. And as followers of Jesus, we have escaped the inward depravity that desires what is forbidden by God. We see Peter reveal a second aspect of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of in 2 Peter 1:5-9:

 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

Now when Peter uses the phrase “Now for this very reason” he is basically saying “In light of the reality that the rescue that we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well, this is how you should respond to that rescue.” In addition, when Peter uses the phrase supplying all diligence, this phrase, if communicated in the language we use in our culture today, would have sounded something like this: make sure that you are putting in serious effort into your relationship with Jesus as a result of the commitment that you have made by placing your confident trust in Jesus.”

 What is interesting is that the word supply here literally means to provide at one’s own expense. Peter here is revealing the reality that, as followers of Jesus, we need to put in serious effort, at our own expense, to respond to everything that we have been given spiritually as a result of our rescue by Jesus so that we live a life that represents Jesus well and that is growing spiritually. Peter then reveals seven qualities, or virtues, that followers of Jesus are to be putting in serious effort to cultivate in their lives as a result of placing their confident trust in Jesus.

When Peter uses the phrase moral excellence, this phrase refers to an uncommon and exceptionally high character that is worthy of praise. When Peter uses the word knowledge, this word describes a comprehension and intellectual grasp of the message and teaching of the letters that make up the Bible. When Peter uses the phrase self control, this phrase refers to the restraint of one’s emotions, impulses, or desires.

When Peter uses the word perseverance, this word describes the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty. As we discovered earlier, the word godliness refers to an awesome respect that is accorded to God that results in a life that looks like God. When Peter uses the phrase brotherly kindness, this phrase refers to a brotherly/sisterly kind of reciprocal love for one another. And when Peter uses the word love, this word describes an other centered, selfless, warm regard and affection and interest in another. 

Then, in verse 8, Peter explains if the qualities of moral excellence, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love are evident and increasing so as to be seen in abundance in the life of a follower of Jesus, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, when a follower of Jesus puts in serious effort, at their own expense, to respond to everything that they have been given spiritually as a result of their rescue by Jesus so that they live a life that represents Jesus well and that is growing spiritually, they will not be unproductive or useless in their knowledge of Jesus and their engagement in the kingdom mission that they have been given by Jesus.

Peter then contrasts the person who demonstrates these qualities with the person who does not demonstrate these qualities in verse 9 by stating “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.” Peter’s point is that the person who is not putting in serious effort at their own expense to cultivate these qualities has lost sight of what Jesus actually did order to rescue them from the selfishness and rebellion that polluted their lives so that they could experience the relationship with God that they were created for. 

And it is here that we see Peter reveal the second aspect of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of in that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus should produce a serious effort to strive to grow spiritually. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives for moral character that is worthy of praise.

As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives to comprehend and grasp the message and teachings of Jesus. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives for self control. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives for the capacity to bear up under difficulty. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives for a life that looks like Jesus. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives for a brotherly affection for others. As followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives for a selfless and warm regard and affection for others.

And as followers of Jesus, the rescue we have obtained by Jesus should lead us to exert serious effort that strives to produce the right results. When we strive to produce the right results, those right results will cause us to avoid being useless and unproductive in response to our rescue by Jesus and the kingdom mission we have been given by Jesus. And when we strive to produce the right results, the right results will cause us to keep our rescue from rebellion in sight.


Friday, we will see Peter reveal a third aspect of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of…

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

As followers of Jesus, we need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus...

This weekend we found ourselves in the first weekend of November. And for many of us, it is the month of November where we begin to anticipate the upcoming holiday season. In a few weeks, we will pause to celebrate Thanksgiving. However, even before we celebrate Thanksgiving, for many of us, Christmas is already on our mind.

And as we approach the holiday season, our minds often wander back to memories of the past. Our minds wander back to the past as the holiday season reminds us of special times in the past. And we celebrate these holidays because these holidays are designed to remind us of significant events in history.

For example, Thanksgiving reminds us of a time in history when native Americans helped the early settlers survive after a brutal start to their time here on this continent. We celebrate Christmas to remind us of an event from history when Jesus entered into humanity as a baby born to a teenage girl that was placed in a feeding trough for animals.  We celebrate holidays because these holidays serve as a reminder that helps us to remember significant events in history. Because without reminders we have a tendency to forget, don’t we?

And what is true for us when it comes to history is also true for us spiritually. This morning, we celebrated communion as a reminder of what Jesus did for us to rescue us from the selfishness and rebellion that separated us from God so that we could experience forgiveness and the relationship with God that we were created for. And when Jesus instituted communion, one of the things that He said was “Do this in remembrance of Me”.  You see, Jesus knew what we all have a tendency to do, which is that we have a tendency to forget.

And because of our tendency to forget, we need reminders to help us to not forget. So, for the month of November, we are going to spend our time together in a sermon series entitled reminder. During this series, we are going to look at a letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the New Testament of the Bible called the book of 2 Peter. The book of 2 Peter was written by the same man who wrote the book of 1 Peter, who was none other than the Apostle Peter. And as we will discover during this series, the Apostle Peter wanted to make sure that the readers of his letter, and followers of Jesus throughout history, would not forget the timeless truths about the claims of Christ and the message of the gospel that he had written and that are contained in the book of 1 Peter.

The Apostle Peter was concerned that the readers of his previous letter would end up forgetting what he had communicated to them in his previous letter as a result of the passage of time and the influence of false teachers in their lives. And because of the danger that false teachers and the passage of time presented to the readers of his first letter, the Apostle Peter sat down and wrote this letter that we know today as the book of 2 Peter to remind the readers of his letter of several truths about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that were to always be at the forefront of their lives.  

And just as it was for the Apostle Peter, as we go through this series, our hope and our prayer is that God would move by the power of the Holy Spirit in our heads, hearts, and minds to remind us of several timeless truths about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives in a way that results in us living out those truths so as to reveal and reflect Jesus to those around us. So let’s begin where the letter of 2 Peter begins, which is in 2 Peter 1:1-2:

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

The book of 2 Peter begins by introducing its author, the Apostle Peter. Peter was the undisputed leader of the twelve closest followers of Jesus. Peter describes himself as a bond servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. Now a bond-servant was one who is solely committed to the service of another. Peter wanted to remind the reader of his letter that he was solely committed to serving the Lord and the kingdom mission that he had been given by the Lord.

In addition, an Apostle was someone who had seen Jesus after He had been raised from the dead and had been given the unique role and gifting by Jesus to be a foundational leader in the early church and a primary messenger that would deliver a new message from God to the world. And in His role as an Apostle, Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write this letter that has been preserved and recorded for us in the Bible as the book of 2 Peter. 

After introducing himself as the author of this letter, Peter introduces us to the recipients of this letter. When Peter refers to the recipients of this letter as those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, he is referring to those who had responded God’s right actions in the world that provided humanity the opportunity to be rescued from the selfishness and rebellion that separated them from God through Jesus life, death, and resurrection by placing their confident trust in Jesus.

After describing these early followers of Jesus who were the recipients of his letter, Peter extended a traditional greeting of grace and peace. Peter hoped that these early followers of Jesus would experience God's divine favor in their lives and a state of well being with God that was continually increasing in their lives as a result of their knowledge of God and God’s activity in the lives through Jesus. After extending an opening greeting, Peter begins his letter to these early followers of Jesus with a powerful statement that reveals for us a timeless reminder regarding our relationship with Jesus. So let’s look at that statement together, beginning in 1 Peter 1:3-4:

 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Now when Peter uses the word seeing here, this word, in the language that this letter was originally written in, literally means because. So Peter is basically saying “I hope that you would experience God's divine favor in your lives and a state of well being with God that is continually increasing in your life as a result of you knowledge of God and His activity in your life through Jesus because His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

What is so interesting is that the word for everything here literally means everything. In addition, the word granted here means to present something as a gift or a benefit. Peter’s point is that God has presented followers of Jesus a gift according to His supernatural power. And that gift is everything pertaining to life and godliness. When Peter refers to life here, he is referring to transcendent and eternal life with God in the relationship with God that we were created for. When Peter uses the word godliness here, this word refers to an awesome respect that is accorded to God that results in a life that looks like God. In other words, God has given followers of Jesus throughout history everything we need to experience eternal life with Jesus and to live a life that that looks like Jesus.

Now a natural question that could arise here is “Well Dave, how did followers of Jesus get everything we need to experience eternal life with Jesus and to live a life that that looks like Jesus?” Peter provides the answer to that question with the phrase through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Peter’s point is that God, in His splendor and radiance; God, in a demonstration of His miraculous and Divine power; graciously chose to make Himself known and to rescue followers of Jesus through Jesus. But not only did God graciously choose to make Himself known and to rescue followers of Jesus through Jesus.

In addition, in verse 4, Peter explains that by His splendor and radiance; God, in a demonstration of His miraculous and Divine power has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises. When Peter refers to His precious and magnificent promises, he is referring to God’ promises that are contained in the letters that make up the Bible. In other words, God has given followers of Jesus the gift of His extremely valuable and extraordinary promises. Peter then explained that God gave followers of Jesus the gift of His extremely valuable and extraordinary promises so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature. But this morning, what does that even mean?

The word partaker simple means to take part in something with someone. When Peter refers to the Divine nature, he is referring to the Divine characteristics of God. Peter here is revealing for us the reality that, as followers of Jesus, we take part with the Trinity in Divinity. Right now, in a mystical and spiritual way, as followers of Jesus, we are in Christ, in Heaven. As followers of Jesus we are part of the church, which is the body of Christ here on earth. But even now, we are mystically and spiritually a part of the body of Christ in Heaven.

Now doesn’t that make your head hurt? And at the end of God’s story here on earth, when Jesus returns to defeat selfishness, sin, and death and ushers in the kingdom of Heaven in its fullest sense, followers of Jesus will spend all eternity sharing in divinity with the Trinity. We will spend all eternity sharing in divinity with the Trinity because, as a result of God’s gracious gift of rescue through Jesus, followers of Jesus have escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. In other words, God’s gracious gift of rescue through Jesus has enables us to escape the inward depravity that is the result of our old nature apart from Jesus that is dominated by selfishness and rebellion and that is in opposition to God and that desires what is forbidden by God.

And it is here, in this opening section of this letter, that we see Peter reveal for us a timeless reminder about Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus that we are to always have at the forefront of our lives. And that timeless reminder is this: We need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus. Just as it was for these early followers of Jesus; just as it has been for followers of Jesus throughout history, we need to be reminded of the rescue we have obtained through Jesus.

And in 2 Peter 1:1-11, we see Peter reveal three aspects of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of. First, in 2 Peter 1:1-4, we see that the rescue we have obtained through Jesus provides us everything we need spiritually to live a life that represents Jesus well.

As followers of Jesus, we have obtained a rescue that produces a state of confident trust in Jesus as a result of God’s right actions through Jesus life, death, and resurrection. As followers of Jesus, we have obtained a rescue that provides God’s Divine favor and a state of well being with God. And as followers of Jesus, we have obtained a rescue that provides the opportunity to experience eternal life with Jesus and to live a life that looks like Jesus.

This opportunity is based on God graciously choosing to give us the gift of a true knowledge of Himself. And this opportunity is based on God graciously choosing to give us the gift of His miraculous promises. God’s miraculous promises are precious and extraordinary in nature. And God’s miraculous promises result in us taking part in His nature. As followers of Jesus, we will participate in Divinity with the Trinity. And as followers of Jesus, we have escaped the inward depravity that desires what is forbidden by God.


Tomorrow, we will see Peter reveal a second aspect of the rescue that we have obtained by Jesus that we need to be reminded of…

Friday, November 3, 2017

Two dangers that require our awareness as followers of Jesus...

This week we are looking at a section of a letter in the New Testament of the Bible, called the book of 1 Peter, where we discovered a timeless truth about how we are to live out our identity as followers of Jesus who are part of God’s kingdom community in the midst of a rapidly changing culture in that living as part of God’s kingdom community requires that we recognize the danger around us. And in 1 Peter 5:6-14, we will see Peter reveal three different dangers that we need to recognize as followers of Jesus who are part of God’s kingdom community.

Wednesday, in verses 6-7, we see Peter reveal for us the reality that, as followers of Jesus, we are to recognize the danger of difficult times. Just like the readers of this letter, as followers of Jesus living in a rapidly changing culture, we can experience difficult times. Just like the readers of this letter, as followers of Jesus, we can feel like we are being squeezed by trials and difficulties in our lives.

And because of that reality, we are to respond to danger of difficult times by humbly placing ourselves under the Lord, knowing that the Lord will lift us up upon Jesus return. And as followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of difficult times by humbly placing ourselves under the Lord, knowing that we can transfer our cares to Him while we wait His return. Instead of trying resolve our anxieties and concerns ourselves without the Lord in a way that exalt ourselves, we are to transfer those anxieties and concerns to the Lord in a way that exalts the Lord. Peter reveals a second danger that we need to recognize as followers of Jesus who are part of God’s kingdom community in verse 8-11. Let’s discover that danger together:

 8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. 10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. 11 To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Now to fully understand what Peter is communicating here, we first need to understand a few things. The first thing we need to understand is what Peter means when he commands followers of Jesus throughout history to be sober of spirit. As we discovered earlier in the book of 1 Peter, the phrase “be of sober spirit” here refers to being well-balanced. This phrase conveys the sense of being self controlled.

Peter here is commanding followers of Jesus throughout history to demonstrate a sense of self-restraint and self control.  As followers of Jesus, we are not to allow our mental or emotional states to be filled with confusion that comes as a result of excess emotion and rash responses to our circumstances. Instead of becoming emotionally or mentally intoxicated by riding the emotional or mental roller coaster of “what if”, as followers of Jesus we are to focus on the confident expectation that we have for the future in light of Jesus return so as to have balance in our lives emotionally and mentally.

Now that leads to the second thing which we need to understand, which is what Peter means when he commands followers of Jesus throughout history “to be on the alert”. To be on the alert means to be in a constant state of readiness.     Peter then explains that the reason why followers of Jesus were to be sober in spirit so as to be emotionally and mentally balanced regardless of our circumstances: the reason why followers of Jesus were to be in a constant state of readiness, was due to the fact that “Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Now, in the Greco-Roman culture of the first century, the word adversary was a term used to refer to one who brings a charge in a lawsuit. The adversary would be one who was an accuser of another. Peter explains that the one who brings a charge, the one who accuses, is the Devil. Now Jesus and the other authors of the letters that make up the Bible teach us that the Devil is the leader of a group of supernatural beings who known as demons. We also know that the Devil and demons have superhuman, but limited knowledge and power.

The Devil and demons are a group of angels that were created by the Lord before the creation of the universe, who rebelled against God sometime before the fall of humanity that is recorded for us in the very first letter in the Bible in Genesis 3. And the Devil and the demons that follow the Devil are driven by a desire to destroy the Kingdom of God and the people of God. The Devil and the demons are driven by a desire to be worshipped as gods instead of worshipping God.

And because of that reality, Peter states that the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Peter paints a word picture of a lion hunting for prey to reveal the reality that the devil devotes serious effort to find people that he can oppose, accuse, and destroy. Peter wanted the readers of his letter to understand the danger of the devil by getting off the emotional and mental roller coaster so as to be in a state of mental and emotional balance and readiness for any potential attack by the devil.

Peter then provides the strategy for opposing any potential attack by the Devil with the phrase firm in your faith. Peter’s point here is that followers of Jesus are to respond to the accusations and enticements of the Devil by being steadfast in our confident trust in Jesus and the message and teachings of Jesus. In addition, Peter reminded the readers of his letter that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. In other words, the readers were not to feel alone when it came to the accusations and enticements of the Devil as the Devil and the demons that follow the Devil are driven by a desire to destroy the Kingdom of God and the people of God. Instead, Peter wanted the readers of his letter to clearly understand that their experience was a common experience for followers of Jesus throughout the world.

In addition, in verse 10, we see Peter reveal the reality that he wanted the readers of his letter to clearly understand that after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. You see, Peter wanted the readers of his letter, and followers of Jesus throughout history, to clearly understand that the suffering and sadness that they were experiencing at the hands of the Devil and those in the culture around them who were hostile to God and the things of God were only temporary.

And after this temporary time of suffering that they would experience here on earth, Peter wanted the readers of his letter, and followers of Jesus throughout history, to clearly understand that God, who is the source of all favor and blessings and who had chosen them to experience the splendor and radiance that is without end as a result of His activity through Jesus that resulted in their relationship with Jesus would perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. In other words, after their temporary time of suffering, the readers of this letter would experience the fullness of God’s activity in their lives through Jesus that would result in them being put in the perfect condition that they were created to experience. After their temporary time of suffering, the readers of this letter would experience the fullness of God’s activity in their lives through Jesus that would result in them being totally committed, empowered and provided a secure basis from which they would experience the fullness of the relationship with God that they were created for.

And it is here that we see Peter reveal for us the reality that, as followers of Jesus who are part of God’s kingdom community, we are to recognize the danger of the Devil. As followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of the Devil by being emotionally and mentally balanced. As followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of the Devil by being in a constant state of readiness for his attacks. And as followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of the Devil by opposing his attacks.

We are to oppose his attacks by being steadfast in our confident trust in Jesus. We are to oppose his attacks knowing that we are not alone in these attacks. And we are to oppose his attacks knowing that God promises us a glorious future. God promises a glorious future where He will put us into proper condition. God promises a glorious future where He will cause us to be totally committed. God promises a glorious future where He will make us strong. And God promises a glorious future where He will provide a secure base for our life in relationship with Jesus.

A glorious future, that is sure, because as Peter points out in verse 11, God has the dominion, or ruling authority to accomplish His promises for all eternity. Peter then concludes this letter by revealing a third danger that we need to recognize as followers of Jesus who are part of God’s kingdom community in verse 12-14:

 12Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it! 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.

Now so often, when we come to the final verses in a letter in the New Testament we can find ourselves just skimming through so that we can move on to the next letter. So often, we read these final verses as though they are the fine print in some item that we purchased. However, it is in these final verses, it is in the fine print, so to speak, that we discover another timeless danger that we need to recognize.

When Peter refers to Silvanus, this is another name for a man named Silas. Silas was a travel companion of the Apostle Paul and Timothy during one of his missionary journeys and helped write several letters that are recorded for us in the New Testament. In addition, Silas often delivered correspondence for the leaders of the early churches to churches, as we see in Acts 15:23. Silas delivered the letter that we know as 1 Peter to the original readers of this letter.

Peter explained that the letter that Silas was delivering contained the true grace of God. Peter’s point is that the contents of his letter contained the genuine and authentic truth about God’s transformational intervention and activity through Jesus that results in forgiveness and the relationship with God that we were created for. And because of that reality, Peter commanded the readers of this letter to stand firm in it. In other words, the readers of this letter were to remain firmly rooted in the truth of the letter so as to remain unmoved from the truth of this letter.

And it is here that we see Peter reveal for us the reality that, as followers of Jesus, we are to recognize the danger of failing to remain rooted in the message of the gospel. As followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of failing to remain rooted in the message of the gospel by recognizing the message of the gospel as being the real deal. As followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of failing to remain rooted in the message of the gospel by standing firm on the truth of its message.

And as followers of Jesus, we are to respond to the danger of failing to remain rooted in the message of the gospel by recognizing those who are also rooted in the gospel. Peter recognized those who were followers of Jesus that comprised the church in Rome as those who remained rooted in the gospel. Now a natural question that could arise here is “why would Peter refer to the church at Rome with the name Babylon? Is Peter speaking in code? What is going on here?”

Peter here uses the word Babylon as a word picture that connected the idea of living as aliens and strangers. Just as the Jews lived in Babylon in the OT, these early followers of Jesus were living in exile now as strangers and aliens whose true citizenship was in God’s kingdom community. Peter then wished the readers of his letter would experience a state of well being with God and others that came as a result of embracing and living out their identity as part of God’s kingdom community.

And part of living out our identity as God’s kingdom community is to understand that living as part of God’s kingdom community requires that we recognize the danger around us. As part of God’s kingdom community, we are to recognize the danger of difficult times. As part of God’s kingdom community, we are to recognize the danger of the Devil. And as part of God’s kingdom community, we are to recognize the danger of failing to remain rooted in the message of the gospel.

So here is a question to consider: Do you recognize the danger around you? Do you recognize the danger of difficult times? Do you recognize the danger of the Devil? Do you recognize the danger of failing to remain rooted in the message of the gospel?

And how are you responding to the danger? Are you responding to the danger by placing yourself under the Lord so as to place the Lord first? Are you responding to the danger by being steadfast in your confident trust in the Lord? Are you responding to the danger by recognizing that the message of the gospel is the real deal?


Because the timeless reality is that living as part of God’s kingdom community requires that we recognize the danger around us…