Biblical Interpretation – Preparing your heart 3

The aim of this session is to cultivate a correct view of Scripture and to grow in an understanding of how to correctly interpret Scripture.

Look at this short Video link on “Accuracy and Reliability of Scripture” by the New York Apologists https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWxwfFNyVws

Scripture:

2 Peter 3:1-18

1  This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2  that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3  knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4  They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

5  For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6  and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7  But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

8  But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

11  Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12  waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13  But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14  Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.

15  And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16  as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

17  You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18  But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Observations

  1. Peter had one major motive when he wrote this last part of his letter to the first readers. Summarize it in one sentence for yourself.
  2. There are several direct and indirect references to God’s Word / Scripture in this chapter, since it deals with the reliability of God’s promises. List these references.
  3. Peter addresses a specific erroneous argument of people who turn away from God in Christ in verse 4. Shortly write in your own words this erroneous argument, as well as how Peter corrects this error.
  4. Peter gives a few commands of holy living in response to Jesus’ pending return – list them.

Application:

  1. In this last chapter of 2 Peter, the author comfortably places the authority of God’s Creative Word (Genesis 1:3), history of Noah (in the book Genesis), the commands of Jesus (primarily found in the Gospels), the writings of the prophets (with specific reference to the destruction of the world and the New Creation) and apostles (mentioning Paul), and even the final Word of Judgment on equal footing – equating all these as the Word of God.
    1. What do you think when you read this statement?
    2. How do you feel about this statement?
    3. If this is true, how does it affect your approach to and regard of the Bible?
  2. If someone said to you today “It has been 2000 years since Jesus ascended into heaven. He said he will come back soon, but I wonder if that is true. Do you think he will come back literally?” Remembering Peter’s second letter, what will you answer him?
  3. Peter urges his readers to a life of holiness and deliberate growth in the knowledge and grace of Christ. Write down what the Spirit is pressing on your heart in response to this call.
  4. Peter writes that Jesus is coming soon, and he will judge the world – we will either be found in him and live, or the ungodly will be destroyed. When you read this text, who are you concerned about?  What will you do about it?  When?

Prayer

Look at your application points and pray through each point as your heart responds to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

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