Friday: Further Thought – Major Themes in 1 and 2 Peter

Further Thought: Even amid the heavy theology, Peter’s letters put a strong emphasis on Christian life and how we should treat one another. In other words, yes, we need to know the truth as it is in Jesus. But even more important, we need to live the truth, too. Early on, we get these grand words: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Pet. 1:22, NKJV).

Spectacles on Bible

Image © Stan Myers from GoodSalt.com

Notice how he links the purifying of our souls with obedience to the truth. The truth changes us, making us into people who love one another fervently and with “a pure heart.” Obedience, purity of heart, and love-all three are related to one another. This is the ideal we should be striving for. Can you imagine how different our lives and our churches would be were we to follow this charge? Think what it would do for the sense of church unity, if nothing else. “Brethren, will you carry the spirit of Christ with you as you return to your homes and churches? Will you put away unbelief and criticism? We are coming to a time when, more than ever before, we shall need to press together, to labor unitedly. In union there is strength. In discord and disunion there is only weakness.” – Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 2, pp. 373, 374.

Discussion Questions:

  1. In 2 Peter 3:12, the apostle wrote that we should be “looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat” (NKJV). What does he mean that we should be “hastening” the day of God? How can we hasten the day of God, that is, the Second Coming?
  2. We say that nature is God’s “second book.” Unfortunately, as with God’s first book (the Bible), this second book can be misinterpreted, as well. For example, for many people the message of design and purpose has been expunged from nature, replaced by the Darwinian notion of random mutation and natural selection. The world, we are told, isn’t really designed; rather, it just looks that way to us. How, then, are we to read and interpret this second book in the right way? What are the limits of what the second book can teach us about God? What help can we get from the first book that can aid us in understanding the second one correctly? What happens when our interpretation of nature, the second book, contradicts our interpretation of the first one, the Bible? Where is the problem?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons