Retain God's Truth

Retain God's Truth

Perry Duggar |

We need to know God’s truth so we will be able to recognize and reject false teaching.

Retain God’s Truth
Remember! – Message 2
Perry Duggar
May 1, 2022

I. Introduction: Continue our survey of 2 Peter called, Remember!

• 2 Peter 1:12; C/R: 1 Peter 1:23-25

A. The letter was likely written between A.D.65 and 68, toward the end of Peter’s life.

  1. Peter was martyred in Rome during the reign of Nero which ended in A.D. 68.
  2. The writing of this 2nd letter was motivated by false teachers infiltrating the churches.
  3. Today’s message is entitled, Retain God’s Truth. (remember, hold on to)
  4. Theme: 2 Peter 1:12 (NLT)—…You… are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.
  5. Peter knew these believers needed to know truth to recognize and reject this false teaching, so he reminded them (and us) to stand firm in God’s truth!
  6. He stressed the authenticity and authority of the Word of God to combat heresy such as the false teaching that said, immoral physical acts did not affect their spirits, or their standing with God.
  7. These deceivers also declared Jesus was not going to return, causing people to doubt ultimate judgment for sin, but also to question what they had been taught about faith.
  8. This message is appropriate today because of a belief in the world, but also in the church, that God’s love is indulgent of sin, lacking in moral standards or any expectation of holiness on our part.
  9. Like the believers who received Peter’s letter, we too need to be reminded to stand firm in God’s truth!
  10. Let’s begin by reflecting on Peter’s reasons for trusting, and following, God’s Word.

II. Reliability of God’s truth is reinforced by… (2 Peter 1:12-21)

A. #1 - Reminders from trusted people. (2 Peter 1:12-1C/R: 2 Timothy 2:2; 3:14-15; Hebrews 13:7; 1 John 2:24-25)

  1. 2 Peter 1:12 (NLT)—Therefore [because of promises of salvation, spiritual blessings and eternal reward] , I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught.
  2. Peter wants to make sure that these people will not be seduced by false beliefs which were persuasive because they embraced human desires.
  3. 2 Peter 1:13-15 (NLT)— 13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life [not reported in Scripture] , 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
  4. Peter was not worried about impending death, knowing his life would continue in heaven; he was concerned about preparing these believers for his departure by reminding them about what they had been taught, to protect them from the destructive teaching entering the churches.
  5. APP.: Most of us don’t know when we will die, but are we using the time we have to encourage and influence the faith of the loved ones we will leave behind to prepare them to face the threats and temptations of this world after we are gone?
  6. The people to whom Peter wrote trusted him because of the character and conviction he demonstrated during his work among them, teaching the Gospel, helping them grow.
  7. These believers knew and trusted Peter, so they believed what he said about the Bible.
  8. 2 Timothy 3:14–15 (NLT)— 14 But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.
  9. Today, false teaching about faith does not only occur in church; celebrities, through a variety of different media often address spiritual subjects in unbiblical ways.
  10. This false teaching penetrates our homes and affects our thinking, particularly about morality, without our even being aware of it, unless we are extremely alert.
  11. APP.: Are you standing firm in the truth you have been taught? Need to learn more?
  12. Are you taking advantage of the teaching of trusted people through messages, community groups, class and seminars, podcasts, recreation activities, for you and your children?
  13. Parents, if we don’t teach our children God’s truths and allow other trusted people, such as Christian teachers, coaches, community group leaders and adult volunteers to aid in this important endeavor, our culture will fill their minds with this world’s values.
  14. When people we trust tell us the Good News about Jesus from the Bible, we accept it, then it becomes confirmed in our lives over time and through personal experiences.

The reliability of God’s truth is also reinforced by…

B. #2 - Reflecting on personal experience. (2 Peter 1:16-1C/R: Matthew 17:1-5; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 5:16-17; Galatians 5:22-25; Colossians 1:6)

  1. 2 Peter 1:16a (NLT)— For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Peter’s preaching was true; it was not based on something he made up, but rather, he learned what he taught from his personal experience with Jesus.
  3. Peter witnessed Jesus’ ministry, which confirmed His divine identity.
  4. 2 Peter 1:16b-18 (NLT)— 16b We saw His majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when He received honor and glory [doxa] from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to Him, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.” 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
  5. God the Father spoke similar words about His Son at Jesus’ baptism and transfiguration; Peter was referring to the transfiguration, which he witnessed, along with James and John (Matthew 3:17;17:1–8; Mark 1:11;9:2–8; Luke 3:22; 9:28–36).
  6. During the transfiguration, 2 Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as light. 3 Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus. [Moses and Elijah represented the Law and the prophets, endorsing Jesus as the Messiah they spoke of.]5 [A] bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.” [Matthew 17:2-3,5 (NLT)]
  7. This supernatural physical transformation, along with the presence of Moses and Elijah provided irrefutable proof of Jesus’ divine identity as the promised Messiah.
  8. Jesus’ majestic splendor pointed to His prophesied future Messianic return in glory, which Peter was defending.
  9. We don’t have the advantage of seeing Jesus personally in human form, but we have the Holy Spirit within us, which Jesus said was better for us (John 16:7-8).
  10. We have personal experience with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, also referred to as the Spirit of truth (John 14:17) who lives within us permanently.
  11. When we believe, He regenerates us into a new person ( creation; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17), then teaches and reminds us of truth (John 14:26;16:13) and continually transforms us into the image of God by developing the fruit of the Spirit within us (Galatians 5:22-25).
  12. Colossians 1:6 (NLT)— This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.
  13. The change that occurs in our lives is a personal experience with Christ through His Spirit; it reinforces the reliability of the Bible!
  14. APP.: Is your life being changed through the Word of God empowered by the Spirit?

The reliability of God’s truth is also reinforced by…

C. #3 - Relying on revelation from God. (2 Peter 1:19-2C/R: John 17:17; Romans 10:17; 15:4; 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

  1. 2 Peter 1:19 (NLT)—19 Because of that experience [Jesus’ transfiguration] , we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. [since they were represented by Elijah] You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place [truth penetrating fallen world]—until the Day [of the Lord] dawns [Jesus’ return with judgment] , and Christ the Morning Star [“light bringer,” Venus, which precedes morning sun in the sky] shines in your hearts.
  2. The words of the prophets guide us until Jesus returns bringing His kingdom on earth.
  3. Then Peter tells us why we can rely on the words of the prophets.
  4. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NLT)— 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit [plenary and verbal inspiration, including time of writing and circumstances of writer’s life], and they spoke from God.
  5. Therefore, their messages are true, reliable, trustworthy; unlike that of the false teachers.
  6. Once convinced of its inspiration, these believers needed to know the Word from God well to be able to recognize and reject the false teaching that was often very subtle.
  7. What evidence proves the Bible is supernatural revelation from God? Most importantly, it produces faith: Romans 10:17 (NLT)— So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
  8. The Bible is the only source of information about salvation and eternal life; but it is also the authority on what is right regarding human relationships and morality.
  9. 2 Timothy 3:16–17 (NLT)— 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.
  10. Do you believe the Bible is from God? Are you convinced that it is true? If so, do you follow the guidance of Scripture to determine what you believe and how you live?
  11. We must learn the Bible because our culture is saturated with false teaching that appeals to human desires and motivations.
  12. APP.: What steps are you taking to stand firm in the truth?
  • Memory verse: 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NLT)—20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves 21 or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.

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