Three Truths to Protect Your Path to Glory

A Bible Exposition Of 2 Peter 1:1-11

Have you ever had someone whose counsel you really looked up to? Perhaps a parent or a parental figure? Maybe it was someone who wasn’t even related to you physically, but a spiritual mentor? How did you receive his or her counsel? 

Did you treasure it? Was it important to you? Of course.

We all follow people who have a compelling life worth emulating, and something worthwhile and helpful to say. But what things make a message more urgent? Certainly, if I had an urgent need that would make the situation urgent. But what about if this was the last time you would have a conversation with this mentor? How would that affect your listening skills?

I had a friend from who had the chance to spend a few minutes with an older man who was well regarded for his personal godliness. That man literally hours before his home going exhorted my friend to fight the good fight, to stay faithful, to carry on the work that he had been about for so many decades.  

That was compelling. The message carried a weightiness and an urgency

Today we will be in 2 Peter 1.

And here you have a man that has a compelling life to follow and a compelling message to listen to, and he is going to die soon… this is an important message. Really if you are going to perk up your ears and hone in on something, this is one you want to pay close attention to.

2 Peter 1:12-15—12 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 has a specific purpose in mind as he’s writing. He knows that there are false teachers influencing the flock of God there. And so, as a result he knows the best defense to protect their spiritual well-being is a good offense. The believers there must have a robust faith that is active to weather the storm.

And in the context Peter is writing against false teachers that come promoting two things that go hand in hand—the non-return of Christ as judge, and the freedom to live life according to fleshly indulgence without concern.

We don’t know the exact identity of the teachers (because Peter’s recipients in the church knew them so well). But we know that they had been in and among the people of God. They had experienced a measure of grace and they had tasted of spiritual things. But rather than profit their souls, they turned from it into destruction. Here is a quick summary of these men:

  • 2:1 – they introduce destructive heresies

  • 2:2 – they are full of sensuality and yet they intermingle it with a pretense of following truth

  • 2:3 – they are greedy and opportunistic

  • 2:10 – they are self-willed

  • 2:12 – animalistic in their reasoning

  • 2:13 – they glory in evil pleasure in deceitful things

  • 2:14 – their eyes are full of adultery, they entice weaker ones opportunistically – exploit with greed

  • 2:15 – yet they knew the way of life and they left it

And they aren’t passive… they are trying to actively entice, by appealing to ‘fleshly desires… arrogant words of vanity… sensuality’ (2:18).

They are promising freedom (2:19), and yet they are enslaved themselves (2:19). They were momentarily pulled out of their perversion, but they returned to it (2:22). Meanwhile they silence their consciences by claiming the Christ’s return isn’t imminent, or even going to happen at all.

Do you get the weightiness of this? We are talking about false teachers that are a real threat to genuine children of God. Because they are crafty, and subtle, and sneaking… much like Satan himself.

2,000 years later and there is a whole new crop of teachers today that entice by sensuality. They are greedy and self-willed. And they speak under the guise of freedom. And it is so appealing to the flesh.

What happens is that you want something in the flesh. And then you find a teacher that as they teach, it frees you up to pursue unrighteousness in your conscience. And you begin to find yourself attracted to that teacher—not because they speak the truth, but because they affirm you in your ungodliness.

So, I hope you are starting to get a sense for this here. A godly man who spent years with Jesus face to face in ministry alongside him is writing a letter at the end of his life to friends in the Lord to speak to them very candidly about their spiritual lives.

He is giving them counsel for how they will navigate the Christian life.

Essentially, he is going to sum up the spiritual journey for them in just a few verses, and its beautiful. And I’m convinced that these truths are safeguards for us… if we believe these things about our salvation it will serve as a protection to our souls.

This isn’t theoretical for me. We aren’t talking about facts and data and truth in an unremoved manner. I have real faces, real souls in mind here, of spiritual causalities. People who have been ensnared by Satan’s devices, those who are caught up in false doctrines, and now lie in a spiritual graveyard.

These are vital matters of eternal significance. Heaven and Hell. Life and Death. I urge you to take heed to this message.

The reason why I wanted to teach this passage initially, was because I found myself going back to it so frequently to counsel my own soul. And what I was attempting to deal with was a spiritual coldness. I was going through the motions in my Christian walk, and yet it was lifeless. I was doing the right things on auto-pilot.

And it concerned me. I’m not a feelings-driven kind of guy. That’s not my point. But rather that when it came to my spiritual appetite and zeal for the Lord, and genuine love for God, something was lacking.

What Peter is going to teach us this morning is that if you are not growing right now in your Christian walk you need to be concerned. If you are not growing you need to be concerned.

Because as we will see, the alternative to growing (i.e., not growing) is becoming ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of God. I would ask you to hear this message this morning. 

And if from where you sit this morning you find yourself in the not growing category, then right now where you sit, ask God to help your heart and mind be recaptured by His glory that you might know His grace again freshly. And that as you taste and see and know and believe, you will again long to grow.

3 Truths that Will Protect Your Path to Glory (that produce assurance and protect you from false teaching when you believe them and depend upon them and live your life in light of them)

1. Your provision – God’s grace (1-4)

2. Your pursuit – Personal growth (5-9)

3. Your payoff – Eternal glory (10-11)

2 Peter 1:1–11—1 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; 3 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. 5 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. 10 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.