2 Peter - 4 Sermons From The 2013 Men's Retreat at Risen Life Church

This year for our 2013 Men’s Retreat at Risen Life Church we selected the book of 2 Peter to ruminate on for the weekend.  Our goal was to quickly walk through an entire Biblical epistle, to spend the weekend thinking about a complete thought from Peter.  To accomplish our goal, we had four preachers preaching four sermons from the book.  We also supplied a popular level commentary for everyone that attended.  Discussion groups followed each preaching session. In these groups the men at our retreat had the opportunity to discuss what they were hearing, respond, and minister to one another.  This was all done in the context of a beautiful house high in the mountains near Heber, UT.

Icon second comingNow if you know anything about 2 Peter, it is a ‘teethy’ book; in other words it bites deep into your soul in both good and painful ways.  Peter tells us in 2 Peter 3:1 that his reason for writing both of his epistles is to stir up his listeners to a ‘sincere mind’ by reminding them of what the prophets and the apostles have spoken about.  This idea of a ‘sincere mind’ is more than just understanding, but it is a settled condition of the soul; that we would remember the things that God has spoken in the prophets and through Christ and the apostles, and that we would settle in our hearts and minds to live our lives accordingly.  The key thing to remember with 2 Peter is that it is written to believers.  Peter speaks of his audience in 2 Peter 1:1 as “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  This is a fantastic statement of our standing before Christ as equal to that of the apostles.  In addition, Peter continual uses language of ‘beloved’ throughout signifying the saved status of his listeners (ex 2 Peter 3:1, 3:14).  Whatever bite we feel as we read through 2 Peter has to be balanced with the elect status of the listeners.  The warnings and condemnations we hear in 2 Peter then act more like the warning passages of Hebrews; motivating the elect to live lives of godliness in the face of judgment with the comfort of knowing that God will ultimately deal with the ungodly.

Kevin Lund tackled 2 Peter 1:1-15.  Here Peter is motivating us to make our calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10).  God has elected us to salvation and has given us “everything pertain[ing] to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).  Because God has saved us and we have accepted His gift of salvation, we then are free to pursue godly living through growing in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love.  We must make sure 2 Peter’s call to godliness is set upon the foundation of our election.  To make our election based on our efforts at godliness is preaching a un-gospel moralism that will not save.

Ben Pierce preached through 2 Peter 1:16-2:22.  Ben dealt with this extensive section on false prophets.  Here Peter is dealing with the false that had arisen and are promised to arise among God’s people (2 Peter 2:1).  These false prophets are marked by their enslavement to their passions, preach a gospel of tolerance for their own personal gain, and lead many astray.  Peter is clear to show their destiny as destruction appointed by God.  These false prophets are contrasted with true prophets that speak “carried along by the Holy Spirit” and not from selfish motives (2 Peter 1:21).  As Christians we must watch out for false prophets among us and make sure that we do not become a false prophet ourselves.

I, Jared Jenkins, preached 2 Peter 3:1-14.  Here Peter is again stirring up the souls of his beloved listeners.  In this chapter he is motivating them by way of reminding the beloved of what the prophets and apostles have said about the last days and the return of Christ.  When Christ returns He is bringing judgment to the ungodly and salvation to the elect.  It is this reality that motivates Christians in two ways to persevere.  Because we know God will judge the deeds of all men, we want to strive for holiness, knowing that we are only justified before God because of what He has done for us on the cross.  Secondly, we are motivated by Christ’s return because for those who believe, the world will be remade, a new heavens and earth, where we will dwell with Christ forever in a Eden-like state, perfect.  Revelation 21:1-8 gives us a great picture of the new heavens and new earth.  In the end we want to be found “without spot or blemish, and at peace” (2 Peter 3:14).  This only comes through resting in Christ’s work on the cross.

Bryan Catherman closed out the retreat by working through 2 Peter 3:14-18.  2 Peter is a very sharp book and it was Bryan’s job to ‘put ice on our wounds.’  He reminded us of our election and delved into the only way we can be found spotless, without blemish, and at peace.  This can only be accomplished through being clothed in Christ’s righteousness by receiving His free gift of salvation.

The weekend was blast and God’s Spirit definitely moved in our men.  I highly encourage you to listen to the 4 sermons below and spend a little time thinking about 2 Peter.


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