International/Uniform Sunday School Lesson for May 12, 2013
Scripture Text: 2 Peter 1:3-15
Purpose: To help us live life for all it is worth
2 Peter 1:3-15 (CEB)
3 By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. 4 Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
5 This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. 8 If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 Whoever lacks these things is shortsighted and blind, forgetting that they were cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election. Do this and you will never ever be lost. 11 In this way you will receive a rich welcome into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
12 So I’ll keep reminding you about these things, although you already know them and stand secure in the truth you have.13 I think it’s right that I keep stirring up your memory, as long as I’m alive. 14 After all, our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I am about to depart from this life. 15 I’m eager for you always to remember these things after my death.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
Today's text from Peter's second epistle seems to address an age old question. How can you live as a Christian in a corrupt world? Or, how can we live holy lives, in unholy surroundings? Growing up on a farm in Indiana in the 40's and 50's I did come come close to facing the immorality and the temptations that a teenager or adult faces today, with the internet and other printed material so readily available. But, even prior to all of the modern day devices, there was plenty of opportunity to yield to sinful cravings.
Peter's letter offers hope to those that are facing the temptations of modern life, regardless of the quantity or quality of the immorality around us. Peter call us to “make every effort to add moral excellence to our faith.” (vs 5) Peter further states not just moral excellence but also knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, affection for others (Philadelphia) and love (Agape). The “agape” love enables us be committed to the welfare of others whether that love is returned or not.
It is probably important to remember that those qualities listed above are gifts, and not something we can obtain by ourselves. Refer back to verse 4 where it says “Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.”
It is very hard, if not impossible, to achieve any kind of godliness, or to overcome the perverse ways of the world, in our own strength, but with God all things are possible.
In the final four verses of our text Peter makes a final plea for those Christians to remember what he has said. Sort of like the famous quote attributed to real estate agents about the three most important thinks to remember about real estate is “location,” “location,” “location.” Three times in the last four verses Peter says “remember,” remember, “remember.”
(1) 12 So I’ll keep reminding you about these things)
- 13 I think it’s right that I keep stirring up your memory, as long as I’m alive
- 15 I’m eager for you always to remember these things after my death.
The Christian life is a life that can be lived with the hope that we can withstand the immorality and sinful cravings of this world. By accepting the gifts that God gives us, as we claim his promises, we can live a life filled with love, both philadelphia love, and agape love. Moral excellence is an achievable goal for each of us. It is not our moral purity that makes godliness possible, it is godliness that makes moral purity possible.