Today is the last day of our two week study! Kuddos to you if you showed up every day. ☺Let’s recap everything that we’ve been studying.
We read in chapter one that we have been given knowledge of Christ as our Lord and Savior. This knowledge leads us to faith in the One True God of Israel. Peter writes that we must strengthen our faith with virtues in order to be worthy of Heaven and the divine nature given to us through Baptism. Some of the virtues that help us gain our ultimate goal of Heaven are purity, moral courage, and wisdom (to name a few). Peter also stresses that living out virtue is possible since we have been given divine power. This divine power comes through the precious gift of being partakers in the divine nature of Jesus. We see that Peter repeats himself a lot when encouraging his audience to live holy lives. He purposely does this and says it’s not due to their lack of knowledge, but because the message is IMPORTANT. He tells us to keep faithful to the Old Testament and Prophets, all of whom point to Jesus as the Messiah.
In chapter two Peter warns us about false teachers and prophets who were around in his time and still exist today. He goes on through the whole chapter talking about how there are converts to Christianity who want to lead others into immorality. These evildoers seduce and manipulate vulnerable new Christians with promises of freedom. They err in mistaking freedom for license to do whatever they please. This sounds like the attitude a lot of people still have today about free will.
Peter states that the wickedness of the false teachers and prophets makes them like dumb beasts who have no reasoning abilities. They can’t tell the good from the evil and go back to their filthy, sinful lives like a dog goes back to eat his vomit. Talk about vivid imagery that makes you never want to sin! Eeek! He knows how to get his point across.
Lastly, in the final and third chapter Peter defends the truth of the second coming of Jesus. The first generation Christians thought that during their lifetime they would see Christ come again, body and soul. When this doesn’t happen, some become skeptical about Jesus’ return. People wonder if the prophecies about the last days are bogus. However, Peter ardently defends the truth of the second coming. He says that Jesus will come again at the end of time, body and soul like proclaimed in the Gospels. AND secondly, that he spiritually came as the leader of his Kingdom on earth at the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans. The destruction of the temple is the fulfillment of the last days, at least for the people living in 70 AD. To end on a positive note, in the last verses he extols us to keep our eyes on the precious prize of eternal life!
I pray that this study has deepened your faith in Christ, his promises for you!
<3 May God bless you as you continue to grow in grace and virtue <3