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New Testament Survey: Acts-Revelation - Lesson 28

2 Peter and Jude

God has given us everything we need for life and godliness.

Thomas Schreiner
New Testament Survey: Acts-Revelation
Lesson 28
Watching Now
2 Peter and Jude

Flow assignment 1 John 5:6-12

2 Peter

I. Authorship

II. God's Grace the Foundation for a Life of Godliness: 1:3-11

III. Peter's Apostolic Reminder: 1:12-21

IV. The Arrival, Character, and Judgment of False Teachers: 2:1-22

V. Reminder: The Day of the Lord Will Come: 3:1-18

 

Jude

I. Authorship and date

II. Greeting and purpose for writing

III. Judgment of the Intruders: 5-16

IV. Exhortations to Believers: 17-23

V. Doxology


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  • Acts is a continuation of the gospel of Luke, which is a historical account of the life and ministry of Jesus. Acts begins with the 40 days that Jesus was on earth after his resurrection, and continues with his ascension and the work of the Holy Spirit in the early church.

  • This lecture was not recorded. We hope to include it the next time Dr. Schreiner teaches the class.

    Acts Chapter 1 is an account of Pentecost and the first times the apostles proclaim gospel publicly.

  • The kerygma is the proclamation of the gospel to nonbelievers. The first presentations were made to people who were familiar with the teachings of the Old Testament. (Begins on page 6 of the outline)

  • The kerygma is the proclamation of the gospel to nonbelievers. The first presentations were made to people who were familiar with the teachings of the Old Testament. Steven’s speech and Paul’s conversion are significant events.  (Begins on page 6 of the outline under Acts: Outline Summary, point I, F.) (43:40)

  • Description of the expansion of the gospel to the gentiles.

  • Beginning in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, Paul calls us to watch for the second coming of Jesus by being aware that there will be a great falling away from the faith in the body of Christ and the Lawless One will appear. When God calls us, his calling creates life. (43:16)

  • God chose not the wise, powerful or noble, but the foolish, weak and despised so that we would know that our relationship with God is based on what Christ did, not what we do. Paul boasts in the power of God, not the wisdom or eloquence of his arguments. The only way we know about God is when the Spirit reveals him to us.

  • The core problem of the Corinthians is pride. God turns everything for our benefit, even things that cause pain or death. The fight of faith is to believe this, even when circumstances are difficult. Only God can judge a person’s relationship to God. (43:36)

  • It’s better to be cheated than to take a fellow believer to court. If you are a fully devoted follower of Christ, your behavior will show it. (44:35)

  • Paul believes in cultural flexibility and contextualization. Paul uses the example of a race as a picture of be motivated to live well. He is saved and needs to live in a way to be saved. Whether or not to eat meat offered to idols is still a significant issue in some cultures. (41:23)

     

  • Audio content is missing at this time for 1 Corinthians chapters 12-16, 2 Corinthians and Romans chapter 1.

    However, a transcription and outline for this material is provided.  

  • The first of a three-part overview of Paul's epistle to the Romans.

  • Romans 4 tells us what kind of faith Abraham had that was saving faith. You are not saved by working for God, but by believing in God. Hope is confident, sure expectation. Paul’s main rhetorical question is, “Can the law transform us?” His implied answer is "no!" (43:03)

  • The law doesn’t give life because commands don’t transform us. Romans 8 says we need the Spirit to transform us. The witness of the Spirit that we are his children is a mystical sense and evidence of our obedience. Paul says all the promises for relationship to God are for the gentiles as well as the Jews. God is in charge of everything. (44:25)

  • Christ is the very image of the invisible God. He partakes of his essence. Jesus is preeminent, because he’s God and he’s the reconciler of all things. Jesus is Lord of Creation and Lord of the Church. Paul calls the Philippians to unity. (46:43)

  • Summary of main themes in Ephesians. The first three chapters communicate who and what we are in Christ. Chapters 4-6 is the practical outworking. Paul equates maturity with doctrinal purity and stability, not being swayed by every idea. The Christian life isn’t mathematical because it’s a relationship with the Spirit. (43:54)

  • Your view of authorship of biblical documents and how you translate those documents depends quite a bit on your presuppositions. Some people think that because of the vocabulary and the way some subjects are addressed in the Pastoral epistles that Paul did not write them. However, others are convinced that Paul wrote them and offer responses to objections that others have raised. (42:24) This lecture was given by a teaching assistant of Dr. Schreiner's because he had planned to be out of town.

  • God wants to work in our hearts so we are full of love for him and others. Paul gives his testimony as an example that anyone can be saved. God desires to save all, and he elects some. Elders are described as people of character who lead and teach. In Titus, the ethical exhortations are anchored in the gospel. In 2 Timothy, Paul calls on Timothy to suffer for the gospel.

  • We should think of Hebrews as a sermon. The warning passages are exhortations following theological teaching. It was probably not written by Paul. The book was written to Hebrew Christians to warn them against committing apostasy.

  • Christ is more important than Moses. Warning passages encourage us not to drift away or harden our hearts. Since Jesus was fully human, he experienced the full range of temptation, but never gave in. (43:55)

  • The main points in the book of Hebrews beginning with chapter 6. Jesus was a priest in the order of Melchizedek because he was superior to the Levites. Christ’s sacrifice is better than the animal sacrifices because it is once for all. The sacrifices are good because they are a shadow and an image of what is coming, but the sacrifices are temporary and imperfect. (43:55)

  • The author of Hebrews concludes by exhorting people to put into practice the theological truths he has just explained.

  • Defining questions about the content and origin of the epistle of James. (43:01)

  • Summary of the teaching of James on justification and wisdom. (41:58)

  • Peter’s call to look forward to our future inheritance and live as God’s people. (42:35)

  • Flow assignment 1 Peter 2:18-25

    Peter calls followers of Jesus to persevere by responding to suffering in a godly way. (44:48)

  • Concluding verses in 1 Peter and the epistle of 1 John. The purpose of John’s epistles is to give people assurance of their faith.

  • God has given us everything we need for life and godliness.

  • The purpose of Revelation is to encourage suffering saints. (44:47)

  • This lecture was cut short because of technical difficulties during the recording. The audio covers point III. Visions of God, points A and B, beginning with Revelation chapter 4. The next lecture begins at point IV. The Seven Seals, point D.

  • Main ideas in Revelation chapters 6-13.

  • Summary of the last days of judgment and then the creation of the new heavens and new earth. The time for this lecture was shortened to give students time to complete an in-class evaluation. (30:15)

A study of the Acts to Revelation in the framework of the history of the early church. We are missing a few lectures that we hope to record the next time Dr. Schreiner teaches the class. These include lecture numbers 2 and 11, the lecture covering Acts chapters 16-22 and 1 Thessalonians, and the lecture covering Revelation chapter 6.

You may download Dr. Schreiner's complete course outline By clicking on the Resource link and then the Class Outline link. An outline for each lecture displays when you click on the Outline tab on each lecture page.

Dr. Schreiner has developed a system for exegesis. The "Flow and Tracing" handout gives you some information about how he does it. Some lectures include audio of Dr. Schreiner applying this method to specific passages. Dr. Schreiner recommends that you read the chapter in his book, "Interpreting the Pauline Epistles" along with this handout before you try this process.

Course: New Testament Survey, Acts to Revelation

Lecture 28: 2nd Peter & Jude

This is the 28th lecture in the online series of lectures on New Testament Survey by Dr Thomas Schreiner. Recommended Reading includes: Article on Divorce and Remarriage – Craig Blomberg, Trinity Journal, 1990; The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross by Leon Morris; Are there Two Will in God by John Piper; Two views on Women in Ministry by James Beck and Craig Blomberg; Word Bible Commentary: Pastoral Epistles, Volume 46, by William D. Mounce and Recovering Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood, by Wayne Gudem and John Piper (article by Vern Poythress entitled, ‘The Church as a Family’)

(Any slides, photos, notes or outlines that the lecturer refers to should be down loaded separately. If they are not available, you may be able to find something similar using the Google© search engine.)

God has given us everything we need for life and Godliness.

Flow Assignment 1st John 5:6-12

‘This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.’

This trace assignment involves a sentence by sentence analytical and linguistic approach in understanding 1st John 5:6-`12. With the water and the blood, most interpreters agreed that the water refers to baptism and the blood to refer to his death. This is an idea – explanation. He came as the one anointed as the Messiah at his baptism and then went to his death. A ground clause is the Spirit that bears the truth. The Spirit, the water and the blood bear witness and the three are in agreement. So verses 6-8 talk about these three witnesses. Jesus is anointed as the Messiah at his baptism and he was the Messiah through his death. The Spirit attests that the Gospel is true, supernaturally. So how do we know that the Gospel is true? It is not by any external proof but by the work of the Spirit. So this is not something we can prove in a formula or simply demonstrate for it is the Spirit’s work in our heart. The witness of God is greater than the human witness. So the witness of the Spirit in our hearts is greater than any human testimony. So we can be sure of the truth because we have that divine witness. The one who doesn’t believe makes God a liar, but the one who believes has the witness. This is a clear positive – negative. It the believer who has that witness, so belief in Jesus is more than knowing something exists materially or historically. Belief in Jesus is a different dimension. This is a divine witness and thus it is something moral. Thus in the day of judgement, anyone who believes will not face any argument from God. John is saying that belief is a moral matter and thus those that don’t believe, has charged God with being a liar and morally that is inconceivable to John. I think that is his argument here. Verse 11 is an idea – explanation; God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. A positive – negative is ‘whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son doesn’t have life. Therefore if you have the Son then you have the life. So what is the content of the witness? It is the Son of God, Jesus Christ and that eternal life is in Jesus. Therefore everyone who has the Son has life. So in a series, the author keeps developing the theme that binds these four points which is the witness.

I. 2nd Peter Authorship

Now 2nd Peter is the most disputed book in the New Testament in terms of authenticity. Yet there are very good reasons to assume that Peter wrote 2nd Peter. To sum up the book, I would say that God has given us all we need. 2nd Peter starts off with the Gospel. This sums up the first four verses of the Book and so we see that God has given us everything we need, all the grace and strength for life and godliness. The Christian life begins with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This makes us partakers of God’s divine nature. Peter continues by saying telling us to live a Godly life and confirm your call and election. Be diligent to practice these virtues in your Christian life because of everything that God has given you. He doesn’t say; try to be nice people, as if that was the answer to the problems in the world.

II. God’s Grace the Foundation for a Life of Godliness: 1:30-11

God has graced you with every gift in Christ. His grace has seized you and changed you; so live that out and be a new person. When you do this, you will confirm your calling and election. This is a confirmation to what God has done for you. As we see in the Scriptures, good works is the evidence and indication that we are really changed. When God works in us, he changes us by his grace and thus become new people.

III. Peter’s Apostolic Reminder: 1:12-21

God has given you everything and so therefore live a Godly life, live to be saved on the last day. This is sometimes called Peter’s testament because he says here that he is dying. Peter is telling them that it is important for them not to forget this.

In 1:16 – 19a, it says that what we tell you is based on eye witness testimony of the transfiguration and God’s prophetic Word. Peter said that he saw on the mountain Jesus transfigured before him. I saw that with my own eyes. How can this not be Peter? It has to be Peter who wrote this, otherwise it is a lie. Peter says that he knows that this is true for I saw Jesus in all his glory. For Peter the transfiguration is a sort of prophecy, a prelude and anticipation of the second coming; Jesus is coming again. Jesus will look the same way he looked when he was transfigured. Peter says what God has told us is reliable, therefore pay heed to the Word. If your salvation is dependent upon it, then pay attention to what I am saying. There is a lot of darkness in the world but this Word shines in a dark place, for it is the truth; it illuminates everything for us. Note that the liberal seminaries are dying because of the darkness that has entered them. If God’s Word isn’t true then who wants to spend all that time studying it! Luther says that if you give up the original languages then you give up the Gospel. But when the Spirit is allowed to work in you, you will pay attention to God’s Word. If you love God’s Word, you will want to study it and pay attention to it.

For verses 20 and 21, ‘No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.’ When we deal with God’s Word, it becomes very precious to us and it is a privilege to know it. So pay heed to what I am saying. So again, the main thought in chapter 1 is to pay heed!

IV. The Arrival, Character, and Judgement of False Teachers: 2:1-22

How can we summarize chapter 2? Don’t pay attention to false teachers. Don’t pay attention to them. The first three verses simply states that there will be false teachers. Even as Peter writes this letter, they have already made themselves known. So the message for the church; there are dangerous people out there who are not teaching the Word of God. They are contrary even to the Gospel. This is true today; we have to watch out for false teachers. But these false teachers will be judged and destroyed ultimately; God will judge them. Verses 2:4-10a is a ground; for God will judge the wicked and preserve his own. He preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. He turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes but rescued righteous Lot who was distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked. God has judged the wicked all through history and he continued that today. In 2:11-16 they will be judged for their sensuality (their sexual sins) and their greed (their desire of money). These are the two things Peter is focusing on. The people he is referring to are false teachers who claim to be Christians. So those people who are in the ministry for money and those who use their ministry as a means of living sensuous lives sexually are the people who have stained evangelicalism and the church. If you are in this position, ask God for the grace to repent and turn from this sin. If you don’t repent and change your ways you will be added to those who are false teachers and will be judged accordingly. Peter warns us against this; don’t let these things invade our lives and we are to watch out for people like that. Note that the false teachers will be judged because of their influence on others and their own departure from the faith. They will be judged because they have led those who have recently made confessions of faith.

These false teachers promise these people freedom yet they themselves are slaves of corruption. They say they are free in Christ and so they can do whatever they want, but actually they are slaves of sin themselves and they influence others in this teaching. Now that you are a Christian, you can do whatever you want, they say. But they have departed from the faith. Armenians argue that they are doing these things after they have come to know Christ but they have returned to their former lives. It would have been better is they had never known the way of righteousness. So these people claim to be Christians. I understand that this message as being ‘phenomenological’; they give every appearance of being Christian but we know that they were Christians because they departed. We know that perseverance is a sign of their authenticity. So they show their nature being dogs that turn back to their own vomit. They are like a pig that is like returning to the mud. These are both unclean animals. For an Armenian this doesn’t work but for a Calvinist this works perfectly. In other words, they weren’t saved in the first place. This is the way they see these people Peter is talking about. So they appear to be the people of God as they live alongside Christians and they say they are Christians, but it becomes evident that they are not believers. Church history verifies this; there are those people who have claimed to be believers but have departed from the faith. So we are to always be on our guard and not be too relaxed about these things. We shouldn’t be suspicious about everyone; but we should be on the alert.

V. Reminder: The Day of the Lord Will Come: 3:1-18

You should remember the words of the prophets and the commands of Jesus. This is another way of saying to pay attention, thus it is still the main point: pay attention to the prophetic word, but don’t pay attention to the false teachers. He is saying to remember that judgement is coming. The false teachers say there is no second coming in verses 3:5-7. The false teachers say that nothing ever changes; the world is always the same. But this is not true. There is creation, the flood and the last judgement. That is what he talks about in these three verses. It isn’t all the same; God created the world and destroyed it once and he will do it again. Therefore, don’t fail to see that the judgement is coming, and don’t forget this. One day is like a thousand years to God and a thousand years is like one day. So the lecturer says jokingly that it’s been only two days since the Lord came the first time. The Lord is not slow in regards to his promises. He will come like a thief and that day is coming; therefore live holy and Godly lives. So Peter is back where he was in chapter 1; live holy and Godly lives; be different people. If Jesus is coming again, we ought to be ready and hastening the day of the Lord by the way we live. God knows and has ordained his coming. The way we live may effect on when he comes. So even though God has ordained everything, but we must realize that what we do matters. So don’t be fooled but grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Live holy and Godly lives. So this finishes up 2nd Peter.

Jude

I. Authorship and Date

Interestingly 2nd Peter and Jude have some similarities. I seem to think that 2nd Peter used Jude as a source but this is debated and no one is sure about this. I also think that this Jude is the brother of Jesus who is also the brother of James in the Epistle of James. We wish we knew more about their family as obviously people would be very interested in it. It is also interesting that we don’t get a lot biographical information from the Bible. We really don’t need to know that every though it is interesting. I think the date is in the early 60s.

II. Greetings and Purpose for Writing

He begins with his greetings which emphasizes that God keeps his people. Those who are called and loved are kept eschatologically by God’s grace. He wrote them in order to appeal to keep the faith. Faith, here, seems to refer to the body of doctrine that we have received as Christians. He doesn’t mean content in trusting God. He is referring to the confession of faith and content in the truth of the Gospel. This was handed down to them by the apostolic witnesses. Strive to defend the faith is still our responsibility today because false teachers have infiltrated the church. We have the same here as in 2nd Peter.

III. Judgment of the Intruders: 5-16

In verses 5-7 we see a triad or three; Jude likes to use these in terms of examples, reasons, statements, etc. So these false teachers have infiltrated the church and they will be judged for what they are doing. He gives three examples of this in these verses in regards to Israel, the angels and what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. Those who depart from God will be judged. Israel left Egypt but never got into the land of promise. In regards to the angels, I understand that these angels are the angels of Genesis chapter 6 who had sexual relations with women. That is the way I see it, but that is also a very big debate. And Sodom and Gomorrah becomes a type of the final judgement; the fire and brimstone which is seen regularly throughout the New Testament. This is a forecast to what God will do on the last day and all his opponents will be destroyed. It says in verses 8-10 that these false teachers who are in your community are sexually prone and they are also arrogant. They revile authority and are very proud and assertive. So there is sexual sin and arrogance and pride. Jude mentioned three characters from the Old Testament; those who are like Cain, Balaam and Korah. This is another triad that Jude uses. Cain was a murderer and Balaam was a false prophet who was in it for money. And then there was Korah who was rebellious again Moses. He says that these people are there at communion; they are not outsiders, yet there is nothing that comes from them; they are fruitless trees in late autumn or wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame. They are wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever. Jude is telling us not to trust them. Interestingly, sometimes heresy is seen as exciting for some because it is different and goes against the status quo, but it doesn’t provide any strength for the church. It doesn’t strengthen people. Ultimately, it is a waterless cloud.

Then in verses 14-16, he uses a prophecy from Enoch. By the way, he also refers to a book known as the Assumption of Moses. Note thought that the Book of Enoch or 1st Enoch is not in the Bible and his quote simply says that God will judge the wicked. He could have quoted any book with saying this but perhaps Jude liked this book and even perhaps the readers also. Note that this is not unusual as Biblical writers do quote from books and people outside the Bible. Virtually no one in history has ever thought that Enoch was a canonical book. This includes Jews, Catholics, Greek Orthodox, etc. Enoch is neither an apocryphal book. Jude continues by saying that they are like the people in the wilderness; they are grumblers and complainers.

IV. Exhortations to Believers: 17-23

In verse 17 Jude tells them to remember what the apostles said. They said that these people would come and that they are divisive, worldly and devoid of the Spirit. They are not Christian because they don’t have the Spirit. As believers you should keep yourself in God’s love by building yourself up in the faith, by knowing the truth of the Gospel and by prayer and by waiting for Jesus to return. This is a great sermon by itself: building yourself up in faith, truth and prayer and waiting on Jesus to return. This is Jude’s triad again. In verses 22-23, again there is a triad. There are those who doubt, have mercy on these people. There others who need saving, snatch them up out of the fire. There are others who have gone even further for their garments have been stained by the flesh; don’t slip down with them. So there are some people we try to help but they could drag us down with them. These are people who have a negative spirit.

V. Doxology

Keep yourselves in God’s love but there is a sense that God will keep you from stumbling, from committing apostasy. This is the danger from the false teachers who are trying to draw them away from the faith. This is ultimately all due to his grace. These verses are a repeat of verses 1 and 2. God will keep up but watch out.