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Lesson No. 60—Life’s Worthiest Ambition is Know the Bible!

LESSON THEME:—1 PETER

1 Peter 1:13-19

  • KEY WORD—”HOPE

  • KEY VERSE1 Peter 1:13

  • KEY PHRASE—”THE NEW LIFE SHOULD BE ONE OF UNDYING HOPE.”

Peter makes one feel that he knows the very language of the Lord, and is expressing the truths in the very words Jesus would use.

For family alter read:—

WRITER—The Apostle Peter, who, before his conversion, was called Simon. He was a fisherman by occupation and lived first at Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee, and afterwards at Capernaum. He was brought to Jesus by Andrew, his brother, and our Lord changed his name from Simon to Cephas, in Aramaic; or Peter, in Greek; which means “a rock.” He became the leader of the apostles, and was always the spokesman. He was one of the three inner friends of Christ. At a time when men were calling Christ an imposter, Peter confessed that Jesus was the true Messiah and the Son of God, Matthew 16:16. His loyalty failed, however, at the crucial hour and he denied Christ, which lapse he repented of, Matthew 26:69-75. He preached the first gospel sermon at Pentecost, Acts 2. He wrought many miracles, journeyed much, preaching to the Jews in Palestine, Syria, and the countries around, and at last died a martyr to the faith by crucifixion under the Roman emperor, Nero. At his own request he was crucified head downward, reeling himself unworthy to resemble His Master in his death. He was courageous, hopeful, loving and faithful, and was one of the greatest men of the Bible.

DATE—About 65 A. D., during Nero’s Persecution.

PLACE FROM WHICH WRITTEN—Babylon on the Euphrates. The place to which the Jews were taken in the captivity, and at which many remained.

OCCASION—Trials and afflictions of the severest sort were coining upon the Christians from hostile Jews and fanatical Gentiles. Because the Christians would not join their heathen neighbours in their idolatry, wine-feasts and lusts, they were called “haters of the human race,” and classed with thieves and murderers. A savage effort was made to suppress them altogether, and so great were the persecutions and trials that followed, that the apostle speaks of them as “fiery trials.”

PURPOSE—To hearten persecuted Christians with the grace of hope and to direct their thoughts to the glorious inheritance that awaits them.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Hope.

  2. Duties.

  3. Persecutions.

Great Fact I. The Christian’s Hope of Full Salvation.

1 Peter 1:2-10.

Blessed be God who has, in His great mercy, given us a new life of undying hope. A hope of an imperishable inheritance that awaits us when we are saved. not only from the guilt of sin, but from its very presence. We suffer for the moment from various trials, that the genuineness of our faith—a thing far more precious than gold—may be tested by fire, and may win praise and glory at Christ’s appearing. It was this full salvation that the prophets desired to know about, and to know the time of its coming. With strictest self-control, fix your hopes on Christ’s appearing. Do not be swayed by the passions of the old life, but rather live in a spirit of reverence, for it was not by perishable things such as silver and gold that you were redeemed from your ancestor’s aimless way of living, but by the precious blood of the unblemished Lamb of God. Love one another earnestly with all your hearts. Abandon all vice and deceit, pretence, envy and slandering, and like new-born babies crave the pure spiritual milk of the Word that you may grow thereby. While many stumble because they do not accept the gospel, yet you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, God’s own people, so that you may display the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

LESSON—The gospel hope is a living hope because it invigorates the Christian and helps to keep him alive amid fiery trials. The delusive hopes of the unregenerated are vain and perishing, while the hypocrite and his hope both die together, Job 27:8. The believer, therefore, hopes for:—

  1. All the blessings of full salvation.

  2. The coming of Christ.

  3. The resurrection of the body.

  4. Eternal reward for his faithfulness.

Let us then be always hopeful and glad in expectation of the good things God has promised.

Great Facts II. The Christian’s Duties.

1 Peter 2:11 to 1 Peter 4:11

Refrain from indulging in the cravings of your earthly nature for they make war upon the soul. Let your daily life be upright, that evil-doers as they watch You may learn to praise God. Submit to properly constituted authorities for the Lord’s sake, for it is God’s will that you should silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing what is right. Servants should obey their masters with respect, not only those who are good and considerate, but also those who are arbitrary. Wives should submit to their husbands, so that if any of them reject the gospel, they may be won over by the blameless conduct of their wives. Christians should be united, sympathetic, kind hearted, humble minded; never returning evil for evil, or abuse for abuse, hut on the contrary blessing.

Who can harm you if you prove yourselves eager for what is good? Even if you should suffer for righteousness, count yourself blessed! Do not let men terrify you, or allow yourselves to be dismayed. Christ Himself died to atone for sins once for all—the good on behalf of the bad—that He might bring you to God, having been physically put to death, but spiritually living, It was Christ’s Spirit, who in the days of Noah, preached to those whose spirits are now in prison. At that time a few were saved by the Ark rising above the water, and water typifies the cleansing that comes through a crucified Saviour, 1 John 1:7.

Surely in times past you have spent time enough living as the ungodly delight to live, for you have lived among scenes of debauchery, revelry and profane idolatry, and because you do not practice these things now men wonder at you and malign you. But they will have to answer for their conduct to Him who is ready to judge both the living and the dead.

LESSONS—The apostle gives us an excellent prescription for a happy life in an ill-natured world. He quotes Psalm 34:12-14, which is as true for our times as it was for David’s. The best way of making this life comfortable and prosperous is to refrain from evil speaking and slandering, and t be ever ready to overcome evil with good

Great Fact III. The Christian’s Persecutions and Trials.

1 Peter 4:12 to 1 Peter 5:14.

Do not be astonished at the fiery trials that you are passing through, as though something strange were happening to you, for the more you share the sufferings of Christ the more you will share His glory. Count yourselves blessed when you are abused for Christ’s sake, for that shows that the Spirit of God is resting upon you. Of course no one among you should suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or a criminal, or for interfering in matters which do not concern Christians, but if a man suffers for Christian principles he should not be ashamed. The right place to begin judgement is at the house of God, and if first with us what will be the end of those who reject the gospel? If a righteous man is saved only with difficulty what will become of the godless and sinful? Therefore, let those who suffer because God wills it so, commit their lives into the hands of a faithful Creator, and persevere in doing right.

LESSON—A Christian should not be bewildered and shocked by the fiery trials that come, His religion does not exempt him from pain, misfortunes, bereavement, or death. Besides this, evil men will persecute the true Christian, because the flippant dislike the earnest, the unclean are angry with the pure, the lovers of error hate the lovers of truth. However, the Christian should rejoice under sufferings, because they make him like Christ, and they will be the cause of exceeding joy when He shall crown His faithful servants.

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Give key word and key verse.

  2. What the relation of names Cephas and Peter?

  3. Tell what you know about Peter.

  4. Give date and circumstances.

  5. From what place was it written?

  6. What the occasion?

  7. What the purpose?

  8. Name the great facts.

  9. Why is the gospel hope called a living hope?

  10. Compare it with the hopes of the unregenerate and the hypocrite.

  11. For what may the believer hope?

  12. Why should wives submit to their husbands?

  13. Why should we submit to the authorities?

  14. What virtues should Christians practice?

  15. Explain the preaching to the spirit

  16. What cleansing does water typify

  17. How may life be made comfortable

  18. Show that religion does not exempt us from trials.

  19. Why do evil men persecute Christians?

  20. Why should we rejoice under suffer lags?

  21. How much of First Peter have you read?

Lesson No. 61—Take Your Bible to Bible Class for Reading the Scripture.

LESSON THEME:—2 PETER

2 Peter 1:4-8.

  • KEY WORD—”KNOWLEDGE.”

  • KEY VERSE2 Peter 3:18.

  • KEY PHRASE—”GROW IN GRACE AND SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE.”

Home Readings.

For family altar read:—

WRITER—The Apostle Peter. Addressed to Christians in general.

PLACE OF WRITING—Uncertain, but probably Babylon.

DATE—About 67 A. D., a short time before his martyrdom. Second Timothy and Second Peter have much in common. Both Paul and Peter were facing a cruel death at the time they wrote them, yet both epistles are full of hope and joy, and both urge faithfulness amid errors and suffering.

PURPOSE—To show that the best way to guard against false teachings is to grow in grace and in full knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Virtues.

  2. Transfiguration.

  3. Warning.

  4. Defence.

Great Fact I. The Great Christian Virtues.

2 Peter 1:1-12.

God has given us everything that is needful for a life of piety, as we advance in knowledge of Him. Through His goodness He has given us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through them we might partake of the divine nature, having fled from the corruption that is in the world through human passions. Therefore, supplement your faith by goodness, goodness by full knowledge, knowledge by self-control, self-control by endurance , endurance by piety, piety by kindliness, kindliness by love, for when these virtues are yours in increasing measure, you will have a fuller knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But the man who has not these virtues is short sighted even to blindness, and forgets that he has been purified from his past sins. Therefore, do your best to put God’s call and election of you beyond all doubt, for if you do this you will never fail, but have a triumphant entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

LESSON—Here, Peter agrees with Paul in urging Christians not to remain babes in Christ by halting and faltering around the first stages of Christian experience, but to grow and to be ever growing. We are to add grace to grace until our virtues are multiplied, and this for two reasons:—

  1. That we might have a fuller knowledge of our blessed Lord. Not knowing ABOUT Him, or TECHNICAL knowledge of Him, but an INTIMATE PERSONAL knowledge that gives the joy of fellowship, power to conquer, and likeness to His own blessed Self, Philippians 3:10.

  2. That we might have an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom. Not getting into harbour with sails torn, dismasted, and towed in by a salvage tug, but with every mast standing, every sail set, a valuable cargo in good shape, and precious passengers all safe, with waving flags, and greeted by the playing bands and booming batteries of the Fair Haven of Rest! To have such an abundant entrance to the life eternal should be the holy ambition of every Christian.

Great Fact II. The Transfiguration and the Teaching of the Prophets.

2 Peter 1:13-21.

As long as my soul tabernacles in my body I will awaken in your memories of the past, that after my departure you may call these truths to mind. We were not telling you fairy stories when we told you of the coming in power of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eye witnesses of His glory. Indeed, when we were with Him on the sacred mountain He received honour and glory from the Father, and a voice declared “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” Matthew 17:5. And still stronger is the assurance that we have in the teachings of the prophets, to which you will do well to pay attention, recognizing that no prophecy of scripture can be interpreted by man’s unaided reason, for no prophetic teaching ever came at the mere wish of man, but men, moved by the Holy Spirit, spoke direct from God.

LESSONS—Peter is here teaching that there was a sense in which the Transfiguration set forth Christ’s Second Coming, because, as outlined by Dr. Scofield:—

  1. Christ was not then the Messiah in rejection, but the Lord in Heavenly glory.

  2. Moses in a glorified state, was a type of the redeemed who will pass through death into the kingdom.

  3. Elijah is a type of the redeemed who will enter the kingdom by translation, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

  4. Peter, James and John, not glorified, are a type of the Jews who will not share the Lord’s glory at the time of His Coming. Ezekiel 37:21.

  5. The multitude at the foot of the mountain are a type of the nations, who will be brought into the kingdom after it has been set up over the Jews, Isaiah 11:9-12.

Peter saw the Second Coming unfolded in the Transfiguration, but he teaches that we are not dependent on what he saw. We have the surer word of prophecy, the unerring Word of God. It is like a lamp shining in a dark place, but soon the day will dawn, the day of fulfilment, and then we shall know AIL about these things as God knows ALL about us.

Great Fact III Warnings Against False Teachings.

2 Peter 2.

The apostle here warns against the Gnostics who taught that Christ was not equal with the Father. That the soul does not sin, so it does not matter if the body gets drunk or goes into sin, one can do just as one pleases because we are not under moral law. Such were the false teachings of these people who set themselves up against the apostles, and for money taught doctrines that were pleasant rather than true.

In reply, Peter points out that whoever goes into sin or teaches heresy shall certainly be punished. That God did not even spare the angels who sinned, but is keeping them under guard for judgement. That He sent the Flood upon a godless world in the days of Noah. That He reduced Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes as a warning to the godless of what was in store for them. The apostle then vividly describes how these wicked teachers malign even the apostles that God had appointed, and they entice weak souls by promising them freedom while in reality they are making them slaves of corrupt habits. Peter has in mind Zechariah 3:1-2; where the high priest was seeking to rebuild the temple. Satan, however, appeared before God, and said the people were not worthy of having the temple restored, and then accused and reviled the high priest. The angel of the Lord, however did not make a railing accusation against Satan as Satan had against the high priest, but calmly said, “God rebuke thee.” But said Peter, while angels who excel men in power, would not make bitter accusations, yet these wicked teachers malign those of whom they know nothing, but they will assuredly perish with their own corruption.

LESSONS

  1. Many evil spirits are abroad, and the credentials they display are gifts of the mind, or truths beautiful or original. We should, however, be as cautious as the saint in the legend. When an evil spirit showed himself radiant with royal robes and crowned with a jewelled diadem and said, “I am the Christ, follow me!” The saint thought and looked awhile and said, “I will not believe that you are the Christ unless you show me the wounds of the Cross!” and the evil spirit fled. So any religious teacher that does not centre all his doctrines around the Cross should be driven from the life.

  2. Like the angels we should not publish the faults of our fellowmen, and mingle reproaches with accusations, but leave the wicked to the Lord who will avenge all injustice.

Great Fact IV. A DEFENCE of the Second Coming.

2 Peter 3.

Here the apostle divides the history of the world into three sections and mentions some of the characteristics of each.

  1. The old world, 2 Peter 3:6. The world which the Flood overwhelmed. The scoffers said, “Where is the promise of His coming?” From the beginning of creation, Nature has pursued the even tenor of its way. There has been no sign of any change, and no change is possible. The promise of His coming fails!” But Peter reminds the sceptics that a Mighty flood did drown the world, therefore their mocking question is foolish.

  2. The present world, 2 Peter 3:7. He asserts that the present world contains within itself the agency by which it may be consumed. It is held in store not for a second flood but for fire. Stored up within the earth are oils and gases, which when released by God shall cause such physical revolutions as shall transform this planet into something more glorious. Therefore, what holy lives we ought to lead while we await and hasten the coming of the Day of God.

  3. The new world, 2 Peter 3:13. This is the Paradise restored of Revelation 21:1. Where we are told that He who created the world, will recreate it, clearing it of every vestige of sin, misery and imperfection, fitting it for the dwelling place of perfect beings, and for His own glorious presence. In expectation of these things we are to make every effort to be found by Him, spotless, blameless and at peace. The delay in the fulfilment of these things should be regarded as forbearance on the part of the Lord, in seeking to bring more to salvation.

LESSON—Too often men have set one time for deliverance, and God another, but He will not fail to keep the day He has appointed. In Exodus 12:41; we see that God kept His engagement to the very day to deliver Israel out of Egypt. What men count slackness is truly forbearance upon the part of God. Enthusiastic impatience must be checked. God is still saying to the unconverted, “How shall I give thee up!” and as He sees the unfruitful Christians, He says. “Let them alone this year also.” Let us then not abuse the patience and long-suffering of God by abandoning ourselves to a course of impenitence of worldliness’s, for the Lord shall come suddenly, and at a most unlikely time, and the cry shall ring out, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh!Matthew 25:6.

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Give the key word and key verse.

  2. What the date and place of writing?

  3. Give the purpose.

  4. Name the great facts.

  5. What virtues are we to add to our faith?

  6. What sort of knowledge will this give us of the Lord?

  7. What the meaning of “an abundant entrance?

  8. Read five points in which the Transfiguration sets forth the Second Coming.

  9. Show that we are not dependent on what Peter saw.

  10. What did the Gnostics teach?

  11. Give three examples showing God does not spare sinners.

  12. Show that these wicked men were bold to do what angels feared to do.

  13. Tell of the evil spirit who appeared to the saint.

  14. Give Peter’s divisions of the world’s history.

  15. Tell how that in spite of the laws of nature, God sent the Flood.

  16. With what is the world stored, and what will be the effect of the physical revolutions?

  17. What ought we to do while awaiting the coming of the Day of God?

  18. Tell about the new world.

  19. Explain the forbearance of God.

  20. How much of the book have you read?

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