Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Revelation Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


-The revelation (the unveiling, the prophecy) of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him, in order to show His servants the things that are and are to come (Revelation 1:1). The Lord choose John, who was banished on the Isle of Patmos (a 24 square mile Aegean Island where Rome banished exile political criminals, it is 40 miles off the coast of Asia Minor, tradition states that John was allowed some freedoms there and probably lived in caves, he would have been an aged man at this point) on account of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus, to proclaim this message of apocalyptic proportions. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near (Revelation 1:3).”

-John begins with addressing the seven churches that are in Asia with grace and peace from God who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth (Revelation 1:4-5). This Christ is said to love us and has freed us from our sins by His blood making us a Kingdom and priests to His God and Father. To Him be glory and dominion forever (Revelation 1:5b-6). This One is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will wail an account of Him. He is the Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end) and He is Almighty from the past, present, and future (Revelation 1:7-8). *Application* Just as John takes time to praise the Lord, we should pause in our busy schedules to often realize what kind of King we are serving. He is holy, majestic, radiant, and powerful! Give Him credit and praise as you bow before His awesome authority realizing He has lifted up His saints to a high position as Kingdom servants and priests (reconcilers). From the beginning we are to consider the nearness of His coming and be ready for it.

-John claims his partnership, as a Christian brother, in the tribulation and the Kingdom and the patient endurance that are IN Jesus (Revelation 1:9). He was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day (Sunday) and perceived the presence of the Lord in a powerful way (Revelation 1:10-16). He was given instructions to write what he saw in a book and send the message to the seven churches: Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea (Revelation 1:11). The descriptions of the Lord represent His wisdom (white hair), His omniscience (all knowing eyes as flames of fire), His power (bronze feet), His authority (voice of the roar of many waters), His might (control of the seven stars), His judgments (double-edged sword that searches hearts and judges rebels, Isaiah 49:2, Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12, Revelation 19:15), and His glory (face that shined like the sun in full strength). This powerful scene made John fall at His feet as though dead, but the Lord raised him and assured him not to fear. The Lord identified Himself as the first and the last, the living One who died and rose again with life forevermore, and that He had the keys of Death and Hades (Revelation 1:17-18). John is told to write what he had seen of the things that are and are to come. He is told the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lampstands are the seven churches (Revelation 1:19-20). *Application* This type of encounter with God is something we should crave like the air we breathe. It may freak us out to think about being in the Lord’s presence to this degree, but we must remember that the Lord is always assuring when we are in His presence. He is the great Comforter and wants us to draw close in every way (James 4:8). He is still capable of showing us great and mighty things that line up with His Word in incredible power. Seek to pray in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18, Philippians 3:3, Jude 1:20, Revelation 1:10)!


Verse to Memorize: Revelation 1:3

Revelation Bible Study Notes- Overview

Overview of Revelation for New Testament Reading



The babe born into time in a manger in the little town of Bethlehem was the Creator of the world made into human flesh. He grew up to manhood in Roman-occupied Palestine, His young and gentle hands becoming strong and calloused in Joseph’s carpentry shop. As a man, He walked through the countryside and city, touching individuals for healing, preaching to crowds, and training twelve men to carry on His work to the rest of the world. At every step He was attacked by the enemy and hounded by those void of true understanding, seeking to rid the world of His influence. Finally, falsely accused and tried, He was condemned to a disgraceful execution by foreign hands. He died a physical death—spat upon, cursed, whipped, pierced by nails and a crown of thorns, and hung heavenward for all to deride. Jesus Christ, the God-man, gave His life completely so that all might have the chance to live.


At God’s appointed time, the risen and ascended Lord Jesus will burst onto the world’s scene once again. At that time everyone will know that Jesus is Lord and King of the universe! Those who love Him will rejoice, greeting their Savior with hearts overflowing into songs of praise. On the other hand, His enemies will be filled with fear and terror. Allied with their father Satan, the enemies of Christ will marshal their legions against Christ and His armies. But who can withstand God’s wrath? Christ will return victorious winning the battle and reigning forever! Jesus the humble suffering servant will come back as the rightful, powerful, conquering King and Judge.


Written in the later part of the first century from a jail cell on the Island of Patmos, the Revelation to John, an eyewitness of Jesus Christ, is a book of hope. It proclaims that the victorious Lord would surely and certainly return to vindicate the righteous and judge the wicked. But the book of Revelation is also a warning. Things were not as they should have been in most of the churches, so Christ called the members to commit themselves to live in righteousness as overcomers. This message delivered nearly 2,000 years ago still offers us as God’s people a comfort and an incredible challenge. We can take heart as we study to understand John’s vision of hope that Christ will return to rescue His children and settle accounts with all who defy Him.



Major Themes:


God’s Sovereignty- God is sovereign, greater than any power in the universe. God is not to be compared with any leader, government, or religion. He controls history for the purpose of uniting true believers in loving fellowship with Him. Though Satan’s power may temporarily increase and it seem as though he were winning the fight, we are not to be deceived and led astray. God is all-powerful and in control. He can bring His true family safely into eternal life by His might and will. Because He cares for us, we can trust Him with our very life.


Christ’s Return- Christ came to earth as the “Lamb” of God, the symbol of His perfect sacrifice for our sin. He will one day return as the triumphant “Lion” of Judah, the rightful ruler and conqueror. He will defeat Satan, settle accounts with all those who reject Him, and bring His believers into eternity. This assurance gives suffering Christians the strength to endure. We can optimistically look forward to His return as King and Judge. Since no one knows the time when He will reappear, we must be ready and watchful at all times by keeping our faith strong (Matt. 24-25).


God’s Faithful People- John wrote to encourage the church to resist the demands to worship the Roman emperor during a time of great persecution. He warns all God’s faithful people to be devoted to Christ alone. Revelation identifies who the faithful people are and what they should be doing until the Lord returns. Belief in Christ is the true way. Victory is sure for those who resist temptation and make loyalty to Christ their top priority.


Judgment- One day God’s anger toward sin will be fully and completely unleashed. Satan will be defeated thoroughly with all his agents. False religion will be destroyed. God will reward the faithful with eternal life, but all who refuse to believe in Him will face eternal punishment. Evil and injustice will not prevail forever. God’s final judgment will put an end to these. We need to be certain of our commitment to Jesus if we want to escape this great final judgment. No one who rejects Christ will escape God’s punishment. Their destination is the lake of fire for eternity.


Hope- One day God will create a new heaven and a new earth. All believers will live with Him forever in perfect peace and security. Those who have already died will be raised to life in His eternal presence. These promises for the future bring us hope. We hope in Christ’s promise and are confident in our final destination. We can follow Christ with unwavering dedication no matter what we must face knowing that His return is imminent.






In chapter 1, John relates the circumstances that led to the writing of this book (1:1-20). In chapters 2 and 3 Jesus gives special messages to the seven churches of Asia Minor (2:1-3:22).

Suddenly John is caught up into heaven, where he sees a vision of God Almighty on His throne. All of Christ’s followers and the heavenly angels are worshipping God (4:1-11). John watches as God gives a book with seven seals to the worthy Lamb, Jesus Christ (5:1-14). The Lamb begins to open the seals one by one. As each seal is opened, a new vision appears.

As the first four seals are opened, riders appear on horses of different colors—war, famine, disease, and death are in their path (6:1-8). As the fifth seal is opened, John sees those in heaven who have been martyred for their faith in Christ (6:9-11).

A set of contrasting images appears at the opening of the sixth seal. On one side, there is a huge earthquake, stars falling from the sky, and the sky rolling up like a scroll (6:12-17). On the other side, multitudes are before the great throne, worshipping and praising God and the Lamb (7:1-17).

Finally, the seventh seal is opened (8:1-5), unveiling a series of God’s judgments announced by seven angels with seven trumpets. The first four angels bring hail, fire, a burning mountain, and a falling star—the sun and the moon are darkened (8:6-13). The fifth trumpet announces the coming of locusts with the power to sting (9:1-12). The sixth trumpet heralds the coming of an army of warriors on horses (9:13-21). In 10:1-11, John is given a little book to eat. Following this, John is commanded to measure the temple of God (11:1-2). He sees two witnesses who proclaim God’s judgment on the earth for three and a half years (11:3-14).

Finally, the seventh trumpet sounds, calling the rival forces of good and evil to the final battle. On one side are Satan and his forces; on the other side stands Jesus Christ with His forces (11:15-13:18). In the midst of this call to battle, John sees three angels announcing the final judgment (14:6-13). Two angels begin to reap this harvest of judgment on the earth (14:14-20). Following on the heels of these two angels are seven more angels who pour out God’s judgment on the earth from seven bowls (15:1-16:21). One of these angels from the group of seven reveals to John a vision of a “great harlot” called Babylon (symbolizing the Roman empire and godless powers) riding a scarlet beast (17:1-18). After the defeat of Babylon (18:1-24), a great multitude in heaven shouts praise to God for His mighty victory (19:1-10).

The final three chapters of the book catalogue the events that finalize Christ’s victory over the enemy: Satan’s 1,000 year imprisonment (20:1-10), the final judgment (20:11-15), and the creation of a new earth and a new Jerusalem (21:1-22:6). An angel then gives John final instructions concerning the visions John has seen and what to do once he has written them all down (22:7-11).

Revelation concludes with the promise of Christ’s soon return, an offer to drink of the water of life that flows through the great street of the new Jerusalem, and a warning to those who read the (22:12-21). May we pray with John, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (22:20).


Key Verse:


Revelation 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.



*Notes from this overview were aided by:


New American Standard Bible: Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich.: 1995, pgs. 2238-2241.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Jude Bible Study Notes- Overview

Overview of Jude for New Testament Reading with Fellowship Baptist Church



For centuries rugged defenders have built walls, launched missiles, and waged wars to protect from harm, to guard from attack, to repulse enemies, real or imagined. We expend material and human resources for the sake of saving a nation and cities with total commitment and courageous abandon for ourselves and our families. We fight for survival of our values, defending with all our strength what is most precious to us, from everything that seeks to threaten us.


God’s Word and the gift of eternal life have infinite value and have been entrusted to Christ Jesus’ faithful followers. There are indeed many in our time, just as in Jude’s day, who live in opposition to God and His ways. They twist God’s truth, seeking to deceive and destroy the unsuspecting and gullible. But God’s truth must go forth, carried and contended for by those who have committed their lives to God’s Son. It is an important task, an awesome responsibility, and a profound privilege to have this commission.


This was Jude’s message to Christians everywhere reminding the church to be consistently vigilant with a strong faith to oppose evil ungodly men and their heresies. Jude was a brother of James and half-brother of Jesus Christ, claiming to be Christ Jesus’ bond-servant as a sign of respect to his Divine. He wrote approximately in the year 65 AD, which found a first generation of Christianity fading away with destructive teachings beginning to enter in trying to nullify what the apostles had taught as eyewitnesses of the living Lord. This is a short book, but powerful in its language, much akin to the book of 2 Peter in its speech. Read with the passion this book deserves as you determine to “contend for the faith” and be a person of God!

Major Themes:


False Teachers- Jude warns strongly against false teachers and leaders who reject the lordship of Jesus Christ, undermine the faith of others, and lead them astray. These ungodly men will be punished severely by the Lord along with those who follow them. There are Old Testament examples, which were given for our benefit for further study into the debauchery that evil brings. We must staunchly defend Christian truth, making sure we avoid leaders and teachers who distort the Bible to suit their own purposes. Genuine servants of God will faithfully portray Christ in their words and conduct.


Apostasy- Jude also warns against apostasy, or falling away from Christ Jesus. We are to remember that the security of the believer is the perseverance of the believer and God knows who is and isn’t serious about the call to follow Him. Christians are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 4:30) and not devoid of Him (19). We are to remember that God punishes all rebellion against Him. We must be careful not to drift away from a faithful commitment to Christ. Those who do not seek to know the truth in God’s Word are susceptible to apostasy. Christians must guard against false teachings of ever sort that would distract them from the truth preached by the apostles and written in God’s inspired, infallible, and holy Word.



Jude introduces himself and describes the recipients of his letter (1). He intends to write concerning their common salvation, but felt the urge of the Holy Spirit to write for his readers to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” through Jesus Christ the Savior of the world from sin (3). He makes his points early and often that Christians should reject vehemently all teachers who secretly bring in heresies of falsehood and immorality (4-19). These ungodly men have not remembered God’s mighty acts of rescue and punishment against evil (5-11, 14-16), and the warnings of the apostles (17-19).

God’s people are to build up their own faith through prayer (20), keeping close to Christ (21), helping others (22-23), and hating sin (23). Jude in the end offers a glorious benediction of the attributes of our great God and Eternal King with a chorus of praise (24-25). Jesus is the One who keeps us from stumbling and presents us blameless before the Father with great joy!


Key Verse:


Jude 1:3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

Jude Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


-Jude was the brother of James, and the half-brother of Jesus Christ. It is interesting to note that he calls himself a servant (doulos, bond-servant, slave) of his Lord and Savior. This reflects the Deity of Christ Jesus and Jude’s place in authority. He writes to those who are called (klatos, the invited), and beloved IN God the Father and KEPT for Jesus Christ (Jude 1:1). He asks the Lord’s favor in the multiplication of mercy, peace, and love upon his recipients in this unknown church (Jude 1:2).

-Jude started out to write about salvation, but as he was carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21), the Lord placed it in him to expound on contending for the faith already received that was once and for all time delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3). The issue was false teachers and deceivers that had crept in unnoticed to the church. These ungodly were long ago designated for this condemnation. They pervert the grace of God in sensuality (sexual immorality) and deny the only Master, the Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4). By way of reminder, he sets forth the necessity for belief using the children of Israel as a stark depiction of unbelief coming out of Egypt and perishing. He also uses the fallen angels who did not stay in their position of authority, but left their proper dwelling in Heaven out of rebellion (among whom was Lucifer, or Satan, the evil one) to demonstrate the demise of the doomed ones. Their judgment is keeping them in eternal chains under gloomy darkness, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which pursued the same sexual immorality and perversion of unnatural desire. The eternal fire awaits those who stay turned against God and His ways. These false teachers rely on their dreams, rather than the prophetic Word of God; they defile the flesh, reject dominion (authority, people in charge), and blaspheme the glorious ones. The angel Michael is cited as using his authority to correct with rebuke in the proper order under authority. He stated, “The Lord rebuke you,” rather than take prideful matters into his own hands. The evil ones blaspheme what they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning (unthinking) animals, understand instinctively as fallen creatures. They have walked in the unbelief of Cain (Genesis 4, Hebrews 11:4), in the error of Balaam (Numbers 22-24; 31:16, 2 Peter 2:15, Revelation 2:14), and in the rebellion of Korah (Numbers 16:5-49). These unrighteous ones are compared to hidden reefs (think about the unseen dangers beneath the ocean waves where sharp and dangerous coral reefs are) at the love feasts (fellowships) of the church. These have no fear of God and feed themselves selfishly. They are waterless clouds swept along by strong winds. They are fruitless trees in late autumn. They are twice dead (physical and spiritual). They are uprooted, wild waves of the sea casting up the foam of their own shame. They are wandering and drifting stars in a vast galaxy without orbit for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever (Jude 1:5-13). God is coming to execute His righteous judgment on these who run from the Lord by their ungodly deeds and harshness. These are grumblers, malcontents, who follow their own sinful desires. They are loud-mouthed boasters. They show favoritism to gain advantage (Jude 1:14-16). Jude reminds them again that in the last time there will come scoffers with ungodly passions, who cause division. They are people of the world, devoid of the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:17-19). *Application* Here we see a long list on things to look for as we “contend” for the faith. Some important things for us to think about in the church: Not everyone is on the up and up spiritually, they are distinguishable by these very clear attributes delineated here by Jude in Scripture, we are not to cower, but be strong in the face of the adversary in the church of the Living God. He will fight for us and execute His justice when evil is present. It is a war, make no mistake about it. Our weapons can be put on and the fight is the Lord’s (Ephesians 6:10-20, 2 Chronicles 32:8).

-In contrast, as believers in the one-true God, Jesus Christ, we must build ourselves up in the most holy faith, and we must pray IN the Holy Spirit. We must keep ourselves IN the love of God, and patiently wait for the mercy of our Savior that leads to eternal life. Christian living includes having mercy ourselves on those who have doubts and fears. We are to be like firefighters who snatch the victims out of the burning flames in a spiritual rescue effort hating the very garments stained by the worldly-fleshly living patterns (Jude 1:20-23). We need to keep looking to Jesus, who IS ABLE to keep us from stumbling and present us blameless before the presence of God in His glory with great joy. To God be this glory, majesty, dominion, and authority from the beginning before all time, to the now (or present), and going forward into forever (Jude 1:24-25). *Application* Keep the big picture in mind. There may be a temporary suffering in this world as we live in Christ, but the end results are worth the price of admission. God’s greatness extends to all who love Him and are called to be His children in Spirit and truth. Receive all He has to offer you and reject the temporary and fleeting pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:24-27).


Verse to Memorize: Jude 1:3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

3 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


-Third John is a short letter to Gaius, who is in the truth and beloved in truth by the apostle. Gaius is prayed for in several ways by John. His health was a concern as well as the prosperity of his soul. He carried a great testimony of his spiritual fruit, which gave John incredible joy (3 John 1:1-4). *Application* A good testimony means a whole lot. Imagine the smile that came over John’s face as he penned these words, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (3 John 1:4).” This is a reminder to follow authority in our lives (Hebrews 13:17). Compare the testimony of Gaius to Diotrephes and we see the difference (3 John 1:9). The truth is the full counsel of the Word of God. We must walk in it, which means we live it out, we actually do it. The Bible is consistent and accurate. We do well when we follow its instruction with obedient application.

-Gaius had done faithful things with much effort in the way of caring for sojourners that were strangers. These were travelers sent out by God accepting nothing from the Gentiles. The encouragement from John was to always support people like these who are giving up houses, homes, brothers, sisters, and family members to face the hardships of spreading the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 19:29, Mark 10:29, Luke 14:26). This makes us fellow workers of the truth as we treat them in a manner worthy of God (3 John 1:5-8). *Application* We often get the opportunity to host people that come along our path in ministry work. Just recently our home received a missionary living in Israel working with Russian and Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in Natanya, just north of Tel Aviv. A few months ago we hosted children from several different countries who were orphans traveling with a ministry team spreading the good news of Jesus Christ across this country and raising awareness of those less fortunate in foreign lands. We became partakers in the greater Kingdom work when we show hospitality and welcome these who are laboring in the Name of Jesus and need help. Don’t miss your opportunities to be blessed in so many ways!

-John had to do some disciplinary writing concerning Diotrephes, who liked to put himself first (pride), and did not acknowledge God-given authority (rebellion). John planned to tackle this problem face to face if the Lord allowed him to come. John wanted to expose what this man was doing for the purpose of correction and restoration. He wanted to put an end to the “wicked nonsense” of this man. Besides Diotrephes’ pride and rebellion, he was not welcoming the brothers with Christian hospitality and even keeping people from being welcoming by putting them out of the church (3 John 1:9-10). *Application* We can see the extreme nature of this vanguard of selfish living in this text. John gives us the theme of giving in the truest sense here. We must live in subjection to Christ and to one another if we are to walk in truth. Evaluate yourself before God. Are you a Gaius or a Deotrephes? Be honest, God already knows your heart.

-The theme becomes: “Do not imitate evil but imitate good (3 John 1:11).” The facts are simple, whoever does good is from God, whoever does evil has not seen God. John mentions one other brother, Demetrius, who received commendation as one having a good reputation among everyone and the truth itself from God and the apostles (3 John 1:12). John brings his short letter to a close in the same manner as 2 John. He prefers to come see these people in physical presence as opposed to simply writing them. This again reveals the relational nature of John, who was known for his great love themes in Scripture. In the last verse he pronounces peace and greetings each by name (3 John 1:13). *Application* We too need this relational component to our Christian ministry. Without it we will have a hard time fulfilling God’s great command to love one another. This is essential for our joy and peace. It may not always be easy, because we live in a fallen world with fallen-imperfect people, but there is really no way to grow in our faith if we are reclusive and withdrawn. God teaches so much when we live in community with others. We learn to share, love, and forgive among many other things. Practice relational ministry and be blessed! This is the truth, walk in it as children of the most high God!


Verse to Memorize: 3 John 1:4

Friday, April 26, 2013

2 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


-John the Elder (denotes his advanced age when writing by now) writes to “the elect lady (more than likely a church, could have needed to use code language in a time or situation of persecution) and her children (the congregation of the church). This is confirmed at the end of the short letter with John’s specific wording it appears as he calls those sending greetings from his party children also and the elect Sister (2 John 1:13). Here the symbolic language reflects the nature of the church. We are the bride of Christ and therefore in the writer’s mind we take on a feminine quality of dependence and submission to our Head, Jesus Christ, who is our groom (Ephesians 5:23-32). *Application* We are bound by relationship to the Lord our God and to each other. There is definitely a community aspect to our faith and to neglect this is severely detrimental to our well-being. Get connected to a local body of believers in Jesus Christ if you currently are not. This is where you can grow and develop your spiritual being in love. There should never be any “lone ranger” Christians in the body of Christ. Let’s get together people for the Kingdom!

-John loves this church in truth along with others that know the truth. This truth, which is the reality of Jesus Christ coming in the flesh as God’s Son, abides in the believers, and will be with us forever (2 John 1:1-2). John also pronounces grace, mercy, and peace upon the recipients of the letter, which also applies to us in the modern era. This is done in truth and love (2 John 1:3). So John makes it a point to relate how the truth revolves around the command to love one another, which they have had from the beginning (2 John 1:4-6). The truth needs to be at the forefront because many deceivers have gone out into the world with the antichrist spirit. A watchful eye upon ourselves is required so that loss does not occur, but that a full reward may be won (2 John 1:7-8). Continuance in the commands of God in love requires abiding in His teaching (2 John 1:9). Anyone who comes to the church (i.e. believers) and does not bring this teaching of truth, love, and the reality of Christ coming in the flesh is not to be received. If these deceivers are received, the one who greets him takes part in his wicked works (2 John 1:10-11). *Application* This is some hard hitting stuff. Hopefully we can see the seriousness of allowing false teaching in our midst within the church. Notice the three important areas John focuses on: truth, love, and the reality of who Christ Jesus is. Abide in the teachings of Christ and you will do well. Don’t stray off the narrow path.

-John has a lot more to say to these beloved people, but he wanted to do it face-to-face rather than with paper and ink (2 John 1:12). *Application* We can see the relational nature of the apostle here in concluding phrase. It is easy to hide behind letters, or texts, or e-mails. A better idea when you really care about a situation is to have live and natural communication with people. Presence is important.


Verses to Memorize: 2 John 1:1-2


Thursday, April 25, 2013

1 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 5

Chapter 5


-John concludes this book with many important theological truths concerning the Son of God, Jesus Christ and our relationship to Him as believers. If we have believed, we have been born of God and love Him with all our heart (1 John 5:1). It will then naturally be our desire as new creatures born of the Spirit to obey His commandments, which all revolve around love and our not burdensome. This will be our key to overcoming the world…our faith in the only begotten Son of God from the Father (1 John 5:2-5).

-Jesus came with this three-fold witness that testifies of His Divinity. The water (His baptism where the Father acknowledged Him as the beloved Son in whom He was well pleased, Matthew 3:17), the blood (His shed blood for the remission of sins during His passion, Matthew 26:28, Ephesians 1:7, Hebrews 9:22), and the Holy Spirit (the One who is the power of God and testifies of His grace with indwelling of the believer among many other things, John 1:33; 14:26; 20:22). These three all agree and increase our knowledge and faith in the Son through their testimony for the purpose of eternal life. “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:6-12).”

-These things have all been written for the purpose of believing people being able to have the assurance of eternal life (1 John 5:13). This is the confidence we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us and we can have the requests that we have asked of Him (1 John 5:14-15). A primary application of this is given regarding a brother committing a sin not leading to death. What this means exactly is a bit difficult to interpret. There is definitely sin that does lead to death; we are not supposed to pray for that. What it has to entail is unrepentance of some manner and resolute rejection of the Son of God and His mercy. In other words, it becomes impossible for us to pray intercessory prayers on behalf of people who do not want God’s grace and remain stubborn in their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). The believer that is in tune with the Lord will not keep on willfully sinning in disobedience because the Holy Spirit protects him, and the evil one does not touch him (1 John 5:18). Therefore, the summation is this: Christians are from God and the rest of the world lies in the power of the evil one who has his authority over the unbeliever. “The Son of God has come” in the flesh and “given us understanding, so that we may KNOW Him who is true; and we are IN Him who is true, IN His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:20-21).” *Application* What a blessing it is to know that we can have complete confidence in Jesus Christ to save us from all sins and give us a new birth of the Spirit for eternal redemption. He holds us and will never let us go if we have truly received Him and His great salvation. To God be the glory through His magnificent promises fulfilled through His Son Jesus Christ!


Verse to Memorize: 1 John 5:4, 12, 14

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

1 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 4

Chapter 4


-John gives us the test to discern spirits. We have to understand that there are two kingdoms in complete contradiction and competition with one another on this earth and in the spiritual realm. One kingdom is of evil and wants to destroy everything good and wholesome. The other Kingdom is of righteousness and goodness and perfection in love with a hope and a future. The way John says we can test every spirit is to see whether or not they believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh from God. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus as Lord (coming from God) is the spirit of the antichrist, which is already in the world and will be coming with more force in the future. The good news is that we as believers in the One-true Son of God have overcome this spirit of the antichrist, because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” Listening to the apostolic teaching from His Word is also how we can understand the difference between good and bad. This is how you can KNOW the Spirit of truth from the spirit of error (1 John 4:1-6). John was combating the Gnostics by this time in biblical writing. Gnostics were knowledge seekers who were led by the spirit of error in denouncing that Jesus Christ had any real physical presence on this earth. They spiritualized everything according to Platonic thought patterns and had an adverse effect on the Christian community as we see in this text. *Application* Know the Bible well and continually ask the question, “Does this person believe that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh from God?” In our culture, just as it was in the first century, we are confronted with the temptation to have doubts about the veracity of Christ Jesus and His atoning work. This is the work of the enemy, and we need to realize his tactics. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. If you will acknowledge Him and His truth in all your ways, He will guide and direct you in the narrow path of life and fullness in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Trust the Word of God. It is finished, it is done. Christ has really paid the price for sin and gives us new life in Him! Don’t ever allow yourself to be deceived.

-John now goes into the effects of trusting truly in Christ for our salvation and Godly living. Love is the basis for this restored life by God’s grace, which comes from Him alone and in the first place. A new birth is required to KNOW God and love is the primary resulting fruit that comes from this spiritual relationship. His Spirit is what indwells us giving us the assurance of His presence and releasing us from all fear of disconnection with Him. In this we have get confidence and security knowing that if God be for us no one can be against us (Romans 8:31-39). We love because He first loved us, and we prove this relationship by loving one another with a pure heart and steadfast devotion refraining from all hate (1 John 7-21). *Application* Love is the essence of everything we hold dear in our faith. The great command of all Scripture revolves around loving God first and foremost with everything we’ve got, and then loving one another, which is like unto it. All the law and the prophetic words from the Lord come from this concept of love (Matthew 22:36-40). God is love. The saddest thing one could ever say of Christian believers is that they do not love. Live in such a way that people know without a shadow of a doubt that you love God and people with all your heart!


Verse to Memorize: 1 John 4: 2, 4, 7-9, 13, 18

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

1 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 3

Chapter 3


-John’s main purpose in this chapter is to give the little children of God assurance of their salvation, which comes from the Holy Spirit that He has given us (1 John 3:24). There is a relational aspect to this new birth in the obedience of His command to trust in Him and love one another (1 John 3:1, 9, 23). This love relationship abides in His love and does not want to transgress against His authority in our life. What John is talking about is forsaking habitual sin in our walk with God. Christ came to destroy the works of the devil; therefore, we have the power to walk in victory over temptation and falling into the bad habits and strongholds of sin. Sin is lawlessness and the true believer in God’s goodness will have an extreme hatred toward those things that take us away from the Lord’s perfections. This is not to say that the Christian may at times slip up and get back into the flesh. We still have the capacity to do that and the enemy is very good at luring us and tripping us up from time to time with evil desires. But, the child of God will love righteousness far more than corruption and should gravitate towards that in all cases. If our continual desire is to do wrong, we had better check our heart and see if we are really abiding in Christ by faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

-God is greater than our heart when our heart tries to condemn us with guilt even after trusting completely in Christ for our forgiveness and salvation. Our confidence comes from our obedience in faith; He alone gives us the strength to overcome any and all attacks from the enemy. We can ask and receive from Him because He loves us and wants us to have the absolute best as long as we conform to His image by His grace, which He gives through His Spirit (1 John 3:19-24). *Application* Our relationship with the Lord revolves around faith and love from a pure and sincere heart towards Him. This is our reasonable service when we realize everything He has done to purchase our redemption by His sacrifice on the cross (John 3:16, 1 John 3:16). It’s not that we have to be faultless; we know that there are no perfect people, but there should be a propensity towards righteousness in everything that we think, say, and do. This is evidence of the Holy Spirit indwelling of our being as believers.


Verses to Memorize: 1 John 3:18, 23-24

Monday, April 22, 2013

1 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 2

Chapter 2


-John makes a distinction to his audience by calling them “little children” repeatedly during the course of this section. This is a term of endearment and peace as he gently instructs them in several different theological truths.

-First, he gives facts about who Christ is and the work that He has done on everyone’s behalf. He is our advocate (1 John 2:1). He is our righteousness (1 John 2:1). He is the propitiation (atonement, sin offering, expiation, compensation) for our sins (1 John 2:2). He is the truth who perfects the believer (1 John 2:4). He abides in us and we in Him (1 John 2:4-5, 10). He is true Light (1 John 2:8-9). In Him there is no cause for stumbling (1 John 2:10). *Application* Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gives us everything we need for spiritual life and oneness with Him. His love is evident when we reflect on His actions. It is God’s plan that we all come to know Him in this Light and receive all He has for us. “By this (the saving from our sins) we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments (essentially love God & love others) (1 John 2:3).”

-John now addresses specifics with his “little children,” because their sins are forgiven for His Name’s sake (1 John 2:12). He addresses fathers, who know Him who is from the beginning (1 John 2:13, 14). This could indicate their realization that Christ is self-existent, co-equal with God from the origin. This could also refer to the beginning of the New Covenant and the church, which Christ began. He writes to the strong young men who have the power to overcome the evil one (1 John 2:13, 14). He commends the children for knowing the Father (1 John 2:13). *Application* We see the generations addressed in the church here. It is important for us to respect the older generation who have had the privilege of seeing God at work for a longer period of time and have cultivated His faithfulness from the beginning. The young men are also essential for their strength and power to do the work of the church in all its fullness of overcoming the enemy. It’s also important for the younger generation to be raised up knowing the Father so that there is a continuation of faith into the future.

-John, like the other apostles, warns about the destructive influences that are in the world dominated by the enemy of Christ, which he refers to as the Anti-Christ and also antichrists (1 John 2:18). We are not to love the world or the things of the world. If we love the world, the love of the Father is not really in us (1 John 2:16). These are the three things that are in the world and their methods of attack, which amounts to temptation. The desires of the flesh (things that gratify our pleasure, making us feel good), the desires of the eyes (things we observe and want for ourselves), and the pride of life (the lure to covet and selfishly want things and power). “The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17-18).”

-John’s admonition against the enemy of the Lord is to keep abiding in Christ. There is a deception that is in the world, but those in Christ have received an anointing so that Christ can abide in us and us in Him. Those who are in Christ will not go out from Him and have a persevering-continuing quality. The Holy Spirit continues to teach and to grow the real believer so that they have no need for anyone to teach them. This is the truth and is no lie.  (1 John 2:19-26). *Application* John is speaking of none other than the Spirit-filled life. The Lord is our power for righteous living and He alone gives us the strength to overcome the enemy and his temptations. Abide in the Vine (John 15)!


Verses to Memorize: 1 John 2:15-17

Sunday, April 21, 2013

1 John Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


-The introduction to this letter has no salutation, and may therefore be considered more of a treatise or pamphlet type of literature under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. John begins from the beginning in stating the eternality of the Lord. He is also referring to the coming of Christ Jesus in His incarnation to which he was an eyewitness, actually touching the Savior with his own hands. Christ came as the “Word of life” made manifest, and John makes claim to have seen Him in life (resurrected life), he has testified to this life, and he proclaims it for the purpose of eternal life unto the receivers of his message. He wants the audience to have this fellowship together in the Spirit of the Lord so that everyone’s joy may be made complete (1 John 1:1-4). *Application* The Lord lives and we are to be like John in relating what we know to be true to everyone around us. Just like John, and the others apostles, we must be ready to give an account for the joy and hope that is within us for Kingdom of God growth (1 Peter 3:15). We may not have been able to see the incarnate risen Savior, but we have experienced His life changing power and His abiding presence. We have love to give and share with others!

-God is Light. This is a common theme in John’s writing going back to his gospel account. There is no darkness in Him at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him yet continue to walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. Here is the canonical tie with the book of James and the apostles who promote Christian holy living in addition to inner faith and verbal confession. *Application* Christ is about life change. When we come to Him, He transforms us into new creations for good works in this world (2 Corinthians 5:17). Continuing in habitual sin is a double standard that refutes who we are supposed to be. The most miserable person in the world is one who has the Spirit of the Living God inside of them, yet lives like the world with sin and corruption. If you are in this state, turn back to God confess your errors. He is faithful and just to forgive you of every iniquity and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Holy living is expected for the true believer. Walking in the Light gives us fellowship with our Lord and each other as we are cleansed by His blood (1 John 1:5-9).


Verses to Memorize: 1 John 1:8-9

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 3

Chapter 3


-This second letter, as it concludes, it much like the first letter in Peter’s estimation in that it is designed to stir up the believers’ minds by sincere reminders as to the prophetic utterances listed in Scripture by the command of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:1-2). He lists the prophets as well as the apostles as having this Divine authority into the revelation of God’s Word. First of all, he warns of the scoffing spirit that will be prevalent in the last days that scorn any thought that God is coming in judgment and that things will be different in the world. They will claim that all is going as it has since the creation and that the promise is null and void by God as to His coming. They overlook the fact that God has already judged the earth for sin once with the deluge of water in the flood and has reserved the next judgment for the destruction of the ungodly by fire (2 Peter 3:3-7). *Application* There will be a denial of the truth pertaining to God’s wrath and punishment upon those who reject Him as we see clearly in this passage. This is an easy point to argue in our present modern and tolerant age. No one wants to acknowledge that there is a Higher Power that is objective and concrete. Most deny any way that the Supreme Being would ever come for judgment and fire, even though His Word is being fulfilled prophetically every day. The culture has denied the existence of God and His coming by their actions in not being willing to repent and turn to Him in the distresses of our current time. They rationalize everything and try to construct a society without sin by legislation rather than Godly transformation. This will never work. God will have to come back and set things straight by His Word and Power. Acknowledgment of God’s redemption through Jesus Christ is the only cure for what ails the human condition.

-Peter maintains persistence in remembering that the Lord is patient and never slow in fulfilling His promises. One day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. In other words, time is of no essence to the Sovereign. He is desiring that everyone turn to Him in repentance so that none perish (2 Peter 3:8-9). *Application* Here we see the patience and impartiality of our Lord. We can also implicitly see His love for us in these verses. We should always thank Him for delaying His judgments on us. He gives everyone time who still need His forgiveness so that possibly His mercy might be extended to all. Receive the goodness of the Lord; He is waiting for you.

-“But, the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed (2 Peter 3:10).” Because of this irrefutable fact, what kind of people should we be in holiness and godliness (2 Peter 3:11)? *Application* This is the question Peter asks us and it is worth reflecting on. We should wait for and hasten (quicken, speed up) the coming of the day of the God in all hope, joy, faith, and love. We have the blessed assurance of a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). We are to be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish and at peace being patient at all times and in all ways as we wait for His glory (2 Peter 3:14-15). We are not to be carried away with the error of lawless people and lose our stability being twisted with illogical human rationale that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction. These misinterpret and misuse Scripture for their own selfish desires and benefit (2 Peter 3:16-17). Instead, we are to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).

-One more important point is made here in this chapter. Peter ascribes apostolic authority to Paul in his writing for Scriptural authenticity (2 Peter 3:15-16). While in a sense he wasn’t an eyewitness with the disciples (he was in his Damascus vision if we want to apply that), he is given apostolic authority by Peter, which is a very important piece of information here in this letter. This is important because Paul wrote over half of the New Testament Scriptures, which we subscribe to. We can also concur that some of the things Paul writes are hard to understand unless illuminated by the Holy Spirit to enlighten the meaning of these Divine texts. Therefore, Peter has made some important theological and canonical points here in this short letter pertaining to Scripture, or God’s Word (2 Peter 1:20-21; 3:1-2, 15-16).


Verses to Memorize: 2 Peter 3:8-9

Friday, April 19, 2013

2 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 2

Chapter 2


-Peter makes us aware of the reality of false prophets among the people both past and present in this chapter with a warning of impending doom for those who stray from the true knowledge of Christ and lead others astray. These false prophets have specific descriptions. They secretly bring in destructive heresies; they deny the Master who bought them; they are bringing upon themselves swift destruction (2 Peter 2:1). They blaspheme the way of the truth and take many down with them (2 Peter 2:2). In their greed they exploit with false words bringing on their just condemnation from long ago, which is neither idle nor asleep (2 Peter 2:3). *Application* If false prophets will always be among us, we must always be vigilant and aware of satanic influences that seek to harm and destroy us as believers. This is spiritual warfare 101, and we’d better be prepared for its reality. The only sure way to not be deceived is to know the truth. We know the truth by knowing the revealed Word of God, which is explicit in the Bible. It is our authority and guide. Trust it and avoid deception.

-The preserving of the saints and the sinners is dealt with in the next pericope of this chapter. For the righteous there will be rescue and deliverance. For the unrighteous there is binding until the proper punishment can be exacted towards unrepentance on the day of judgment, especially for those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority (2 Peter 2:4-10). *Application* We choose our sides in this cosmic battle over good and evil. Choose wisely my friend, the judgment will arrive sooner than we can imagine.

-There is no fear in the wrongdoers as Peter explains in the next paragraph of this chapter. False prophets are like unreasoning animals and creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed. In other words, they will be caught in the trap of their own foolishness. They will garner the wage of their misconduct for all to see. Their adultery, insatiable sin, and enticements lead them to being accursed as wretched children who forsake the true way and go after the way of Balaam, who loved gain from wrongdoing in his greed. He was rebuked, and so will the false prophet (2 Peter 2:10b-16). *Application* Don’t be swayed by those doing immoral things. Walk away from it. The Word says to resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8-9).

-Peter goes on to describe false prophets as waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, which are reserved for utter gloom and doom (2 Peter 2:17). What the Lord is saying to us here is that there is a false hope in these ungodly people. Think about being thirsty for water and coming to a well with expectations only to be denied. Think about the storm clouds that promise rain, but only produce a slight mist, producing no sustenance. This is what false prophets are like; they produce no hope in the end. They promise freedom, but are slaves of corruption. They are overwhelmed by their selfish desire and are entrapped (2 Peter 2:19). These have apparently even tasted the Holy Spirit and His goodness, but have turned aside and have become entangled in the trap of sin and are overcome by it. For these, the end result is worse than before they even knew the truth of the gospel of Christ Jesus. They are like dogs who return to their vomit and pigs that become clean, yet desire to go back into the mire and mud to wallow in it (2 Peter 2:20-22). *Application* The emptiness and futility of the wayward false prophet should be heeded. We live in the last days for sure, and these false teachers and evil will increase (2 Timothy 3:1-7; 4:3-4). Be careful who you listen to and let have authority in your life. Make sure they line up with the Word of God in teaching and practice. This will allow you to grow.


Verse to Memorize: 2 Peter 2:9

2 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 1

Chapter 1


-Peter writes to those who have obtained a faith equal to his own as an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:1). This faith is based on the righteousness of God and is not earned or merited in any way (2 Peter 1:1b). Because of this, grace and peace can be multiplied to the recipients of this letter in the true and accurate knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 1:2).

-Our calling is real, it gives Divine power, and grants us EVERYTHING we need that pertains to life (abundant life, John 10:10) and godliness through this genuine faith and knowledge of Him, who calls us to His own glory and excellence (2 Peter 1:3). God gives us His very great and precious promises so that we can become partakers of His Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world (the fallen world) because of sinful desire (2 Peter 1:4, James 1:14-15). Because we are partakers in the Divine nature, growth is expected. We are to add to our faith making every effort in the following areas that Peter points out. We are to grow in virtue (moral excellence, goodness), knowledge (becoming stronger in the wisdom of God, studious, diligent), self-control (self-mastery, not angered easily, cool under pressure), steadfastness (patience, endurance, fortitude), Godliness (piety, uprightness), brotherly love (kindness, compassion), and agape (highest love form) (2 Peter 1:5-7). IF these qualities are ours and increasing, they will keep us from being ineffective (useless, vain) and unfruitful (unproductive) in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior (2 Peter 1:8). If these qualities are lacking, we become so nearsighted that we become blind (temporary indulgences) and will forget our cleansing from sin and its power (2 Peter 1:9). Because of this, we must become diligent to confirm our calling and election (2 Peter 1:10). Abiding in constant Christian growth will keep us from falling (2 Peter 1:10b). In this development of moral excellence and virtue by faith and Christ’s righteousness we are provided entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:11).

-Peter wants to remind his readers constantly of these qualities. We knows what is at stake and is desperate to impart truth to them before he leaves the natural earth for eternity (2 Peter 1:12-15). *Application* Peter knew his time was limited and so should we. Don’t put off till tomorrow what can be done today. Don’t be a spiritual procrastinator. Who knows when the Lord will call you home? Be effective, be diligent, be passionate, be on fire!

-The reality of Peter’s message is bound up in the fact that he was an eyewitness of the Majestic Glory (that is Christ Jesus and His transfiguration on the mountain). These are not cleverly devised myths. Jesus came and He had all power. This prophetic Word has been confirmed and everyone will do well to pay attention to it. It will light up your understanding taking you from darkness into illumination dawning with the Morning Star right within our hearts (2 Peter 1:16-19). *Application* Our God is real y’all! We best start acting like its true because it is!

-No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man. It is ALL God ordained and spoken through the agency of man as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21). This is the inspiration of the Word of God. He used common people, like Peter in this instance, to communicate His perfect revelation to mankind for all time and eternity. “The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).” The Word accomplishes all that God wants it to accomplish for redemptive purposes and does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). God works within human personalities to communicate His Divine message to humanity. *Application* Take some time to appreciate the creativity of God and how He reveals Himself to us. Our own interpretation can’t make sense of anything. It takes Him through His Holy Spirit to bring us the Word through the original authors, and His Holy Spirit gives us illumination to understand and unlock the mysteries of His Word in the present. What an awesome God we serve!



Verses to Memorize: 2 Peter 1:3-7, 20-21

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2 Peter Bible Study Notes- Overview

Overview of 2 Peter for New Testament Reading


            “I’m warning you Billy, stay away from them boys. They’re up to no good, they’ll be the ruin of ya. If you know what’s best you’ll listen to your mama.” Statements like this one remind us of the wisdom of good ole mom and our younger days. Messages such as this served as a warning to impending demise if we decided that we would neglect such wise-sage counsel and venture down the road to danger. Wise young men steer clear of doom after taking heed to the words of caution.

            In the same way, Peter realized the impending danger of the early church as it grew up in the 1st Century. Earlier the apostle had written a letter of encouragement and comfort during a time of intense suffering and persecution from primarily the outside, but now he writes a letter of warning from an internal attack from within the church, namely complacency and heresy. He speaks in this letter of holding fast to the nonnegotiable facts of the faith, of growing and maturing in the faith, and of rejecting all who would distort the truth. To follow his advice would ensure Christ exalting individuals and God honoring churches. This was his primary purpose for writing as he clearly saw his earthly ministry coming to an end in the near future (1:13-15). In fact it did come to an end through martyrdom shortly after this work somewhere around the year 67 AD, probably in Rome. In Peter’s last days he looked forward to the future of the church as Christ’s apostle and leader. He desperately wanted the faith to advance and not be polluted by those who would try to come in secretly to profane the name of Jesus Christ and His magnificent work of salvation.

            This book was one of the last books included in the biblical cannon, but after close scrutiny from the early church fathers it was incorporated into the New Testament. It has many similarities to the book of Jude and no doubt either borrowed from or contributed to that book in the New Testament as far as source goes.

            Peter uses blistering and potent language to a high degree grammatically as he makes his case for the purity of the church during these fledging years. This is a hard-hitting book that will exhort one to greater Christian maturity and prepare one for the onslaught of the enemy.

Major Themes:


Diligence- If our faith is real, it will be evident in our godly behavior. If people are diligent in Christian growth, they won’t backslide or be deceived by false teachers. Growth is essential in the walk with Jesus. It obviously begins with faith and progresses to the point of agape type love, the highest degree of love, which is seen in our Heavenly Father. Keep on growing and display His fruit!


True Knowledge- True knowledge only comes from God who called us by His own glory and excellence (1:3). It will give us everything we need that pertains to real-spiritual life and joy abounding. This comes through the faithful promises God has made to us through the Scriptures and allows us to partake of the divine nature as we trust in Him (1:4). Peter begins and ends with this concept of knowledge in his writing (3:18). True knowledge comes from the Holy Spirit and it is He who moved men to write God’s Word (1:20-21).


False Teachers- Peter warns the church to beware of these false teachers who are proud of their position, promote sexual sin, and advise that keeping the commandments of God are optional. Peter counters them by pointing to the Spirit-inspired Scriptures as our authority. Christians need discernment to be able to resist false teachers. God can rescue us from their lies if we stay true to His Word, the Bible, and reject those who deceive and distort the truth.


Christ’s Return- One day Christ will return. In that day He will create a new heaven and a new earth, where we as His children will live forever. As Christians, our hope is in this blessed promise. But, with Christ’s return comes His judgment on all who refuse to believe. The cure for complacency, lawlessness, and heresy is found in the confident assurance that Christ will return. God is still giving unbelievers time to repent. He is patient with us and desires all to come to repentance (3:9). To be ready, Christians must keep on trusting and resist the pressure to give up, waiting for Christ’s return.



After a brief greeting (1:1), Peter gives the antidote for stagnancy and shortsightedness in the Christian life (1:2-11). Then he explains that his days are numbered (1:12-15) and that the believers should listen to his messages, reminders, and the words of Scripture (1:16-21).

Next, Peter unleashes a blunt warning about false teachers (2:1-22). They will become prevalent in the last days (2:1-2), they will do or say anything for money (2:3), they will spurn the things of God (2:2, 10-11), they will do whatever they feel like doing (2:12-17), they will be proud and boastful (2:18-19), and they will be judged and punished by God (2:3-10, 20-22).

Peter concludes his brief letter by explaining why he has written it (3:1-18), which is to remind them of the words of the prophets and apostles that adamantly predicted that false teachers would come, to give the reasons for the delay in Christ’s return (3:1-13), and to encourage them to beware of heresies and to grow in their faith (3:14-18).

Listen carefully to Peter’s message as it does apply very much to the days that we live in presently. Our world is filled with false prophets and teachers, who claim to have the truth and who clamor for our attention and allegiance. Determine that you will grow in your knowledge of Christ and reject all those who preach anything inconsistent with God’s Word.

Key Verse:


2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.


*Notes from this overview were aided by:


New American Standard Bible: Life Application Study Bible, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Mich.: 1995, pgs. 2209-2210.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 5

Chapter 5


-Peter concludes the short letter of exhortation and declaration of the true grace of God (1 Peter 5:12) by speaking to directly to the elders of the church. As a fellow elder, witness of Christ’s sufferings, and future partaker in His glory, Peter instructs to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion (force, pressure, coercion, obligation), but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain (a hoarder, selfish), but eagerly; not domineering (becoming a master) over those in your charge, but being examples (role models) to the flock (1 Peter 5:2-3).” In doing this, when the Chief Shepherd, who is Jesus Christ, appears, the leaders will receive the unfading crown of glory for righteous oversight in the House and Family of God (1 Peter 5:4). *Application* Oversight in the church must be handled correctly with humility and righteousness. Not many should become teachers because they will incur a stricter judgment in their leading of others (James 3:1). To handle the church of the Living God, these principles must be followed with devotion and introspection. This will ensure fruitful ministry for you and those you lead. Grow into these virtues and become the leader God wants you to be.

-Now Peter addresses younger members of the Body of Christ. They are to be subject to their elders with humility, dignity, and respect for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).” The promise is given that if we humble ourselves under the mighty Hand of God that He will exalt us at the proper time (1 Peter 5:6). We can cast all of our anxieties (worries, fears, cares, apprehension) onto Him because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). In life, we need to walk circumspectly (Ephesians 5:15) as sober-minded and watchful because our enemy, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring (angry) lion, seeking someone to devour. We are to resist him being firm in our faith and knowing that our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world are experiencing the same kinds of suffering throughout the world. After we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” us in His dominion (1 Peter 5:8-11). *Application* Our humility in the process of sanctification is paramount. Endurance is also very key as we see in this passage. When God comes through, and He always will if you remain faithful, you will see the following happen as a promise by the Lord Himself. You will be restored, which means you have new hope in the proper order of things. You will be confirmed, which means you will be deep-rooted and complete in authority. You will be strengthened, which means you are no longer weak and helpless. With Christ at your side and you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) and have power in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 3:20). You will finally be established, which means you have the enduring qualities with a strong foundation. God intends for us to be strong in Him by the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10). He is our rescue, so keep looking to Him in times of distress and suffering. This too shall pass!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Peter 5:6-8, 10

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 4

Chapter 4


-Peter tells us to arm ourselves with the same way of thinking as Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16) with regards to His attitude toward suffering in the flesh according to the Lord’s will. This suffering allows us to cease from sin and enables us to live our lives no longer in the human passions of sensuality, sexual immorality, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry (1 Peter 4:1-3). The people of the world are surprised when you do not join them in this debauchery and they make fun of you for it; however, they will give an account to the Almighty Judge for their actions (1 Peter 4:4-5). This is why the gospel is preached, even to those who are dead, so that they may live in the spirit in the same manner God does, even though the flesh will inevitably be judged (1 Peter 4:6). This verse can be interpreted a couple of different ways. One view has been to say that Christ has preached in the underworld, probably during His time of death before the resurrection. The other view, and the one I prefer, is simply that we are dead in our trespasses and sin until we hear the gospel and receive the new-spiritual birth that only Christ can give. This compliments the rest of Scripture more accurately in my opinion. We are all going to be judged in the physical because of sin, which produces physical death. We are dead spiritually as well until we receive the Spirit of God into our lives through Jesus Christ’s work on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:22). When we receive His new life, we awake spiritually speaking as a new creation destined for glory (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15). *Application* The new life in Christ frees us from the enticements of this world. When we receive Christ, He gives us a new heart, a new mind, and a new will. Our desire, in Him, is to follow His ways and do the same things He did by the Holy Spirit that indwells us. This includes the endurance in suffering, which Peter expounds upon here, for the believers who were going through trial and tribulation. These are normal aspects of the Christian life and should be embraced because they draw us closer to God in dependence and help us cease from sin. Amen!

-Since the end of all things is at hand, we are instructed to be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of praying fervently unto the Lord (1 Peter 4:7). Above all, earnest love is to be demonstrated, which covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). Christians should show hospitality without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9). As each of us has received a spiritual gift according to God’s varied grace, we should employ them for the building up of the body of Christ, which is the church. This gives Jesus His proper glory and dominion (1 Peter 4:10-11). *Application* This is good Christian instruction with some time honored virtues and themes. When we display these qualities, we will be growing in Him and the world will notice the difference Christ makes in us (2 Peter 1:4-11).

-Peter returns quickly to the theme of suffering as believers in Christ Jesus. He says, through the Holy Spirit, not to be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you for the purpose of testing (1 Peter 4:12). We are to rejoice and be glad in these times of testing because it allows for Christ’s glory to be revealed over and over again (1 Peter 4:13). Insults and persecutions for the Name of Christ bless us because the Spirit of God rests upon those enduring that condition (1 Peter 4:14). Suffering as a wrongdoer is another scenario and is not recommended (1 Peter 4:15), but there is no shame is suffering as a Christian for the right reasons and we should give God glory (1 Peter 4:16). Judgment begins at the household of God and refines us for His Kingdom so that we will not be judged along with the world of unbelievers. Because of this we can entrust our souls to a faithful Creator while continuing to do good with perseverance (1 Peter 4:17-19). *Application* There is a reason for all the tough times and things you go through as a believer who is totally yielded to God. When we go through trials, it is a time of introspection and evaluation. Sometimes we need to repent of sins and allow the Lord’s discipline and refining work in us to purify. This is good and profitable for all. At other times we can rejoice that despite our virtuous life, God has allowed us to partake of the sufferings of the Savior (Philippians 3:10). This conforms us to His image more and more and makes us a better reflection of Him to this lost world. Never is it easy, but it is rewarding (1 Peter 5:10). Rejoice in suffering because God is at work in it to bring about a better you for His glory!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Peter 4:9-10, 12, 19

Monday, April 15, 2013

1 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 3

Chapter 3


-Peter begins this chapter with some instructions for wives and husbands. Wives are to be subject to their husbands in obedience, respectful, and display pure conduct with inside beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit verses external adornments. This is precious in God’s sight. Women are to do good and not be fearful of anything that is frightening (1 Peter 3:1-6). Husbands are to live with their wives in an understanding manner, showing them honor because they are a weaker vessel and co-heirs with their husbands of the grace of life. Prayers can be hindered if the husband and wife relationship is not what it should be in these regards (1 Peter 3:7). *Application* Our conduct in marital relationships is important as we see here in the Scripture. Abiding by these principles will set us up for the God honoring and blessed family relationship that the Holy One smiles upon. Do your best to be filled with His Spirit and love your spouse with an unadulterated and pure heart.

-All should have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind (1 Peter 3:8). We are not to repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but instead bless others as to the calling that we were given in Christ so that we may obtain a blessing. Psalm 34:12-16 is quoted for those desiring to see good days having love of life. We are to turn from evil and do good with our mouths in total truth. When we do this, the Lord’s eyes are upon us for blessing and His ears are open to our prayers. His face is against those who do evil though (1 Peter 3:10-12). Be zealous for good and suffer for righteousness’ sake and you will be blessed (1 Peter 3:13-14). There may be times of suffering and tribulation, but do not fear or be troubled; on the other hand, “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience (1 Peter 3:15-16). When we are slandered and reviled for goodness sake with the right heart attitude, we shame those who persecute. It is better to suffer for doing good, if it is the Lord’s will, than to do evil (1 Peter 3:17). Christ also suffered for humanity’s sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order that He might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh but being made alive in the Spirit freeing the captives (1 Peter 3:18-19). Our baptism in Him washes us to a renewed good conscience because of His resurrection power (1 Peter 3:20-22). *Application* Our hearts, minds, and lives must be stayed on Christ and His righteousness. God is our source and gives us the strength we will need to encounter everything in this life. Honor Him no matter what and He will see you through every situation.


Verse to Memorize: 1 Peter 3:15

Sunday, April 14, 2013

1 Peter Bible Study Notes- Chapter 2

Chapter 2


-This chapter explains what should happen in the believer’s life once the good news is preached to us and has been received in faith. When we are saved, we should put away all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander (study each of these vices individually for more insight, 1 Peter 2:1). Instead, like newborn babes, long for the pure spiritual milk (The Word of God, the receiving of His Holy Spirit to illuminate and grow you) and taste it, which will lead to your sanctification in this great salvation (1 Peter 2:2-3).

-We are “living stones” being built up in a spiritual house (Not like the static Temple where God manifested His presence, but now mobile and filled on the go, Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15, 1 Peter 4-5). This spiritual house is a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s own possession for the purpose of proclaiming His excellencies into marvelous light out of darkness (1 Peter 2:9). This is all based on Jesus Christ, our Cornerstone who will not put us to shame and allows us to receive mercy (1 Peter 2:6-10). So this Rock, which is the Messiah, was rejected by the religious becoming a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offense (1 Peter 2:8), but He has indwelt us by His Spirit as the New Covenant Temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19, 2 Corinthians 6:16). *Application* We have God IN us and should be His reflection to this lost and dying world that is separated from His grace and mercy. It is because of this great and wonderful salvation that Christ bestows on us that we can be agents and ambassadors of the most High with His Law in our hearts rather than stone tablets. Be Living Stones!!!

-Because we are living stones with Christ inside, we have the ability to resist the passions of the flesh, which are all around in this fallen world. We are sojourners and exiles here keeping honorable conduct because of who we are as believers, which gives God His ultimate glory (a changed life). Our good deeds are a byproduct of the living hope that is within us (1 Peter 2:11-12). *Application* Our forbearing spirit will be observed by all. Let it be one of love and total devotion to Christ, who lives in you. Display His goodness to a world that needs positive change from darkness to light.

-Human institutions are dealt with as opportunities for us as believers to demonstrate our testimonies as living stones or servants of God. We are to honor everyone, love the brotherhood, fear God, and honor the chief ruler of the land with all respect. We are to endure when suffering unjustly as a means of showing grace to the lost. This is part of our calling and we are encouraged to embrace it just as Jesus did when He sojourned the earth. “When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed (1 Peter 2:13-24).” *Application* The world will be drawn to the Savior by our acts of love and forgiveness in the face of persecution. Give grace and you will receive it back.

-While we were straying away, lost like sheep, God being the Good Shepherd that He is and Overseer of our souls cared for us. Therefore, because of His great love and sacrifice we are to return to Him to gain reunification and redemption (1 Peter 2:25). *Application* Aren’t you glad God came after us and cared enough to come down to our level to rescue the depraved and despondent? His grace is simply amazing and astounding. No words could ever express the greatness of His unfailing love!!!!


Verse to Memorize: 1 Peter 2:3