November 22, 2014

Scripture and Commentary, November 24-29

Monday, Nov. 24

Morning - Psalm 124 & 128, Joel 1:13, 2 Pet. 1:1-11
Evening - Psalm 131, 133, 134, Prov. 1:1-19, Rev. 1:1-8

Commentary, 2 Peter 1:1-11

The exceeding value of faith is shown in the very first verse of St. Peter's letter.  He calls it "precious faith."  It is to be valued above all things in this earth.  Faith is the means by which we receive the grace of God.  By faith we know Christ as Lord and Saviour.  By faith we receive the forgiveness of sins.  By faith we walk with Christ in this life.  By faith we see our Heavenly home.  Truly faith is more precious than any of the worldly trinkets we chase so tirelessly and display so proudly.
  The two parts of faith are shown in the description of the faithful in verses 2-9.  Part one is belief; part two is action.  More accurately, faith is belief that, first, forms our personality and being, and, second, guides our actions.  This kind of faith adds to itself virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and godliness.  These things are so essential to Biblical faith that "he that lacketh these things is blind" (2 Pet. 1:9).  Let me state this as clearly as I am able; anyone whose faith in Christ does not move him to the diligent, life-long pursuit of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, and godliness, has a defective faith.  It is dead faith (James 2:26).  It is vain faith, which means it is only a shadow of real faith. Like a shadow, it has no substance, and it will not get anyone into Heaven.
  Real faith, which seeks, rather than lacks, these things is the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (Pet. 1:11).  Those whose faith moves them to seek and possess these things are the ones who have real faith which makes their election sure. "If ye do these things ye shall never fail" (2 Pet. 1:10).  

Tuesday, Nov. 25

Morning - Psalm 129 & 130, Joel 2:1-11, 2 Pet. 1:12
Evening - Psalm 132, Prov. 1:20-33, Rev. 1:9

Commentary, 2 Peter 1:12

Peter sees his approaching death (2 Pet, 1:13). What will be his legacy to the Church?  He is mentioned often in the Gospels, so his name and deeds will be remembered as long as the world exists and people read or hear the Bible.  But his legacy is not that he walked on water with Christ, or denied Him at His trial.  His legacy to the Church is the Gospel of Christ which he preached faithfully, lived daily, and died for gladly.  His desire is to put the Church in continual remembrance of the things of Christ.  Remembrance means more than memorisation.  It means to "hold in remembrance" in such a manner that our connection to Christ by grace through faith will always be a part of who and what we are.  It means to keep the connection alive, and to allow it to influence and direct our present and our future. 

Wednesday, Nov 26

Morning - Psalm 136, Joel 2:12-19, 2 Pet. 2:1-10
Evening - Psalm 139, Prov. 2: 1-11, Rev. 2:1-11

Commentary, 2 Peter 2:1-10

Have you ever thought of yourself as merchandise?  Merchandise is something to be bought and sold for the enrichment of the merchant and the buyer.  In much of the transactions of the world, we, the "consumers" are the real merchandise, constantly bought and sold by various interests who make our resources their own in the transaction.  We are also often used as merchandise in the spiritual realm, where false prophets and teachers seek to buy and profit from our loyalty with easier and more popular "gospels" than the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 2:3).  Sadly, people gladly "sell their soul" for the false security of heresy and error. But the Gospel of Christ is truth.  Peter offered no cunningly devised fable (1:16).  He saw the majesty of Christ; he knew the truth of His Words.  It is of what he saw as an eyewitness that he desires to put us in remembrance (1:16-21).  The price of following false teachers is terrible. Even angels that sin are cast down to hell (3:4-10).  Let us read these words in reverence, asking God to keep us in His truth.

Thursday, Nov. 27

Morning - Psalm 138, Joel, 2:21, 2 Pet. 2:10 -22
Evening - Psalm 140, Prov. 2: 10-22, Rev. 2:12-17

Commentary, 2 Peter 2:10-22

How subtle are the ways of false teachers who deny the Gospel of Christ, of which the Apostles are eyewitnesses and commissioned by Christ to proclaim.  Like the tempter of Eden they distort to word of God with swelling words of vanity, and allure through the lusts of the flesh.  Promising liberty they are servants of corruption.  If such people troubled the Church in the days when the Apostles were yet on earth, how much more can we expect to see them in our day of radical hatred of tradition and authority?  But their enticing words give false hope.  They are wells without water, and the soul that tries to drink from them will die.

Friday, Nov 28

Morning -Psalm 142 & 143, Joel 3:1-8, 2 Pet. 3:1-10
Evening - Psalm 144, Prov.3:1-12, Rev. 3:1-6

Commentary, 2 Peter 3:1-10

The Second Coming of Christ is certain.  The question is not will, but when will He return?  For the Lord is not slack concerning His promises.  The day of the Lord will come, and, in His own time, He will melt away this creation like wax, and burn the things of it.  Like a thief in the night, it will come unexpectedly to those deep in the slumber of sin.  It will catch them by surprise and destroy them.  Those in Christ will not be surprised.  We are watching, even longing for His coming.  For us He comes not as a thief to kill and destroy, but as the Bridegroom to carry His beloved Church to His mansion in Heaven.  Though it is highly unlikely that any of us will see the return of the Lord in our physical lifetime, it is certain that we will see the putting off of our earthly tabernacle (2 Pet. 1:14), and that will be the end of the world for us.

Saturday, Nov. 29

Morning - Psalm 146 & 149, Joel 3:9-17, 2 Pet 3:11-18
Evening - Psalm 148 & 150, Prov.3:13-20, Rev. 3:7-13

Commentary, 2 Peter 3:11-18

St. Peter is bringing his letter to a close.  He writes about the new heavens and the new earth, but these are only briefly mentioned.  His few remaining lines are more concerned with the question of verse 11, "what manner of persons ought ye to be?  His answer is in two basic parts.  First, beware of being led away with error (3:17). Second' grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Christ (3:18).  In the first place he warns us to do all in our power to remove ourselves from the influence and teaching of those who compromise the teachings of Scripture.  In the second place he tells us to do whatever is necessary to place ourselves under the teaching and influence of those who faithfully proclaim the things of Christ.