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Sound Doctrine: avoiding deception and error conerning the faith
1 & 2 Peter: encouragement in suffering
Elkmont Baptist Church
Current Sermon Topic:
Church-Wide Sunday School Bible Study:
1 & 2 Peter
We are in the last days as described in the Bible and people will not and do not like to study the Bible or obey it. Paul said it this way to Timothy: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;" (2 Timothy 4:3). On top of this truth is the complication that we are also inundated with virtually thousands of websites, books, videos, magazines and other media teaching false doctrine. 1 Timothy 6:20-21a: "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane
1st and 2nd Peter - Encouragement to the Persecuted Church
vain babblings, and oppositions of science
falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith." In Ephesians 4:14 we read: "That we
and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men,
cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;".
So what do we see? Thousands of opinions, false teachings, deception, and generally a serious falling away from the truth as provided to us in the Bible. There are even those who outright reject teachings of Scripture (sound doctrine), claiming it is irrelevant, cruel, and more.
Yet, how can the serious student of the Bible navigate through all the clutter and religious refuse that is prevalent today and find solid godly doctrine? A quick glance at the concordance reveals that the warnings against false doctrines and deception more than double the number of references to seek and learn sound doctrine.
OK, you've decided, I'll do that - How? We at Elkmont Baptist Church are starting a journey through the Scriptures to discover first how to recognize sound doctrine and then some of the more important doctrines of the Bible. One hint: If man has to wrap a Biblical teaching with his own thoughts and opinions and provide an extensive explanation - it simply isn't sound doctrine! These are attempts to sleight of hand, craftiness we are warned about.
Come join us as we study the Scriptures and discover first what sound doctrine is and then many of those teachings of Christ we can fully depend on as sound!
be no more children, tossed to
It is around 60 A.D., and the believing Jews in and around Jerusalem have scattered - many going to the north to Asia Minor. As they travel, they add to the church Gentiles who now also believe on the Christ. The Roman Empire has shown little tolerance for these Jewish and Gentile "Christians" who worship only one god - and worse - they refuse to worship and acknowledge the divinity of the emperor.
So Peter is prompted by the Holy Spirit to send encouragement to those scattered abroad and writes two letters just a few years apart.
Major themes in Peter's letters:
"You are not of this world - your home is in the Heavenly Kingdom"
"To the strangers scattered throughout" (1 Peter 1:1) - reminding them that they, the Jews, were dispersed before; reminding them of their true citizenship, and, that one day, they will be in their true home. We live in a temporary place - as pilgrims and sojourners and ambassadors for Christ.
"You are not alone in suffering: Christ's sufferings are subtitutionary on our behalf"
We are reminded that Christ suffered for us, and, in so doing, redeemed us. We are also reminded that we are not greater nor better than our Master - that we too may be called to suffer for Him.
"Christ's suffering provides us an example to follow"
Christ suffered to obtain a goal - our salvation - and did so knowing that the pain, shame, and anguish for the moment would yield a great harvest of saved peoples and bring joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Peter calls our suffering "precious" and reminds us that though difficult for the moment - the rewards are great and eternal - for "fiery trials" will refine us even better than greatly refined gold.
"While here, strive to live a holy life"
It can be real easy to grow angry and bitter for the way we are treated and persecuted by the world. Peter reminds us to live according to the way we were called - be ye holy as I am holy - a quote from Leviticus 11:45. In so doing, we may turn many around us to Christ.
"Do not believe all that you hear and see - but trust in God's Word"
There are so many voices out there all proclaiming that they have the truth: Islamists, Hindus, atheists, evolutionists, and even divisions within the "Christian religions" - Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Pentecostals, etc. Who do you believe? What is truth and what is twisted truth? Peter said that he does not even trust his own eyes and ears at the transfiguration but reminds us that we have "a more sure word of prophecy" - the Bible.
As we see greater and greater persecution in the world for Christians and many new martyrs, we are in need of being reminded that we are sojourners, this is not our home, and that someday we will reach our permanent home when Christ returns. I see a greater and greater persecution of Christians in America in the next several years - we are not exempt! Peter's letters are certainly timely, and we encourage you to join us as we examine the truths and encouragement in these love letters to the church.