David Pawson - Peter Part 1

Thoughtful Thoughts 10.8.18  The letters of Peter, (Part 1).

The A, B, C of Peter’s letters.

A). Authorship

I need to start with 'authorship', because some theologians have denied that the apostle Peter even wrote these letters and that therefore, they have no scriptural authority.

However, the apostle Peter says he wrote 1 Peter, (at 1:1), and also in 1 Peter 5:12 he adds that Silas had written the letter for him.

What’s more, Peter also says that John Mark was right there with him at the time of writing and we know he could also write, as he wrote Mark’s Gospel.

This same Peter also stated that he wrote 2 Peter; (in 2 Peter 1:1 & 18). He also confirmed that it was his second letter, in 3:1. So even though Peter may not have been literate, he had helpers who were.

There are many theologians who are not themselves Bible believing Christians, just as the Sadducees were Jewish leaders who did not believe in the resurrection.

Billy Graham discovered at theological college that he had to learn the teaching of critical theological scholars. It troubled him so much, that he promised God that he would still believe that the Bible is His inspired Word, regardless of what he was being required to learn, in order to pass his exams.

Reading the Bible for yourself is a great antidote to critical theologians, as you can ask questions like, “What does the Bible say?” We are told to be like the Bereans and check up on teachers by using the Bible. Prayerfully consider what and who you support. I find it lacks integrity when church leaders undermine the very faith they accept a salary to support. They live off those who do believe, like clouds without rain.

B). Background

Peter wrote these letters because a madman was now in charge of the Roman empire. Nero was burning Rome to the ground and playing his fiddle whilst watching. Nero torched it in order to have the capital city re-made using his own personal new design. Rome would be all about him, even after his death. The angry reaction by the citizens was so fierce that he became afraid. In fact, he became so afraid that looked for a scapegoat. And, he found one…Who better to blame than the Christians? So, Christians came into such great difficulty that they were not just being murdered, but were being tortured to death. The situation Jewish believers found themselves in, meant that they were defecting back to their old synagogue. Gentiles couldn’t do that. They either refused to deny Jesus and were then tortured to death, or they denied Jesus and sacrificed to Roman gods. Maybe others ran.

C). Change

By now, Peter was a new man. Let’s see some of the ways in which he had changed.

i). Peter the humble. Instead of boasting or riding roughshod over people, Peter now says he is only a servant, (1 Peter 1 :1).

ii). Peter the servant. He shows that servanthood by actively mentoring John Mark, (1 Peter 5:13), providing “one-on-one” training for the next generation. Peter who had once run away, is now training another man who had run away!  

iii). Peter the brave. Now instead of running away, Peter asks to be crucified upside down, because he didn’t even feel worthy enough to even be crucified the same way up as Jesus.

Next time, we will look at a summary of Peter’s letters - and what Jesus did whilst His body was three days in the tomb!

I’m John Dunning and that’s “Thoughtful Thoughts” for another week.

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