Explore the Bible: With Trust

6:30 AM

What is the best way to find your way through the darkest of nights? I have found that if I find that light that I can trust not to move, whether it be in a dark room or in the great outdoors, I can navigate pretty well. In this week's Explore the Bible study: With Trust, the Apostle Peter said we should treat the Word of God in the same way as we navigate this world we live in. You will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dismal place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (1 Peter 1:19)

There are a couple of LOOK UP options you could use to introduce this study to your group.

Option One: 
  • Display (In Advance): “The B-I-B-L-E”
  • Video Option (Play once most have arrived): The B-I-B-L-E. https://youtu.be/l8w5AeZtOqs
  • Discuss: How many of you are familiar with this children's song? What is the main theme of the song? (I can stand alone on the word of God.) Do most Christians believe they can "stand alone on the word of God"?
Option Two:
  • Display: Create a PowerPoint or handout using the Barna Statistics on the last page of the downloadable teaching plan. The statistics are based upon the Barna Group research entitled: The Bible in America - 6 Year Trend.
  • Discuss: What surprises you regarding these statistics?
Ask:  Do you think believers' view of the Bible as trustworthy is strong or weak today? Explain your answer. Why is it so important that we believe that the Bible is trustworthy?

Transition: Even though Peter knew he was about to die, he adamantly believed the Bible gave his audience everything they needed to know God – His work, His ways, His wisdom, His will, and, most importantly, His gospel.  Peter dedicated the remainder of his time to trying his best to remind believers of the Scriptural truths they knew and had witnessed.

Use the following suggestions to unpack and apply the text:

LOOK IN: Unpacking the text.

2 Peter 1:12-15
  • Identify: What did Peter assume about his readers regarding God’s Word? (They already knew it) What was his purpose for desiring to continually remind them of the things they knew? (So they would “wake up” and “may be able to recall these things at any time.”)
  • Explain: Peter knew they had heard everything he was about to say, but he wanted them to “wake up.” This word could also be translated as “stir up” or “arouse.”
  • Discuss: Describe ways in which Christians might “fall asleep” in regard to the Scriptures today. What is the danger of becoming like this? If you knew your time was short, what biblical truth would you desire for your closest family and friends to know and remember?
  • State: There is a Latin saying that is translated, “Repetition is the mother of all learning.” (Repetitio mater studiorum est)
  • Consider: How many of us have been guilty of saying things like this as we study God’s Word: “I’ve heard that so many times” or “I want to go deeper because I have heard all this before.”
  • Discuss: What is the danger of this attitude toward Scripture? Is knowing the Bible solely about memorizing it or knowing the facts?
  • Transition: Peter now begins to tell his readers what he is going to continually remind them of until the day he dies.
2 Peter 1:16-18
  • Ask: How many of you have ever watched the television show, Mythbusters? What is the purpose of the show?
  • State: Peter was the first myth buster! Both Greek and Roman religions were filled with myths about their gods, but they had no historical basis. Peter wanted his readers to know that this was not the case with Christianity. He made sure he clearly tied Christ’s ministry, death, and resurrection to history. 
  • Identify: What was the evidence he gave?
  • Assign: Someone Read: Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13; Luke 9:28-36
  • Ask: Imagine you were with Peter on the mountain. How would you describe the event to someone who was struggling with whether or not Jesus was the Son of God?
  • Identify: What eyewitness account can you give to someone else regarding what Jesus did in your life? Do you struggle with giving an eyewitness account of how Jesus has changed your life? If so, then maybe you need to consider whether you are confident in the salvation you claim to have received and settle that with Christ.
  • State: Peter confirmed the truth, not some contrived myth. He was called by Jesus as a disciple and participated in His ministry. He saw the things Jesus did and heard the things He taught. Peter was an eyewitness “of His majesty” (v. 16). He specifically referenced his witness of what took place on the mount of transfiguration. He knew how Jesus had changed his life and he knew the promises Christ gave him of a future home with Him in Heaven!
  • Transition: Peter did not just speak from what he had experienced and witnessed but from what he had come to know about Christ through the Old Testament Scriptures.
2 Peter 1:19-21
  • Explain: These were just a few of the “prophetic words” confirmed through this one experience Peter has just described – Psalm 119:105; Isaiah 42:1; Psalm 2:6; Malachi 4:2; Numbers 24:17
  • Discuss: What does this communicate to you regarding knowing God’s Word? 
  • Identify: What did Peter say regarding God’s Word? – Prophecies were strongly confirmed. | No prophecy comes from one’s own interpretation. | No prophecy ever came by the will of man. | Men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
  • Discuss: Which of these statements regarding God’s Word do you struggle with believing? Why? Why is it important for us to believe everything Peter just stated about God’s Word? If you don’t understand everything in the Bible, does it mean that it isn’t Truth from God? If the Scriptures appear to contradict themselves, does it mean that it isn’t Truth? (No) Is the problem with the Scriptures or with our understanding of Scriptures? 
  • Debate: Based on Peter's explanation, do any of these describe the purpose of God’s Word? – It is a book of self-helps. | It is a book of history. | It is a book of science. | It is a philosophy of life.
  • State: Actually none of these describes the purpose of God’s Word for the believer. If this was the purpose, then Salvation would not be necessary and this could become one of many books we could choose to use as a guide for life.
  • Direct: In last week’s study of verses 1-4, Peter identified the purpose of knowing Scriptures. When he began verse 12 with the word, “Therefore” he was pointing back to what he had just emphasized. Go back and identify what he said: Our knowledge of God’s Word multiplies grace and peace. (2 Peter 1:2) God’s Word gives us everything for receiving new life in Christ and living a life of godliness. (2 Peter 1:3) It gives us knowledge of the saving work of Jesus. (2 Peter 1:3) It gives us knowledge of our new nature and how we have overcome and can continue to overcome the corruption of this world. (2 Peter 1:4)
  • Display: Write the word TRUST on the markerboard.
  • Consider: If we don’t trust God’s Word what value is our faith? If we don’t trust that God could preserve His Word through the ages what will this do to our faith? If we don’t trust that God gave us everything in the Bible we need in order to know and live for Him, what will this do to our faith?
  • State: Not only were the words in the Old Testament given by the Holy Spirit, but Peter let his readers know that what he wrote wasn’t merely his human opinion. No! His words are also from God. The Old Testament, Peters words, and the entire words of the New Testament can be trusted! If they can’t then our faith is in vain.
LOOK OUT: Responding to the text.

Video Option:

Explain: Peter told his readers they would “do well to pay attention” as we would if we were walking through a dark, dismal place toward a single light. This is the kind of attention we should give the whole counsel of God!

Summarize: Peter’s life was changed by what he saw and what he came to know regarding Christ. He was passionate because he knew Christ and believed God’s Word. 

Challenge: How about you? Do you have that same passion? Can you confidently state that you can, as the kids' song states, “stand alone on the word of God”? If not, what actions do you need to take in order to change what you believe?

Apply: Write down your eyewitness account of how God has changed your life. Look for ways you can “remind” others of the truth you have come to know and trust.


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