Take notice and forget not whom redeems you- Christ Jesus, your God and Savior. It is through His justice and fairness that we are a precious faith. Christ imparts ongoing opportunities for us to be pardoned. It is through His grace that we can live in peace with God, ourselves and others. It is His love that offers all a life of abundant fulfillment. So, why disrespect Him?
How may we increase our faith to show Christ the reverence He deserves? Answer-through a personal knowledge of God. This knowledge goes beyond factual information found in theology, history, philosophy and other disciplines. The latter information is useful but, distinctly, not critically essential. It is through a personal knowledge of God that grace and peace multiples. Jesus is the One with whom an intimate relationship unfolds into a rich knowledge of God. It is Jesus in propia persona (Latin, in his or her own person) that empowers all humanity to know God. (See Appendix II).
As humans, we have both physical and spiritual needs. God’s divine power has provided all we need in both. In Christ, all humans are called by the glory of HIS power and by the excellence of HIS acts. The glory of God’s presence presses any living being towards adoration of God. The excellence of God is His “divine-to-human translator”, otherwise the sweetness of fellowship with Christ. This is not knowing of God, but rather personally knowing God.
The majestic glory of God’s nature and the moral excellence of His acts provide all that is needed in life’s journey. It also provides all that is needed for a godly life. It is this very glory and excellence that promises the magnificence of eternal life with God.
These promises have been secured at the highest cost in the death of Christ. Not just His physical death which is indeed painful but still remains limited to finite time. No matter how great the pain of death in hours, days, weeks, months or years, such pain is bound by finite time. What makes God’s promises precious in cost is that Jesus took upon Himself all the eternal pain and infinite suffering of God, every wrongdoer and every victim since the beginning of time.
These promises have been signed, sealed and delivered by the blood of Christ shed on the cross and by His resurrection from the dead. Christ woos us to be participants in His divine power.
Is it not infinitely wonderful that the passionate lusts of a world gone morally awry can be escaped? Is it not the most terrific news that this escape is available to all who would choose to participate in it? Yes! Yes, it is! Yes to the nth degree! Oh, yes, yes and yes.
Let us not presume to confine nor define God as a subject of our reality. God is the creator of our reality. He is so much infinitely more than just our reality: herein will always lie the mysteries of God. HE EMPOWERS us to supply all diligence to an additive growth where:
1. moral excellence, i.e. thoughts and actions of goodness, is added to our faith
2. knowledge, i.e. a cognitive understanding, is added to moral excellence
3. self-control, i.e. a mastery of self, is added to knowledge
4. perseverance, i.e. a patient enduring and steadfastness, is added to self-control
5. godliness, i.e. a reverence for God, is added to perseverance
6. “Philadelphia”, i.e. a love of/kindness for the brethren/sisterhood, is added to godliness
7. “agape”, i.e. God’s divine love, is added to “philadelphia.”
If the above seven attributes abound and are numbered in what is ours, they will make us increasingly useful and increasingly fruitful in the true personal knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (See Appendix III)
This is the effective and productive “knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (verse 8). It is my contention that personally knowing Christ in our hearts is the only place where He can reign as Lord.
Truly knowing Christ is a nomenclature of the heart not of the lips. Therefore, all people will either be exonerated or condemned by what reigns in the heart (See Appendix II). Throughout centuries the vast swarm of the short-sighted (those that lack foresight) and the spiritually blind simply forget, ignore or reject the truth that Jesus cleanses one from past sins.
It is truly up to us to possess these additive qualities: moral excellence + knowledge + self-control + perseverance + godliness + brotherly / sisterly love + divine love. We are charged to add these qualities.
Not only do we increase the measure of these qualities in our lives but we become more useful and fruitful. Imbedded in this frame, the Apostle Peter states: “Therefore, my brothers / sisters be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.” (2 Peter 1:10)
The three chapters of Second Peter are supersaturated with the factor of human agency in responding to God. The aforementioned underscored portion of verse 10 highlights the agency that God has afforded to every human through His divine power and nature. In His wondrous mystery God providentially provides the occasion for all to repent.
He calls and elects those that would participate in His divine nature. Because God is not bound by our miniscule concept of linear time, He knows before the foundations of the world who it is that responds and participates- hence, the elect.
God calls everyone through the truth already written from birth in his/her heart. It is we who must be sure to receive God’s call. We must be certain to be numbered in the elect.
How can such surety and certainty be obtained? We as humans must begin with a faith which is a response to God’s love. Because “God Is Love” He begins with His love that calls us to believe (an act of faith). By doing these things we will never fall. But we do stumble and stumble a lot. I know and, truthfully, we all do.
We can rest assured that for every fall His grace takes each fall and presents us before God as an unfallened people (this is called justification). We who partake of His divine nature by responding to His call, and being one of His elect, receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is good to remind each other these things. Repetition, repetition, repetition is the mother of success. We all want to be firmly established in God’s truth but each day seems to erode our foundation. The base can remain sound so long as we are freshly aroused each day by Jesus’ love.
This side of eternity is a journey of comfort and conflict. None can escape that. Some conflict may be avoided but none can avoid all conflict. Albeit, anyone can find the eye of the storm where tranquility sits. This is our life and such is its nature.
Let us always remember that Christ’s resurrection is our resurrection from the tyranny of conflicts. Remind yourself throughout the day that with Christ you are a light in a world of darkness. Each day you are a beacon for people adrift in the darkness of pain.
God is the “Majestic Glory”. Jesus is our morning star that rises in our hearts. Let those who have found this wondrous dream share it with those whose lives of darkness desperately need that dawning day. We have tasted Jesus. We have heard His tender whispers. His fragrance fills our nostrils. We have felt His gentle touch. What radiance we have seen with our spiritual eyes. These are not tales nor clever stories. This is the sweet experience of God’s loving dominion.
In the stillness of darkness only light can shine to dispel the darkness. Schools of thought, varying views and interpretive differences in of themselves become useless in darkness. They are useless because darkness can only be overcome by the power of God’s light in the human heart. Scripture is a true light because Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. The personal relationship with Jesus, oh, what intimacy. Christ is the way of restoring broken lives. Christ is the truth of God’s love. Christ is the freedom of life itself.
GO$PEL-PEDDLING is a counterfeit gospel. Where there is an authentic thing, there will always be a counterfeit. How can a lost world find God in a counterfeit gospel? It cannot and never will.
I thank God Almighty that the remnant church will always live. These are God’s people who love Him and others. They will always live because God’s love in them never ends. And precisely because of this, the world will always have a light shining in the darkness. God’s love aflame in His people’s heart can never be extinguished.
The GO$PEL-PEDDLING religion is false and destructive. Make no mistake, it is a candy coated venomous (very malicious) poison. So long as anyone looks for God in such an entity He will not be found. Here in America, my beloved country, and throughout the world, the moral landscape has largely become, and most readily continues to embrace, a spiritual hubris. The word “hubris” finds its origin in the Greek. It is defined as an excessive pride or excessive self-confidence (Concise Oxford English Dictionary).
Here lies, perhaps, the crux of moral failure of so great a nation and so great a people. For thousands of millennia the moral failure of a people has become the doom of that very civilization.
WE MUST HEED THIS WARNING.
WE MUST LEARN FROM HISTORY.
WE MUST NEGATE THE SPIRITUAL HUBRIS.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, New International Version)
False teachers abound among God’s people. A good litmus test may be to measure their grandiosity (pretentious ambitions) and their greed (follow the money). Destructive heresies are invariably introduced secretly. They camouflage themselves under the guise of other names, especially using Biblical jargon. But they can be detected.
Firstly, gauge the sovereignty of the Lord: where God’s love reigns there is patience, kindness, servant-leadership, humility, happiness, forgiveness, and no money grubbing. And secondly, God is not sovereign where a “leader” and/or an elite pack of leaders reign with absolutism.
Look at recent history. Look at the modern church today. “Many follow their shameful ways and bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you.” (2 Peter 2:2, 3) They offer as a testimony of their faith and godliness: humongous residences, luxurious automobiles, exclusive properties, opulent jewelry, giant congregations with prohibitive budgets, premier real estate, and an ostentatiousness of greed that makes the worse elements of capitalism pale by comparison.
To be sure they make up stories. They make up their own version of theology. Their hermeneutic (interpretation of the Bible) departs from sound and historical exegesis (critical explanation of scripture). Mammon (money) is their God. Their destruction is assured.
The Bible tells us that God did not spare angels that sinned. The Bible tells us that God did not spare the ancient cities of Sodom and Gomarrah for their pervasive sin. The Bible tells us of the great deluge (flood) that was wrought by God’s remorse over a rebellious people. If God should overlook the GO$PEL-PEDDLERS “gloom”, “ungodliness”, “filthy lives”, and “torment” (quoted words from 2 Peter Chapter 2), then He would owe the hugest apology to the sinning angels, Sodom and Gomarrah and pre-deluge hopelessly sinning people.
But God DOES NOT overlook any sin and much less the sin that uses the cover of religion. In fact, the only negative Jesus uttered were to the religious hypocrites, the failed false religious systems of His time.
Our cities are rampant with violence, drug abuse, sexual addictions, alcoholics, murders, rapes, theft, poverty, failed education, teenage suicides, and heinous crimes. So the counterfeit church moves to the suburbs and abandons the field of need. The GO$PEL-PEDDLERS thrives where the money is, not where the prisoners and the homeless and the poor live. Counterfeit religion is a selective money monger. Authentic religion is not selective in its evangelism- ALL are evangelized.
God cares for the needy. God is the champion of the defenseless. God saves the righteous. God protects His people. God keeps His promises. He did so with the angels and with His people of old. He did so in Christ for all humanity before the foundations of the world to the end of human time.
I don’t know about you but I need a break with these heavy duty negatives. Go get your favorite refreshment. Sing some favorite songs. Take a leisurely walk. Whew! Let’s take that break.
Okay, I’m back. That got so intensely negative that my spirit needed the balance of the day off-lol (laughing out loud).
Well, let’s get back to the business at hand.
This spiritual hubris “is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature.” (2 Peter 2:10)
In the boldness of their arrogance religious hypocrites slander the very love of God. When the veneer of their smile cracks and is peeled off, then the true evil nature surfaces. These false teachers and disenfranchised (depriving of our rights) leaders are blasphemous. Their doctrines are twisted. They control people for their benefits. From their fortified ranches of cultish separation to their mega-church mesmerizing temples, they are “creatures of instinct” as opposed to messengers of grace. Their short-term fleeting lives that inflict harm on others will not escape the wrath of God.
The spiritual hubris of GO$PEL-PEDDLING and of COUNTERFEIT RELIGION flaunts itself for all to see: special seats in their temples, reserved parking spots, their names and titles displayed in marquees and electronically lit devices. Their robes, originally intended to eliminate distinctions of wealth among the fellowship of believers, have become shameful displays of vanity. This counterfeit Christianity is not even a good counterfeit. Apparently, they have reached a point of brazen arrogance where the Word of God has been distorted beyond recognition.
They feast while there is rampant poverty around them.
Their “eyes full of adultery” betray an insatiable sexual appetite.
They are seducers with their cohorts of the “unstable”.
“They are experts in greed-an accursed brood!”
They revel in, that is- gain great pleasure from, outright wickedness.
NB: Please read Second Peter 2. These are not my choice of words and tone but they are God’s words in Scripture.
They will not listen to sound teaching. Even if a jackass (“a beast without speech”) would warn them, they would continue in their sin. They are stubborn and they love their ways.
Our cities are flooded with ill-prepared and ill-educated people that are victimized by this spiritual hubris. Their mission is to con souls rather than to save souls. They demand money as a requirement of salvation. Nevermind that the New Testament instructs never to give out of compulsion or obligation and that God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Hypocrites superciliously (with an air of contemptuous superiority) mandate offerings, sacrificial offerings and super, super donating while children in their very congregation are getting totally inferior educations. THEY get richer throughout the years but the poor among them remain poor. GO$PEL-PEDDLERS are hoarding consumerists, that is, takers as opposed to being givers.
“How do they do this horrible thing? Answer-“they mouth empty, boastful words and by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people…they promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of depravity-for a human is a slave to whatever has mastered him or her.” (2 Peter 2:19)
I came to know Christ as my personal Savior at the tender age of twelve. My identity was born as I received Christ and my fear, even of my own shadow, was dispelled as I responded to His love. Oh, how sweet my first love for Jesus.
I received a wonderful education. I excelled in business. I was a “platinum” member of my church. I was even licensed as a minister by a major denomination. I was a respected “somebody” of organized religion. In five years I had spoken to over one million radio listeners. And I had lost my first love.
These words in Second Peter seem so harsh yet they are nothing when compared to the harshness of the spiritual hubris that ruled me. I know these things because I was inside these circles. I was worse off than when I didn’t have Christ. What a shame. Shame on me. Shame on any and all spiritual hubris.
Pass my private lake, pass my luxurious home and fancy cars, pass my designer dresswear and expensive jewelry, pass my titles and degrees, pass my lust for achievement at any cost- I was MISERABLE! I had returned to the vomit of my own sin.
I share these impressions out of my own wasted years. I share these impressions because the Word of God speaks to these very critical problems. I share these impressions because of the rampant epidemic that ravages our times.
We have hope. There is relief. It took me better than four decades but in His mercy He brought me back home- His bossom.
Despite our society’s ills, the day of the Lord cannot be denied.
Despair and fear are not to be found in the love of God in Christ. We should look at these things and not become a vitriol people (bitter or malicious). Rather, these are good reminders that COUNTERFEIT RELIGION is not the church . The church is God’s remnant. His people, His bride.
These reminders are for the purpose of stirring the mind and spirit of those who desire a pure heart. The pure in heart shall see God. We can see God even in these turbulent times. God can always be found. With a wholesome mind we can see that God has always been near.
The reading of God’s Word feeds our spirit. Not a rote or mechanical reading. Rather, a reading that engages the soul. We hear His Word speaking to us. Our spirit is stirred and enters into a dialogue with God. It is so sweet this divine fellowship.
Christ indeed is our sovereign. Christ is our Lord and Savior. The way of Jesus is a way of humility and peace. The very creation speaks God’s wondrous love. God’s handiwork points to Him- a wonderfully creative divine God.
I sit and wondrously admire the trees, flowers and clouds. The deep blue skies and the awesome grays. The raindrops and their coolness. I look at butterflies and lizards. I enjoy the greens of grass and bushes. Everywhere around I can see God’s hand. I just let His Word stimulate my heart. The moon and the stars beam the night skies as if God is kissing me so tenderly.
God is vast. He is infinite and eternal. God has given us the time of our existence yet He is timeless. Our sufferings seem forever and the bad times without end. God’s eternity will have those who live by His love look back at this temporal time for what it is- but a mist evaporated.
God indeed is love. God loves us. He is patient with us, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) God’s love is written in every human heart. The death and resurrection of Christ empowers all to be able to receive this way of love.
Christ promised that He would return a second time. Those who love Him joyfully await. If we have received His grace by responding to His love, we shall enjoy eternity with Him.
Know this, the irreverent, the haters, the oppressors, the godless and all that reject the way of love shall be judged by God! Humans have never been licensed to inflict evil on others. None who defy God’s love shall escape His wrath. None of God’s children should relish on someone’s damnation. Sin is hard on its victims and deadly upon its participants.
God provides us with His unspeakable kindness and promises us “a new heaven and a new earth.” This is the hope of God’s people. This is why God’s people can endure the difficulties of this present age and continue to battle sin. The blood of Christ presents us spotless before God. All our sins are erased! Forgotten!
God’s loving patience affords all, who would, to receive these promises. God’s salvation is for the taking.
Let us throw off the spiritual hubris that destroys. Let us put on Christ and not only guard our spiritual wellbeing but also protect the spiritual wellbeing of others.
INVINCIBLE LOVE DISMANTLES THE SPIRITUAL HUBRIS OF FALSE RELIGION
Book of Second Peter
New International Version
2 Peter 1
1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Making One’s Calling and Election Sure
3His 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. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Prophecy of Scripture
12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
16We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 2
False Teachers and Their Destruction
1But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
4For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment. 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.
Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; 11yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. 12But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish.
13They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. 14With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! 15They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. 16But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—a beast without speech—who spoke with a man’s voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.
17These men are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. 18For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. 19They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him. 20If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
2 Peter 3
The Day of the Lord
1Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. 6By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. 7By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
11Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.
14So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
17Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. 18But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Jesus Christ is the expiation for sin, that is, the atonement for wrongdoing. He is the appeasing sacrifice. The governing attribute of God is love. Among other things, God’s love includes a complete and perfect truth that is void of anything wrongful. Hence, God is holy.
Before the foundation of the world, Christ’s death was the “pass key” for all humans everywhere to be pardoned fully and fully be justified in God’s eyes. Christ’s death and resurrection made sinful humanity righteous in the sight of God. Christ took on the penalty for every sin (small or large) since the beginning of time to the end of human history as we know it. Christ also bore the pain of every victim and the infinite pain of God’s displeasure with sin. Jesus bore an eternal punishment.
The power of Christ in His death and resurrection is the portal to eternity with God. Humans who have never heard of Christ still have access to His power by responding to the inalienable truths written in every human heart. Humans who have heard of the “contaminated Christ” through genocide, atrocities of wars, violence, tyranny, counterfeits, et al. are also able to access His power by what their hearts herald as freedom and truth. And finally, God’s remnant, the true church, are a people scattered throughout this terrestrial orb (planet earth) and throughout time equally empowered by Christ.
All who respond, wittingly or unwittingly, to God’s love are saved by the name of Christ spoken in the heart. This salvation is not a limited verbal word but an unending spiritual vocabulary of God’s love laced in a human life. Oh, that all humans be mute and still deafen life with the sounds of God’s love even as Jesus did.
How can we as humans make these distinctions? We can’t.
God in His perfect wisdom is the only judge of such things.
Allow me one small and infrequent direct notation concerning the original Greek word used in Second Peter, Chapter One. Verses 2, 3 and 8 use the same Greek word for knowledge, “epignosis.” Strong’s Dictionary of The Greek New Testament defines this “epignosis” as a recognition, real knowledge, and true knowledge. Verse 5 uses “gnosis” for the word knowledge: leaning more to a factual / general understanding of knowledge. “Epignosis” is directly from the word “epi” (basis, concerning, truly) and “ginosko” (to recognize, realize, perceive). Thus, “epignosis” comes from “epi” and “ginosko”. In the English language the same word “know” is used for both to know facts (eg. “I know that 1 + 1 = 2”) and to know personally (eg. “I know her cousin”).
Again, I apologize for this brief tangent but I believe it to be critically germaine to understanding the book of Second Peter.
In the Greek language (as in Spanish), factual knowing is most generally expressed by the word “oida” (Spanish, “saber”) and personal knowing is most generally expressed by the word “ginosko” (Spanish, “conocer”). For example, “oida” is a knowledge of arithematic fact and “ginosko” is a knowledge of intimately close-up experience. Verse 12 uses the Greek word “oida” which is the more commonly used word for a factual knowing (Spanish, “saber”).
This entire notation is known by all people irrespective of the above explanation. We factually get thirsty and factually drink water. We personally love our family and personally love our close friends. So even without a drop of understanding the original Greek (because it’s all greek to you- laughing out loud), everyone personally knows that God desires an intimate relationship.
Impressions Towards A Restoration Theology
As Inspired By The Book of Second Peter In The New Testament
By Sally Armada
A Christo-Theist & An American Thinker
Listen @ www.sallyarmada.mypodcast.com
Produced by Marie A. Willis
B.B.A., Business Management
M.S., Organizational Leadership & Administration
To Raquel, my sister and surrogate mother, whose dream inspired this essay.
My cousin Sammy and I have a game of words. We think of particular words, discuss their origins, usages, historical and cultural applications, in short, we etymologize. It’s quite fun!
He came to me one day and said, “Hubris, that’s a good word. Let us explore it.” At that time I was engaged in writing this essay. I came home and changed the title that now appears on this write-up.
I thank Marie, the producer of this ministry for her spiritual leadership and pragmatic (practical) organization.
A Special Note
RESTORATION THEOLOGY: The infallibility of God’s Word is not to be found in the letter of the words, but in the spirit of God’s message. When humans in any capacity are factored into the equation of life perfection ceases. Humans are imperfect beings that live in an imperfect world. The immutable (never changing) perfection of God’s love remains as the constant of faith and hope. Hence, the grace of God restores us to that relationship originally intended. God’s love in Christ secures eternity for any and all that would be liberated from sin and reformed into God’s image, that is, restored.
I have foregone the customary kudos of personal accomplishments. I have taken the advice of a pastor who once entitled a sermon “Dump Your Resume.”
Nonetheless, I have but two passions that have qualified me to write this impression:
I am, at best, an ordinary man with an extraordinary God-given gift: I can think.
I am, at best, an ordinary man with an extraordinary citizenship: I am an American.
A copy of the book of Second Peter (New International Version) is enclosed in the Appendix I. This has been provided for convenience and to encourage you, the reader, to write your own impressions. For best results, print out this essay for personal and/or group study. Above all, have fun with this work. Relax, think freely and respond honestly.
The human heart can have a personal knowledge of God. Christ has empowered and afforded all humans (children, men and women) the opportunity and capability to have an intimate relationship with God.
Having said that, I am defining hubris as an excessive arrogance and narcissistic self-confidence. False religion is the greatest disgrace in human history, just as despicable as it was to Jesus.
The spiritual hubris is an egregious LEGALISM coupled with outstandingly bad GO$PEL PEDDLING. God does not inhabit either.
The world desperately thirsts for the pristine water of true religion. God calls every person, without exception, to forsake the parched desert- the spiritual hubris of false religion. The church, an authentic community of those who personally know God, drink from the fountain of His living waters. All are invited to this refreshment of heavenly rains.
Hoping to see you all on the other side of eternity,