The Transforming and Empowering Grace of God in Christ

As I write this letter, I have just returned to the office thirty-one days after my AVR (Aortic Valve Replacement) Surgery! It has been great to come and worship with you these past few Sundays, and now it’s great to be back in your service!

As we continue into yet another still New Year, I am deeply appreciative that our Elders allow me to continue preaching expository (verse-by-verse) sermons through books of the Bible. As you know, after our Advent Sermon Series, we completed the Book of Daniel, and we will now begin the New Testament Book of 2 Peter this coming Sunday.

If you recall, our study of 1 Peter, a handbook for Christian living, reminded us as believers how to persevere in the faith, even while going through the “ups-and-downs” of living in this fallen world.

Second Peter continues with this theme and as the ESV Study Bible points out, “…teaches that the grace of God in Christ truly transforms and empowers Christians to live righteously, even in the face of opposition.”

Charles Swindoll offers us the acronym “HOPE”* to show us how we can apply the teachings of 2 Peter to our daily lives.

H – Heed what you already know (1:12 -13; 3:1-2). This is especially applicable to those of us who are “experienced” Christians!

O – Open your eyes and ears (2:1-3; 3:17). – With cults and false teachings on the rise, we as believers need to continue to develop our ability to discern!

P – Pursue a godly lifestyle (1:5-8; 3:11, 14). – Theory is no good without practice, so we must be eager to put the teachings of 2 Peter into action!

E – Expect Christ’s return (3:12). – We should begin each day with the recurring thought that He could come today! How would such an attitude affect how we live each day?

*From Swindoll’s New Testament Insights, Insights on James, 1 & 2 Peter, by Charles R. Swindoll

In Christ,

Pastor Jim

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