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Green Tree Bible Study 18: God’s Word and Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:12-21)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has urged us to “grow in grace” (l:5-11). He has assured God has provided everything we need for that (l:3, 4). Now we are going to find out that we need more than bread to live. We are sustained by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Thus in 1:12-27, Peter will discuss the proper use God’s Word as a means for instruction and spiritual development. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 18: God’s Word and Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:12-21)

Green Tree Bible Study 17: Add to Your Faith (2 Peter 1:5-11)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Being a Christian is more than going to heaven when you die. It also includes continually living for God in the here and now. It includes growing toward spiritual maturity. Peter has assured us that God has provided everything needed for our spiritual well being. He now expounds and expands on the subject.

First, he exhorts us in the proper manner of spiritual growth (1:5-7). Adding it to our “faith” is the key. In attitude we are to be “giving all diligence.” The Greek word used here is spoude. This carries the idea of earnestness or zeal—even urgency.

There are seven Christian graces we should earnestly strive to add to our saving faith. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 17: Add to Your Faith (2 Peter 1:5-11)

Green Tree Bible Study 16: Foundation for Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:1-4)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter’s epistles don’t always get the same attention as Paul’s. That’s a pity because II Peter is certainly for our age. There has never been a time when Peter’s “false teachers” (2:7) were more prevalent than now.

The theme of II Peter, growing in grace, is well expressed in 3:18. The urgency of this message is made clear in chapter 2. It was needed in order warn to warn Christians of false teachers who would attempt to lead astray the spiritually immature (vv. 1, 18). Spiritual growth is the best way to avoid apostasy (1:8-10). In this article we will look at the foundation for spiritual growth laid out in the first four verses of II Peter. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 16: Foundation for Spiritual Growth (2 Peter 1:1-4)

Green Tree Bible Study 15: Jesus’ Prayer for the Church to Come (John 17:20-26)

By Robert E. Picirilli

In verses 20-26 of John 17 we find the final section of Jesus’ great high priestly prayer. This is a prayer for the whole body of disciples both present and future. Jesus was not content just to pray for those who heard Him on that particular occasion. He broadened the prayer to extend to those who would be His future followers. This includes you and me. Jesus prayed for us!

Like the section we discussed in the last article, Jesus presents three petitions in this particular section. Through these three petitions he prayed for the church of the entire New Testament age. Let’s take a look at those petitions. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Prayer|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 15: Jesus’ Prayer for the Church to Come (John 17:20-26)

Green Tree Bible Study 14: Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples (John 17:6-19)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Imagine what it would be like to hear Jesus praying for you! That is exactly what happened during the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17. Verses 6-8 identify the disciples as the persons being prayed for. Jesus here describes the disciples as men given to Him from His Father (v. 6). Jesus passed on to these men the information His Father had given to Him. In this way Jesus demonstrated to them that He came from the Father (v. 8). So the prayer was prayed aloud primarily for the disciples benefit.  There are three main petitions made on their behalf in the course of the prayer. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship, Prayer|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 14: Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples (John 17:6-19)

Green Tree Bible Study 13: Jesus’ Prayer in His Hour (John 17:1-5)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

John 17 is one of the several passages that may be called “The Lord’s Prayer.” The Gospels mention 25 such instances. However, in John 17 we find the only lengthy prayer recorded. We sometimes call it Jesus’ high priestly prayer. It was prayed on the eve of His crucifixion somewhere between the upper room and the Garden of Gethsemane. Apparently, it was prayed aloud in the hearing of His disciples.

During His ministry, Jesus often said His “hour” had not yet come. But in verse 1 the prayer begins, “Father, the hour is come.” When you read the words of this prayer, read them in the context of the approaching crucifixion. The prayer can be divided into three main parts. In this article we will look at the first part. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Discipleship, Prayer|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 13: Jesus’ Prayer in His Hour (John 17:1-5)