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Doctrine

Green Tree Bible Study 22: Scoffers and the Day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:1-9)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has been making passing references to the day of the Lord (7:19; 2:3, 9). Now he comes to the subject in earnest. He makes several important points.

First, he briefly mentions the purpose of this epistle (vv. 1, 2). Peter desired his readers have a means of keeping in mind the teachings of the prophets and apostles. As we shall see, he was thinking primarily of the teachings concerning the day of the Lord.

Second, he warns readers that scoffers will rise (vv.3, 4). The phrase “The promise of His coming” refers to Jesus’ promised coming. This is the truth that will be mocked. Why? They will mock it because they “proceed after their own lusts.” People live in fleshly indulgence find it easier to deny the coming of the Lord. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 22: Scoffers and the Day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:1-9)

Green Tree Bible Study 21: The Perverse Way of False Teachers (2 Peter 2:10-17)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has assured us that false teachers are always a danger (2:1-3). Now he launches into an impassioned description of these false teachers. In doing so he utilizes ceremonial language that flows without break through verse 17. Let us look at the various points of this description.

First, they “walk after the flesh” (v. 10a). They follow where flesh leads—to a lust for things that pollute.

Second, they are characterized by arrogant blasphemy (vv. 10b, 11). “Despise” in verse 10 is from the Greek word kataphroneo: “think down.” Here it means to “look down upon.” The word “Government” here is better translated “lordship” and almost certainly refers to Christ’s. In other words, they hold in contempt the Lordship of Christ. They are audacious, self-willed, and unafraid when blaspheming “dignities” and “glories” (Greek: doxai). (This probably refers to the glorious things of Christ.) […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 21: The Perverse Way of False Teachers (2 Peter 2:10-17)

Green Tree Bible Study 20: Apostasy—The Awful End of False Teaching (2 Peter 2:18-22)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Peter has just been describing false teachers (vv. 10-17). In verses 18-19 he makes a transition from their character to the awful result of the teaching.

First, he indicates that immature believers are the false teachers’ prey (vv. 18, 19). The passage says the false teachers “allure” their victims (v. 18). This is the same word as “beguile” in v. 14, a word used in Greek for a fisherman’s bait. The bait used here is a “promise” (v. 19). They promise “Liberty,” a false liberty that indulges the lusts of the flesh (v. 18-19).

The falseness of their promise is picturesquely described as “over-swollen words of emptiness” (v. 18). But there’s a catch, a “hook.” They themselves are servants (Greek douloí: bond slaves) of corruption. And any person they catch will become slaves of the flesh as well. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 20: Apostasy—The Awful End of False Teaching (2 Peter 2:18-22)

Green Tree Bible Study 7: The Christian’s Life in the Church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Much is packed into this concluding part of I Thessalonians. Some call it a “miscellaneous” section because of its many brief exhortations. But there is a pattern. It is a pattern that can be seen in terms of the believer’s relationship to the local church. You will find here the basis for several things in our own church covenant. […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 7: The Christian’s Life in the Church (1 Thessalonians 5:12-28)

Green Tree Bible Study 6: Watching for the Lord’s Return (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

These eleven verses continue with the theme of the last six verses in the previous chapter. A large part of this theme is the Second Coming. But the intent has transformed somewhat. Previously, Paul’s point has been to encourage and reassure those whose loved ones had already died. Here the point is that all Christians should be carefully watching for Jesus’ return.

We can summarize Paul’s approach to this subject with three closely related truths: […]

By |February 17th, 2011|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 6: Watching for the Lord’s Return (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

Green Tree Bible Study 5: The Second Coming and the Dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

By Dr. Robert E. Picirilli

Paul strongly preached that Jesus was soon to return. He considered “waiting for God’s Son from heaven” the very epitome of Christian conversion (see 1:9, 10). So the Thessalonian believers fully expected Jesus to return any moment.

While he was preaching these things in Thessalonica, Paul was forced to leave before giving detailed teaching on the subject (compare 2:I7 and 3:10). A few months passed and Jesus still had not returned. This must have troubled the Thessalonian believers.

Part of what worried them is that some of their members died during this time. The friends and family of these Christian deceased wondered what would become of them. They did not yet know there would be a resurrection of the dead. Unprepared for such things, the Thessalonian Christians were uncertain and anxious. In this passage, Paul puts their minds at ease. […]

By |December 6th, 2010|Bible Study / Devotional Life, Doctrine, Theology|Comments Off on Green Tree Bible Study 5: The Second Coming and the Dead in Christ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)