1 John 1

1 John 1: We Follow God by Obedience to His Law

                John writes a general letter to all the believers of Christ and explains that we must be obedient to God and His commandments. For; “…God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) Therefore our purpose to become like Him means that we need to also be filled with the light and rid ourselves of the darkness. John explains that “If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we life, and do not the truth.” (1 john 1:6) Because of this we must not be hypocrites and instead practice what we preach. If we follow Jesus Christ and say we follow Him, WE MUST FOLLOW HIM! For “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:8-9)

Essentially, we need to confess our sins and admit that we have and/or are currently sinning. We are not perfect, and therefore will make mistakes that are contrary to the commandments of God. If we work hard to rid ourselves of our sins by confessing them and promising to no longer participate in those sins, God is merciful and just to forgive us. Just like Salvation is a FREE gift we must still accept the gift. Unfortunately many believe that these gifts come FREE without any stipulations, but the truth is not so… we have to do our part in order to receive these wonderful gifts from God.

Summary of 2 Peter

Summary of 2 Peter

                The book if 2nd Peter is a series of general letters written to all the believers of Jesus Christ.

In Chapters 1-2: Peter explains that prophecy comes by the power of the Holy Ghost, and that in this life we are to overcome the world to obtain patience and godliness. We are to interpret scripture through authorized mouth pieces of the Lord.

In Chapters 2-3: Peter explains that many false preachers will arise and will deceive many. The devil promises Liberty, but instead places his followers in bondage. In the Last Days many people will question the works and words of God and criticize Him. However, His promises will be fulfilled and without warning, those who follow Him shall not perish in the Second Coming.

2 Peter 3

2 Peter 3: The Second Coming

                Peter explains that in the Last Days many men and women will come saying; “…Where is the promise of his [Jesus Christ] coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:4) These same people will question other things like; ‘Why does God permit suffering?’ However, in order to understand all of this we must acknowledge that God lives, and that by His power the earth has been “…kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:7)

We may not understand the ways of our God, however we must remember that time unto God is not the same time unto us. In fact, trying to understand eternity and time outside of the linear time we acknowledge is very difficult. Peter uses an example to explain how time is different for God; “…one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8). This does not mean that one day is exactly one thousand years for God, but rather to be used as an example of how different time is viewed by God. We as human beings are used to time in the linear form; that is, point A to point B… with terms like past, present and future. However, time in eternity is more like past present and future with no point A to B. My only guess would be that the past, present and future are all one.

Peter reminds us that; “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise… the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” (2 Peter 3:9-10) We will not have warning of His coming, but He WILL COME. Peter explains that “…some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned…” (2 Peter 3:16) Because of this, education is important; we need to be educated in all things both spiritually, mentally, and physically. Those who are unlearned may be “…led away with the error of the wicked…” (2 Peter 3:17) We should grow in grace and knowledge, so that we will not be led away by the devil.

2 Peter 2

2 Peter 2: False Teachers Among the Saints

Peter warns the members of the Church that there are false prophets among the people; “…even as there shall be false teachers among you… who… shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord… And many shall follow their pernicious [harmful] ways…with feigned words make merchandise out of you…” (2 Peter 2:1-3) Essentially Peter is saying that False prophets and teachers will arise and try to bring those who believe in God into damnation. Unfortunately many will follow these false teachers and shall be made like unto merchandise in the eyes of those who follow them. Remember, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is FREE. Those who make money off of the believers of Christ will be held accountable for their wickedness.

Peter explains that God did not save the angels who sinned, or the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah, nor did he save those outside of Noah and the people/animals on the ark. However, those who followed God and His commandments were in fact saved. God even promises to help deliver those righteous followers “…out of temptations.” (2 Peter 2:9)

Those who follow Satan will never be saved, in fact those same angels of Satan and false teachers; “…promise them liberty… of the same is brought in bondage.” (2 Peter 2:19) We may think that rebelling against God will make us FREE, however, Satan will trick us into thinking we are free when in fact we are slowly put into bondage under Him.

2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1: Prophecy comes by the Power of the Holy Ghost

                Peter writes a general letter to the members of the Church of Christ, he reminds them of why they were baptized and why they are followers of Jesus Christ. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, he explains, we; “…are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust… giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance [abstinence/restraint]; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity…” (2 Peter 1:4-7)

Peter is telling every follower of Jesus Christ that the purpose for following Him is to partake in the divine nature of God Himself. We are His offspring, and by accepting His promise we were sent to earth to prove ourselves and to overcome the lusts of the world to eventually be perfected and return to live with Him. For if we overcome the world we will be given knowledge, faith, patience and the ability to love with the ultimate goal of becoming like unto our Father in Heaven. We are literally partakers in this Great Plan of Salvation! When our trial on this earth is over we will; “…be ministered unto… the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11) For this purpose, Peter explains that he will not be negligent in stirring up those who have forgotten unto remembrance of their duty in this life. Remember, we are saved only after all we can do. For example, the gift of salvation has been given to everyone, however if we chose to do evil in this world we cannot return to our Heavenly Father. Therefore Salvation requires us to put forth an effort to follow Jesus Christ in all that He would do.

Peter goes on to explain that as followers of Jesus Christ (especially those who heard the voice of God on the holy mount) have a knowledge that; “…no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) In other words, we can interpret the scriptures as much as we want, but without Holy Men of God, that is, Apostles and Prophets we cannot know the true meaning and interpretation of all things. However, God as He did in old times, still calls AUTHORIZED Apostles and Prophets to serve as His mount piece, even in these modern days.

The message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that exact message; God Lives! Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, and Savior. Because of the Love that God and His Son have for us, we have been given a mouth piece in these latter days. The Prophecies and Revelations of the Bible exist today, with Revelations that pertain specifically to the changing times.

Summary of 1 Peter

Summary of 1 Peter

The book of 1st Peter was a series of letters written to all believers in general. The purpose of these letters was to encourage those who were suffering and persecuted to unite and remember why they believed.

In chapters 1-2: Peter explains that in this life we will sometimes suffer or have trials placed before us. He teaches that all Christians are to expect suffering; it is normal for Christians to suffer persecution and even imprisonment and death. Peter explains that we have been given a plan and part of that plan is Salvation, which was made possible by Jesus Christ. He made is POSSIBLE, but not secured. We still have to do our part by working hard to follow in His footsteps… then in the Day of Judgment it will be decided if we did enough to make it back to our Heavenly Father.

In chapters 3-5: Peter explains that part of being a follower is to be ready always to give an answer to those who ask. Therefore, if you believe something to be true and someone asks you the “what?”, or “why?” of your beliefs… you should be ready to give an answer to those who sincerely ask. We should strive to constantly share our beliefs and helps others to learn about Jesus Christ. We should not be surprised when we are faced with trials or heartache, this is all part of the life experience and it is part of being a follower of Christ. Satan is not happy, and knows that as a follower of Christ, we have chosen the correct side. Satan does not want us to be happy, because HE is not happy!

 

1 Peter 5

1 Peter 5: Feed the Flock of God

                Peter urges his fellow ‘elders’ or the other leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ to be a witness of Christ and to; “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversightthereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre [not for money], but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock [being examples]. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive acrown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:2-4)

Peter explains that the unselfish acts of the Church Leaders will be rewarded in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Leaders of the Church DO NOT get PAID, rather they do it by sacred calling from God, and do it willingly, FREE.

Peter reminds us of something so simple, yet so true; “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) God loves us, so if we want to be happy we need to just cast our cares upon Him.

1 Peter 4

1 Peter 4: Gospel Preached unto the Dead

Peter writes that just as Christ had suffered for our sins in the flesh, we should do “…likewise  with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:1-2) If we cease from sin (or at least do our best) we can please God by doing His will.

Peter then goes on to ask an important question; “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6) Why is this important? Because it helps us to understand God’s Plan for us; Remember when Jesus Christ died on the cross and then rose 3 days later? Where did He go for those three days? Jesus Christ went to the Spirit World to teach those who were in ‘Spirit Prison’, who did not hear the word of God or have the opportunity in this life. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God;

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God… for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.” (John 5:25;28)

Peter goes on to explain that we should have Charity; “…for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Peter is not saying to  go out an sin, but what he is saying is that if we DO sin, we can be forgiven of our sins easier if we are actively engaged in charity.

Peter encourages us to; “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” (1 Peter 4:9) He also advises that if we suffer in this life, we are suffering like Jesus did… which means that when Jesus Christ reveals His glory in the Second Coming, we will also have part of that glory and joy; “…rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:13)

1 Peter 3

1 Peter 3: Christ Preached in the Spirit World

                Peter writes about how wives should be in subjection of their husbands, Peter gives the explain that “…Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord…” (1 Peter 3:6). Some might say that this is sexist, however Peter explains exactly what this relationship between husband and wife should look like; “…husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife… being heirs together of the grace of life… be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another.” (1 Peter 3:6-8)

Wives being subject to their husbands really means that the husband acts as the head of the household… but does so as an equal partner. In the Family: A Proclamation to the World the Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lay out the roles for husband and wife:

“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children… Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.

THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners…” (Family: A Proclamation to the World – The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of theChurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints – September 23, 1995)

Peter continues to explain that we need to “…be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in your with meekness and fear.” (1 Peter 3:15) – Peter is telling us that if someone comes asking a sincere question, we should be ready to answer them. However if someone is just trying to fight with you or to argue over different beliefs…then you should not answer them.

Peter explains that “…Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which some were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3:18-20) Essentially Christ suffered our sins, so why wouldn’t we not suffer for the consequence of our sins in the flesh? Here we also learn that Christ after he was crucified went to teach Spirits in the spirit prison. This is sort of like “purgatory” but not exactly, it is more of a waiting room for those who were not baptized with the proper authority while on the earth or who never learned about Jesus Christ. Once Jesus Christ returns for the Second Coming, then those people will be judged and given their kingdom in heaven. Remember what Jesus Christ said to the thieves that were on either side of Him? “…Jesus said unto him… To day shalt thou be with me in paradise…” (Luke 23:43) After death, and before we pass over into “heaven”, we go to Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison.

1 Peter 1

1 Peter 1: Trial of Faith Precedes Salvation

                Peter writes to the gentiles that are scattered throughout the world and explains to them; “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious that of gold….though it be tried with fire… be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:7) Here we learn that the trial of our faith, even though it be difficult is what we will be judged on in the last days. Gold, silver, jewels… any worldly possession will not help us gain salvation. We must EARN our own salvation through the trial of our faith. Yes, it is true that Jesus Christ died for our sins and therefore granted our Salvation. However, we must remember that Jesus Christ gave us the ABILITY to gain Salvation, but never did we instantly gain Salvation for nothing, and this is exactly what Peter is saying.

Peter goes on to explain, that since the dawn of time Prophets have “…enquired and searched diligently…” (1 Peter 1:10) in order to obtain the necessary information regarding our Salvation, for this purpose having prophets is important. Peter explains that we need to be “…obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts of your ignorance… Be ye holy; for I am [God] holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work.” (1 Peter 14;16-17) Peter urges us to be obedient, and put our former lusts and desires in the past. As God is Holy, we being His children should also be holy. Why? Because ultimately God will judge us on our work.

Our Salvation was gained through the “…precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world…” (1 Peter 1:19-20) Peter invites us to be “…born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible…” (1 Peter 1:23) In other words, once we decide to follow Christ, we must do as He would do. We must work diligently daily, doing good works as He would also do.