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
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: 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: 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: 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
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: 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.