Searchlights from the Word by G. Campbell Morgan: 2 Peter

Helpful outline sermon suggestion from every chapter from the Book of 2 Peter

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The Book of 2 Peter - "Searchlights from the Word" by G. Campbell Morgan.

Chapter 1

Blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.
2 Peter 1:9

That is a graphic description of the spiritual condition of a Christian who fails to make advance in Christian experience. It is because of that condition that there is arrest in development. The description moves in two stages. The first describes the condition in itself; the second gives the reason of the condition. The condition is that of blindness. This is immediately qualified by the words, "seeing only what is near." It is near-sightedness rather than total blindness. Such a man sees the things of time, and fails to discern those of eternity; he sees the material facts, but not the facts of which they are but passing expressions; in short, he sees himself and his fellowmen, but not God. This near-sightedness is destructive of a true Christian experience, and therefore makes advance impossible. The reason is that he has "forgotten the cleansing from his old sins." That is to say, he has failed to respond to all the enlargement of life and vision which came to him when he received the cleansing of his nature at the very beginning of his Christian life. What a revelation or reminder this is of the greatness of the blessing which comes to the soul when it is accepted, pardoned, justified, cleansed! That wondrous experience always means the relating of the life to the eternal, the opening of the eyes to God. In order to the maintenance of that relationship, and the continuity of that clear spiritual vision, it is necessary to abide at the Cross, never to forget the awe and wonder of forgiveness. In proportion as we wander from that solemn sense of grace, we become near-sighted, and all our Christian life is arrested.

Chapter 2

Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he also brought into bondage.
2 Peter 2:19

This is a truth which is insisted upon in all the Biblical revelation. Paul had given it equally clear expression when in writing to the Romans he had said: "Know ye not, that to whom ye present yourselves as servants unto obedience, his servants ye are whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness" (6:16). It is nevertheless a truth which man is slow to believe. It simply means that the freedom of the will is strictly limited. I am free to choose my master. I am not free when I have chosen. I become the servant of that master. It is possible for a man to yield to sin, but in such yielding he becomes the servant of that sin. It is impossible for any man to treat sin as completely under his control, to be indulged in at his will, and to be laid aside at his will. Yielding is yielding, and that means submission, bending of the neck, being compelled to obey the commands of sin. The only way of freedom from the mastery of sin, is that of escape therefrom through submission to Christ; and that submission must be more than an act, it must be an attitude maintained, or else we shall be "entangled" again in "the defilements of the world," and so our last state will become worse than the first. This is a truth which humbles the soul and leaves no room for pride of will. But it is the truth which, being recognized and obeyed, makes us free from the dominion of sin. In the uttermost abandonment of ourselves to the Lord, there is perfect deliverance from the power of sin; but in no other way shall we ever be any other than slaves of sin.

Chapter 3

Forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2 Peter 3:8

Thus the Apostle charges all Christian souls in their thinking of the ways and works of God to cancel the time element. Time is as nothing either way to God. We become hurried and flustered because we have only a day in which to do something. God has no such unrest, for in our small one day He is able to accomplish the things which men could only hope to do in a thousand years. On the other hand, we look on down the vista of the coming years, and the long time that must elapse before things can happen which we earnestly desire oppresses us. God has no such depression, for the thousand years are in His sight but as a day. The application of the truth which is of greatest importance to us is that of its bearings on the activities of God. Men either declare that the promise of the coming of the Lord is false because nigh two thousand years have passed since it was made; or they are tempted to think that He Who made the promise is in some way slack, that He is not acting as speedily as He might. It is only to state these things thus, to see how false the views are. It is well, then, thus to be charged not to forget this great truth. The purposes of God are so vast and so wonderful, that their working out in human experience must take, what for lack of a better term, we call time. On the other hand, His power is such that if and when He will, things can be done in a "twinkling of an eye," which will revolutionize all life, and bring in the final order.