The Challenges of Distorted Faith
I. How do we KNOW God and the TRUTH? (1:16-21)
A. The REALITY of our EXPERIENCE. (1:16-18; Mk. 9:7)
B. The UNDERSTANDING from and of the TEXT. (1:19)
C. SURRENDERING to an outside AUTHORITY. (1:20)
We saw last week that the doorway to divine life is knowing God…relationally, not just intellectually. The question naturally follows, “How do we do that?” Peter is going on to tell his readers about his own experience…and how it relates to the words that God have through the prophets throughout history.
1. Kid’s Question: How can you tell who you can trust? How can you know?
2. How would you explain the role of our experiences in our search for truth? What role do they play?
II. How the TRUTH gets DISTORTED. (2:1-22)
A. Mis-connecting EXPERIENCE and TEXT. (2:1-3, 19)
B. The OTHER SIDE of chapter 1:3-4. (2:3b-12, 20-22)
C. Bad FRUIT seen in false TEACHERS. (2:13-19)
But, he says, there are always those who will distort the truth. Sometimes accidentally, but sometimes purposely, in an attempt to bolster their own control and desire for they want. These are the people who are not drawing from divine life. And they are fairly easy to spot, once you know what to look for.
3. When have you seen people misuse a Biblical text to support something un- Christlike? What are the chances that you have done the same?
4. How can we avoid misusing Scripture to support our own assumptions/desires? What are some practical ways to help you do this?
5. How do you understand 2 Peter 2:20-22? Is it about losing your salvation? Could it be saying something else?
III. Staying away from VOMIT and MUD. (2:22)
A. Balancing SCRIPTURE and EXPERIENCE. (1:16-19; Jn 5:39-40)
B. Examining the FRUITS of your THEOLOGY. (2:1-22; Mt. 7:15-18; Gal.5:22-23)
C. Surrendering HABITS to Divine LIFE. (2:22; 1:4-7; Rom. 6:13)
So here we see two pathways…two ways of living in the world. One seeks its own way and will eventually destroy those who follow it. One draws from divine life, and seeks to surrender to God in all of life. How do we make sure we live out the right choice?
- What part of this chapter do you especially like? What part troubles or challenges you?
- Where do you see yourself in this text?
- How can you check the “fruits” of your own theology? What role does communityplay in that?