May 6, 2018 – 2 Peter 1:1-11
Lesson Date: May 6, 2018
Focal Scripture Passage: 2 Peter 1:1-11
AIM: To lead students to discover spiritual qualities they must add to their lives once the Lord has saved them by faith, and to discuss ways they can add those qualities to their lives.
Before class: Read the notes on 2 Peter 1:1-11 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Purchase a plain white cake mix to bring to class. Find a picture of a beautiful birthday cake or wedding cake. Contact two of your class members early in the week. Ask one to locate a few Bible promises and be prepared to share them with the class. Ask the other to be prepared to tell the class a few aspects of God’s nature (characteristics of God). Prepare the note cards or slips of paper described in the “Conclusion” step.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Show the cake mix to the class and ask them what it is. Tell them this mix will make a plain white cake.
Say: “Suppose I gave you this cake mix and asked you to make a beautiful birthday cake for a special party.” Show the picture of the beautifully decorated cake. Ask: “Does this cake mix give you everything you need to make the beautifully decorated cake?” (no; you must add flavoring, icing, and decorations, plus a lot of time and effort).
Tell the students we could make a plain white cake by using the mix and following the directions on the box, but if we want a beautifully decorated birthday cake we must add more things to that cake mix. Ask: “Which will bring more joy and excitement to the birthday party – the plain white cake or the beautifully decorated birthday cake?” (the latter).
Tell the class today’s lesson is about things we must add to our lives.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Review and Introduction to 2 Peter.
- Remind the class that we have been studying the New Testament book of 1 Peter.
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (service and suffering).
- Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verses (1 Pet. 5:8-9).
- Tell the students today we begin a study of the book of 2 Peter.
- Read 2 Peter 1:1-2.
- Introduce the book of 2 Peter using the following outline:
- The Apostle Peter wrote this letter.
- He wrote it from prison shortly before he was executed (d. 66-68).
- Ask: “According to verse 1, to whom did Peter write this letter?” (Christians).
- If we are saved, then this letter is addressed to us.
- Things God Has Give Us.
- Write “Things God Has Given Christians” on the marker board or chalkboard.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 1:3.
- Ask: “What has God given us by His divine power?” (all things that pertain unto life and godliness; in other words, everything we need to live a godly life).
- Ask: “How did we get all this?” (through the knowledge of Jesus Christ).
- Tell the class that just as the cake mix provides what you need to make a cake, when you get saved you receive everything you need to live a godly life.
- Read 2 Peter 1:4.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what else have we been given?” (exceeding great and precious promises).
- Call on the previously enlisted class member to share a few Bible promises with the class.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what do these wonderful promises make us partakers of?” (the divine nature – God’s own nature and characteristics).
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to name some aspects of God’s nature.
- Tell the class that (to a lesser degree) believers get to be partakers of those aspects of God’s nature.
- Ask: “According to verse 4, what have we escaped?” (the corruption of the world).
- Summarize: When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, God gives us everything we need to live a godly life and enables us to be partakers of His divine nature. This is amazing!
- Things We Must Add.
- Write “Things We Must Add” on the board.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 1:5-7.
- Tell the class these verses name seven things Christians must add to the faith God has already given.
- Ask them to name those seven things and then explain their meanings.
- Virtue – goodness or moral excellence.
- Knowledge – “increasing acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God” (quoting Matthew Henry), moral discernment.
- Temperance – self control or “moderation about worldly things” (quoting Matthew Henry); see also Philippians 4:5.
- Patience – hopeful endurance or perseverance.
- Godliness – holiness, a characteristic unique to God’s nature; the goal for human moral character.
- Brotherly Kindness – love for the brethren (other Christians).
- Charity – agape’ love – God’s kind of unselfish, self-sacrificing love.
- Summarize: When Christ saves us He gives all we need to live a godly life, including His own nature. After we are saved, however, we must work diligently to add these seven qualities to our lives.
- Results of Adding or Ignoring Those Things.
- Direct everyone’s attention to the things written on the board.
- Remind them that God gives us the things described in verses 3-4, but we are told to add the things named in verses 5-7.
- Tell the class that the rest of the verses we will study today describe the results of adding these qualities to our lives, as well as the results of ignoring these things.
- Write “Results of Adding or Ignoring Those Things” on the board.
- Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 1:8-11.
- Ask: “What does verse 8 say will result from adding these things?” (you will be fruitful and you will know Jesus Christ better).
- Ask: “According to verse 9, what will happen if the things named in verses 5-7 are lacking?” (spiritual blindness, shortsightedness, and doubting your salvation).
- Tell the class the biggest reason Christians doubt their salvation is they are living in sin and disobeying the Bible.
- Tell them verses 10-11 name three more results of adding the things described in verses 5-7.
- Ask the students to name what they see in that verse (you will be sure of your salvation, you will never fall, and your entrance into heaven will be triumphant)
- Remind the students about the difference between the plain white cake mix and the beautifully decorated cake.
- Tell them that just as the beautifully decorated cake will receive a much more jubilant reception at a party than the plain white cake, those who faithfully seek to add Christian virtues to their lives will enjoy an abundant entrance into Christ’s kingdom.
- Summarize: God tells Christians some things to add to the faith He has already given us. If we obey His commands we will be blessed, but if we disobey we will fall into spiritual blindness and doubt.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Summarize the lesson by telling the students that the Bible says Christians must add virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to our lives.
If we do that we will never be barren or unfruitful, we will not doubt our salvation, and we will enjoy a wonderful, abundant entrance into Christ’s presence.
If we fail to add those things we will become spiritually blind and live in constant doubt about our salvation.
Ask: “Which of those descriptions best fits you?”
Tell the students if we are lacking those qualities we must confess our sin and start working to add them. Ask: “How can we add these qualities to our lives?” Lead a discussion of practical ways to add each of those qualities. Lead a closing prayer, thanking God for what He has given us and asking Him to help us add these qualities to our lives.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize 2 Peter 1:3. Give each of the students a note card or slip of paper on which you have written or printed the words virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. Tell them to put it somewhere they will see it every day, as a reminder to look for ways to add those qualities. Ask everyone to read 2 Peter 1:12-21 this week.
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