Waiting for God - 2 Peter 3

  • Was there anything about this talk you found useful? Was there anything you found challenging?

Read 2 Peter 3:1-18

  • What is the purpose of Peter writing this letter (v1)
  • What is the argument the scoffers use against Jesus’ return? (v4)
  • What other bible passages can you think of that mention Jesus’ return?
    Here are some examples to look up: Acts 1:9-11, Acts 3:19-21, 1 Corinthians 11:26, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:13-16, James 5:7-9, Revelation 1:7-8, Revelation 16:15
  • Have there been times in your life where you have especially longed for Jesus’ return? Have there been times when you have been pretty pleased it was ‘not today’?
  • What is Peter’s response to the scoffers? (v5-10)
  • What do verses 8-10 say about God’s timing and his character?
  • How does Peter say we are to live as we wait the day of the Lord? (v11, 14-15, 17-18)
  • How would your life be different if you knew for sure that Jesus was coming back next week?
  • As we wait we are to ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ (v18). What practical things could you do to grow in grace and knowledge?

 Put it into practice

Think of one practical thing you can do over the next two weeks that will work toward your growth in grace and knowledge. Write it down and if you feel comfortable, ask a trusted member of your small group to follow up with you in a fortnight and ask you how you are going.

OR

Think of one or two people you know who do not know Jesus. Pray for, and then boldly seek opportunities to speak with them about God.  

What God is doing around the world

Read Ephesians 3:1-13

  • What has been the cost for Paul to bring glory to the Ephesians?

Paul was writing to the Ephesian Christians from the confinement of Roman imprisonment. But rather than identify himself as a prisoner of the Roman government, he looks beyond that earthly power and identifies himself as “a prisoner of Christ Jesus.” He belongs to Christ and is imprisoned for the cause of Christ—his imprisonment is because of his service to Christ and is part of his service to Christ. Furthermore, Paul identifies himself as a prisoner of Christ Jesus “on behalf of you Gentiles.” He has been imprisoned precisely because of his gospel ministry to the Gentiles—and this is an ordeal Paul willingly accepts for the sake of Christ and His church.

  • In what ways is evangelism always costly?
  • What sufferings are you willing to undertake, or have you previously undertook for the glory of others?
  • What is the mystery that Paul is talking about in v2-6?

‘Mystery’ in New Testament context means something that was once hidden and that is now revealed. The mystery God has made known to Paul and the other apostles is the fact that the Gentiles have been granted the privilege of becoming fellow heirs with God’s Old Testament people. The New Testament believer joins with the original covenant community and with Christ Himself in being an heir of God’s kingdom promises (note Romans 8:17 and 1 Corinthians 3:21-23). Furthermore, the Gentiles are given the privilege of joining God’s Old Testament people in becoming members of the same body, the spiritual body of Christ the Messiah. Finally, the Gentiles have also been granted the privilege of becoming recipients of “the promise.” That is to say, we Gentile believers also have an interest in the awesome promise God made to Abraham: I will be your God, and you shall be My people (note Genesis 17:7).

  • What is the gift (the grace) given to Paul? (v7-8)
  • If you consider yourself a follower of Jesus, what are some of the ‘boundless riches if Christ’ you have experienced in your life?
  • Is Christ’s boundless riches something you find easy to share with others? Why / Why not?
  • What do you think you could change or do differently to have a richer experience of Christ’s boundless riches?
  • What, according to Paul, is the purpose of the church? (v10-11)
  • What is your attitude to the church? Do you often think about it as a collective body, or is your faith more likely to be centred on your own personal expression?
  • What kind of church are you part of? Is it truly inclusive, displaying oneness and with a strong sense of belonging?
  • What things could you do to improve your church’s inclusiveness, oneness and belonging?

32 years a missionary in the Northern Territory

  • Begin your time together by asking people to share a favourite bible passage and explain why they like it and/or what it means for them. Depending on the size of your group you may like to ask everyone to share, or just a few people.
  • Spend some time in prayer, dialoguing with God about the things people have said.

Watch this video about Steve and Narelle’s work: https://vimeo.com/180531296

  • Not all of us are called to be missionaries, but do you know how and where Jesus is leading you at the moment? (Consider different aspects of your life – for example your relationships, where you live, where you work, who you support in prayer, who you support financially, how you spend your time etc)
  • How has reading the bible influenced you to be led by God? (Can you think of specific examples?)

Read Genesis 11: 1-9, Acts 7:9-10 and Revelation 7:9-10

  • What are the connections between these passages?
  • In what way is the scattering of people at Babel an act of grace by God?
  • We live in the space between Acts 2 and Revelation 7. How does the vision in Revelation impact the way you live now?
  • The church in Acts 2 had a powerful experience of the Holy Spirit. What do you make of this for our church today? What is your experience of the Holy Spirit?
  • Finish by praying for Steve and Narelle, the church in Oenpelli and for the ongoing work of bible translation. Also spend some time praying for where God is leading you personally and where He is leading us as a church here in Rozelle and Balmain.