Peter is without question the most prominent of the disciples of Jesus. Based on Peter's prominent role, one would expect any letters associated with Peter to play an equally significant role among the New Testament canonical writings. But this has not been the case.
This inattention is unfortunate, because 1 Peter contains significant theology and pastoral care. Wherever the church has undergone suffering, 1 Peter has proven to be extremely relevant. Suffering is not usually a popular or attractive theme. But if Jesus and Paul are correct, the church will suffer. Whenever that occurs, 1 Peter stands as a source of comfort and guidance.
2 Peter offers a message today's believers should not be so quick to ignore. Believers can learn from the ancient message of 2 Peter to be on guard against postmodern forms of ethical relativism and theological pluralism. This letter reminds Christians that the only solid foundation for truth is found in the Scriptures and the apostolic tradition.
Jude is one of the shortest letters in the Bible. Sandwiched between the letters of John and the Revelation, Jude is arguably the least well-known writing of the Christian Scriptures. Nonetheless, the message of Jude is a relevant and needed warning against false teaching and pseudo-Christianity. Jude sounds the alarm against a form of Christianity that tries to separate Christian belief from Christian behavior. The chords of Jude's message seem out of tune in the cacophony of today's popular clamor for tolerance and moral relativity. But its message is as necessary as ever.
Daniel Powers moves verse-by-verse through 1 & 2 Peter and Jude after providing in-depth introductions to each book.
“Christians are not required to know the answer to every theological question someone might ask regarding the Christian faith. But they should be able to provide an intelligent account of what they believe and what they have experienced. ‘Our faith must be a first-hand discovery, and not a second-hand story’” (Page 117)
“‘I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.’ On this basis, the letter had a twofold purpose: exhorting the audience and testifying to the truth they have been taught.” (Page 34)
“Salvation is never gained by virtue of one’s ethnic, national, or other identity. It is the reward of an ongoing personal relationship with God through Christ.” (Page 88)
“Holiness is not simply an attitude of the heart; it must be an orientation of one’s life. Holiness of heart and life is not simply for the believer’s own sake. Peter’s instructions have a decidedly evangelistic concern. Holy living can be compelling and redemptive for unbelievers. An exemplary Christian life is one of the best strategies for evangelism.” (Page 95)
“Holiness is not a special hobby for a few extremely devout believers. Rather, Peter calls all believers to a lifestyle of holiness as the only appropriate way for Christians to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Believers anticipate a new heaven and earth that will be the home of righteousness (v 13).” (Page 242)