2nd Peter 3:1b: “In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember…v11b: “…what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness…” v16b-18a: “…There are some things in them (Paul’s letters) that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability-but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Chapter 3 of 2nd Peter probably should not be taken out of context from Chapter 2. In chapter 2 Pete writes about teachers and doctrine to be aware of and chapter 3 continues but with a focus more on what to do about it…
Can we recognize unsound doctrine when presented? Always? Unless it is just blatant and hanging out there (“I don’t believe in God” as example) sometimes it is hard to identify-especially if subjectively defined words like “believe” are used. “I believe in God…I believe in Jesus…I believe that God is Love…” and etc. But-is this belief rooted and grounded in the descriptions provided in the Bible or is it just that spooky “believes” or “interprets” that most folks have-all feeling but nothing objective. False teachers “twist” scriptures and doctrine just enough that we can almost accept what they say but leaves us slightly uneasy and not sure enough to challenge. We can chalk it up to “interpretation” and other such things and let it go (thankful we have someone like Jason-overt brown-nosing here). So what does Peter direct us to do? Key words/phrases to pick up: Reminder; remember; “what sort of people ought you to be”; knowing; take care; “don’t lose your own stability”; and, Grow in Grace and Knowledge. I was reading the Gospel Coalition blog for 3/7/17-there was a book recommended: “Gospel Fluency…” by Jeff Vanderstelt. Whether this book is good or not is still to be discovered but the idea that I need to increase in Gospel Fluency is jolting. But it makes sense: How am I to recognize the twists and turns off sound doctrine if I am not fluent in knowing the Gospel and all of its facets? I don’t want to be caught being carried away by lawless people and becoming unstable, do I? How biblically ignorant am I comfortable with for myself? I encountered a pastor this week that said many right things but was on the fringe-nothing at all too gospel oriented-not too much that was outlandish. But something didn’t smell right. After the service I attended I asked him about what kind of Christian he was-looking for a label so I could quickly clue into what he may stand for. From there we spoke for about 30 minutes. I was grateful for the knowledge that the HS has been building in me and in parallel found myself ill equipped as well. As time goes on, false teachers will be slicker, not more transparent and we will need to have a well-trained mind for the Gospel to recognize them.
Father, Lord God: I am grateful for Your Care towards me and my family. That care extends to stirring my heart to “grow in knowledge of the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Grow in knowledge/grow in good works: Inseparable sides of the Coin of the Gospel. I ask for Your help in not being buried in either one or the other but to joyously and with intention dive into the riches of Your Grace also being ready to give a good account of the Hope that is in me. Focused on You for evermore.