2 Peter 3:14-18 The Standard

 

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 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. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

The Standard

In light of all that Peter has written about the end of time, and the final judgment of God on mankind, Peter promotes the same alert living that we find in Jesus’ Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24,25).  After the disciples had asked Jesus when the last days would be, Jesus tells them that war and famine will be common occurrences in the times following his advent on earth.  However, when he returns it will be the kind of event that the world could in no way miss.  He encourages his disciples to live prepared and vigilant.  Here, then, Peter shows that he took Jesus’ words to heart.  He encourages them to be found holy and living in harmony with each other.  The inference is that it would be bad to be found at odds with people and corrupted.   To be set apart by God means that our lives should show how set apart we are.

Paul also writes about Jesus’ return, but it is acknowledged by Peter that Paul’s letters take some interpreting.  It is in the interpretation that things can get twisted and lose their intended meaning.  For example, many people fall out about the nature of the end times today, but they miss Paul and Peter’s emphasis on peace and unity.

Peter already thought of the writings of Paul as authoritative on the level with Old Testament writings.  This is important for those looking at the canon of scripture.  Canon means measurement, and asks the question, “By what standard can books written in the ancient world be certified as scripture?”  If we accept this book as written by Peter, we can see that Peter had measured the writings of Paul and found them to meet that standard (canon) which he was looking for.  Peter was sometimes in conflict with Paul, but he had to acknowledge that Paul’s writing was authoritative.  Having been given an authority to live by, we need to be careful not to be led astray onto other paths.  We must ask ourselves what our lives are about.  What is the starting point for your way of life?  What would people say defines who you are?  What are your goals?  The Bible speaks to all these areas and gives that standard by which our choices are to be measured.

 

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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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3 Responses to 2 Peter 3:14-18 The Standard

  1. I love what Peter is urging from believers: be found holy and blameless and with peace when the Lord returns. I do not recall reading “be … at peace” when the Lord returns, but I find it profound. If the Lord came back at this moment, would He find His beloved resting in His peace? Sometimes I am delighting in His presence which brings great peace, but not always, and not at the moment. Why do we, and I, find the need to worry and be stressed with busyness and planning when we have Almighty God in and with us?

  2. 33324bg says:

    That’s good of Peter to warn us “lest (we) also fall from (our) own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked” (verse 17). We are not invincible or exempt from falling, but if we fall- we can get up! 🙂
    I’m in Michigan right now for thanksgiving. I’m staying with a dear friend, who’s living with her older sister, who’s separated from her husband with four kids. Her husband is one who “twists the Scriptures to (his) own destruction.” We’re praying that God will soften his heart. It’s scary and demonic how he’s so blind, willfully blind. He thinks he’s godly and prays for my friend’s sister, but he’s blatantly living in unrepentant sin. It’s so sad. This is a real danger.Let’s grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is Himself full of grace and truth! 🙂

  3. kevin w. says:

    This passage speaks to so many aspects of my life. I think of the times I have been vehemently arguing with other believers over the specifics of matters which often shows that I have missed the point of the message. Reading this, I first thought of others and how they cause disunity and only as I started writing my response here did I realize I am sometimes one of those people. This passage also is comforting to me to see what the early church thought about the various letters. At CSU my faith in the scriptures was under daily attack by people smarter than me. Often it was a cry of prayer to God that bolstered my faith as I often did not have a response.
    Twisting the scripture…this is what I have seen many do. My uncle has reinterpreted the scriptures concerning the end times and second coming due to his broken hopes of Christ’s return in his lifetime. Christ isn’t returning because He already returned right around 70 AD. Others twist the Bible in more tragic ways like the situation described by 33324bg.

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