Verse: 2 Peter 3:16-18
16 He [Paul] writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Three things jump out at me as I read this short passage:

1) Peter affirms that Paul’s letters are on the level of Scripture. Sometimes people like to attack the formation of the Bible: Why do have these letters as part of Scripture? Who decided that? What if they were wrong? This verse has always encouraged me personally. Peter and Paul didn’t always see eye to eye, so coming from Peter this is an even more powerful endorsement that they knew what they were writing was a continuation of the Old Testament Scriptures.

2) People will twist the Scriptures. Right out of the gates people were misrepresenting, misusing, and misinterpreting the Scripture. Sometimes out of ignorance but often for their own gain. It is important, therefore, that we “be on our guard” against these misuses. We can’t just take any person’s teaching at face value. As we read the Bible, we need to seek to grow in understanding. As we hear anyone preaching or writing about the Bible, we need to check them against the Bible itself and the historically accurate teachings of the church. Now, there are some areas (obviously) where good hearted, Bible believing Christians can disagree, but on the “main the plain” stuff there is much agreement. We also can use discernment about the people who are teaching—what are their motives? What is their character?

3) Lastly, we are on a journey of growth. Peter calls us to grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. This is a great encouragement. Let us not become complacent in our walk with Jesus. Let us not settle. As we follow Jesus there is an infinite amount of love, grace, truth, and so on to explore in him. We will never reach the ends of learning more about him and his love. We will never fully explore the depths of his grace and truth. This is the invitation to know him more. And sticking with the theme, one powerful way to do this is to grow in our knowledge of the Word. To read, study, pray, and discuss God’s word on a regular basis. God has more for us, he wants to invite us to a deeper walk with him—let’s lean in!

Author: Christian Dunn