Peter says (in 2 Peter 3:16), that some of Paul’s comments are hard to understand, and that people who are untaught and unstable twist them around to their own destruction, as they do the rest of the Scriptures.
When he wrote this, he was very concerned about scoffers and false teachers who were showing up in the church in Asia Minor.
He points out:
- that some of Paul’s writings are hard to understand
- some people twist them around
- they do this to their own destruction
Sometimes I wonder if many things are hard to understand because God wants to see just how important it is to us to seek Him out and search for understanding. In our time, we are also surrounded with false teachers, and we need to be aware that not everyone who calls themselves a believer is teaching truth. Misunderstanding and believing the wrong thing can sometimes lead to a person’s destruction, especially when it comes to who we believe Jesus is and how we are saved.
For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. (2 Corinthians 11:4)
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (Gal. 1:6-9)
Which Jesus do you believe in? When someone comes to your door, it might sound at first like you are discussing the same Jesus, but often it is someone very different, even though they are being called by the same name.
It’s important to understand – not misunderstand – what we believe. And it’s also important to understand that God wants us to seek for Him with all of our hearts and to be fully committed to Him. Think about the following verses: (emphasis mine)
Do you still think it’s enough just to believe that there is one God? Well, even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror! (James 2:19 NLT)
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 HCSB)
The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT)
…you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, I will spit you out of My mouth! (Revelation 3:15,16 NLT)
We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature – for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil. (Hebrews 5:11-14 HCSB)
…since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11 HCSB)
(When we are ‘babies’ in Christ or very young in our faith, we have a lot of growing still to do. Of course, more mature Christians will probably know a lot more and have a lot more faith. Any baby, just like any young plant, needs food and nourishment to survive. Jesus is our bread of life. We all need to abide with Him, and dwell on His word for strength to grow.)
Do I Have Religion or Do I Have Jesus?
Fruit of the Spirit and Abiding in Him
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton