The Story:Do you sometimes find the Apostle Paul’s letters to be a bit, shall we say, challenging? You’re in good company. So did many people in the early Church, maybe even Peter! But just because Paul is hard to understand in places doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the effort. Paul wrote about the same things Peter was writing about, and with the same authority. Peter had already made a de facto claim of revelation for his epistles (2 Pet. 3.1, 2); now he makes the same claim for Paul. Paul’s letters are of the same character as the “rest of the Scriptures” and should be regarded as such. We must not neglect a single word that God has written down for us, no matter how hard it may be to understand. If we don’t work hard to understand his letters, how will we keep from falling into the snares of “untaught and unstable” false teachers, who interpret Paul in ways contrary to the drift and thrust of all the rest of the Bible?
The Structure:Believers must not be content with a kind of “status quo” Christian faith. We are encouraged by Peter to press on to maturity – as also by Paul, the writer of Hebrews, James, John, and all “the rest of the Scriptures.” Yes, of course, this can be hard work; but the reward of growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ is well worth the effort we must put into it. As we wait and look for the Lord, we must press on to know Him more fully, and that means more diligent effort in learning His Word.
What are your goals for learning more of God’s Word this year?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Until He Comes: 2 Peter 3.11-18,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.