Bible Reading Blog
“A Firm Foundation”Categories: Congregational Bible Reading
BIBLE READING: 2 Peter 2-3
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2.1)
You expect the church to be a safe space where you can trust people. But even Satan finds his way in sometimes. We shouldn’t mistrust one another, but we should be on guard for Satan’s schemes. He works through personal agendas, greed, and other means that are sometimes undetectable to the spiritually immature.
Passages like this reveal and ugly reality of life that we wish didn’t exist. For some it may plant ideas in the mind that cause anxiety, worry, and doubt. Can I really trust anybody? While uncomfortable to consider, it is this thought that drives us to the need for a standard outside of ourselves. In addressing these concerns Peter would say this:
“…I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles…” (2 Peter 3.1-2)
Peter’s remedy for identifying false teachers and establishing our faith is this: Listen to the predictions of the prophets and follow the commandments of Jesus and the apostles. For both, he says “remember,” meaning not just recollect, but to consider their application to the present. To explain, he gives a practical example for how this works.
People in the first century would question the return of Jesus in judgment— “where is the evidence? Nothing like this has ever happened before.” But they’re wrong. God judged the world in Noah’s day with a flood, destroying everyone but the righteous. This stands as a witness to God’s ability to bring another judgment in the future which will happen. (2 Peter 3.3-7, paraphrased)
It is the prophets who give power to the words of Jesus and the apostles (Romans 15.4). This is why we need to know the Old Testament. God’s prophets weren’t making stuff up. They spoke as they were moved by God, often in ways they didn’t understand because they were serving future generations (Consider Amos 3.7; 1 Peter 1.10-12; 2 Peter 1.21).
We may not always be able to trust one another, but we can trust the apostles, prophets and Jesus. Our commitment must be to believe their predictions and adhere to their patterns. Without these, we can easily be led astray by things that sound good or by people that appear trusting (1 Timothy 4.1-2). I pray God that does not happen to us! Let us then commit to have a fellowship “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2.20).
“…we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you would do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place…” (2 Peter 1.19)