Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2 Peter 3:14-16

Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Some will say that the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul were in conflict and did not agree. I recall a conversation with a lady that I once had, where she made the assertion that “We all know that Paul taught a different gospel than Peter did, and the Catholic church followed the teaching of Peter, and the Protestant churches like the Baptists follow the teachings of Paul. You see, the flaw with following the teachings of Paul is that unlike Peter, he never was there with Jesus and came later and changed the teachings of Jesus to what he wanted…” There is almost too much to address in her assertions at this time, but one thing that I do want you to grab from today’s text is that the assertion made by this friend of mine and by many like her, just isn’t true and finds no basis in the Bible. As a matter of fact, as you read today’s text, you will find that Peter views Paul as a “beloved brother,” who was full of “wisdom.” Those are usually not terms that you give to someone who is doctrinally unsound. I don’t look at Joseph Smith of the Mormon cult and say, “Now there is a beloved brother, full of wisdom that God gave him.” Bleh…just typing that felt so wrong! Joseph Smith is not a beloved brother, and he only taught heresy and lies, not wisdom. The assertion that somehow Peter and Paul were diametrically opposed theologians could not be further from the truth, they were in fact both followers of Jesus, who taught the message that Jesus had taught to both of them – salvation by God’s grace through our faith alone. My Catholic friend did not have her theology right (ironically, her thinking doesn’t even really line up well with Catholic doctrine either). There is not inconsistency in God’s men, and there is no conflict between the doctrines that these men teach. We can come to God’s Word and read with confidence the accounts of Paul and the accounts of Peter, learning from both the truth of our God and of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Food For Thought: How do we know that the Apostle Peter did not disagree with the Apostle Paul’s teachings?