Friday in the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Peter 3:14-18

Be Diligent to Be Found in Him

Coming to the close of his letter, the Apostle uses the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior to compel us to righteous living—just as he has done the entire time.  How many times must he say this?  As many times as it takes!  We are dull and dimwitted creatures who need to hear things over and again.  And since repetition is the mother of learning, God does us the favor of giving us His word that we may read again and again and faithful preachers who will say it again and again.  But that the word is repeated does not mean that it becomes boring or a matter of rote; not at all, but the Christian instead grows more in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.  In other words, God’s word is plowed deeper and deeper into the heart and the believer finds new meaning in the same old words.  This is called maturing.  The same parables of Jesus, the same psalms, the same laws, the same proverbs, the same apostolic teaching which we understood at our rebirth becomes more real and meaningful as we grow in the Lord.  Even a child can understand John 3:16, but (one would hope) not at the same level a man of woman would who has been a faithful believer for years and years.  There is nothing so beautiful as a seasoned Christian.

One last matter.  Peter mentions false teachers again.  But this time, he doesn’t tell us the specific falsehoods they teach as what they do with the Scriptures, which is to “twist [them] to their own destruction.”  And here I am going to say something that might take many aback, and it is simply this: You can’t just know the Bible; you must rightly understand it.  And here is where a good church must come to the rescue with good teachers.  And there are many churches out there that are not good, who have already compromised on matters such as the role of women in the church or sexuality.  These are the churches which think that the church must change with the times and that Scripture must be “reinterpreted” to fit the culture.  God’s word does not change, nor are we licensed to change it.  We grow deeper in the truth, not around it.  And we certainly never arrive above or beyond it.  If what you are hearing does not coincide with what you are reading, you need to question what you’re hearing.  Be sure to seek a church with a clear confession of faith or creed.  Be sure their teachers teach Scripture.  And if they say something you have never heard, be sure to inquire about it.  Buy a good study Bible from a reputable evangelical publisher.  If you are already in a good church, ask your pastor what good theology book you might purchase.  Be alert!  They’re out there.  And by all means, question me as well.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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