Peter, Paul and other Scriptures
II Peter 3:14-18
Verses 15, 16 has some interesting though about Paul’s writings. Peter states that Paul also wrote of the need to live at peace while waiting for the second coming of Christ.
Paul would totally agree for he says that God’s kindness and forbearance and patience are to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4; cf. II Peter 3:9). Paul adds to the this by emphasizing that righteousness is by faith alone (Romans 3:21, 22), but also said that his readers should not conclude that this gives us a license for sin or living as we did before Christ became a part of our lives. For Paul asks, “How can Christians, who died to sin through baptism, continue to live in it (Romans 6:1-14)?
Peter’s reference to Paul gives continuity to the New Testament and shows that Paul’s writings were both appreciated and accepted by the early Christian church.
Peter also cautions the readers of Paul to not misunderstand Paul’s words. Quite the contrary, Peter believes the writings of Paul bring better understanding to the words of Christ and the other Apostles. That the collection or all and understanding of all the writings would bring one closer to a right relationship with Christ. One in which the law is not done away with, but instead the keeping of the law is a reflection of our being right with Christ, as Christ kept the law because he was right with his Heavenly Father. Christ did not keep the law out of duty or tradition, he kept the law of God, because he loved His Father.
Peter, Paul and the other gospel writers make it clear that we are not saved by the law or the keeping of the law, but by grace through faith, with our willingness to keep the law, respect the law, and live the law being a natural response to the love of God and our love for Him.
Peter warns us all that it is possible for unlearned and unstable Christians to twist Paul’s and the other writers words and in doing so, they create their own destruction (II Peter 3:16). Earlier Paul warned against false teachers (II Peter 2:1-3). In II Peter 3:16 we find that they are using Paul’s writings to justify their teachings and behavior. These false teachers teach freedom, but the end result is that their followers are snared in corruption, the same corruption they had before they came to Christ (II Peter 2:13). Their teaching lead men to live lives that brought about the great flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and will one day bring about the destruction of the whole world.
Grace is not a license to do as we please but rather to do the will of God. This will bring about liberty and freedom from sin that will happen upon Christ’s triumphant return in the clouds of glory.
Peter admonishes us that when Christ returns, that Christ finds his church at peace. Churches are made up of sinful people and because they are, conflicts will arise. But because Jesus gave His life for us and has forgiven us so much, then the Christian should lead a life of forgiveness and peace.
Even so come Lord Jesus, Amen!