Wednesday, January 13, 2016
“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” (2 Peter 3:15,16 KJV).
Although there is so much confusion about it, can we really understand and enjoy the Bible?
Let us consider the third point from today’s Scripture: “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood.” I confronted my denominational pastor years ago with dispensational Bible study. Pointing to today’s Scripture, I told him Peter admitted that he found some of Paul’s teachings “hard to understand.” Looking for a quick way out, the man blurted, “Paul’s teachings had not been written down yet!” (How dishonest! Did not Peter refer his audience to Paul’s “writings” and “epistles?!”)
When Peter declared that he did not understand everything Paul wrote, we need not throw up our hands in desperation. We need not throw away our Bibles in frustration. First, we take a deep, deep breath. Then, we recall that Peter had already written that special divine wisdom had been given to Paul. That wisdom had not been committed to Peter’s trust! People have been taught for ever so long in church tradition that Paul’s ministry was an “extension” of what Peter and the 11 apostles of Israel did and taught, but Peter himself argues, “Not so!”
Paul’s ministry was so radically different from Peter’s that Peter admitted in final last epistle that Paul taught some information he did not understand. Jesus Christ Himself taught Peter for three years, and Peter still had difficulty with some spiritual truths? Yes, because not even Jesus had taught during His earthly ministry what He was now teaching through Paul during His heavenly ministry. No wonder people still struggle with Paul today. They need not. With the completed Bible in hand, we can see everything Peter did not. Through Paul’s writings, we have God’s Word to us Gentiles!
Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does Colossians 1:24 mean?”