2 Peter 3:16 – on this salvation era and Paul’s credibility

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him— speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.”
2 Peter 3:15‭-‬16 NLT 

It is truly astounding the way rich Bible truths are anchored at the “3:16” point in nearly every New Testament book. This post continues my long exploration of the Three Sixteens. Today we are looking at the salvation which comes to us through the Lord’s patience, as described in Paul’s teachings. (If you missed the earlier posts, go back to the start and check them out: Matthew 3:16 through to 1 Peter 3:16.)

To understand the significance of these words, it is worth understanding the patience that Peter is referring back to (in verse 9):

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. This actually a response to the criticism mentioned in verses 3-4:
I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?

So what did happen to that promise? More than ever, the idea that Jesus would come and end all the pain and suffering of this Covid world is attractive. We who hope in Christ and the resurrection would probably welcome his return today! But unlike God, we are each so wrapped up in our own interests. The reason for the Lord’s delay is the salvation of souls.

With each day that passes, new believers are made, new children are born to the Kingdom of God. How gracious is the delay of this promise! God’s purposes in calling people to himself are not thwarted by the criticism that Jesus’ return should come right now. For the sake of mortal men and women, our loving heavenly Father is patient. And though he stands outside of time, we can be thankful for the passing moments from where we sit, and wait. More people are coming to put their trust in Him!

Verse 15 leads into 16, where Peter makes the interesting connection between Paul’s teachings and the rest of Scripture – giving weight to Paul’s letters and thereby declaring that they too are indeed God-breathed. Peter’s verse 15 agrees with Paul who wrote in Romans 2:4: “Do you presume upon the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not know that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” Peter’s agreement with Paul is significant in that it sets the apostles’ teaching apart from that of false teachers, who denied the Second Coming of Christ.

As for Peter’s comment that some of Paul’s writings are “hard to understand”, I don’t think he is being critical. Rather, the opposite. He wants us to see the truth in Paul’s hard teachings. Just as Jesus spoke in parables – so that we might seek the meaning and exercise faith to understand the truth – so Paul’s teachings call on us to think!

John Piper offers this comment in a sermon on the passage:

” . . . even though Scripture is inspired, it is not all easy to understand. Verse 16: “There are some things in them hard to understand.” I would love to preach an hour on the implications of that sentence; but since I don’t have time, here is an outline of that sermon.
Point 1: Being inspired, the Scriptures reveal the mind of God.
Point 2: The mind of God is vastly greater than our mind and will often be perceived by us as strange and complex, not familiar and simple.
Point 3: Therefore, the Scriptures will sometimes be strange and complex and hard to understand.
Point 4: The continued selection only of what is simple in the Bible would be a sin in the regular preaching of the church, because Hebrews 5:13 says, “Everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness; for he is a child.”
Point 5: Therefore, preaching which aims to deliver the whole counsel of God in Scripture (and which does not presume to be wiser than the apostles) will sometimes be complex and will demand from God’s people the utmost in humility and mental effort.”

Praise be to our great God – who has revealed himself to us and patiently waits for more to be gathered into the kingdom of His Son.

Here is a song to finish with, reminding us of God’s Mercies which are new every morning. (Recorded by Matt Redman – Thy Kingdom Come Event | London, UK)

Top Image of Bible: Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash

The One and Only God (new song!)

“Like a warrior in battle he will lead his people home . . . “

Here is a new song from Navigate Worship – a song written and performed by a collaboration of musicians at my church! Lyrics below the Spotify link. Had a great time adding some harmonies along the way. Enjoy!
(Ps. Lyric video coming soon – will post once available).

The One and Only God

Lord we lift our hearts to you

Lord we recommit our hearts and minds anew

Lord teach us of your ways and let us look upon your face

And fill us with your words

The God who sits above it all

The God whose kingdom shall remain and never fall

The God whose name is worthier than any other name

The God we call our own

Servant King, light of all the earth

Shout his praises and endless worth

Like a warrior in battle he will lead his people home

The one and only God 

Oh our one and only God 

Lord you lead us through the flames

And you promise we will not be set ablaze

Through waters and through rivers we will not be swept away

For by our side you’ll stay

The God whose word defines all things

The God whose mightier than any earthly king

Who stretches out the heavens giving breath to everything

We kneel before you Lord

Chorus


Almighty, who is there like him

Holy, no other rock, the one and only God 

Oh our one and only God

Lift our voices, praise his precious name

Holy, and all fall short of the one and only God 

Oh our one and only God

(chorus x2)

Performed by Navigate Worship, Written by Ashleigh Willett, Ross Tenni; Source: 2241884 Records DK

The Social Dilemma

As an quick addendum of my last post, “Free Speech versus the Thought Police,” I wanted to make you aware of the 2020 Netflix original documentary, “The Social Dilemma.” Here’s the video trailer description: “We tweet, we like, and we share— but what are the consequences of our growing dependence on social media? As digital […]

The Social Dilemma

Messiah – the long-awaited precious promise

Ready for your new favourite Christmas song? Here it is.

From the album, This Christmas, by Francesca Battistelli (2020)

Lyrics:

Long awaited precious promise
Son of God and son of man
Heaven’s glory in a manger
Has come to us in Bethlehem

Messiah
Messiah
A baby born to save us all
Messiah
Messiah
On our knees we fall

All we longed for, all we needed
Shining in this child’s eyes
Hope forever, death defeated
Because of this one holy night

O come let us adore him
O come let us adore…

Upon Him – acoustic version

Upon Him – acoustic version

If you haven’t discovered Matt Redman’s album, Let There Be Wonder (released early 2020), please seek it out. It has been a wonderful refuge for the soul in the midst of these turbulent days. Here is a beautiful acoustic version of “Upon Him”.

Lyrics:

Upon a hill, a perfect Saviour

Upon that day, the greatest love

The punishment that should have fallen on us

Upon Him, upon Him

Upon His head, a crown of thorns

Upon His heart, a broken world

The wage of sin, the weight of our transgressions

Upon Him, upon Him

Christ has died, we are forgiven

And Christ alive, we are the risen

And He shall come again   

Praise the King, praise the King

Upon our hearts, His name is written

The King of kings and Lord of lords

We’re pouring out a song of praise together

Upon Him, upon Him

Christ has died, we are forgiven

And Christ alive, we are the risen

And He shall come again   

Praise the King, praise the King

One name upon our lips, Jesus

No greater name than this, Jesus

And every knee will bow

Every heart confess

Jesus, Jesus

Upon Him Artist: Matt Redman Written by: Matt Redman, Andi Rozier & Jon Guerra © 2020 Integrity Worship Music/Said And Done Music/ASCAP (adm worldwide at CapitolCMGPublishing.com, excluding the UK & Europe which is adm by Integrity Music), Jaguerra Songs/BMI, Shatteredmusic/ASCAP (admin. at EssentialMusicPublishing.com) CCLI# 7138935 #MattRedman#UponHim#LetThereBeWonder#Acoustic @Integrity Music ​

Fear cannot survive when we praise You!

Here is a powerful song from Matt Redman’s new live album released at the start of 2020, “Let There Be Wonder”. Lyrics are in the YouTube link. Enjoy! I think this is the standout song from the album. Let me know if there are others you have on repeat!

Blessings!

Almost Home – Mercy Me

Almost Home – Mercy Me

1Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

This song from Mercy Me is a great encouragement in the midst of the weariness and challenges which 2020 has brought us. The film clip is also quite a unique and creative one! I trust you find these words from the bridge an especially beautiful glimpse of the joy of heaven to come.

I know that the cross has brought heaven to us
But make no mistake there’s still more to come
When our flesh and our bone are no longer between
Where we are right now and where we’re meant to be
When all that’s been lost has been made whole again
When these tears and this pain no longer exist. . .

Are you disappointed
Are you desperate for help
You know what it’s like to be tired
And only a shell of yourself

Well you start to believe
You don’t have what it takes
‘Cause it’s all you can do
Just to move much less finish the race
But don’t forget what lies ahead

Almost home
Brother it won’t be long
Soon all your burdens will be gone
With all your strength
Sister run wild, run free
Hold up your head
Keep pressing on
We are almost home

Well this road will be hard
But we win in the end
Simply because of Jesus in us
It’s not if but when
So take joy in the journey
Even when it feels long
Oh find strength in each step
Knowing heaven is cheering you on

We are almost home
Brother it won’t be long
Soon all your burdens will be gone
With all your strength
Sister run wild, run free
Hold up your head
Keep pressing on
We are almost home
Almost home
Almost home

I know that the cross has brought heaven to us
But make no mistake there’s still more to come
When our flesh and our bone are no longer between
Where we are right now and where we’re meant to be
When all that’s been lost has been made whole again
When these tears and this pain no longer exist
No more walking we’re running as fast as we can
Consider this our second wind

Almost home
Brother it won’t be long
Soon all your burdens will be gone
With all your strength
Sister run wild, run free
Hold up your head
Keep pressing on
We are almost home
Almost home
Almost home
We are almost home
Almost home
Almost home
We are almost home

Songwriters: Benjamin Glover / Nathan Cochran / Bart Millard / Barry Graul / Mike Scheuchzer / Robby ShafferAlmost Home lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

Social isolation, then and now

Here is an entertaining yet poignant look at our world right now, which also takes us back to the social isolation in Jesus’ day. (Highly recommend…made by a friend of mine and played in our Good Friday livestream.)

Talking 1 Corinthians 13 (Live stream)

Continue reading

Jesus, Strong and Kind