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)

Image: 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

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!

Defender


Defender
You go before I know
That You’ve even gone to win my war

You come back with the head of my enemy
You come back and You call it my victory, oh ooh
You go before I know
That You’ve even gone to win my war
Your love becomes my greatest defense
It leads me from the dry wilderness

And all I did was praise
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down, oh
All I did was stay still

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way
You know before I do
Where my heart can seek to find Your truth
Your mercy is the shade I’m living in
And You restore my faith and hope again
And all I did was praise, oh, oh ooh
All I did was worship
All I did was bow down, oh
All I did was stay still, stay still

Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better Your way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way

When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
When I thought I lost me
You knew where I left me
You reintroduced me to Your love
You picked up all my pieces
Put me back together
You are the defender of my heart
Hallelujah, You have saved me
So much better this way
Hallelujah, great Defender
So much better Your way
So much better Your way (I know it’s so much better)
So much better Your way (I know it, I know it)

And all I did was praise
All I need to do is worship
Lord, I will just bow down
I’m just gonna stay still
Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Steffany Dawn Gretzinger / John-Paul Gentile / Rita E. Springer

Defender lyrics © Bethel Music Publishing, Music Services, Inc

Gracefully Broken

Enjoying this new Matt Redman song, from his latest album “Glory Song”

The power is in the Gospel

The power is in the Gospel

When our musicians, instruments, lighting, and technology aren’t impressive, we can wonder why people would come to our church. They come because we have something the world doesn’t: the amazing news that Jesus Christ died in the place of lost, rebellious sinners to reconcile them to God. Music, no matter how great it is, can’t raise a dead soul to life. The gospel can and does. Your church may never come close musically to what the church down the street does or what people listen to on their iPhones. That’s okay. Faithfully preach, sing, and explain the gospel and you’ll see lives changed.

http://worshipmatters.com/2017/10/26/worshiping-limitless-god-limited-resources/?platform=hootsuite

Grace – City Alight

A beautiful ‘grace’ song for your congregation from City Alight.

1 Timothy song list

Here is another song list which might be useful:

Across the Lands/You’re the Word (Getty and Townend)

All I have is Christ (Sovereign Grace)

Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone (Tomlin)

Behold our God (Sovereign Grace)

Behold the Lamb/Communion Hymn (Getty)

By Faith (Getty and Townend)

By Our Love (Christy Nockels)

Glorious Day (Casting Crowns)

He is Holy (Garage Hymnal)

Highest Place (EMU music)

I’m Forgiven/You are My King (BJ Foote)

I Will Glory in My Redeemer (Sovereign Grace)

Immortal, Invisible (hymn)

Jesus Thankyou (Sovereign Grace)

May the Mind of Christ My Saviour (Mark Petersen version, EMU Music)

O Great God (Sovereign Grace)

See the Man (Trevor Hodge)

Show us Christ (Sovereign Grace)

Speak, O Lord (Getty) 

Take My Life (hymn)

This I believe/Creed (Hillsong)

The Church’s One Foundation (hymn)

Ephesians song list

If you need songs for a series on Ephesians, here is the list we worked from. Make sure you check out ‘Oh the Mercy of God‘ which is Ephesians 1 in song – a great place to start!

Amazing Grace (original hymn or Tomlin’s My Chains are Gone)

Beautiful Saviour (Stuart Townend)

By Faith (Getty & Townend)

By Our Love (Christy Nockles)

Come people of the Risen King (Getty)

Faithful are your mercies Lord (Hosanna)

From the Inside Out (Hillsong)

Grace has now appeared (EMU music)

Glories of Calvary (Sovereign Grace)

God of Grace (Getty)

Hear our Praises (Hillsong)

Holding on to Me (Garage Hymnal)

How Great is your love, O Lord (Hosanna)

I’m Forgiven (You are my King – BJ Foote)

I will Rise (Hillsong)

In Christ Alone (Getty and Townend)

Made Alive (by Citizens and Saints – Mars Hill Music)

O the deep, deep love of Jesus (Sovereign Grace)

Oh the Mercy of God (Geoff Bullock)

Open the eyes of my heart Lord (Michael W Smith)

Stronger (Hillsong)

Take my life and let it be (hymn)

The Church’s one foundation (Hymn)

This Life I Live (EMU Music)

This is How we know (Redman)

Undivided (Rob Smith EMU)

We are His People (EMU)

Wonderful Counsellor (Sovereign Grace)