I encounter the final verse of 2 Peter literally every day at work. Second Peter 3:18 is posted on the wall of the main hallway at Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago. We want every student to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” and for everything we do to bring Him glory.
As we look forward together to the Second Coming, we hope this is your purpose as well. If we want Him to find us prepared, we must “make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him” (v. 14). We’ve encountered the phrase “make every effort” before (see October 25 study), so we know we must understand it in context of our salvation, which has already been fully accomplished and guaranteed by God. Therefore, our pursuit of holiness is also empowered and guaranteed by God Himself (see 1 Peter 1:3–5).
Verses 15–16 contain an important comment on the writings of apostle Paul. While acknowledging that Paul’s epistles are “hard to understand,” Peter treated them as equivalent to “the other Scriptures,” that is, the Old Testament (see 2 Peter 1:16–21). This demonstrates that the early church understood Paul’s letters to be as inspired and inerrant as previous Scriptures.
Peter closed this letter with two important exhortations. The second has already been quoted above. The first is “Be on your guard” (v. 17). Against what? “The error of the lawless,” or false teaching. If we don’t take a firm stand on truth, we might be “carried away” by error and “fall from your secure position,” which can also be translated “fall from your firm grasp of the truth” or “lose your own secure footing.” So this doesn’t mean “lose your salvation” but rather refers to being deceived by false teachers.
>> As we wrap up our study of 2 Peter, we again encourage you to write down what God taught you in this epistle. What are a few takeaways from this month’s study that you will want to put into practice?
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom...May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands” (Ps. 90:12, 17).