You may have never heard the name Athanasius before, but you have been impacted by his steadfast commitment to God’s truth. Athanasius was an important church leader in Alexandria, Egypt, in the fourth century AD. A pastor and a biblical scholar, he was deeply concerned about the spread of false teaching. He was especially troubled by those who claimed Jesus was a created being. Athanasius was such a staunch defender of the truth about Jesus that after his death others called him a “pillar of the Church.”
The apostle Peter was also concerned about the spread of false teaching and its moral effect on the church. In 2 Peter 3, the apostle Peter is encouraging believers to look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are jumping in near the end of his letter. However, even in his conclusion, Peter urges his readers to “be found spotless, blameless and at peace” (v. 14). He connects his own message to that of “our dear brother Paul” (v. 15).
Peter wants his readers to know that the Lord’s patience toward humankind’s sin leads to salvation for all who believe in Jesus (v. 15). But he warns them about the danger of “other Scriptures” which “ignorant and unstable people distort” (v. 16). Like in Peter’s time, and again in Athanasius’s, we must be careful not to be seduced by false teaching or doctrine. We must ask God to help us study His Word, and to guard our hearts and minds from what is false. As the Psalmist says, “the words of the Lord are flawless” (Ps. 12:6). Athanasius’s affection for God’s Word was apparent. He states, “These [letters] are fountains of salvation, that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words that they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness.”
>> Ask God to open your eyes and mind this month to discovering new truths from His Word, and to impress His promises deeply on your heart. Only God’s truth can satisfy our deepest thirst.