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. (NLT)
We make two mistakes when approaching the Bible. One is to regard it as absolutely crystal clear on all matters because God would not have it any other way. This view is often allied to believing that how I see Scripture is how everyone should see Scripture.
The other mistake goes in the opposite direction. The Bible is such a mystery and so obscure that you need a tertiary degree to understand it or some special secret knowledge to unlock its mysteries. A view allied to those who want to be the only ones who can properly expound the Bible and who thus act as gatekeepers to the gospel.
The truth is somewhere in between. In our text, Peter assures us that Paul’s writings are hard to understand. Those who reckon the meaning is plain as day, or those who reckon only they can explain it, are the ones more likely to distort and twist the meaning. Over simplifying and over complicating are likely to get it all wrong.
We can trust that God who is the ultimate author of Scripture will make clear enough to us how we can be right with him and how we can live for him. This is why the Bible is written. We live with what we can’t understand and seek to live by what we can understand. As one old saint put it, it is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me: it is the parts I do understand.
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