2 Peter & Judeby Eileen Poh
We can detect a change of tone at the beginning of 2 Peter 3. Peter addresses his readers as ″beloved″ (NKJV)10. He refers to this letter as his second, but gives us no clue as to his first. We can only speculate that he was referring to 1 Peter, or another letter that has since been lost.
Peter's purpose for writing both letters, however, is very clear. He wants to remind his readers and stimulate them to ″wholesome thinking″ (2 Peter 3:1, see also 1:12-15). And he wants them to recall the teachings they had received from ″the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets″ (3:2), which refers to the Old Testament. They must also remember ″the command given by our Lord and Saviour through your apostles″ (v. 2, see also 2:21), which refers to the basic teaching of Christ as taught to them by the apostles. Peter wants his readers to remember these teachings so that they can counter the lies that the false teachers are propagating. These false teachers despise authority (2:10), but Peter refutes them with the authority of the Old Testament and the divine authority of the apostles.
The goal of recalling the Old Testament and Christ's teaching is for ″wholesome thinking″ (3:1). Remembering God's Word is not a mental exercise nor an academic stimulation. Rather, it has to do with studying the Word and applying its truths to the situations and issues we face in our daily lives. It is the direct opposite of what the false teachers do, which Peter likened to the depraved conduct of ″unreasoning animals″ (2:12).
We can recall God's Word by reading the Bible regularly and systematically, and meditating on how we can apply the truth to our daily lives. Another way to recall God's Word is to memorise Scripture and reflect on a verse or passage, to see how God wants to transform us through His Word.
Take some time to review the way you study God's Word. How regularly do you read it? Do you read it hastily because you have pressing demands on your time? Do you find it easy to recall what you have read in your quiet time? Do you seek to apply God's Word in your situation?
Read Romans 12:2 and reflect on what Paul says about not conforming to the pattern of the world, and being transformed by the renewing of your mind. In what areas is your thinking conformed to the pattern of the world? How can you renew your mind daily?