“that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.” 2 Peter 3:2
Our culture promotes the idea that newer is better. And it’s not just things like clothes and cars, but thoughts and beliefs as well. Even many professing Christians have new ideas about what is right, moral, and just. This gravitational pull to be creative and new is not new to God. The apostle Peter warned believers about people who repackaged God’s message for broader appeal. So, how do we recognize beliefs that are incompatible with God’s Word?
First, we need to engage Scripture with our minds. Peter urged these believers to think—to awaken their minds to truth. “This is…the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind” (v1). Modern Christianity has become largely emotional. Is emotion involved in our faith? Certainly! But we don’t have to check our brains at the door to follow Jesus. Quite the opposite, actually.
We tend to go to extremes—either approaching the deep truths of Scripture with our intellect alone, or thinking it’s just too hard to grasp. Remember, the Word of God not only informs us, it transforms us. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). We understand what the Bible says and how to apply it by yielding our hearts and minds to God.
Secondly, we need to biblically examine what we hear. How do modern thoughts and beliefs line up with God’s unchanging Word? Peter didn’t say anything new because God hadn’t said anything new. So, when we hear some new idea about what is right, moral, or just we need to remember what God has already said (v2).
Like these early Christians, we put ourselves at risk when our personal preferences determine our biblical interpretation. “No prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20–21). There’s a big difference between being spiritually minded and culturally aware versus being culturally minded and spiritually aware.
What new ideas about what is right, moral, and just have you accepted? Why do you think you’ve done so? If your mind has become dull to biblical truth, then engage the Bible! Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and teach you. You’ll discover that while God’s Word never changes, it is always perfectly up-to-date with our times and our lives.