Skip to main content

Connect the Testaments

July 25: The Difficult Issue of the Heretics
2 Samuel 14:1–15:37; 2 Peter 1:16–21; Psalm 141:1–142:7
Distinguishing between correct and false teaching has plagued nearly every church. We ask questions such as, “Are we venturing too far in that direction?” “Is this just my personal theological issue, or is this actually a big deal?” “Should I be concerned about that, or is it simply a matter of individual choice?” Thankfully, the nt clarifies many of these issues for us.
Throughout Peter’s second letter, he addresses the challenge of warding off false teachers; he aims to defend the gospel and explain why the false teachers’ claims are incorrect. To do so, Peter hinges his argument on his own experience—on what he witnessed. In his case, arguing from personal witness makes sense: Peter actually knew Jesus.
He writes, “For we did not make known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ by following ingeniously concocted myths, but by being eyewitnesses of that one’s majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice such as this was brought to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ ” (2 Pet 1:16–17). For Peter, orthodoxy comes down to the foundation of the claims being made about Jesus and whether Christ is being proclaimed as Lord and as God’s Son.
Peter isn’t willing to put up with false prophecy, testimony, or teaching (see 2 Pet 2). To show how absurd the false teachers’ claims are, Peter proclaims, “every prophecy of scripture does not come about from one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke of God” (2 Pet 1:20–21).
Correct and incorrect teaching can be distinguished based on the source of the words being spoken and whether they align with what was taught by eyewitnesses (like Peter). Although this isn’t a complete guide for distinguishing between what God approves and what He doesn’t, it gives us a good start to ward off basic false teachings and focus on the truth instead. Next time we come to the difficult question of “Is this heresy?” we can ask “What would Peter think?”
What issues is your church struggling with? How can you help investigate them in light of the claims made by nt eyewitnesses like Peter?
John D. Barry


 Barry, John D., and Rebecca Kruyswijk. Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012. Print.

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My Utmost for His Highest

July 1st The inevitable penalty Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou have paid the uttermost farthing.Matthew 5:26. “There is no heaven with a little of hell in it.” God is determined to make you pure and holy and right; he will not allow you to escape for one moment from the scrutiny of the Holy Spirit. He urged you to come to judgment right away when He convicted you, but you did not; the inevitable process began to work and now you are in prison, and you will only get out when you have paid the uttermost farthing. ‘Is this a God of mercy, and of love?’ you say. Seen from God’s side, it is a glorious ministry of love. God is going to bring you out pure and spotless and undefiled; but He wants you to recognize the disposition you were showing—the disposition of your right to yourself. The moment you are willing that God should alter your disposition, His re-creating forces will begin to work. The moment you realize God’s purpose, which is to get you …

Revised Common Lectionary

Sunday, July 9, 2017 | After Pentecost Proper 9 Year A


Old Testament & Psalm, Option I Old TestamentGenesis 24:34–38, 42–49, 58–67 Psalm Psalm 45:10–17 or Song of Solomon 2:8–13 or Old Testament & Psalm, Option II Old Testament Zechariah 9:9–12 Psalm Psalm 145:8–14 New Testament Romans 7:15–25a Gospel Matthew 11:16–19, 25–30

Revised Common Lectionary. Bellingham, WA: Faithlife, 2009. Print.

Connect the Testaments

September 11: Bad Things, Good People, and Grace Amos 6:1–7:17; Acts 10:1–33; Job 20:12–29 We often wonder why God allows bad things to happen. We’re not unique in this; people have asked this same question since the beginning of time. Job struggled with this question after he lost everything. Job’s friends strove to answer it as they sought to prove that Job had somehow sinned against God and brought his terrible fate upon himself. At one point, Job’s friend Zophar offers up the common wisdom of the time: “Did you know this from of old, since the setting of the human being on earth, that the rejoicing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the godless lasts only a moment?… [The wicked man] will suck the poison of horned vipers; the viper’s tongue will kill [the wicked man]” (Job 20:4–5, 16). Zophar is right about one thing: Eventually the wicked will be punished. The rest of Zophar’s words prove his short-sightedness. The wicked are not always punished immediately. And God does not allow…