The Gospel in 2 Peter

This article is part of the Christ in All of Scripture series.

Holiness and Heresy

In his first letter, the apostle Peter writes largely about the relationship between holiness and hardship. In this letter, a follow-up to the previous one (2 Pet. 3:1), he writes about the relationship between holiness and heresy—a “hardship” in its own right in the early church as well as in the church today. Similar to Paul in his letter to the Galatians, or Jude (who likely used 2 Peter as a reference point), Peter provides an abundant and unequivocal warning to believers about those who will infiltrate the church and teach seductive blasphemy. He cautions that some will even use the words of Scripture to support their perverted doctrines and lives (2 Pet. 3:16).

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Peter urges resistance to such distortions of grace. He reminds us about the importance of accurate knowledge of the truth (2 Pet. 1:2, 3, 5–6, 8, 12; 2:2, 20; 3:18). And he shows us once more, as throughout the New Testament, that the faithfulness needed to combat such wickedness requires: an experience of God’s powerful grace in the gospel (2 Pet. 1:1–20); a diligence in repentant living (2 Pet. 1:5–8; 3:14); a sober-minded awareness of and resistance to heresy (2 Pet. 2:1–22; 3:1–4, 15–17); and a hopeful expectation of God’s patience and faithfulness (2 Pet. 3:8–18).

This article is adapted from the ESV Gospel Transformation Study Bible. Browse other articles in this series via the links below.

Old Testament

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New Testament

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