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2 Peter 3:17: You Therefore, Beloved, Knowing This Beforehand, Take Care That You Are Not Carried Away With The Error Of Lawless People

2 Peter 3:17
[17] You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. (ESV)

The first question you might be asking as you read this verse is, "what does the reader know beforehand?" Peter has spent much of this epistle talking about the false teachers who had already infiltrated the church and caused much damage. They are greedy for money. They deny the deity of Christ. They mock the promise of his return. They are immoral. They are lawless.

One would think that Christians would recognize these terrible character traits and appropriately stay away from them. Sadly, Peter's warnings are quite necessary. People are often carried away by the error of false teachers because they are not careful to study the Word of God and live by it. False teachers don't say everything false. They incorporate some Biblical truths to help the poison pill go down easier.

Every book in the New Testament contains warnings against false teachers, with the exception of Philemon. We know that the enemy wants to destroy us. We know that we are always under attack. But, strangely, we seem to forget that one of the primary ways Satan uses to destroy us is by distorting the truth of God's Word.

We must be discerning. Since we know beforehand that false teachers will be used by the Devil to bring us down we need to be all the more careful. When Jesus was tempted in the desert, how did the enemy attack him? He actually quoted Scripture. It intrigues me that most Christians will claim that they cannot memorize Scripture. Satan can. If we want to fight distortion of the Word, we need to know it better.

Do you want to be stable in your walk with Christ? Know the Word! False teachers will try to knock you down. You will find all that you need in God's Word. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Maybe even memorize it!