In a spirit of love (“beloved”), the Apostle cautioned the readers against “the error of the wicked” (2 Pet 3:17). The erroneous teachings and deeds of the apostate are very influential and persuasive. So Peter warned, “beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (2 Pet 3:17).
Mingling with those who live wickedly is dangerous. The word “wicked” can mean lawless. These are men who do not live in obedience to the authority of the commandments of God’s Word. They sweep along many an unsuspecting believer into error. For this reason it is important that Christians practise separation from those who teach error or live contrary to the Scripture. This is the crux of Peter’s message in verse 17. Peter’s call to “beware” is to guard oneself constantly. Even those who appear to be strong spiritually should be aware that if they do not guard themselves they can easily be led astray. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:12).
If we protect ourselves from the danger of unscriptural men, we do have an opportunity to grow. So Peter commanded us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18). To grow in the grace of God, we must humbly yield ourselves to God (James 4:6). Peter also urged us to grow in the “knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Our knowledge of Christ will increase through the learning of His Word as well as through our obedient walk with Him.
The prospect of a man who guards himself against the errors of the wicked and then allows himself to grow in His grace and the knowledge of Christ is tremendous. As Peter ended his epistle, he expectantly said, “To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen” (2 Pet 3:18).
THOUGHT: If a Christian does not grow consistently, he will degenerate soon.
PRAYER: Help me to grow, Lord, in Thy grace and knowledge, till I meet Thee in glory.