2Pe 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
It is very important to pay attention to this warning. It is possible for any person to be “led away with the error of the wicked” with the disastrous result Peter warns us of. Notice Peter is addressing those he calls “beloved.” Peter, therefore, is addressing believers, not unbelievers. Peter states there is a very real danger of falling “from your own stedfastness.”
Peter makes it very clear that to follow the teachings or practice of apostates is to commit apostasy, and thus to fall from grace. It is strikingly clear, therefore, that Peter did not believe the popular false doctrine so widely accepted today called “eternal security.” This doctrine is popularly expressed as “once saved, always saved.” This mistaken doctrine is clearly heresy. What the Bible does teach is the absolute eternal security of the believer, not the unbeliever.
“God’s written word, taken as a whole, and allowed to speak for itself, will be found to be its own best interpreter” (Milton S. Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics, page 162).
Not everyone who claims to believe in Jesus believes in the Jesus of the Bible. Paul warned about this problem when he spoke about “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4). Not everyone who claims to believe the Gospel believes in the Gospel taught in the Bible. Paul warned about this problem when he spoke about “another gospel” (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6).
Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Today I saw a challenge posted by a Muslim which asked, “Is there any other religion besides Christianity which professes belief in Jesus?” I am quoting the question from memory. The claim is that Muslims also believe in Jesus. I believe what they fail to understand that they believe in “another Jesus,” not the Jesus of the Bible. There followed an assertion that Christianity is mistaken in its beliefs about Jesus because Christianity teaches the doctrine of the deity of Christ. The Muslim said that nowhere in the Bible does Jesus ever say “I am God, worship me.” This Muslim challenge is misdirected because it is an example of the “exact word fallacy.” The issue is not whether any such exact words are in the Bible, but rather, is the deity of Christ taught as a matter of necessary inference? The answer to that question is most certainly “Yes.”
Mark 2:1 And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.
Mar 2:2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.
Mar 2:3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.
Mar 2:4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.
Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
Mar 2:6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Mar 2:7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?
Mar 2:8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?
Mar 2:9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?
Mar 2:10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)
Mar 2:11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.
Mar 2:12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
I understand that the Jews of the time of Jesus believed (1) that only God can forgive sins, and (2) only God can heal.
When Jesus spoke the words “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee,” there could be no immediate visible result to confirm the truth of His declaration.
But, when Jesus told the paralytic to take up his bed and walk, the miraculous healing was immediately evident, and confirmed, by the Jews’ own beliefs, that He had the power also to forgive sins.
By the rule of interpretation that I call “the rule of necessary inference” (see the October, 2010 Archives listed here on the right-hand side of this page for a full listing of my “Rules of Interpretation”), the correct inference to be drawn is that Jesus demonstrated His deity before the very eyes of those in the crowded house.
This is just one of many things we read about Jesus in the New Testament that, carefully considered, leads all Bible believing Christians to believe in the deity of Christ, that He was truly a man, but He was also truly God the Son, what in theology we call the Second Person of the Trinity.