Longsuffering of our Lord is salvation

2 Peter 3:15-17 KJVS
[15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. [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.

Apostle Peter was recognized as head of the early church, our Lord personally instructed Peter to feed his sheep, Jn 21:17. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that some of the last verses he penned in the inspired word of God was used to endorse apostle Paul’s epistles. In verse 15 Peter repeats what Paul wrote in the first epistle of Timothy.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 KJVS
[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Apostle Peter by repeating that the longsuffering of the Lord is salvation, Mt. 18:16 KJVS, establishes the importance of that statement written by Paul in regards to how we should view salvation. Which is largely overlooked by the present day church. When I first read that verse in the first chapter of Timothy nearly years ago, I knew it was important but I just could not determine in what way. Verse 16 alters the criteria for salvation. I am well acquainted with the New Testament, and from my daily reading and studying the scriptures, I came to see that Paul and the other apostles were given certain timely revelations regarding salvation.

Acts 10:44-47 KJVS
[44] While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. [45] And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. [46] For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, [47] Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

And this.

Acts 19:1-6 KJVS
[1] And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, [2] He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. [3] And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. [4] Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. [5] When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. [6] And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

Being baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is key. There’s two aspects regarding this, many mainline Christian denominations baptize by just a sprinkling of water. Contrary to this.

John 3:23 KJVS
[23] And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

Matthew 3:16 KJVS
[16] And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Many baptize in the name of the Father the son and the Holy Spirit. But again Peter being the head of the church had this to say.

Acts 2:38-41 KJVS
[38] Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. [39] For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. [40] And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. [41] Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

The salvation message in the New Testament unfolds at a certain pace. It is a progressive revelation of God’s plan of salvation based on when God inspired the writers of the New Testament to write the Gospels and epistles, and the content that is in them. For example. There’s a lot of information in the book of Romans, but it lacks a complete description of the salvation process. For example in the book of Romans Paul writes we are justified by grace.

Romans 3:24 KJVS
[24] Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

It is not until the epistle of Titus that he writes aspects of how grace justifies a believer.

Titus 2:11-12 KJVS
[11] For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, [12] Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Titus 3:4-7 KJVS
[4] But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, [5] Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; [6] Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; [7] That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

So you can’t base the salvation message solely on what is written in the epistle of Romans. Or the epistle of James for that matter. Another example. Paul in the 15th chapter of Romans first mentions believers being sanctified.

Romans 15:16 KJVS
[16] That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Again no information is given as to how a believer is actually sanctified. In the next chapter he briefly mentions the mystery of God, but no actual information about the mystery of God is given outside of what is written in that verse.

Romans 16:25 KJVS
[25] Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

Later on in other epistles more information is added about the mystery of God which is directly related to a believer’s sanctification.

1 Corinthians 2:6-10,16 KJVS
[6] Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: [7] But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: [8] Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [9] But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. [10] But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. [16] For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Why is that? Because it was necessary for Jesus to die in order to become the comforter or the spirit of Christ so he could indwell the members of his body, the body of Christ. Which is instrumental in sanctifying the members of the body of Christ.

John 17:23 KJVS
[23] I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Hebrews 10:5,10,14 KJVS
[5] Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: [10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. [14] For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

The body that was prepared for our Lord was the body of Christ, which was chosen in him before the foundation of the world, Eph 1:4.

Colossians 1:24-27 KJVS
[24] Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: [25] Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [26] Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: [27] To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

The mystery of God is Christ in you, the hope of glory. And as I explained before sanctification comes from having the indwelling spirit of Christ helping you die to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 4:10 KJVS
[10] Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

“To whom God would make known”, is a important phrase in verse 27. One cannot come to the knowledge regarding what is the riches of the glory of this mystery on their own. I have tried to teach about this mystery and if God does not make this knowledge known to an individual they just don’t get it. They also usually do not see the inheritance we have in Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1:17-18 KJVS
[17] That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: [18] The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Much later in the book of Revelation we find out we are going to rule and reign with Jesus Christ as priests of God and of Christ for 1000 years, Re 20:4-6.,

Revelation 20:4-6 KJVS
[4] And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. [5] But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. [6] Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

As I have now properly set the stage, it would be a good time to circle back and explore the two sets of scriptures I opened this article with.

2 Peter 3:15-17 KJVS
[15] And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; [16] As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. [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.

To be honest, over the years I’ve looked at what Peter had to say as simply Peter endorsing the statement made by Paul and also endorsing his other epistles.
But it is always a good idea to read any verse in context. A half a dozen or so versus previously, Peter wrote this.

2 Peter 3:7-9 KJVS
[7] But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. [8] But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

In the early days of the Christian Church, not only Christians, but Jewish authorities and the Jewish population were looking to see an imminent conclusion of the 70 weeks mentioned in Daniel. Christians of course were looking for the return of the Lord and the rapture of the church.

1 Corinthians 7:29,31 ESV
[29] This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, [31] and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

And all the sudden Peter changes that hope that Christians for the return of our Lord by writing 2 Pe 3:7-9. Due to that revaluation apostle Paul prepares the churches in Asia minor for the long haul, by instructing the various churches to appoint bishops and deacons and also addressing other church matters in the epistles of Titus and Timothy.

But I don’t get the overall sense that what Paul writes in 1 Timothy is the same as what Peter writes in 2 Pe 3:7-9. Peter is writing in a overall sense about the body of Christ whereas Paul is writing about himself and individual members of the body of Christ from that point forward.

1 Timothy 1:12-16 KJVS
[12] And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; [13] Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. [14] And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. [15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. [16] Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

Buttress this by the fact that Peter ends his 2nd epistle by suddenly endorsing Paul’s epistles and agrees with him by writing “the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation”. I think it goes deeper than that. Previously in his first epistle Peter writes this.

1 Peter 4:1-2,12-13 KJVS
[1] Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; [2] That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. [12] Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: [13] But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Partakers of Christ’s sufferings is very similar to what Paul wrote in one of his epistles.

Philippians 3:10 KJVS
[10] That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

Which brings these verses to mind.

Colossians 1:24 YLT
[24] I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and do fill up the things lacking of the tribulations of the Christ in my flesh for his body, which is the assembly,
Matthew 25:40 KJVS
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
2 Corinthians 4:10 KJVS
[10] Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
Galatians 2:20 KJVS
[20] I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Does the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation only apply to our Lord, himself or also to every individual member of the body of Christ? I ran across this account a couple years ago that is related to the subject matter at hand. The following account can be found in Fox Book of Martyrs which can be read online.

“Hegesippus saith that Nero sought matter against Peter to put him to death; which, when the people perceived, they entreated Peter with much ado that he would fly the city. Peter, through their importunity at length persuaded, prepared himself to avoid. But, coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to whom he, worshipping, said, “Lord, whither dost Thou go?” To whom He answered and said, “I am come again to be crucified.” By this, Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city.”

Hegesippus was a Christian chronicler of the early church. This account of what our Lord said to Peter makes clear to me that not only do we partake of the sufferings of Christ, but also our Lord partakes of our suffering. Enough so that Jesus considers anything done to us as the same as being done to him. The writing of this article gave me a very strong sense of closure in regards to the sense of purpose that I have had in publishing this website. In a very real sense it has brought me full circle to something that happened over 38 years ago. I was boning hams at a meat packing plant second shift. I had been baptized and had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit several years before. Which was a very powerful experience. There is ample time to daydream while doing a job like that. At the time I was spending considerable amount of time studying the scriptures using a hard copy of the Strongs Concordance. Weeks before I had read Php. 3:10 and I found it intriguing and very puzzling. So while I was working that scripture kept rolling through my head when I wasn’t involved in conversation with the workers near me. I had pervasive sin in my life, sexual in nature, and the small still voice of the Holy Spirit was warning me to stop it. But I didn’t stop it, hardhead than I am, largely because of my carnal nature, Ro 7:14. A couple of weeks later while driving at a high rate of speed, listening to hard rock music, I got into a single car accident and broke three vertebrae in my neck each in three places, I was paralyzed for 10 days. I walked again by the grace of God, but the years since have been increasingly difficult for me. Probably in the last decade I have been writing articles for this website. The subject matter in this website was centered around the role suffering plays in being conformed to the image of Christ, Ro 8:29. Writing for me has been increasingly more painful and slow as the condition of my neck has worsened over the years. But while I have been writing this last article, I have gradually been feeling a sense of accomplishing the overall task I have felt driven to do. Hopefully I have finished the course that God has laid out for me, 2 Ti 4:6-8. I am beyond weary of the life I live. I’m pray that God has mercy on me in my distress. May the grace of God be with you all. Luke

As a sidenote, and not directly related to the subject matter of the article, in the course of writing this article I was curious on how many times Paul started a statement by writing “This is a faithful saying”. I was surprised that he use it only four times. Each of which are significant in terms of doctrine.

1 Timothy 1:15 KJVS
[15] This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 4:9-11 KJVS
[9] This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. [10] For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. [11] These things command and teach.
2 Timothy 2:11-14 KJVS
[11] It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him : [12] If we suffer, we shall also reign with him : if we deny him, he also will deny us: [13] If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. [14] Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
Titus 3:8 KJVS
[8] This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

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About Luke Wagner

With hope, this web site is about the common salvation once delivered to the saints, mentioned by Jude in his epistle. I will try and keep myself behind the scenes as much as possible but on occasion , I will mention something from my past that has relevance pertaining to the subject matter at hand. I am 62 years old and have lived nearly half of those years with a incomplete spinal cord injury. The pain and suffering in my life has prompted me to understand the place of suffering in a Christian's life in their being conformed to the image of Christ. I spent a couple years in college and 2 years in the Army and worked many diverse jobs, mostly in manual labor. I have a love affair with the scriptures and have had the time due to my injury to read and study them daily for many years. I have reached the point in my understanding of the scriptures where I am confident enough to make comment regarding them. I pray to God that this effort edifies the body of Christ Luke