“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder) …”
“Pure” comes from two words: sun and to judge then comes to mean to judge by the sun. We get the English word “heliograph” from the Greek word for “pure.” Hel is sun, and heli is sunshine. Heliograph is a system of signaling by using mirrors to reflect off the sun. In the early days of the United States, the US military used a heliograph to defeat the Apaches. They defeated the Apaches by holding a mirror to the sun. “Pure” also signifies unalloyed. Greeks also used this term for mixing metals. Metal without mixture is metal without alloy. Alloyed metal is weaker than unalloyed metal. Again, the Greeks used this word for unmixed substances as wine mixed with water. This would dilute the wine. It was not pure wine.
The word “pure” eventually came to mean genuine, unmixed. Some pottery dealers would sell defective pots by filling the cracks with wax and then painting over the wax filling. This was a deception, for the pottery would not perform its true purpose if the wax melted with a hot liquid. Or, if the person who bought the pot leaves it out in the sun, the wax would melt.
Sharp people would hold the pot up to the sun to see if there were any cracks. People judged a painted-over pot by putting it up to the sunlight to determine whether there were cracks. They tested the pot in the sunlight. God desires that our lives stand up to the judgment of the light of God’s Word. We test doctrine by the sunlight of truth.
The purpose of both First and Second Peter is to remind believers to do “pure” thinking. Pure or transparent truth is unmixed, unsullied, and free from falsehood. Peter wants Christians to give doctrine the transparency test. Judge everything by God’s truth. Pure minds are minds unaffected by seductive evil influences. These minds are uncontaminated by outside influence.
“…that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…” (Philippians 1:10).
Here, the word “minds” comes from two words: through and think; thus, it carries the idea of thinking through. This word refers to people who are mature in their thinking. They think through things based on the Word of God and apply it to their experience. It is the follow-through that counts in athletics. It is the follow-through of measuring things by God’s Word and applying them to our experience that matters in living the Christian life. Christians need the ability to think through things using God’s Word as the standard.
God saves our minds as well as our hearts. Some who come to Christ never had a serious thought before their salvation. They never directed their minds to the things that matter most. Those without Christ do not think perpendicularly. They think horizontally, not vertically. They can understand the horizontal, but they cannot understand the vertical. They understand very little that has to do with God, the Bible, or Christ.
“But the natural man [the man who simply has mind, emotion, and will but no spirit] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
This does not mean that we receive more brains when we become Christians. It implies that the orientation of our minds changes. The Holy Spirit begins to influence our thinking.
“For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you” (2 Corinthians 1:12).
God wants us to pass the transparency truth test.
We live in the day of the non-mind. People operate on their feelings and live in subjectivity. Some preachers would instead use the gimmicks of subjectivity than the objectivity of truth to build believers. We cannot live our lives unto the Lord without applying the truth of God’s Word to experience. That is the way we depend on the Lord. Anything else is a gimmick.
God wants us to evaluate things in the light of the Son. He wants us to use the transparency test — He desires believers to use the Word of God to determine whether something is true. He does not want us to use subjective thinking when it comes to truth. He desires us to measure things based on the objective reality of God’s Word. Are you a Christian who measures everything based on the teaching of God’s Word?
“For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:17).