2 Peter 3:16
NIV - 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
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The word comes from the Greek term "asteriktos" which in this context means "unfixed", "vacillating". Most likely meaning folks who are fickle-minded.
I agree with Colin but wish to add that this weakness can be due to a lack of solid scriptural understanding and meditation. I also apply to young people to this word for we also see in 2 Peter 2, willful predators preying on the unstable.
Unstable here would mean not being firm in your service to God. It targets people with faith that goes with their emotions and daily occurrences. I would say shallow faith Christians who based their faith and understanding on their own intelligence, they are inconsistent people who cannot discernment from a real and true teaching of the gospel and some other human teaching without any influence of the Holy Spirit. There are those people who would look at a mirror and when the turn away forgot who they are or what they look like. (2Cor.3;14-18). A quick reading and meditation of James1:1-8 can also help understanding that word "unstable".
You're uncertain not stable in all your ways of thinking you can't make any decisions and keep it.When a strong wind comes you're toss to and from not knowing what to do.You've no solid foundation can easily be moved.
James 1:8 A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways. A non committed heart and mind makes for a very clumsy walk. Not knowing right from wrong.
What he speaks of can be seen in both Is. 4:1 and 8:20 and many associated passages. Is. 4:1 speaks to those who do things their own way, with having an appearance of righteousness. 8:20 speaks to those things which we must study, in order not to be like those in 4:1.
According to the Strong's Concordance, the word is astériktos: unstable, unsettled Original Word: ἀστήρικτος, ον Part of Speech: Adjective Transliteration: astériktos Phonetic Spelling: (as-tay'-rik-tos) Definition: unstable, unsettled Usage: (lit: unpropped), unsteady, unstable, unsettled. 793 astḗriktos (an adjective, derived from A "not" (A – alpha, the first letter of the Greek alphabet. A (alpha) is used as a prefix (called its "privative use") and typically means "no" or "not" (= "un-," "without"). [Greek words, whose first letter (of the root) is alpha, can not take an "alpha-privative" to negate them, so the only way to express their "antithesis" is using a negative particle before them (e.g. mē, ou)]) and 4741 /stērízō "confirm") – properly, not established (unstable), describing someone who (literally) does not have a staff to lean on – hence, a person who can not be relied on because they are not steady (do not remain fixed, i.e. unstable). As far as I can tell, the word "unstable," only occurs twice in the New Testament, here (2 Peter 3:16 and 2 Peter 2:14). And according to Thayer's Greek Lexicon (a good one) the term means "unstable" or "unsteadfast."
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