Went back and had a look at my journal. Putting down some thoughts on 2Peter 1 this morning will be the fifth year in a row that I’ve paused to chew on these opening verses in 2Peter. Says something when considering the “competition” they are up against in my reading plan.
Lots to noodle on concerning Job, a man who by God’s own assertion was a man unlike any other man on earth, “a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job 1:8). A man who loses everything for no other reason than the destroyer wants to prove a point about fickle faithfulness (1:9-11). A man who amidst the ashes of his earthly possessions and before the graves of his ten children falls to the ground and worships, blessing the name of the LORD, not sinning nor charging God with any wrong (1:20-22). Chew on that.
Or what about the opening chapters of Ezekiel? Talk about your vision of the glory of God (Ezek. 1:26-28). Though for different reasons than Job, he too ends up on his face before the holy One of heaven (1:28b). What’s more, he not only sees the glory, he is filled with the glory as the Spirit repeated lifts him up and whisks him around (2:2, 2:12, 2:14, 2:4). Talk about your close encounter of the divine kind. More than enough there to ignite the imagination and max out the awe-o-meter.
But it’s the opening verses of Peter’s second letter that cause me to bless the Lord, to behold the glory, and to go facedown, as it were, before my God.
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
(2Peter 1:1-2 ESV)
A faith of equal standing. That’s what I’m chewing on this morning.
Who’s writing this letter? Peter. Peter, one of the twelve. Peter, the leader among the twelve. Peter, apostle to the Jews. Peter the rock. Peter, upon whose confession Jesus would build His church. The same Peter of Pentecost. Peter of great faith. Peter of great impacting faith. And if I’m reading this letter as written if not to me at least for me, then I have a faith of equal standing with Peter. Really?!? Yeah, really!
‘Cause it’s not about Peter — neither him nor me. Not because of works — either his or mine. Not of some meritorious character — whether of the impetuous Peter who wrote this letter or the imperfect Peter who’s reading it. It’s a faith of equal standing because it’s a faith of perfect standing. And that because it’s a faith founded on the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
The glory has descended. God has made Himself known. Time to go facedown. Blessed be the name of the LORD!
A faith of equal standing because I’m standing on the foundation of the finished work of the cross, clothed in the righteousness of the Christ. It’s not about what I’ve done, but about knowing in whom I have believed (2Tim. 1:12). Not about what I am capable of, in fact, it’s despite that. Instead, it’s all about what He has accomplished once for all, and what He has already credited to the accounts of those who believe.
A faith of equal standing. A faith founded on the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. A faith worth supplementing (2Pet. 1:5-7). A faith which, if added to according to His command and by His enabling, will confirm our calling and election and keep us from ever falling (1:10). A faith which will richly provide for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1:11).
A faith worth noodling on. A faith worth building upon. A faith worth counting on.
By God’s grace. For God’s glory.