Christianity is not blind faith. It grounded in historical events. It is about things that happened in time and space – our wrong doing and God’s good doing in the Lord Jesus Christ. The book we have, the bible, contains history, but it is not just a history. It is our Creator’s version of the events it refers to, and it is our Maker’s explanation of what those events mean.
The books of the Bible are very human books, but they are uniquely God’s word. Together, collected into the Bible, they give God’s message to a lost and self-destructive world. The Bible alone gives us the message of hope that cannot disappoint anyone who trust Jesus Christ.
But it must be the Jesus shown to us in the Bible, not a ‘Jesus’ that we’ve made up for ourselves.
The Apostle Peter wrote to people who had, ‘received the same kind of precious faith’ (v.1) as he himself had received by the righteousness of God.
In context, Peter is not merely saying ‘You and I have the same God-given ability to trust Jesus’ (as true as that is), but rather his emphasis is ‘You and I have been brought to trust the same precious message.’ The Faith. The facts about the Lord Jesus Christ.
In this letter, Peter is focused on the message, the precious message that God has given to the world in a book. This message is vital as the means of bringing salvation to a very lost world. It is the means of bringing the church to a right mind as to its behaviour in the world, and for maintaining its role as the light of the world.
Now, the message is all about who the Lord Jesus Christ is, what he has done, and what that means for sinful people like us. This message comes in written form, and must come in a written form. That form we know as the Bible.
Peter first wrote about the new birth, how sinners are made children of God (given fellowship with the divine nature) as the Holy Spirit gives them knowledge of Jesus Christ and the promises that come by him. This work of rescue delivers sinners from condemnation and gives to them new attitudes.
These new attitudes are a product of the message that tells of the Lord Jesus Christ – the message gives us knowledge of Jesus Christ and the promises attached to his finish work of salvation.
As rescued people, Christians are not only to abandon their old sinful ways, but are also to adopt new ways. As people who trust in God’s mercy in Christ, Christians are to aim at developing virtue, knowledge, self-control, stick-ability, godliness, kindness and love. These are all produced by a right understanding of the message about Jesus Christ. The Bible’s message regarding Jesus Christ produces fruitful and active Christians.
Peter says that a ‘Christian’ who lacks these attributes, who has no interest in developing these attitudes and attributes, ‘Is blind, has closed his eyes, and has forgotten that his former sins have been cleaned away.’
What do such people NOT see or look at? What has escaped their notice?
The truth about Jesus Christ. The reality of God’s mercy in Christ.
Christians can become clogged, that is, they can lose joy and energy by taking their eyes off Jesus Christ, by not considering who Jesus is, what he has done, and what that means for them. Such Christians can become dull, or fearful, or depressed – they can begin to doubt that they really are Christians.
Peter says that it is vital that Christians make ‘Their calling and election sure.’ How does one do this?
Not by becoming activists and doing stuff in order to convince themselves and others that they are good people. Remember, good, new attitudes come in response to good news, in response to the message about Jesus Christ.
We make our calling and election sure by focusing our minds upon, and keeping our minds focused upon, the truths given to us about the Lord Jesus Christ – His life, His death and His resurrection as our salvation.
We need to be reminded over and over again (as long as we have life) of what we had been heading for in our sinful rebellion, what our sin really deserves, and to consider how our judge has acted to rescue us from the doom that he was to pronounce upon us.
He took our place.
- By his death, our appointment with everlasting death was cancelled.
- By his life and resurrection, he gives to us un-losable life eternal.
It is by this message that we are kept from stumbling in our Christian walk. It is by this message that we are brought from death to life. It is this message that will bring us into the new heavens and the new earth that Lord Jesus Christ has prepared for us.