Saturday, June 25, 2011

Peter was regenerated, are you?

When I was reading 2Peter this morning the first couple verses started me thinking of how 1Peter ended; pride versus humility. I have a close friend of mine that used to be the Light-Heavyweight Champion of the World as a kickboxer. He is so personable and kind hearted that everyone felt like they were his good friend. Sometimes when people would talk to me about him, I would proudly say, "yes, we are good friends, as a matter of fact, he was a groomsmen in my wedding." In looking back, that was just pride talking, kind of a "I know him better than you" silliness people engage in. In 2Peter, Peter has every opportunity to suggest that he has a "super status" when it comes to Jesus; after all, he walked with Him, lived with Him, learned from Him, ate with Him, watch Him get beat, watched Him get crucified, seen and talked to Him when He was Resurrected, and watched Him ascend back to Heaven. If anyone could say, "I know Him best", it would be Peter. But, Peter doesn't do that because Peter is humble. You might say, Peter got humbled after he denied Jesus three times; either way, nobody is truly humble without the regeneration of the Spirit. Because of his humility, Peter does not even put the thought in our head that he has any status with God beyond what we have if we are surrendered to Jesus Christ:

2 Peter 1:1 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:

Paul, as well as Peter, makes the same point several times in his letters as well, we see one of those times in Romans 3:

Romans 3:22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:

Peter immediately points out that everything that is needed for life and godliness is provided by God. If you belong to Christ, you can not say that you do not have the ability to defeat sin. In the flesh, none of us can defeat sin, but when we belong to Jesus, His divine power has been granted to us for all things that pertain to life and godliness:

2Peter1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

There is corruption in the world, but the true responsibility for our sinfulness is because of our sinful desire. Through His promise, we have (or can) escape the bondage of sin:

2Peter 1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

The Word talks about us being afar off, separated and hostile to God; but we have been redeemed and reconciled to God through The Blood of Jesus. If this is true, and we have truly surrendered to Christ and have humbled ourself under the mighty hand of God, the following characteristics will continue to manifest themselves and increase in our life:

2Peter 1: 5-8 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter says that those who lack these qualities are blind and can not be sure of their salvation:

2Peter 1: For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

Peter commands us to be sure of our "election"....our salvation. This happens when we see regeneration in our life, the manifestation of godliness; evidence of being born of the Spirit. When we are sure that we are born-again, we can also be sure that we will be richly provide an entrance in to the Kingdom of God, not just a "the doors open, come on in" kind of entrance, but a richly provided entrance. I don't know what that looks like, but it is going to be awesome!

2Peter 1:11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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