I have always loved this part of 2 Peter ever since I studied it as my very first Precept inductive study a very long time ago. I love the list, the progression, the promise of never falling. I love that regardless of how long I have known these things I still need reminders – I need to be and truly am, stirred up by remembering them.
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.
I am a person who measures and evaluates by nature so I think that’s why “equal standing” jumped out to me this morning.
Peter is telling me that “to those who obtained a faith”, that faith is one of equal standing. Why? because our standing depends on the righteousness of God, not anything we have mustered. This has become a powerful thought to me this morning.
We who believe come from everywhere – every social standing, every class, every race, every education, and every upbringing. We are rich, poor, wise, stupid, young, old, male, female, straight, gay, confused, certain, clergy, laity, – every ilk, from servant to apostle. And yet on the playing field of faith we stand EQUAL in the grace of God and Jesus our Savior.
While recognizing my own equal-ness should encourage me, I cannot fail to recognize the equal-ness of everyone else. None of us – not one – stands on our own merits. And when I am apt to measure and evaluate others against myself the calculation should always be EQUAL. If it isn’t, then I’ve messed up somewhere. Repent and recalculate.
“Lord, forgive me for my often terrible math. When I might ask as Peter did, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ remind me – gently if possible – where my energies are to be spent:
…make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”