Thursday, December 1, 2016

the cross is in the shape of a big '+' sign

The Word for today:
2 Peter 3:1-10
The writings of the Apostle Peter present a man in direct contrast to his reputation.
We think of him as the impulsive oaf with a big heart and a big foot in his mouth. But his writings shatter that image. He seems, to me, to be the most underestimated author in scripture.
We must slow way down to even begin to digest all that is so rapidly passing before our eyes as we read Peter's words. The classic instance of this informational overload can be found in the first few verses of 1 Peter, where we are confronted, all at once, with the great doctrines of election, foreknowledge, sanctification, obedience, the blood of Christ, the Trinity, the grace of God, salvation, revelation, glory, faith, and hope.
Over the next few days, we hope to highlight some of the wide-ranging insights of this brilliant thinker with the common touch...
Know Him.
The last words of Peter and Paul (in 2 Peter and 2 Timothy) warned of the gathering apostasy—a falling away from the faith. Peter warns of heresy among teachers; Paul warns of heresy among the laity. Both apostles anchor the survival of the church on the Word of God—not only to know about Christ but to know Him. (2 Peter 3:18; see John 17:3)
Subtract…and Add.
The righteousness of God was made over to us when we trusted Christ as Savior. He not only subtracted our sins but added to us His righteousness. This is, sad to say, the most overlooked concept in Christendom. We must remember that the cross is in the shape of a big '+' sign. (1:1; see also--and chew and digest--2 Corinthians 5:21)
Lot—the weakest saint—was taken out of sinful Sodom. Another type (a prophetic picture) of the church being taken out ("rapture") before the Great Tribulation. (2:7)
The coming apostasy—
There were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. (2 Peter 2:1-2)
False teachers will deny Jesus Christ. (see 2 Peter 2:1-2, directly above)
“Some people” would have you believe that Jesus died for just “some people”…
Jesus didn’t die for some people. He died for them all:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (3:9)
“He didn’t choose everybody,” they will tell you. That cannot be found in Scripture. His invitation to “whosoever will” is to “Come unto me” (Matt. 11:28). The invitation is to everyone, but there must be a response, and the response is your responsibility, and mine.
When they say you’re not good enough to get to heaven, they’re right. But if they say He’s not good enough to bring you there with Him, they are dead wrong.
This common man, it turns out, had not only a big heart but a big head. Which just goes to show that anybody--even you, and even I--who spends time with Jesus comes away better and brighter than before:
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)
Peter and you and I gain not only the righteousness of God, but the mind of Christ as well! (1) So let's always remember to remember that--
the cross is in the shape of a big '+' sign
(1) 1 Corinthians 2:16

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