March 8, 2016

1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

Hallelujah! Peter has so much good to say, I’ve got almost everything in both his letters underlined. This verse should give every believer great assurance and boldness. We are all aware of how imperfect, how incomplete, if you will, we are. However, God doesn’t leave us that way, and that is good news indeed. Every believer reads the Bible as aspirational, that is, as something to aim for, to anticipate. Christ’s work on the cross is complete and accomplished, but we continue to grow in the process of appropriating that for as long as we are in these bodies. This verse is encouragement that God will bring that process to completion. Paul famously wrote on the same theme in Philippians 3. As he said, we must not use our current imperfection as an excuse not to press forward. Rather, “let us live up to what we have already attained.” (Philippians 3:16) “Backsliding” is a Biblical term, and it is clear and easily understood. Sometimes our way is pretty steep, and we regress to something we thought we had left behind. When that happens, the devil tries to tell us we might as well give up, because we’ll never make it. That’s a lie! 1 John 1 is on exactly that point. We are never to excuse sin, in ourselves or in anyone else, but we are to understand that God’s grace is indeed greater than all our sin, and so not hesitate to confess our sins to Him in genuine repentance, knowing that He has already dealt with them on the cross. (1 John 1:9) As Peter says here, God’s glory lies ahead of us, and we have been invited into that by His grace.

It’s been 60 years since I was baptized, and I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I have sinned, sometimes very badly, during that interval. However, I have learned indeed that God’s grace is truly sufficient, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7) That teaches me to hate sin, in myself or in others, but never to let the sin seem bigger to me than God. When sin is in our face, it can seem that way sometimes! I am to remember, and teach, that God loves us even in our imperfection, and that’s why He has provided forgiveness for all who will repent and believe. That is good news indeed!

Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me communicate Your Gospel effectively to more and more people, so that they will be set free from the traps of our lying enemy to come into Your light and life, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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