Thursday in the Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Peter 1:1-2

Last Will and Testament

Assuming that you have lived your life for the Lord, and barring sudden death, you will come to the end of your life feeling compelled to say something, certainly to your spouse, children, and grandchildren, but perhaps to others as well.  You will feel the gravity of your approaching death and ponder whether you have done enough to leave a legacy of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for others to follow.  Now imagine being a minister of the gospel, an apostle no less, and feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders as you know you shall soon leave your precious charges in a hostile world with devils filled.  That’s where the Apostle Peter was mentally when he wrote this letter.  The literary genre is dubbed, “Farewell Address,” and normally includes: 1) Announcement of the coming death of the letter writer; 2) a reminder of what he has taught them; 3) charges to continue in the faith; and, 4) predictions of what will soon come to pass (ESV Study Bible, 2416).  Those predictions are generally negative.  I believe seeing the letter in this light may help us to better understand it.

Most all ancient letters in the Greco-Roman world began with a greeting and most New Testament letters do as well.  The writer identifies himself as Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.  There is no higher calling than servant to Jesus Christ and there was no higher office than apostle.  But even so, he writes, “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  The Church was founded on the testimony of the apostles and prophets.  The apostles were especially commissioned by Christ as eyewitnesses of the word.  Their place in the Church shall never be overthrown.  But even so, the faith they obtained in Christ Jesus was the same as our own; they stand before God as sinners saved by grace just as we through the righteousness of Christ that becomes ours through faith in his shed blood on the cross.  In this world, there must be ranks with duties and responsibilities assigned.  In the world to come, we are told of rewards and that the first shall be last and the last first.  I suspect our heavenly rank and assignments will depend on how faithful we were to our earthly rank and assignments.  Were we obedient? Were we humble? Were we faithful to the task we were assigned?

The fruit of the gospel is grace and peace which is multiplied to us “in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”  This knowledge is given us in our regeneration but grows in our walk with the Lord.  Stay close to Christ, the source of knowledge, and know the peace that passes all understanding.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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