Our faith in Christ is the ‘GREAT EQUALIZER.’ It puts all Christians on level ground with one another. We see this in 2 Peter 1-2. Here’s the notes from the sermon I preached on the passage at Cross of Christ Fellowship here in Naperville (You can find the audio here [note this was preached in a face mask!])
2 Peter 1:1-2 “FAITH IN CHRIST, THE GREAT EQUALIZER”
Intro: Peter end of his life writing letter to Christians facing the threat of false teachers promising freedom
-WRITTEN BY the Apostle Peter to those who received his 1st letter
-Theme stated 2 Peter 3:17-18àProtect from false teaching, encourage to grow in knowledge & grace
Today: 3 Precious Insights from verses 1-2 on FAITH, JESUS, and KNOWING GOD.
1. FAITH in Christ in THE GREAT Equalizer of ALL Christians: “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours”.
STORY OF UNLV WIND ORCHESTRA REHEARSAL. =Faith in Jesus is what gets us in, not our merits.
FAITH DEFINITION: Believing and trusting in Christ as he is offered to us in the gospel.
-CALVIN—Faith is the OPEN HAND that lays hold of the promises of God offered to us in Christ.
-THROUGH Faith in Christ we are made right—JUSTIFIED—before God.
OT FAITH: Abraham Gen 15:6
NT FAITH: Trust in Christ as the one who died for our sins Gal 2:16
FAITH IN CHRIST IS THE GREAT EQUALIZER: obtained a faith of equal standing with ours
-EQUAL STANDING: All Christians are made right with God by faith ALONE=level ground with each other.
Apostles and non-apostles! Mature Christians and Weak Christians.
–NOTE: Some may be weaker or stronger in the faith, but all Christians are justified by faith
2 errors to AVOID:_____________________________________________________
1. ERROR OF Unduly ELEVATING CERTAIN CHRISTIANS
–Unduly elevate those with GIFTS or MATURITY; Give them leadership but overlook character; forget they are sinners
ROMAN CATHOLICS: Some are viewed as SAINTS, while most are not. See Phil 1:1
2. ERROR OF LOOKING DOWN ON CHRISTIANS WHO ARE WEAKER IN THE FAITH
-Sometimes we look down on immature Christians; we get puffed up
Immature & Mature Christians; Strong & Weak Believers ALL enter into kingdom through FAITH
–FAITH Comes this way: “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”
–GOSPEL TRUTH: 2 Cor 5:21
APP: Let’s share the gospel with unbelievers—they too can enter into the kingdom of God through faith.
2. JESUS is GOD and Savior: by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
STORY of MORMON FRIENDS…ALL RELIGIOUS cults go astray by distorting Jesus: Mormons, JWs, New Agers
-Bible teaches that Jesus is truly human and TRULY GOD. Here we see his deity.
GENE GREEN: Here is one of the clearest expressions in the NT about the deity of Jesus.
-Grammar dictates that this is NOT 2 subjects (God the Father and Jesus Christ), but one. See Titus 2:13
-Jesus is GOD! Not just a human, or partial god, but truly God. John 1:1; 20:28
–Council of Nicaea—truly God. “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten not made….”
-Jesus is also SAVIOR. He saves us from our SIN, from Satan, from hell, from estrangement from God.|
-You and I need a SAVIOR. We are hostile to God and enslaved to sin.
APP: Isn’t Jesus amazing? He is God and SAVIOR!
3. KNOWLEDGE of God—Our great privilege May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
STORY ABOUT CONVERSATION WITH MY BROTHER AND HIS FIANCE
-BIBLE teaches that we CAN know God: Hosea 6:3; John 17:3
-SIN leads us away from God to IDOLS and to ABANDON the LIVING GOD-Peter’s prayer for the readers: “grace & peace multiplied to you in the KNOWLEDGE of God and Jesus our Lord”
“Grace”=God’s undeserved kindness shown to us”
“Peace”=not merely feelings inside, but a right relationship with a God that we were once hostile to.
-Prayer is that we would have a growing experience of these in the “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”
-TO know God is OUR GREAT PRIVILEGE as Christians.
-In the GOSPEL, Jesus makes God known (John 1:18) and brings us back to God
-Jesus delivers us from idols and opens our eyes to the truth of God’s love and greatness
WARNING FOR US: We live in land of plenty (restaurants; nice homes; food; drinks; entertainment; Disney +; Netflix; hobbies). We are tempted daily to think God is BORING or IRRELEVANT, or the KNOWLEDGE OF GOD is not enough.
GOD IS ENOUGH: He is EVERYTHING our hearts could ever want or wish for. If you have forgotten that, get alone with God and plead with Him to open your eyes again to the truth of His love, glory & greatness. See his love for you in the CROSS!
CONCLUSION: As Christians we have a faith in Christ that puts on level ground with all other Christians, we follow a Savior who is also God, and we share the sweet privilege of knowing the one true God!