Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Called to His Own Glory

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
– 2 Peter 1:2-4

“He (Peter) refers to the boundless goodness of God which they had already experienced, so that they may place a greater reliance on Him in the future. It is a consistent mark of God that He prosecutes His course of benevolence right to the end, unless we interrupt it by our faithlessness. His power is inexhaustible and His desire of beneficence (good toward us) is equally so, and hence the apostle rightly encourages the faithful to good hope on the basis of God’s former benefits. His words of amplification are to the same purpose. He could have said more simply, ‘as He has fully given us everything’, but by using the expression ‘divine power’ he lifts his argument to the higher consideration of how God has unfolded the vast resources of His power.”
- John Calvin, Commentary on 2 Peter, p. 328

“The act of calling us is a demonstration of God’s own glory and goodness. These two characteristics are highly personal; the adjective ‘own’ modifies both terms. Moreover, the two terms, although in a sense synonymous, differ. We are able to observe glory with our eyes (compare John 1:14), and we become aware of goodness (praise) with our minds and hearts. Conclusively, God reveals his essential being through visible glory and he displays his goodness in his deeds.”
- Simon Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary on 2 Peter, p. 247

“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
- C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, pp. 3-4

Dear Christ our Redeemer Friends and Family,

When you really think about it, how amazing is grace, anyway? I’m afraid many times we think of God’s grace towards us in small measure. I’m afraid we think small thoughts of grace because we think small thoughts of sin and small thoughts about God’s holiness. We often don’t realize the depth and the pervasiveness of sin and as a consequence we don’t recognize the breadth and boundlessness of grace. God has become far less in our eyes, because salvation doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Morbid introspection is never good, but neither is a cavalier and uninformed sense of our own sinfulness. We will never be amazed by grace or never truly understand the gospel without at least a modicum of awareness of our deep need for a Savior. Dear friends, we were hopelessly lost without Christ. We were the just recipients of God’s wrath and judgment. Erstwhile, the sinful woman loved much, because she was forgiven much (Luke 7:37-50). Could it be that we love little, because we’ve been forgiven little? Could it be that we worship only a little, because we’ve only been forgiven a little? Could it be that we are only a little thankful, because we’ve only been forgiven a little?

Peter writes and says that God has called us to His own glory and excellence with precious and very great promises. He uses the superlative to describe what God has done for us in Christ. We have become partakers of the divine nature. This is not some weird Gnostic language, but rather, because of God’s work of beneficence (Calvin’s word) towards us in Christ we have grace and peace and glory and excellence and life and godliness in abundance. And not only has saved us from the wrath to come, by grace we have become partakers of the very character and nature of God. Brothers and sisters, God’s salvation of sinners is not stingy. It is abundant and amazing grace that He has demonstrated toward you. All of our days may we always be truly amazed by grace.

For His Own Glory and Excellence,



Mamas said...

Sunday's sermon was on grace (but aren't they usually?...:) Not that I heard much of it, as usual... Anyway, one of the points being, "the wages of sin is death", you die a little everyday to sin - it's not the end of your life that your faced with sin, it's everyday there's consequences. There's no, I can fix this later and be forgiven later, there's no because I have been given grace there's nothing required of me. Oiyh.
How are my days becoming acts of praise and worship - swimming in grace and love?
I find that I'm mostly making mud pies, ignorant of His DAILY promises to me.

Kim said...

Oh, how I see things in the wrong way...

I was feeling so overwhelmed earlier this week. What seemed to be too much, too many Dr appts, too much to do, too much to consider, too much stress on an already stressed budget...

But, then the Holy Spirit worked on my proud heart...this is truly a miracle, the grace of God. He has brought the way of healing into our lives. I was so busy trying to make mud pies in the sand box that I was missing the banquet that God was putting right in front of me!

Oh, please Lord, help my disbelief