But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV).
Read that verse again. It really is a great way to both end and begin a conversation. It’s a doxology, a blessing, a call to worship, and a call to arms. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord because to Him be all glory forever…this is most certainly true.”
Right on, right on.
This is a doxology. It’s a hymn praising God in Jesus Christ. Jesus, our God, is the source of all grace and knowledge. Nothing that is known has been known apart from Him for He is the beginning and end of all knowledge, logic, reason, and truth. None of those wonderful things are ours by deserving them: they are gifts from Him.
This is a blessing. It is a benediction spoken to cherished friends, new believers, and even total strangers. It is a set of simple truths, namely that the grace and knowledge of Christ are divine gifts given in love from Him to us to each other. That is worthy of praising Him.
Which means that this is a call to worship. We GET TO read Peter’s words and then share them with each other. In doing so, we’re giving praise to Jesus and His Spirit that inspired them into us. It’s like singing a new song to God, like being part of a church service where you feel that Spirit moving in your heart and know that all is well in your life.
Yet don’t get too complacent because this is a call to arms as well. Not martial arms just yet, but a call to boldly, soldierly carry these things out into a world full of hostile forces. The devil who wars against us and our God is the same evil one who deceived Eve. Who laughed at the slaughter of children murdered by Herod, who reveled in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, who squirms in joy every time we speak anger at each other. We are called to be soldiers in the army of the Living God and to boldly proclaim the grace, knowledge, and glory of Him against this same evil right here, right now. Right on, right on indeed. More like, righteously move right on.
Peter lived his unsettled life in service to his friend and savior, Jesus of Nazareth. Tradition has it that Peter died in Rome, crucified upside-down in the arena because he didn’t consider himself worthy to die the same death that Jesus did. Before doing that, Peter spent decades starting new churches and ministering to new believers. He does it still through the words he left for us in this book. Read them again, remember, and give praise to the God who inspired Peter to write them.
For further reading: Romans 3:24, Jude 1
Thank You, Lord, for the words and life of Your friend, Peter.
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