“To those who …have received a faith as precious as ours: “ (2 Peter 1:1)
Many years ago when I arrived in the United States of America I began the process of becoming a citizen. I was willing to wait 5 years, to study and in due time came to understand the cost and responsibilities of religious freedom. I knew that at the time of my completion of the requirements I would be awarded citizenship. I could claim my ‘rights’ and receive all the benefits that citizenship provided.
When Peter wrote this letter he said he was writing to those who had received a faith. The word ‘received’ implies God’s sovereign choice rather than anything they may have done to deserve such a gift. There is no waiting period or requirement of study to enter the Kingdom. “It is by grace you have been saved through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast” [Ephesians 2:8-9]
‘As precious’ was the term—isotimon—a word used for foreigners who had been granted the privileges of citizenship which were equal to those of the native born. Peter knew that there would be those coming on the scene who would claim there was an ‘inner circle’— rather than the faith of every person being equal to the Apostles. These false prophets deliberately denigrated the grace of God and downgraded the follows of Christ as new believers.
Child of God—you are among those who are in Christ through a ‘precious faith’ rise up with confidence that ‘claims’ the rights of citizenship of heaven, you have become heir and joint-heir with Jesus Christ. [Romans 8:17]
Take a moment and read Reflections by Diane
Update on Missionaries to Austria [Kathleen, Daniel and Ava Grace]