Today’s Scrip-Bit   5 April 2023   1 Peter 1:2.

1 Peter 1:2.Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

A good Wednesday morning to you, my fellow believers in Christ Jesus! The weather’s not great, and I can hear the rain falling outside, on what’s supposed to be a rainy day. And there couldn’t be a more fitting opening on this Wednesday of Holy Week, than this one by Peter at the beginning of his first epistle. He writes: ‘Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like (the same kind of) precious faith with us through the righteousness of (our) God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through (in) the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.’ (1 Pet. 1:1-2) 

Yes friends, grace and peace to all you who have sincerely received Christ Jesus! It’s a great honour and privilege to be invited to receive Him. Why? Listen to how Peter explains it. ‘According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to (by) glory and virtue. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.’ (1 Pet. 1:3-4) 

Oh my fellow saints, yuh see the immense benefits we enjoy when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour! We are thoroughly blessed through numerous promises and acts of God, so that we can partake of His divine nature, and be able to fight the evil and corruption that’s in the world. What a great and caring God we serve my people! No other supposed god does that for His followers. ONLY the great I AM! 

So, when we receive Christ, we receive salvation and all the other good things that believers get, like the indwelling of the Holy Ghost and the seeds of the fruit of the Spirit. But that’s not the end, in fact it’s just the beginning, because Christ expects us to follow the leading and guidance of His Holy Spirit as we live this earthly life, and also to nurture and grow those seeds of the Spirit which have been planted in us. That’s LOVE, joy, peace, patience, good ness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23) 

In other words, after receiving Christ, believers are expected to grow, to mature in the Christian faith, in the same way that newborn babies start out by drinking milk, but gradually progress to eating solid food. It’s not good enough to just keep eating baby food for the rest of your lives, although that will not stop you from getting into heaven, but it will certainly cut down drastically on your heavenly rewards, since you will not be able to witness and have strong testimony for Christ, through which others, the unbelievers and the heathen are encouraged to come to Him. 

Remember, we are the eyes, ears, hands, feet and mouths of Christ here on earth. The only chance some may have to see Christ is through you, through your witness and testimony. That’s why Peter continues in his writings to encourage believers to grow in spiritual maturity. ‘And beside this (but for this very reason), giving all diligence, (after salvation) add to your faith virtue (moral excellence); and to virtue knowledge (spiritual truth); And to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (endurance, perseverance); and to patience godliness (God-likeness); 

And to godliness brotherly kindness (brotherly LOVE – Gr. philadelphian); and to brotherly kindness charity (volitional LOVE- Gr. agape – a decision to LOVE, not an emotional feeling). For if these things be in you (are yours), and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (useless) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off (short-sighted), and hath forgotten that he was purged (cleansed) from his old sins.’ (1 Pet. 1:5-9) 

Yes my faithful brethren, those are areas in which we all need to grow in spiritual maturity. We are not all at the same level, but for all of us it’s a lifelong cycle. Yes, spiritual growth never ends for the Christian believer. Not until Christ takes them home. And in his epistle to the Philippians, Bruh Paul confirms that, when he says: ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform (complete) it until the day of Jesus Christ.’ (Phil. 1:6) Once God begins a good work in us, He won’t ever stop until Jesus comes for us. 

And if we don’t aspire to spiritual maturity, we’re forgetting that we were cleansed of our sin by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, that we were bought with a price…and a very high one at that. And the least we can do is to improve our knowledge and spirituality as befits believers, so that we can be good ambassadors for Christ here on earth. And Peter continues to explain. ‘Wherefore the rather, brethren give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall (stumble): For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’ (1 Pet. 1:10-11) 

And the scholars explain those last two verses thus. ‘Ye shall never fall: The author is not referring to falling from salvation but to failure in Christian living. The everlasting kingdom refers to the eternal realm of God where Jesus is the undisputed Ruler. It is synonymous with heaven. Thus the one who acquires the virtues of verses 5-7 will have a rich inheritance in heaven.’ 

And I know that all of us desire to have a rich inheritance in heaven, but we have to begin by working for it down here on earth. As Christ said, store up your treasures in heaven where they are well protected, rather than on earth where they can rot and rust and be stolen. That’s wisdom in spades friends! And for those of us who have sincerely taken those words to heart, let’s go home now declaring (yesss!!!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the whole world know of our marvellous position in Christ Jesus. 

Altogether now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And having said all of that, let’s remember that if we endure until the very end, then the future will be even more glorious than we can ever ask or imagine. Wow! I can’t wait to experience it! I hope you can’t too! Much LOVE!

…growing in spiritual maturity isn’t easy…but it’s surely interesting and worthwhile…  

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