If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?

Acts 11: 17

Peter had just experienced one of those great moments of eye opening, blast of ice-cold water in the face truth revealed to him by God. He had been thinking that he had a responsibility to perform as a sort of filter on what would be acceptable to God and on how people could be made worthy of entering into the fellowship of people who believe in Jesus. Peter was wrong. He was absolutely and totally off track in his thinking, and his actions followed along after his thoughts. In this same light, it is interesting how much Peter was like me and so many other people that I know and have heard about.

It seems that we humans are very slow learners. Thus, it is a really good thing that the Lord is a very patient teacher. There is one and only one authorized and final judge who has authority over the affairs of people, and that judge is the resurrected One, Jesus the Christ. We are called upon by God to function as a continuation of Christ’s interaction with people here on this earth; for, people who know Jesus are the living Body of Christ in our world. The Holy Spirit is given to us so that we can possess the heart, mind, and the power of Christ in order to fulfill His mission for us of bringing God’s loving grace, restorative peace, and eternal perspective to this sin ravaged world.

There is no person who is so far removed from God that His grace cannot save them. There is no place that the Lord does not want us to go to tell His truth, and nothing should stop us from seeking to follow in Jesus’ footsteps in all aspects of living on a daily basis. When I start to apply standards to others that will get in the way of my ability to speak truth to them with the love of Christ on my lips, I need to stop and consider how my Lord would have approached the same person. These are often situations where my actions are more important than any words that I can speak. In these situations and circumstances service, sacrifice, and simple love are frequently the vocabulary that Christ provides for me to use. At these times of engagement with people, as in all aspects of living as a follower of Christ, I need to seek the Spirit’s leading and ask that Christ open my heart and fill my mind with His loving attitude and gracious words of eternal hope and salvation’s message of redemptive grace.

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1: 1


The apostle Peter wanted the people in the churches that he had taught and shepherded to understand some fundamental truths about their faith in Jesus Christ. So, he starts off with one piece of truth that mattered greatly to him. Regardless of Peter’s position of leadership and the authority that came with it, he was not superior to the people that he was addressing in the letter. Peter had traveled and lived with Jesus and was there to the end and beyond; yet, that granted him no greater standing in the church than had someone who had just come to faith in the Savior. The body of Christ and His church is a place in this world where absolute equality should be the order of the day.


In God’s eyes we are all on the same plane as Peter in that we are all sinners, lost and desperately without hope of eternity without Christ. We are born with hearts and minds that operate out of a form of darkness that penetrates to the core of our being, and we live in total separation from the righteousness, justice, and love that are the center of the character of God. As all are born equally into death, so also, are all who come to Christ reborn equally into the fullness of life in the here and now of God’s Kingdom come and they possess equal standing as adopted children of God in the eternity to follow this life. This total transformation comes about solely because of the work of Jesus Christ, the righteous and holy One, who claims us as His own.


This equality in status and stature carries with it an equal measure of responsibility. Like Peter before us, we are also tasked by Christ to live righteously in our fallen world, and we are called upon to bring the healing of God’s grace into the lives of everyone we encounter during our days. In fact, living in true equality with Peter is not something that the faint of heart can do, for following Christ fully requires courage and boldness. It sets us apart from the majority of the people in our world as it leads us into conflict and dispute with the forces of evil that are attempting to hold onto the heart, mind, and soul of our culture. Yet, like the Apostle before us, Christ fully equips us for the day at hand, and He goes with us with wisdom and grace that are more than sufficient to claim today for Christ as we proclaim it to be the day of the Lord!