2nd Peter and Deconstruction, Part 1.
By the end of our lives, probably the majority of us have had a tragic event that has caused us to question the Lord, to ask why, or maybe even to quit pursuing Him for a time. It happened to me when a series of tragedies knocked us flat in the 1990s, leaving me with many unanswered questions, forcing me to re-evaluate my faith. Eventually this led to my realization that I hadn’t talked to God in weeks.
Now, we would call this the beginning of “deconstruction,” but at that time, we called it “a crisis of faith.”
The process of deconstruction that so many pursue has been around since Elijah ran away from God after facing the prophets of Baal. Elijah tore across the desert, trying to escape this God who asked him to do terrifying life-threatening tasks. Deconstruction may even have begun with Adam and Eve when they hid in the Garden after they sinned. In short, it’s nothing new.
People of faith periodically have crises of faith, going through a period of time when God seems to be far away, though in actuality, He is not. During this time, the trustworthiness of His Word is also evaluated.
During my faith crisis, a series of Bible studies by Kay Arthur turned me around, moving me away from the rigid and legalistic faith practices that I had imitated for years. My crisis moved me toward a faith that was based upon Christ, a faith that understand the verity of the Scriptures (see comment by Apologist Lisa Quintana, below), not relying upon the so-called Biblical interpretations of highly reactionary, ultraconservative, self-appointed leaders.People of faith periodically have crises of faith, going through a period of time when God seems to be far away, though in actuality, He is not. #bgbg2 #KnowingGod Click To Tweet
This separation in 1994-1995 brought me into a faith that is based on Christ and God’s Word found in the Scriptures, rather than on the ideas of a powerful human leader. My confidence was in the Lord then as it is now. My doubting, questioning, learning, and rebuilding moved me through my faith crisis / deconstruction and into solid confidence in the Word of God and in God Himself.
Judaism is one of the most ancient religions in the world. Christianity is an ancient offshoot of Judaism. Having already read all of the apologetics proving the Scriptures, I had/have a solid understanding of why we can trust the words of the Bible implicitly. So many eye-witnesses, so many copies of the earlier inspired words, such careful preservation, so much affirmation by the Holy Spirit Himself.
The realization of the truthfulness of the Bible is imperative for the one seeking and doubting. Research how we came to have the Bible. The evidence is solid.
And then, there’s Peter.
Peter, the first New Testament heretic questioner of our faith, denied Christ, and yet he was forgiven.
This event laid the groundwork for every sinner who ever walked away and denied Christ. All are given the opportunity to turn away from our doubt and return to Christ, no matter what we’ve done. His arms are opened wide, ready to welcome us home. Seek, and you will find.
The prodigal son is another deconstructor who returned to the open arms of the Father. His elder brother did not. Rather, he remained a hardened sinner, never openly questioning, and yet exploding with bitter acrimony upon his father at the end.Peter, the first New Testament heretic questioner of our faith, denied Christ, and yet he was forgiven, thus laying the groundwork for everyone who ever walked away and denied Christ to be forgiven. #bgbg2 #KnowingGod Click To Tweet
Therefore, when Peter writes about how precious our faith in Christ is, we should definitely listen.
“1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (1 Peter 1:1-2 NIV).
Never skip the greetings and salutations of a Biblical letter. In this greeting, we discover that our faith in our Savior Jesus Christ is as precious and as valuable as the faith of the apostles. We are not second class citizens of God’s kingdom. Nope. We are precious, valued, seen, in equal standing with the faith of the apostles, who also questioned and doubted. We also learn that grace and peace can be ours in abundance through our knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
What type of knowledge are we talking about in v. 2?
This knowledge is epignosis in Koine Greek, a significant definition that governs most of this chapter. This is knowledge that has been acquired by thorough and active participation in knowing Christ and behaving as a follower of His. We are and have been personally involved in knowing God and Jesus our Lord, thus changing our daily behavior and our religious life to conform to Him. Our faith isn’t merely about head knowledge. It is about our transformation.
In what ways have our lives changed as we have come to know the Savior?
What can be done to obtain this grace and peace?
How can it be ours in abundance? What does verse two tell us?
In real life behavior, what type of knowledge are we talking about in v. 2?
How can we obtain this life-changing knowledge?
Continued next week. . . .
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