Christians have a reputation for being conservative. Whether that reputation is deserved or correct is debatable. Nevertheless, in the minds of many, to be Christian equals low risk and moderation. Today, when a Christian or Church or denomination exhibits extravagance they are considered uniquely innovative and revolutionary. Some may argue, that being careful and conservative is more in line with how the Bible describes followers of Jesus. Really? Really!
When Peter wrote his second letter it was time in history when merely being a Christian was enough to have you arrested and thrown into the nearest amphitheater to be mauled by wild animals or tortured and slaughtered by gladiators. Yet he wants to stir them up to grow in grace and live fruitful Christian lives. The confidence to do that comes, Peter tells us in v19, not from our experience, understanding, skills, emotions or intensity, but from the declarative propositional truth of God’s Word given to us by the Holy Spirit.
Consider how grounding your certainty upon Jesus and his Word could affect your:
- Faith: You can boldly witness for Jesus knowing that you don’t need to be a world-famous evangelist in order for God to use you.
- Family: You can courageously lead your wife and children to serve the Lord. If you make a mistake, that’s not the end because your certainty isn’t based on whether you have a wonderful marriage and family, it’s based on Jesus death, burial and resurrection.
- Fellowship: You can give and take part in the life of the Church and be free to use your gifts for the furtherance of the kingdom of God on Earth.
- Finances: You can generously and sacrificially support the growth of the Church without being risk averse because your certainty isn’t based on successful ministry but on the success of Jesus payment for your sin on the cross.
Peter says, if you genuinely know Jesus, have experienced his power and are resting in his promises, you have been given everything you need for life and godliness, so appropriate it! Build, Grow, Develop, Mature and Lead – the way for the Christian is forward. Don’t maintain a low profile! He says that Christians, who are confident (sure and certain) of their calling by God, will be active, effective and fruitful in living for Christ. The way for the Church is forward. We need not be risk averse – we can be certain that God is at work through the gospel & will continue calling people by his own glory & goodness. How are you ready to risk being extravagant for Christ this week/month/year?