II PETER 2
EXERCISE YOUR FAITH
II Peter was the last book added to the Canon of New Testament books. There is much discussion among scholars as to the authenticity of its writer and of its place in the Canon. I do not deal in such matters. In as much as the written Scriptures is the way God has chosen to reveal His will to mankind, I believe He has preserved for us the message He wants to deliver and that the machinations of man are simply the tools He has chosen to use. Consequently I believe that the Bible I have today is the one which He has chosen for me. I firmly believe that “God moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform”, and so He has produced for me this Book. There are many translations but one story, many variations of style but the same principles come through to the one who seeks the truth. So, I believe that II Peter is a part of what God has preserved for me to know more perfectly His will.
Having established this as our firm premise, the words become more important, for they convey the very Word of God, whether written by Peter or whoever the author might have been.
To me the very spirit of this book fits the personality of Peter. He was always a man of action. He was the one who made the great proclamation, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”, when Jesus asked them to identify Him. Peter was the one who drew his sword to defend Jesus when they came to take Him away. It is not surprising then to read these words as an admonition from Peter: “Exercise your faith”. There are many translations of this statement but this is the essence of all of them. Peter is urging his readers not only to believe in the Lord but to make that believe a moving factor to transform your life.
I think it not an exaggeration to say that most religious people believe that God is, and that Jesus is the Christ. They believe in the death and resurrection of Him twenty centuries ago. However, it is also quite evident that most of them are not diligently exercising that faith in their daily life, to become the kind of person who really responds to the demands those facts have on them as the person He died for. The extent to which most “exercise” their faith is by going to church and, perhaps, reading the “daily Bible readings” prescribed, or following some other ritual dictated by their church. As for letting their faith into their daily life to change the way they live and the way they treat their fellowman, that is not a living part of their faith.
This has always been a problem of professed believers, and that is why Peter is so definite about it in the beginning of this short book. How much does your faith in the Lord affect your personality? How much does that faith make you proclaim Him in word and deed in your relationship to others? Is your life a “witness for the Lord”? More people are drawn to Christ by the actions of faith that they see in someone else than in all the sermons preached in all the churches every Sunday morning. Exercise your faith and you became a herald of the truth and a disciple of the Lord you profess to believe.