Trick or Treat?
“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
2 Peter 1:16 (KJV)
The world is full of religious customs, many of which do not edify the believer or strengthen faith in the grace of God.
Peter wrote to Christians who were surrounded by multicultural communities, in which all kinds of curious superstitions and practices thrived. In some ways it was similar to society today where men and women construct their own sets of beliefs based on the choices around them. Often feast days or special events would re-confirm commonly held views about the spirit world and about life after death. The modern interpretation of Halloween points back to such celebrations.
The truth of God, Peter pointed out, is not a cunningly devised fable. It was not made up by fraudsters in order to trick us into a lifestyle without real hope and into accepting doctrines that deceive. Peter knew this for a certainty, he said, because he had met Jesus personally and was an eyewitness of Christ’s majesty. Peter had “made known” to his readers “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”. The story of Jesus is not a myth or some fantastic tale of supernatural beings: it is the gospel that leads us into an assurance of salvation.
Peter also encouraged those who, like us, had never met Jesus before Jesus died for us. He wrote in 1 Peter 1:8, “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”.
What we believe is not a trick. In fact it’s a treat, and it fills us with inexpressible joy.
Thank you, Father, for the reality of Jesus, and for the comfort and joy we have through knowing him and his knowing us through the Spirit. In Jesus name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.