I recently started attending an interdenominational women’s Bible study where we are studying the book of 1 Peter. I really love this study because the teacher has the students take time in the Word of God and dig deep.
One of this week’s questions seemed more like an exercise in looking at the details of the scripture…but it’s the one that really struck me the most.
She had us read through the book of 1 Peter and count the number of times Peter uses Jesus Christ (9 times), Christ (13 times) and Jesus (0 times) to refer to the Lord.
What struck me is that Peter, one of Jesus disciples who lived with Him day in and day out for three years, never refers to the Lord Jesus Christ in a casual way. Though he was part of the inner circle, the three disciples closest to Jesus, Peter doesn’t consider Jesus his pal or good buddy.
Instead, Peter refers to Him as Jesus Christ or Christ. Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Promised One prophesied in the Old Testament. His confidence was in the living hope found in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, the risen Messiah who is seated at the right hand of the Father.
Something else that struck me is the contrast with how casual we are about Jesus today. We like to think of the warm and fuzzy Jesus who is our Friend. But how often do we look at Him as God to Whom we will give an account. The One to Whom we should fall on our face in fear and reverence. He is the One unbelievers will face at the Great White Throne Judgment. He is the One believers will face at the Judgment Seat of Christ or the Bema Seat where our works after coming to Christ will be examined. He is the One to Whom every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
One place I see a casual treatment of Jesus Christ is on social media where posts are shared that seem to give a litany of what we want from God; good health, fortune, happiness, long life, and healing. Often these posts end with instructions to type “In Jesus Name”. To me, it seems like it’s a way to manipulate God so that He will give us what we want because we tack on Jesus name.
How much of my life is lived in submission and obedience to God, out of love for Him? Love for Him because He is worthy and for the incomparable gift of His Son who paid the penalty for my sin so that I could be forgiven. Do I accept God’s will for me, even when it includes trials, tribulation, sickness or misfortune?
Lord Jesus, help me not to think of You in a casual way, but to always remember that You are the Lord God Almighty. May I have a healthy fear and reverence of You. May I be mindful that my salvation and inheritance is secure in heaven. That the One who saved me will keep me and bring me safely home to heaven. Help me to live each day in light of eternity.
Below is a link to a good article by Pastor John MacArthur on the Judgment Seat of Christ.