A HARD KNOCKS FAITH
I like reading the words of Paul in the New Testament. He’s challenging. His theology is thick and meaty. His letter to the Romans is a jewel to be treasured. In fact, many scholars believe if you can master the book of Romans, you can own the theology in the entire New Testament.
Paul was a scholar’s scholar. He was a cultural icon. Paul had status, money, and the admiration of many. He had obtained a high level of achievement and success. He wrote almost half of the New Testament. Paul was an imposing man; to the scale and likes of Four Star General Colin Powell.
And then there’s Peter. Peter jumped into turbulent waters when his peers remained dry and puzzled. Peter was called a “rock” by Jesus, and then “Satan” a few verses later. He was scattered in his thinking and living. He was sometimes two-faced among diverse company. Peter denied Jesus and later could only offer a guarded friendship on the heels of resurrection. Peter was a regular “Joe.” Think Ray Romano. I love Peter because he’s a redeemed messy person like me.
And then we see a complete transformation of Peter. Check out the proof of Peter’s radical change with his radical sermon in Acts 2:36-41. Now everybody loves Peter (See what I did there?).
Upon Peter’s supernatural transformation, he writes the first of his two Biblical letters– First Peter. He writes from a place of strength and new identity. Peter’s a new creation. Peter writes to Christians like you and me who often live a tough life in a harsh world. It’s real stuff. Authentic. Down and dirty. First Peter is just what the doctor ordered when life pushes us towards a hard knocks faith.
I’m excited to begin our journey this Sunday in First Peter. I really can’t wait to teach! Our study in First Peter will be a phenomenal trek of hope through our increasingly hopeless world. This study will give answers on how to live as a stranger in a land that’s not our home. Our time, over the next thirteen weeks, will transform us as well. On Sunday, we’ll dive into the first five verses of Peter’s excellent, non-scattered, solid, Holy Spirit-inspired writing.
You should bring a friend who needs hope rarely afforded us by our cold, divisive, intolerant culture.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing you at our 9:00 & 11:00 services.
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