Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Guided All the Way Home

1 PETER 3:18 – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.”

Today’s scripture has theological substance as well as heart-warming, devotional substance. Actually, all theology should have heart-warming, devotional substance. If doctrine isn’t enflaming our hearts but only informing our minds, we are missing its purpose. All sound doctrine is to inform the mind to discern, warm the affections to love, and move the will to obey. Now today’s scripture . . .

First, there is the theological truth of Christ Jesus bringing us to God by His death and resurrection. This is the Gospel. This is the work of reconciliation. This is justification – For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father (Ephesians 2:14-18). We are not talking about some spiritual experience. What Paul is describing in the Ephesian passage is God’s wisdom in the Gospel declaring His work through His Son making peace with sinners. Holding on to this theological truth is what stabilizes the Christian life. To prevent being tossed to and fro by the ever-changing tides of our emotions, it is the solid objective truth of the Gospel that keeps us. It is the truth that Christ brought us to God by His death and resurrection. This was Peter’s message in today’s verse but there is also a heart-warming devotional application to it as well.

Have we ever felt, in the many struggles of the Christian life and our many failings, that we just didn’t think we could hang on? Yes, I believe in the eternal security of the believer, but really, any honest Christian would admit there have been dark times spiritually when we wondered not only if we would make it to heaven but even if we are Christians! That is the work of the devil. That is the battle against remaining sin. Well, to our rescue is today’s scripture.

Christ has not only brought us to God spiritually. He is going to bring us to God literally. He promised. He will do it. We will finish the race. He will guide us all the way home to God. Again, Peter’s words – For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.

A great way to end today’s nugget would be pondering these words of the Apostle Paul to the Colossians emphasizing the heart-warming truth that Christ is going to guide us all the way home – And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him (Colossians 1:21-22). We are going to make it. Guaranteed.

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for the truth of Your Son’s work of reconciling me to You and His keeping me near You.”

QUOTE: “Christ spiritually brought us to God by His death and resurrection and will literally bring us to Him by His promise.”

Because of Him,

Pastor Jim