How Does Our Standing Before God Compare with the Apostles?
2 Peter, Day 1
Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
- 2 Peter 1:1, ESV
Have you ever met someone truly great? I grew up in an Air Force family. I remember in 1987, at age 13, meeting the 4-star general who commanded the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). I shook his hand and said how I was never going to wash my hand because I had shaken the hand of a 4-star general!
Well, I'm much more mature now, of course, but I still have my list of spiritual heroes, people I can't wait to meet in heaven: John Calvin, John Knox, Augustine, Matthew Henry, Jeremiah Burroughs, and several others. And of course, the apostles are amazing heroes of the faith! Imagine sitting down for breakfast with Peter and Paul.
Thinking like this really makes the opening verse of 2 Peter splash us in the face with some amazing grace-filled reality. Peter writes to a group of ordinary, unnamed Christians (really, it's addressed as a letter to all Christians), and while he clearly identifies himself as an apostle, he also tells these ordinary Christians that they "have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours."
Our faith is of equal standing with the faith of the apostles! What Peter is saying is that we stand on the same ground before God as the apostles themselves. While they were called by Jesus personally to serve in a special role, we are full equals in our spiritual standing before God.
How is this possible? How can ordinary Christians have "a faith of equal standing" with the twelve apostles? Well, Peter tells us how. It is because both we and the apostles have our standing before God "by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ."
No one can stand before God on his own merit. No one can access God any other way but through Jesus Christ. Here's what we so often miss: The righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ is absolutely perfect and complete. Nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken away from it. So, if we stand before God by His righteousness, our standing before God is perfect and complete.
Our faith is of equal standing because our faith is in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is perfect. Whatever sins we have committed, His blood covers and cleanses. Whatever shortcomings we may have, His righteousness has none whatsoever. This is why our standing is equal, secure and perfect, and our access to God is with confidence and assurance - not because of us, but always and only because of HIM!