Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why is it that some fall away in the Christian life?

I was reminded of a marvelous passage in Matthew 16 yesterday where Jesus told Peter that He was going to the cross. Unmistakably, Jesus unveiled His future on earth, yet Peter refused to believe it. In fact, not only did he refuse to believe what Jesus told him. Peter took Jesus and rebuked him! Imagine that!

Jesus clearly showed Peter that he had to go to Jerusalem, be beaten, scourged, rejected by the leaders, killed, and then rise on the third day. This was Jesus’ mission. This is what He came to do, namely, accomplish salvation for His own.

But Peter, to his dismay, found himself sharply chastised by Jesus. Indeed, Jesus called him “Satan” because Peter’s mindset was not in accord with God’s sovereign and perfect will but his own human and fallible desires.

Jesus rebuked Peter because Peter rejected the divine wisdom that He had just revealed—that he was going to go to Jerusalem, suffer, die, and rise again. This was, verily, the Word of God. It was divine revelation flowing forth from the lips of God Himself! Nevertheless, Peter rejected what Christ just revealed to him and told him that this must never happen! Peter had a different plan! He was certain that Jesus’ life was not going to end this way!

I think the application may legitimately be drawn from this passage for us as believers. Let us cling tightly to God’s Word. In the pages of Scripture we find the perfect, divine, inscrutable wisdom from God Himself! Let us never reject the divine revelation for our human reasoning!

Let us not forsake:

Divine Sovereignty for Human Speculation

Divine Wisdom for Human Wisdom

Divine Principles for Human Philosophy

Divine Knowledge for Human Ideas

To clinch this thought, Jesus Himself told Peter: “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (ouv fronei/j ta. tou/ qeou/ avlla. ta. tw/n avnqrw,pwn.) Let us take heed: never consume your mind with the things of this world to the neglect of the things of God. Some, then, fall away from the Christian life because they substitute Divine Revelation for Human Reasoning.

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