Grace, Not Added, Multiplied
There are few bigger failures in the New Testament than Peter. On the other hand, he’s one of the greatest success stories in Scripture. He went from denying he knew Jesus to preaching at Pentecost in a matter of days.
The other day I decided to read Peter’s epistles from the perspective that these are the first words he wrote down after Jesus forgave him. Of course, he wrote his letters years after the fact. Furthermore, by studying the gospels and the book of Acts we know a lot of different things Peter said long before he wrote first or second Peter. But these are the first words he wrote by hand, guided by the Holy Spirit.
What could this failed fisherman turned Pentecost preacher have to say? Here it is:Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. (1 Peter 1:1-2, ESV)
First, notice how he describes himself: he’s an apostle of Jesus Christ. He’s not denying his identity anymore. You can like it or lump it. You can nail him to a cross (which is probably how he died). But you won’t take away his identity.
Second, notice how he describes God’s grace. He speaks of it in terms, not of addition, but of multiplication. He is praying for the believers to whom he is writing to have God’s grace and peace multiplied in their lives.
I don’t know about you, I need more than a second helping of grace. I need it in droves. I don’t need an addition of grace. I need multiplication. And that’s what we get every morning, as followers of Jesus, a fresh serving of multiplied grace and peace.
So, may grace and peace be, not just be added, but multiplied, in your life today. Amen.