“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2)
“But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, [Elisha] will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the [N]ame of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper…so he went away in a rage.” (2 Kings 5)
I have learned over our years of Bible study that one can read the inexhaustible Living Word of God and pass over a great truth over and over and over again only to read it again and find a life altering truth. It is like hearing something from a close, longtime friend and realizing, “You’ve never told me that before!” This is one reason we say the Scriptures are alive and and trust the Holy Spirit to guide us through the truths that can never be exhausted.
As an under-shepherd to Christ’s “little flock” we have the privilege to hear the difficulties of other Christ-ians and the honour to counsel them in accordance to the healing Balm of Scripture. Those who take the Word seriously will seek to put into effect the teachings of God and His chosen instruments that were moved by the Holy Spirit to pen the Inspired and inspirational, and inspiring truth(s) of God. It is unfortunate, however, that some of those that come “seeking” counsel never apply the healing balm or drink from the cordial of God’s grace, mercy and peace.. This demonstrates, on their part, a lack of seriousness and or faith. As well as the lack of desire to truly seek and find help, peace and to experience the graciousness of God.
In the title we used the word borderline personality. In full disclosure we are not clinically trained in any kind of psychology but we have been trained extensively on human behaviour. This training has come from the Word of God, His indwelling Spirit, time spent observing human behaviour, and much experience working with our subjects of study and observation.
The person that manifest this disorder tends to be incredibly self centered, self concerned, and could not really care about anyone else. This person cannot bare to listen to, or care about the successes or difficulties of others with out hijacking the discussion and making it about them. They will not suffer anyone to pull away from them and they are ever on the watch for that pull back. This person thinks that they should be the center of everyone’s total focus and everyone’s world. One way they try to keep that place of attention is by making their life a soap opera with all the drama without the commercial time outs.
The border liner will seek every opportunity to broadcast their, mostly, self created problems and then ask your advise before saying, “A ha, anyway…” One seeking to counsel this person will grow frustrated. One must point out this person’s lack of serious desire to help themselves. One must then cease to “tune in” to their drama. This person will try to con you by telling you that you’ve got him or her all wrong. Once you tell them that you are finished listening to their inflated and self caused problems they will most likely advertising for your “viewership.” One would be wise to keep an eye out for any backlash, however, because it could be severe. If one is a male and is counseling a female one must never…ever spend a second alone with her. One must never speak about another person known by the border liner because she will use anything to pull you back into her T.V. series life.
It is not only the borderline personality that will ignore sound Biblical counsel, but one who is of little faith as well. In the second passage quoted above one reads of Naaman, the leper. He was fearful of this life taking disease. Naaman was told by his young, captive house maid about the great prophet, Elisha and how God works through him. Naaman, with all his pomp and glory, travels to the home of Elisha to seek his aid. Elisha sends his servant out to instruct the proud Naaman to dip himself in the dirty water of Jordan (7) seven times and he would be healed. Naaman was greatly angered. He felt humiliated by Elisha’s lack of awe concerning his great pomp and pride. Naaman saw Elisha’s servant as an insult, “Does this prophet not think me worthy of his attention?” must have been his thought. Naaman was furious because he did not get the treatment he though himself worthy. He stomped and snorted and despised the prescription of God’s prophet. His servants then suggested that Naaman should at least try Elisha’s directions. Naaman swallowed his pride, dipped himself (7) seven times in Jordan and was healed.
We would draw your attention, reader, to the first text quoted above from 2 Peter 1:2. It was the Apostles desire, as it is the desire of all godly ministers, that the people of God are blessed by God’s grace and peace. The Apostle not only desires grace and peace in the life of the believer but that the grace and peace of God be multiplied in the believer’s life. This is the desire of God, Himself.
Peter places a condition on this experiential grace and peace. Peter adds, “…through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.”
This condition placed upon the experiencing of God’s grace and peace are consistent with other of God’s offers. For example: One can be saved and find eternal life in Christ through repentance and the life-changing belief in His finished work and the “continuing” in that belief which is manifest through one’s love and happy obedience to Christ’s Authority. Note Peter’s words again, “through…Jesus our Lord.” and not merely through Jesus our Saviour. To know the grace and peace of God is to obey Christ [your] Lord. To understand Christ’s Gospel is to understand it as a submission to His Mastery over one’s life. Submission to His will is implied by the commandment to repent and believe.
“It is written” in other Scripture that one must love Christ and obey Him. Scripture teaches plainly that they that love not Christ are damned. Scripture also teaches that Christ is the [A]uthor of eternal life to all that obey Him.
Christ asked, “Why call ye [M]e ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not the things I say?” and “Ye call [M]e, Lord and [M]aster and ye say well; for so I am.” Christ further weeded out faux disciples by telling them, “If ye continue in [M]y [W]ord, then are ye my disciples indeed…” The implication is simple, if ye continue not in His word, ye are not His disciples. Christ also warned that in the final day many shall say unto Him, ‘Lord, Lord’ but He will reveal that he “never knew” them and He shall order the many to “Depart from [M]e, ye workers of iniquity.” [Compare Christ’s Words to the many with Psalm 5:3.] Christ asks Peter, “Do you love [M]e” and Peter replied, “Yea, Lord [Y]ou know that I love [T]hee.” Christ responded, “Feed [M]y sheep.” Christ’s point is this …if you love Him you will serve Him in loving worship and happy obedience.
The doctrine in the above paragraph is not explained to sinners by many preachers today. Many present “Jesus” merely as a Saviour from Hell and not that the Lord Jesus came to save His people “from their sin.” The Lord came to seek and to save sinners from the prison of sin, the power of sin, the pleasure of sin, and the penalty of sin. Some “Bright morning”He shall save us from the very presence of sin.
Paul proclaims the good news, that if the sinner would call upon the [N]ame of the Lord he/she will be saved. He further instructs, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised [H]im from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” This confession can only come from a Spirit- indwelt and purified heart; for the mouth speaks from the heart.
Am I saying that one who calls upon the [N]ame of the Lord and confesses the Lord Jesus must actually say the word Lord in one’s prayer? First of all, the “sinner’s prayer” demonstrates the internal, purifying work of God’s Holy Spirit. The prayer is not the cause of one’s regeneration but the fruit thereof. If the prayer was the cause of one’s salvation one could then boast of one’s choice to pray, meaning their salvation is ultimately not of God’s unmerited favour alone but of one’s own wisdom and prayer.
I am not suggesting that the sinner must utter the word Lord in his or her confession. I am, however, stating that when one’s regeneration and conversion to Christ is of God the submission to the Lord’s authority and the subjection of one’s will to Christ’s will is a fruit of regeneration, conversion, repentance and subsequent and consequential belief.
If the Gospel preacher proclaims Christ’s right to reign in one’s life from the beginning to end this foundational doctrine will be understood by all his hearers, whether they be saved or lost. This doctrine if further demonstrated in the men that came to Christ of their own volition. Christ told one to sell all his possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. Lord Jesus told another to let the dead bury their dead and to follow Him then and there. You see, He was calling upon their loyalty, love, submission and subjection to Him and to Him Alone. The men were not willing to follow Christ on His terms and they departed.
On the other hand, if a minister presents Christ to the masses as the Saviour from hell and life’s hardships many will respond affirmatively. Who wouldn’t respond to this offer? If one has any natural respect for God’s Word or have “tried everything else” why not “try ‘Jesus’?” However, this offer is only a half truth. To be clear, Christ is the Saviour…THe One and Only Saviour, “whereby we must be saved” and He will be a very present [H]elp in one’s hardships. However, He will not be the Saviour of or to or for those who knowingly intend to continue living in sin. Christ will not be Saviour to those who willing and knowingly refuse Christ’s call for a life subject to His wise and perfect counsels, rebukes, and admonitions…He simply will not.
Scripture does not present Christ, as Saviour, Alone. One does not decide to “make Him Lord of their life” at some point in the future. Scripture presents Him as the Sovereign Master of one’s life. Scripture presents Him as the Lord, Who is Saviour to the repentant and believing sinner.
One can often tell where a preacher stands on this doctrine by the manner in which he refers to God’s Son. Those who refer to Him as, “The Lord Jesus” are usually those who know Him and present Him as Lord of all and over all.
Years ago, a church, We were a member of, installed a preacher as the new pastor. This man would always refer to God’s Son as, “the Lord Jesus.” It was a noticeable difference from other preachers I knew. As I grew in the faith of Christ I learned the great importance of not only knowing Christ as Lord but addressing Him and speaking of Him with His title of Lord. To put doctrine into perspective – one does not address the president or royalty by first name as that would be disrespectful and a breach in protocal. One addresses the president as, “Mr. President, Sir” and royalty with, “Your Majesty.” Yet the vast mass of Christ-ians today address and speak of God’s Son as just, “Jesus.” If one studies the New Testament closely, one will notice that it was the enemies of Christ (Demons and religious/political leaders) that addressed Him as just, “Jesus.” His loving servants, however, addressed Him as Lord and Master.
In our quoted passage above, Peter teaches that grace and peace will be multiplied in one’s life by the “knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” So important is it for the believer to “Know [H]im Whom they have believed.” To know God is the prescription to the multiplication of grace and peace in one’s life abundant. To know God merely objectively or to be cognitive of God is not what Peter is speaking to. Peter wants the believer to know God as an Old Testament husband “knew” his wife. The believer is to know God intimately, personally, lovingly.
The only way one can know God and live in this multiplying grace and peace is to know the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus is the “express [I]mage of [God’s] [P]erson.” Christ said, “I and [M]y Father are [O]ne.” Christ refers to Himself as the I am of Exodus (3) three, as Alpha and Omega, and as the First and the Last. Christ revealed Himself to be the God that sat with Abraham and the God that Isaiah beheld as, ” [H]is train did fill the temple.”
Isaiah learned that day that once one experiences Christ, the God-Man all other human kings are mere men appointed by God, Who is able to turns their hearts whither soever He pleases. When the Christ-ian understands and knows, experiencially, the Lord Jesus all those other things; all the circumstances, all the situations, all the fears, and all the doubts that steal the believer’s peace and blinds them to God’s grace will become a slain and beheaded Goliath; their mountain will be moved, their red sea shall part, they shall walk upon the water, they will lift up Christ before others, and their weakness shall glorify God’s Strength and great Glory.
Therefore, My beloved reader, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through [your] knowledge of God and Jesus [your] Lord.”