What do you need to feel safe? What good and bad things do you carry around on your back to help you feel like you’re in the right?
Early Christian Peter was prone to a ‘gospel amnesia’ caused by a deep rooted love of pleasing people, a deep fear of others thinking he wasn’t holy enough, and so he kept trying to reinstate old rules that God had given his people for a previous generation in his own life. And in so doing he kept excluding people who Jesus welcomed.
Paul had good news for Peter. In the words of Barbara Duguid, “There is grace to change you and there is grace to help you cope with failing to change.” Both are needed, though the second is a bit scary.
It’s not just Peter though, followers of Jesus for 2000 years have found themselves prone to forget how good Jesus is, and imagining themselves less than safe in him, they’ve reached for countless others things, good things, bad things, cultural things to define themselves.
On Sunday morning Stuart quoted Paul Tripp’s book Dangerous Calling: “My experience with hundreds of pastors is that many sadly function in a regular state of gospel amnesia. I love reminding pastors of the present benefits of the person and work of Jesus. I love helping them to see their security… in how much Jesus has already loved them.”
Paul spoke to his friend Peter, two rocks of the early church movement, to remind him that ‘the Son of God loved me and gave himself for me.’
It feels terrifying to let go of all the good things and bad things in which we find our security, but says Paul, you really can trust Jesus to carry you, just see his arms open as he died for you. Would you entrust yourself to him?