Peter – Revealing Our Stewardship of Grace

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Apostle Peter, who had walked on water with his Lord and Savior, wrote I and II Peter. Peter was a great man of God, contrary to what some believe and write about. It is true that he emphatically denied that he knew who Jesus was (without being in Peter’s shoes ourselves and facing what he had to face, it would be impossible to imply that anyone could have done any better).

It is true that he continually made mistakes. Peter rebuked Jesus once (at least Peter was man enough to speak his mind), and another time he swore that he would stand with Jesus no matter what the situation or consequence, and then he told Jesus that he was quitting the ministry and going back to his fishing profession.  Peter was an eyewitness of the actual sufferings of Jesus Christ. As we know from the Gospels and the Book of Acts, Peter continued getting back up, leaving us today with his example of a steward of the grace of God.

Peter was one of the greatest believers in the first century. The Word of God is so wonderful to show us the heart and life of Peter who typifies what could be any believer today who continues endeavoring to walk with God. Because we are not perfect, thankfully God only asks us to try and walk in His love, while His grace and love covers for our mistakes.

We will all blow it from time to time, but knowing that we have God’s divine grace in our lives, we may continue rising above those circumstances that caused us to screw up in the first place.

The Epistles of Peter express many wonderful truths; one that we will highlight today is our stewardship of grace given to each believer with the love of God, so that we may continue to rise up and walk with God while helping others along our way.

Peter experienced the grace of God upon his life, and so it is fitting that Peter wrote about God’s grace and our stewardship that came with Jesus Christ because Peter thoroughly understood and was thankful for the grace he enjoyed.

I Peter 4:8-10:
-8: And above all things have fervent charity {intensely given love} among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
-9: Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
-10: As every man {every believer} hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

One of the wonderful things that set the Christian apart is having spiritual love which God has given to us. Spiritual love covers when we sin, for our shortcomings, and when we are weak in our believing, and these combined are the multitude of sins that God’s love covers.

No one is perfect, yet God’s love is; thus the Word of God encourages us to extend love with spiritual intensity to each other, and as Jesus taught, this love proves first to ourselves that we are his disciples, then shows others that we are his disciples (John 13:34-35).

This is why Peter stated “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned {without discrimination} love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22). Love not only covers a multitude of sins, but also purifies the soul of the lover, causing him to be pure before his Maker!

We have received the gift of God’s love, which was manifested in the life of Christ, and has been given to us in and by grace. God’s love encourages us to minister the same love to each other. This is our stewardship of grace.

“Manifold” means that the grace of God is multifaceted, like the life of Jesus himself, or like the morning sky changing into hundreds of pastel colors ever so slightly with every moment and with every blink of our eyes. God’s divine grace is always forgiving, and is always given to us with love, and this we can minister one to another, proving God’s grace and love to be genuinely true and gentle as God continues holding us in His loving arms.

I Peter 4:11 – If any man speak {about the manifold grace of God}, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth {we can speak authoritatively because God has given to us His grace}: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion {strength} for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus Christ is who made grace available, “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Jesus, being the true subject of Scripture, continues revealing to us how to enjoy and walk within our divine gift from the Father.

When we speak the “oracles of God” i.e., the declaration of God’s grace, then we reciprocate back to our God – glory, and we discover the praise and strength of him who brought to us God’s grace – Jesus Christ.

God has given every believer a great ministry, Our Stewardship of Grace to enjoy and share with one another. What a marvelous standing we have in God’s family, and with him who gave his all for us, Christ the Lord.

A More Excellent Way (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

But covet earnestly the best gifts is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) to get the best spiritual gifts, yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was writing to an entire church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, a more excellent way. This way is the way of love, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity. The love of God (charity) is the more excellent way because it will bring the most needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6: {Charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Iniquity means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing ― abundantly. I Corinthians 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, how often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never!

How do Christians avoid being failures? Charity never faileth. When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, charity never faileth.

Our loving, heavenly Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.