Myths Do Not Move Men to Action
In 2 Peter 1:16, ESV, the Apostle Peter writes, “For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Peter tells us that he and the other 11 disciples did not conjure up the gospel and the contents of the New Testament accounts. The Apostles were not following cleverly devised myths!
Ironically, because the disciples were not duped into believing and appearing gullible testifies to the truth that the gospel accounts are true. The original disciples were actually quite dimwitted and doubtful concerning the claims of Jesus (ESV):
- Matthew 16:11: “How is it that you fail to understand that I did not speak about bread?”
- Mark 4:41: “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
- Luke 22:62: “And [Peter] went out and wept bitterly [following his denial].”
- John 20: Thomas doubts the resurrection as do other disciples before the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:16-20).
Simply put, untrue stories do not move men to action, to transformed lives. Truth transforms lives, lies do not. If the disciples purposely devised and invented (or followed inventions) concerning Jesus, they have reason to be dormant.
Risen Christ and Real Courage
Many of us are aware that the Apostles did not die quietly of old age with no suffering. Instead, they were martyred, slain, chased, beaten, hated, and died for the cause of Christ. What happened to the Apostles to change them to action?
The promise of the Spirit empowered the Apostles to action (Acts 1:8). By the Spirit, these men had chests of bronze, eyes filled with fire. Christ courage lies not looking by within but by anchoring our faith in harbor of Christ’s power.
Notice Luke’s account of the transformed, courage Apostles in Acts 4:13, ESV, “Now when [the council] saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.”
Their boldness was supernatural; Spirit-wrought, faith-fueled. Eternity was real because Christ is real.
Only a risen and reigning Christ can drive men to courageous godliness.
Is Christ Real to You?
Are you following a cleverly devised myth? Has your life been transformed? Do you believe he is the omnipotent, risen Lord? And shall return in power?
If we truly believed that Jesus is sitting enthroned above the heavens and sovereign over all, our lives would look much more radically obedient and bold. We have a small faith (Matthew 8:26).
Peter and the disciples lived like mad-men for Christ! Why? The fear of the Lord chases away all other fears. The fuel for evangelism lies within the truth of the gospel.
Have we “been with Jesus” like the Apostles? Fear asks, “Is it safe?”, but courage asks, “Is it right?”
We cannot live as if Christianity is a tale, a clever myth. Martin Luther said, “Of whom shall I be afraid? One with God is a majority.”
Faith in the reigning and return of our King will turn our soft Christianity into granite. Like wielding Goliath’s mighty sword, faith clinging to the truth of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ will slay every fear that stands against us.