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The Rev. Charles Camlin: “Your Best Life Now” (1 Peter 2:19-25)

April 29, 2010

From the Rev. Charles Camlin of Holy Trinity REC in Virginia comes an excellent sermon, Your Best Life Now.  This sermon was preached for the Second Sunday after Easter, and is based on 1 Peter 2:19-25.  Being the Biblical preacher that he is, Fr. Camlin asks: is the popular notion – promulgated by such as Joel Osteen – that God wants us to have everything we want, here and now, really the Christian gospel?  (I might add: does God really want us to “name it and claim it” when it comes to wealth and riches?)  As his rebuttal to this claim, Fr. Camlin talks about these two main points: 1) Christ’s suffering for our salvation; and 2) Christ’s suffering as our life pattern.   Here is part of what he writes about the second of these points:

Look again at what St. Peter tells us in verse 21, “For to this you were called.”  What is the “this?”  It is suffering.  The Apostle is speaking specifically to servants in this context but the truth is applicable to all Christians.  He writes in verses 19-21:  “For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.  For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.  For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”  Now we must be clear that he is talking about a specific type of suffering.  He says that if you suffer for your own faults it is not worth anything; but if you suffer for doing what is right, this is commendable before God. Do you catch what he is saying?  He is saying that the suffering of Christ has become a life pattern.  Jesus Christ went about doing good and yet He suffered.  He was perfectly obedient to the Law of God and yet they killed Him.  St. Paul tells us to “lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Yes, Christ endured suffering—but in the end, He was vindicated because He was raised from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God.  We are called to follow Him in this life—patiently enduring suffering, entrusting ourselves to our heavenly Father—and we are promised that in the end, we will be vindicated.  This is what St. Peter says is our “best life now!”

This is a much needed corrective to a major error that has swept through parts of the Church in our time – please read it all.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2010 10:07 pm

    An edifying and needed word to balance and correct the craziness that has come into so much of the church today. Have you read Michael Horton’s book “Christless Christianity’? He addresses the same weak gruel that passes for the gospel these days. Thanks for the post.

  2. April 29, 2010 11:15 pm


    Thanks for pointing me to “Christless Christianity” by Michael Horton. I have not yet read it but found Chapter 1 online tonight. In a way it reminds me of The Agony of Deceit which Horton edited, but where Agony was an indictment of the Word-Faith heresy, this new book, a decade or so later, hits pretty much all of American Christianity. I have to say we deserve it, as much as I wish it were not so. I will link to that chapter tonight!

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