The more I learn about Peter, the more I like him. We all know of how he denied Christ on the night Jesus was arrested. We also know of how Jesus forgave Peter. Peter was the sort of man that I would like to be, that is when he was wrong, he was quick to admit it and to start doing the right thing. In the Book of Galatians, again we see Peter doing the wrong thing. He had shifted from preaching Salvation by grace to Salvation by works, namely, the works of the Jewish faith in the Old Testament. Paul called him on it. In fact, Paul confronted Peter in front of "them all". Again, Peter saw the errors of his ways and repented. Lord, teach me to be more like that when I am wrong.
This debate of salvation by works and salvation by faith is one of the biggest dividers among Christians today. Because of what I have read from God's Word, I am a firm believer that we are saved by our faith in Jesus, and not by any good works we can perform. We do good works because we are saved and not in order to be saved. Paul states in Galatians 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified." In other words, we can not be saved by going to church, being baptized, giving to the poor, keeping the 10 commandments, or any other good work. Sure, we should strive very hard to do these things, but these things don't "earn" us everlasting life. In fact, Eternal life can not be "earned" at all. It is simply a gift from God. And the only way we can accept that gift is by accepting Christ as our Personal Savior. Have you accepted God's free gift? I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, "Jesus Christ: Our get out of HELL free card."
Father, thank-you for drawing me to accepting Christ. I pray for those who have not accepted Your free gift. Please draw them too, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.