Summary: It is easy to try to shift the blame to others for our problems. The first century Jews were guilty of this tendency. Those who do have a habit of blaming others for every little problem forget what Paul said in Romans 7:18 says, "I know that nothing good
1. It is easy to try to shift the blame to others for our problems. The first century Jews were guilty of this tendency. Those who do have a habit of blaming others for every little problem forget what Paul said in Romans 7:18 says,
"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out."
Paul does not try to find a scapegoat for his problems by blaming somebody else. In fact, he does not even attempt to escape moral responsibility for his own disobedience. Instead, Paul explains that our biggest obstacle to progress lies within our own sinful nature.
Our sinful nature seeks to have us live by our selfish, lustful, and greedy impulses that are contrary to our spiritual nature in Christ. That sinful nature enjoys blaming others for our own moral lapses.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you apply the solution that Paul did to his personal battle with his own sinful nature when he wrote, "The mind of sinful man is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so... You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit lives in you." (Rom. 8:6-9)
2. Many people are unconsciously prisoners to their prejudicial assumptions about others. Prejudicial people tend to think they have the answers without first having to know all of the facts.
Peter makes it clear in this passage that every ones’ sin contributed to the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross. Repentance is our daily responsibility which involves constantly changing our attitude, beliefs, thinking and actions. There is no such thing as maturity without internal change of our perceptions.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you overcome your prejudices by realizing that God is the only possessor of all the facts. Only God is completely objective in his analysis of situations. Finally, the Almighty is the only Sovereign king who has the right to judge people before the proper time.
3. Habits die hard. Those who are culturally conditioned to blame other people have a hard time replacing this tendency with positive behavior. Being baptized involves giving an outward sign to an inward reality of our new birth in Christ.
Peter wanted the Jews to repent and be baptized in to a new community of believers. Biblical repentance involves our entire heart, soul, strength, mind and lifestyle. Sadly, many Jews were only willing to partially repent and so missed out on eternal life offered to them through the forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
Do not miss out on all the blessings God wants to give you because you are too busy blaming others for problems.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to look to Christ for the solutions to your problems. Jesus said, "I am the WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6) Trust the Lord to help you to overcome your culturally conditioned habits to blame others and look to Jesus for answers when there seems to be no solutions to your present problems.
4. Some people are so one tracked in their thinking that they refuse to be open to new solutions to life’s many problems. The Jews were so one tracked in their political, social, and economic views that they failed to recognize Jesus Christ for who he was. When Caiphas and the priests got Pontius Pilate to condemn Christ to death on a cross, they were trying to shift their anger to an innocent man.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you overcome any of your own mis-beliefs, mis-conceptions or wrong ideas so as to not turn away your best opportunities.
5. Few people realize that everything that is worthwhile in life involves an upgrade in our thinking. Many people get a perverse sense of pleasure when they blame others for alleged faults. Peter tried to teach the first century Jews because they needed a spiritual upgrade.
All people need to allow the Spirit of God to give them new life, new perceptions and a new spiritual nature that will transform them into people who will praise God rather than criticize; people who will love rather than hate; people who will give rather than selfishly seek after their own interests.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you win other people to Christ by assuring them of the improvements, blessings and empowerment that will come to them with a spiritual transformation.
6. Many people blame others because they are unwilling to confess their own sins of commission, omission, wrong attitudes and inadequate perceptions. Failure to speak the truth in love may hinder you from growing in all aspects in Christ. Spiritual transformation begins with confession of our weaknesses. Without a contrite heart, pride will hinder us from experiencing all the truth and power of God.