Titles of Jesus in I and II Peter
(Christ, Lord, Savior, Son, and God)
Each of the titles applied to Jesus in I and II Peter has a rich meaning and conveys an important understanding of His status and His character.
No less than 15 times in I and II Peter is Jesus called Christ or the combination of Jesus Christ is found no fewer than in 609 verses of the New Testament.
When Jesus was on earth he seemed to shrink away from being called Christ or the Messiah which have the same meaning. This was partially because of the misunderstanding as to the role of the Messiah. They mistakenly believed the kingdom that the Messiah was to set up would be an earthly kingdom and that he would free them from oppressive Roman rule.
Instead his purpose was to free sinners from the oppression of sin and death, and to set up his heavenly kingdom in the hearts of all mankind that would accept him as their personal Saviour, their Messiah, the Christ.
Used less frequently is the word Lord. Within the wider New Testament the word lord can have a purely secular meaning. It is how you would address a social superior such as king or landowner. It can also be used as a term of respect for another that might be of the same or higher social class.
But it is also a term used to describe Lord God or “the Lord our God.” But Peter uses it in different ways within his two letters as he uses it to describe secular relationship that requires one to acknowledge our respect for others. But he also builds off this concept, by calling God the Father Lord. As we would treat our fellow mankind with respect, we must also treat our heavenly Father with similar if not greater respect.
Peter also uses the word Saviour which in Hebrew denotes one who rescues, usually people from captivity. God himself uses this term for himself in Psalm 106:21 and Isaiah 43:3. Within the context of the New Testament, Jesus is the one who will save the world from sin. Peter goes to great lengths to inform his readers that it is Christ, Jesus, the very one that he followed that is the Saviour of this world, who came, suffered, died, and was resurrected that we can experience the mercy of God and the hope of life eternal.
Peter also uses the term God and in similar fashion to other New Testament writers, uses the term Father, and Son to refer to God the Father and God the Son. Jesus is described as the loved Son and some of the power he possess comes from the special relationship that he has with God the Father.
As the early Christians struggled to understand this concept of God, they began to realize that they were three distinct and unique persons. The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit and indeed, this is the way they are portrayed throughout the entire New Testament. Yet Jesus is unique in that He is fully Devine and yet Fully human. Something we are unable to fully comprehend. For us to be saved from our sins, he must be one like us, to suffer and be tempted as we are so he can fully understand what we go through, so that before the unfallen universe, He can by His righteousness stand in our place as our advocate. Where they lack, I make up for them. Where they are weak, I am strong.
In truth, the plan of salvation would not be complete without all three of persons of the God head working in unity for the salvation of mankind. God the Father, willing to give of his only son. God the Son, willing to give of himself. God the Holy Spirit pointing us to Christ and giving us an understanding of scripture. Christ pointing to the Father as the only true authority and God the Father giving all authority in heaven and earth to Jesus Christ, who is one like us, but is one like the Father having lived as we have yet known no sin.
May we lay self aside, asking that the character of God as shown to us by His Son, be reproduced in our lives.