SECURE IN GOD’S CALL
Lord, open my eyes to the deeper truths of this epistle.
Read 1 PETER 1:1–12
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“All my longings lie open before You, Lord: my sighing is not hidden from You” (Psa. 38:9).
An exile made to feel like an alien needs, ﬁrst of all, a sense of security. Peter begins (1,2) with a reminder that our greatest security comes from knowing we are chosen by God— our Creator who has his eye on us wherever we may be. This is true comfort, an affirmation more dependable than any we give ourselves or receive from a supportive friend. Even when, like Daniel and his friends in Babylon, we are challenged under pain of death to obey God far from home, we can rely on the Comforter’s strength in our weakness (2).
However, comfort and even encouragement are the ﬁrst steps in Peter’s support for exiles facing disenfranchisement and suffering. Instruction in the deeper things of God is the next step. His letter is intended to remind its readers of the fundamental truths of the ways of Jesus (1 Pet. 5:12). This is not the time to soften these teachings to make them more acceptable in Peter’s society. Neither is it the time for us in our society. Truth is a concept under attack today through slogans about “fake news” or “post-truth” or “everyone has their own truth,” so we too need to have the fundamentals brought to our attention again. “Peter’s pastoral letter encourages us by instructing us. Our deepest needs drive us to our deepest beliefs” (Edmund Clowney, The Message of 1 Peter, 15).
We may ﬁnd as we read 1 Peter that it treats doctrine with which we are very familiar. Good! We need to re-absorb the wonder of what God is doing in his world, remaking both it and us in Jesus. Foremost among those truths is the reality of Jesus’ resurrection (3). Without it there would be no divine Christ, no salvation (9), no hope or joy, but only a martyr, who, like others by their death, may have changed history but did nothing to redeem its players.
After denying his Master, Peter experienced the healing of the resurrected Jesus recommissioning him. Give thanks for the conﬁdence that God’s choosing gives you.
Lord, we are reminded that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth following a heavenly leader who grooms us daily.