1 Peter Chapter 1
Peter is claiming to be an apostle of Jesus Christ of the strangers scattered throughout these different places. These refer to scattered Jews that were converted to Jesus Christ.
Elect means chosen of God. We become part of the elect whether we be Jews or Gentiles through sanctification of the Spirit , obedience of the gospel and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
Those who receive and obey the gospel become God's elect. God knew of this plan from the beginning. I believe He starting planning for our salvation the moment Adam and Eve fell away at the foundation of the world. Some believe God planned it before that time. I do believe God intended for eternal fellowship with His creation and not eternal separation but we have our own free will to chose God or to reject God.
Sanctification here not only means setting apart and being separate from the world for the cause of Christ but also means a cleansing from sin through the blood of Jesus. When one is sanctified by the spirit of God, one is cleansed and set apart from the filth of the world. The world becomes less attractive to one who is sanctified by the God's spirit. We are new creatures in Christ and are set apart to be a vessel of the Holy Spirit. This isn't a holier than thou setting apart but produces a meek and quiet spirit that is in obedience to the Holy Spirit. Yet even with a meek and quiet spirit there is a boldness to stand faithful to the word and contend for the faith that was originally delivered to the saints as spoken of in the book of Jude.
Blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. This shows that there are definitely two not one. Although they are one in unity, in spirit and in truth. Jesus is divine, Jesus is God but not God the Father, He is the Son. Our hope of eternal life comes by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Peter points out here that it is by the mercy of God that we are saved.
Look what is ahead, yet our eyes are always concerned about these temporary things of this life only. The treasure of the faithful is reserved in heaven for all believers.
We are kept by the power of God. This power we received through faith. The final salvation and reward will be revealed in the last time. Time as we know it will pass. Then we pass into eternity which never ends.
Why do we choose to neglect so great a future because the flesh prefers a little pleasure here on earth. I remember someone telling me once that they wanted to be saved and receive Jesus Christ but they wanted to have fun first. My son asked a lady that worked the same place as he did if she wanted Jesus to come back? The lady said, "No, I want time to party first." The lady seemed to know of the gospel and seemed to have heard that the Lord would return but she was more concerned with having fun in this life first and her hope was that Jesus would tarry until she was ready for Him to come. It doesn't work that way. God has His own time clock. At a time we think not is when He will probably come.
I realize that could be the fault of people presenting the gospel in a way that makes it seem boring and no fun but I will not put the blame there entirely. I remember verses that says to me, "What profit is it if we gain the whole world and lose our souls." Sure we can go "party" have what we think is fun, neglect our salvation and leave God out of our lives but in the end, what profit is it? A fleeting "good time" here and eternity in a burning hell with no way of escape. Eternity is a long, long time. We must not take the salvation the Lord offers lightly. A big price was paid by the Son of God Himself for us to be saved and have eternal life.
I came from a church that had a lot of holiness teachings. As a rule in former years the women did not wear makeup. Now makeup probably has nothing to do with whether a person is saved or lost but they thought it did at the time. So many may have rejected the gospel because they preferred to do things that the church taught was wrong. Many criticize the church for adding to the gospel and making the way of salvation seem harder than Jesus intended. That may have been so but I would like to point out a thought here. If some of those things were wrong, would it be worth it to cleave to those things and lose one's soul? If we can't give up a few pleasures for the gospel's sake, how would we stand against persecution, hardships, trials, and real trouble? If the Lord means so little to us that we would prefer the things of this world, if our lives were threatened because we believe in the gospel, would we be able to stand? Jesus said He will be ashamed before the Father in heaven of those that are ashamed of Him now.
We must be careful not to add to or take away from the word of God. That is so true, but if there was something God wanted us to give up in order to serve Him more fully, would it not be worth it? While we should not make the way of salvation a harder way than Jesus Himself makes it, neither should we ever dumb down the gospel or water down the word to make is seem easier than if really is either.
The truth is though, until you receive Christ, you really have no power to give up the things of the world. When the Holy Spirit comes into your life, your desires and wants begin to change. The old desires may flare up in times of temptation but the Spirit is there to bring you out and give you a new heart, new desires, new goals and different priorities. Those who have forsaken the old ways and received Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit will not ever regret it. Regret comes when we waste our lives outside of the fellowship of Jesus Christ. I've never seen a faithful believer who comes to the end of his or her final earthly journey ever say that they regretted receiving the Lord as savior. Not one.
In a Christian's life there is usually times of temptations and heaviness. Bad things do happen to good people. There is a difference though for believers. The rain may fall on them just like the unbeliever but for the believers we have the comfort, the joy and peace that passes understanding through all the trials. Knowing the promises of God to see us through bad times and good, that He will NEVER leave or forsake us. We may leave Him and His fellowship but He will never leave those who trust in Him.
I remember one time facing something that was horrible to me. I did not want the thing to happen, I could not bear the thought. This was not a sickness or something of that kind. Just an event in our lives that I did not like concerning other people. God did not keep the event from happening but He did give me such a peace and infilling of the Holy Spirit to make what I dreaded to happen such that I could overcome and bear it. I will never forget that moment when the Holy Spirit filled my whole being with a comforting presence. The event came and went and guess what, we all survived and it passed quickly.
Things happen to try our faith. To see if we really love God like we say we do. Its not as if God Himself brings trouble. I believe Satan does that but God gives us power to overcome. Satan went to Jesus once and offered Him authority over the earth without having to go by way of the cross. Jesus refused. Had Jesus listened to Satan there is no way for any of us to be saved. Praise God that Jesus saw a bigger picture in His mind. He saw many believers walking into the kingdom of God and inheriting eternal life. Without His death on the cross for our sins, none of us could have been saved. Unless someone could possibly live their whole lives completely without sin and fulfill the law of Moses like Jesus did, they could not be saved. Jesus had to do it all for us and make His death (which He didn't deserve), count for all who believe.
Jesus will appear again. His coming is when we will be rewarded for our faithfulness to Him. To those who look for Him will He appear.
This is the proof of the existence of God and Jesus Christ His Son. We actually love someone whom we have not seen. We can actually rejoice in someone we have not seen with the natural eye. Many have suffered death, persecution and loss because of their faith in Christ yet they go on and do not deny Him. This is one reason to believe the resurrection even if I didn't already know the Lord. The apostles suffered jail, beatings, persecution and even death because of their teaching that Jesus rose from the dead. Can you see someone going through all that if they knew that Jesus had not risen from the dead.
I realize many people from all religions are willing to die for their faith but at least they believe what they are dying for. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, the apostles would have known that. Would they preach, teach and suffer torments by the hands of men for a lie? All they had to have done was to admit that it was all lies and a plot and bargained for immunity and they would have been freed. They did not. They were beaten and let out of jail just to go back and preach more about Jesus and His resurrection.
Here is the sum. This is the result of faithfulness. Receiving the end of your faith even the salvation of our souls. Amen
We don't always realize what a privilege we have had to have heard the gospel and received the gospel. The angels were curious when they witnesses the gospel, the prophets desired to see that day come. They knew of it but they didn't see it except by the eyes of faith in that which was to come. We have been privileged to have experienced salvation through faith. We have seen it and have experienced what the former prophets have desired to see. What a privilege we have. Do we really appreciate it?
1 Pet 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
We need to walk in these things, embrace them fully, be sober, be constantly in hope, be diligent, faithful and desire the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Pet 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
Forsaking the old ways and the old nature, never to return to it. Following after the Lord, walking in the Spirit and not after the flesh is the way to seek now. Former things are passed away.
It is possible to backslide. Backsliders walk in much danger and peril. Yes, the Lord usually draws them back to Him before they leave this old world but they may lose their children. They may waste precious time here when they could have influenced others to come to Christ. We should live so that our lives can be a testimony to others. If we save one soul from eternal death, we will rejoice when we see them in the coming kingdom, knowing that it was because we were obedient to the calling of the Lord. I remember hearing someone say that a man witnessed to one person and brought that person to the Lord. That person that he brought to the Lord was called to preach and went on to win thousands, maybe even millions to the Lord.
What if that one person who listened to the Holy Spirit and won the man to the Lord had of been backslidden and away from God at the time of his meeting with this man. Thousands may have not heard the gospel.
Many have tried to change the meaning of these scriptures here but I will not attempt that. I believe in holy living and will let the scripture speak for itself. He said to be holy because He is holy. In all manner of conversation. Conversation here speaks of much more than just speaking although it should result in our speech being that which edifies. Conversation means our whole lifestyle. Our whole lifestyle should be holy as God is holy.
Here again is the key to keeping the whole bible and the word of God. Love one another with a pure heart. Love in purity, in truth, in actions, and in conversation. I repeat conversation does not just mean speech. Our whole life should reflect truth, love, soundness of mind, purity and godliness. If we walked in love we would not defraud a person of his or her wife or husband, we would not cheat them in business and we would not covet what they had to the point of stealing or defrauding them of their possessions.
Love causes us to rejoice when they rejoice and cry when they cry. Love causes us to pick them up when they are down, help when they are in need, correct when they are in error (in the spirit of meekness) and comfort when they are sad.
To be truly born again makes us incorruptible by the word of God. It will bring forth the kind of fruits that will reflect and influence others to also walk in godliness. We can choose to use our influence on the next generation as a good influence or bad. Yes, we are saved by the grace and mercy of God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ but how we live after we are saved may influence whether someone else accepts the save gospel and receives eternal life that we claimed to have received.
I think this is why Satan tries so hard to lure Christians back into sin. He desires that they lose their influence. He doesn't want them to witness, if they go ahead and witness anyway, he tries to corrupt them in some way so that their witness is tainted with visible sin so that others will reject the message he is trying to preach. Many evangelists have fallen into sin and that makes their testimony to be rejected by the ones who at one time followed their ministry. However I must point out that the message of the gospel and salvation by Jesus Christ was still preached by some of them and that message remains the truth no matter who preached it. Jesus is still the same. God is still the same. The bible is still the same. They have not changed just because someone who preaches about it falls into sin.
Someone told me once that they did not go to church because of a pastor that they had confidence in had an affair. I pointed out that Jesus died for our sins, not that pastor. Jesus is the one we are to serve. Jesus is our savior and Lord. Jesus is the reason we go to church and worship with fellow believers. We can't always help how the other church members choose to obey the gospel and the word of God but we can choose how we ourselves choose to obey the gospel and the word of God. I go to church to worship God not to watch a bunch of perfect people entertain. If there is anyone there who is living a life of sin then that is surely the place where they ought to be where they might receive deliverance. I would never suggest that a person who has fallen into sin stop coming to church so that the church could be perfect. Our business should be to restore, to save, to heal and deliver.
The word endures forever. The world as we know it will pass away. The houses, the grass, flowers, shrubs, possessions, and all that we hold dear will pass away but the word abides forever. This should be our hope. If we have our treasure in heaven and we lose everything here, we have lost nothing. If our hope is in our possession, money in the bank and material things yet we have no interest in the things of God, if we lose those things, we will lose everything. If you are rich and have not Jesus as your savior, you are indeed very poor.
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