I started reading 1 Peter yesterday. I just did not have the energy to post. Sometimes if things are too crazy I just run out of steam. So this morning I retraced my steps and traveled a bit further down that path I had started on yesterday. The part that stuck out to me is the act of striving to be Holy and set apart.
Yesterday I started out in chapter 2 beginning with the 18th verse. The heading of that passage in my ESV translation is ‘Submission to Authority’. I began with the 18th verse
1 Peter 2:18-25
I read verse 18 and was reminded of my career. I started working mowing lawns. My first tax paying job was 1972 and I thought about all the people I had worked for and some of them I thought were great and some… some just were jerks. I know Peter uses the example of the servant, maybe because it was the most challenging role of his time. But what I saw was a need to submit to authority and in this passage, he gave us both the promise and the example.
18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Peter speaks simply of our response to mistreatment. Sure if you do something inappropriate you may be treated unfairly, but that happens. The part that stands out to me is the was the instruction not to retaliate, but follow Jesus example. I get a cold chill when I read verses 21-24 and verse 25 reminds me of how the Holy Spirit, through discipline and encouragement, helped me overcome my past.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Like always, when the Word touches me like that I have to go back to where it started so I went to chapter one and read 3-9.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
As I read that passage I am thankful for God’s plan and the hope that is in Jesus Christ. I am thankful that when I was lost God called me and revealed all that He has through His Holy Word. There is no greater love than the Love of God. He called us to be holy like He is Holy.
1 Peter 1:13-25 (ESV) Called to Be Holy
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you
These words that Peter shares from God are so powerful. This is serious business. We were bought at a price and that price was the blood of Christ Jesus. I love all of this passage, but verse 22-25 humbles me and I ache when I consider this gift that Jesus bought with His blood. I am so thankful. That brought be back to chapter 2. This chapter started with “So”. So God did all this for me now what is my part.
1 Peter 2:1-12 ‘A Living Stone and a Holy People’
Peter is clear about my part in this. He reminds me in no uncertain terms.
1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
4 As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, 5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it stands in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,
a cornerstone chosen and precious,
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
7 So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,
“The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling,
and a rock of offense.”
They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 1 Peter 2:1-8 (ESV)
But Peter reminds us that we that believe are different.
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:9-12 (ESV)
Why would I want to do anything but live an honorable life pleasing to the Lord. ?I stand on His Word. Not the heads of those that disagree with me. I leave the judgement to God and stand on His Wisdom and strive to follow the example of Christ Jesus.
And all that brings me back to Chapter 2 verse 13 where I started. As I reflect on these verses I realize that this world and its darkness are my current circumstances and as difficult as they may be they do not compare to the joy of my future. I am to live honorably and speak the truth of Jesus Christ who died, was buried and rose again. He overcame death for me; dying for my sins. I must honor Him and bring Him glory.
Father, help me today and every day put your glory ahead of my pride. Help me that I might live an honorable life. Help me hold fast to the example of Jesus and the council of your living and Holy Word.
In Jesus name I pray, AMEN!