Suffering is mentioned frequently in this letter of Peter – again, very few people appreciate hearing about suffering – but we cannot avoid it. We come to the end of Chapter 1, where Peter has been writing about being holy.
Paul would address the people to whom he is writing as SAINTS – called to be different – so similar to Peter.
Here is our calling – to become and be the People of God in the world.
Verse 17 will help us - if we get the right kind of fear - and right kind of love - we will live the right kind of life. And – on he goes to speak of the precious blood of Jesus Christ – with which we are redeemed – bought back from sin, and sinfulness.
I Peter Chapter 1 verse 15,16. Our holy God has called us - changed us - transformed us - forgiven us - filled us - and these are some of the reasons why this same holy loving God calls us to be holy. And because He is a gracious Father Who judges our work and witness impartially - we are to live our lives here as strangers - aliens - misfits - in reverent fear.
When we have the right kind of fear and the right kind of love then we will have no trouble being holy - that will follow.
Fear is a good thing - fear of putting your hand in an open fire - fear of rushing across a busy road without looking - fear of hurting someone you love.
Peter did not want these disciples of Jesus to disobey God - or disappoint God - and this is why he writes as he does.
Verse 18 – Silver and gold are so durable – but the precious blood of Christ is more so. This leads on to us living a life of gratitude and not grumbling.
Verse 19 - Peter goes on to explain to us what we are worth - not much in terms of silver or gold. But Jesus Christ shed His Precious Blood for me! Is Peter not referring to the preciousness of the Man – and not just the blood? Peter writes so highly of Jesus – the One whom Peter had tried to divert from going to the Cross.
Jesus redeemed me - bought me - ransomed me - set me free from futility and emptiness - from getting nowhere.
When some young folks were asked to write down what difference Jesus has meant to you - many answered - Jesus has given me purpose - Jesus has given me a reason for living - a goal - made my life meaningful - given me a purpose for living.
There are two reasons for being thankful - being ransomed from futile empty ways - and then being given purpose and meaning.
This results in our having a confidence - it is one of the marks of a disciple of Jesus Christ.
There are many people who are uncertain and unsure - but we have confidence in God - and confidence that Jesus Christ is on the Throne of this world.
Verse 22. Peter goes on to write - because of what has happened to you - love one another deeply. And it is a love that bridges all the social and cultural gaps.
And why should we love like this? Because we have been born again.
We have been born again and we receive a new life that will never die - and it happens through the Word - the Word preached and taught - the Word read.
God makes it clear that it is not enough just to turn over a new leaf - we need a new life.
Jesus is not interested in patching up the old life. He prefers to give us a new life. Paul writes about us being new creations.
Peter knew this only too well - he got a brand new life from the risen and living Jesus.
Have you ever tried to imagine these saints at prayer? We have various prayers throughout the New Testament and prayer is such a vital aspect of our Christian lives and particularly in our growing to be holy – to be like God – to be holy as he is holy. It was Martin Luther who said that “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing”.
When we were ‘born again’ and came to believe in Jesus Christ and then learned that it was Jesus Christ Who took the initiative and called and chose us, we have that desire and motivation to serve loyally and lovingly and faithfully.
“Loving God – Holy Father – give each of us a goal – an aim – a purpose for living. We want to make our lives count. You have called us. As we serve, guide and direct our paths. We pray in Jesus Name.” Amen
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