1 Peter 1 (New Living Translation)
Greetings from Peter
1 This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
May God give you more and more grace and peace.
The Hope of Eternal Life
3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
John 10:28 (New International Version)
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.
from Edges of His Ways, by Amy Carmichael:
Every trial is a trust. The Oxford Dictionary gives the history of the word “trial” from 1526, onward. One early use was, “the action of testing or putting to the proof the fitness, truth, strength or other quality of anything.”
By 1554 it meant, “that which puts to the test; especially a painful test of one’s endurance, patience, or faith; hence affliction, trouble, misfortune.”
1608 gives a new use of the word. It will give all who think food for thought. “Something that serves as an example or proof of a manufacture or material, the skill of an operator, and especially in pottery manufacture, a piece of clay, or the like, by which the progress of the firing process may be judged, a trial-piece.”
“But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter” (Isaiah 64:8). Thou dost trust us to be Thy trial-piece.
So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
Psalm 13:5 (New American Standard Bible)
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.
12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.
Hillsong United and “Salvation is here.”
A Call to Holy Living
13 So think clearly and exercise self-control.
Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”
from My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers:
Continually restate to yourself what the purpose of your life is. The destined end of man is not happiness, or health, but holiness. Nowadays we have far too many affinities, we are dissipated with them; right, good, noble affinities which will yet have their fulfillment, but in the meantime God has to atrophy them. The one thing that matters is whether a man will accept the God Who will make him holy.
Do I believe I need to be holy? Do I believe God can come into me and make me holy? If by your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I resent your preaching. The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it must reveal that I am unholy; but it also awakens an intense craving. God has one destined end for mankind: holiness. His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for me; He did not come to save men out of pity; He came to save men because He had created them to be holy. The Atonement means that God can put me back into perfect union with Himself, without a shadow between, through the Death of Jesus Christ.
17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
21 Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,
“People are like grass;
their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
25 But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
pottery in the making. http://www.yourlatv.com/vmthumbs/Peach_Tree_Pottery_6-16.flv.jpg
fruit of the Spirit. http://www.sermons4kids.com/fruit-of-the-spirit.gif
flowers in a field. http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1331/536347063_9abbc12f40.jpg