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Showing posts from October, 2023

1 Peter 2:12: Keep Your Conduct Among The Gentiles Honorable,

1 Peter 2:12 [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. (ESV) After Peter has given us great instruction on making sure that we are pure as the body of Christ, he now turns our attention to how we ought to live amongst those who do not belong to the body. We are living stones connected to Christ the cornerstone of our faith. We are a royal priesthood, chosen by God. We minister with one another in his spiritual house he is building. Purity is essential. Friend, the outside world is watching us. In Peter's time, he referred to the world of unbelievers as Gentiles. Because outsiders to the faith are watching us it is important that what they see is something that is "honorable." Peter reminds us that those who do not know Jesus are going to bring accusation against the body of Christ. If our lives are pure God will be glorified and the accusers

1 Peter 2:11: Beloved, I Urge You As Sojourners And Exiles To Abstain From The Passions Of The Flesh, Which Wage War Against Your Soul.

1 Peter 2:11 [11] Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. (ESV) The first word in this verse is very important. Peter is about to give a word of instruction concerning how we are to live our lives. He will admonish the believers in Jesus Christ to abstain from sinful behaviors. Notice, that he starts by telling them that he loves them. This is significant. The Apostle is not condemning them in anger. He is admonishing them in love. Our Heavenly Father loves us. When he establishes guidelines and boundaries for us it is always for our ultimate blessing and good. I am so thankful that the Lord knows that we are weak. He knows that the enemy of our souls is active every moment, trying to destroy us. He lovingly reminds us to follow him and to walk in the ways that he has for us. Peter reminds us that we are sojourners and exiles. You may be reading this and have a hard time with the thought that you are a fo

1 Peter 2:10: Once You Were Not A People, But Now You Are God's People

1 Peter 2:10 [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. (ESV) In the previous verse the Apostle Peter has described those who believe in Jesus Christ as a royal priesthood, a chosen people, the possession of God. He now reminds them that they were previously not a people. This statement would apply not only to the new Gentile believers, but also the Jews who were believers in Christ Jesus.  God spoke through the prophet Isaiah about Israel, who had wandered from God. In Hosea 1:10 he says, "Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be like the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” it shall be said to them, “Children of the living God.” (ESV) Peter recognizes that in Jesus Christ the Jews will find the fulfillment of this prophecy from Hosea. There were Jews who would have heard Peter's words and been in

1 Peter 2:9: But You Are A Chosen Race, A Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation, A People For His Own Possession

1 Peter 2:9 [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. (ESV) PRIESTHOOD . In this amazing verse Peter describes who we are. Firstly, we are a priesthood. In the Old Testament there was only one tribe of people, the Levites, who could be priests. It was not for everyone. Because of Christ we are now priests, with him as our perfect high priest. This is all because of grace. None of us are holy or righteous on our own. We have been chosen to be holy priests before the Lord. PEOPLE . We are a people. Under the Law, there was only one people, the people who were part of the covenant that God made with the descendants of Abraham, the Jews. In Galatians 3:8 we are reminded that the Gospel was preached to the Gentiles before the Law was given because in Abraham all nations would be blessed. We are part of that blessing. We are God's

1 Peter 2:8: And "A Stone Of Stumbling, And A Rock Of Offense."

1 Peter 2:8 [8] And  “A stone of stumbling,  and a rock of offense.”  They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. (ESV) To those who are saved the idea of being a living stone, attached to Jesus Christ, the cornerstone, being built into a spiritual home is a great honor. We realize that it is all a work of God's wonderful grace. We take delight in being a place where pure and holy worship happens as God's people gather together and give God glory. It is truly an honor to belong to our God. In today's verse we look at the ones who have not believed in Jesus Christ. They are not living stones attached to Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of our faith. Jesus is still a rock to them, but Peter describes him as a rock of offense. Because they refuse to believe in him they stumble over him. Their unbelief causes them to stumble.  Peter says that their stumbling is because of disobedience to the word. Did you realize that those who do not believe are actua

1 Peter 2:7: So The Honor Is For You Who Believe

1 Peter 2:7 [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,” (ESV) There are two words that we need to focus on in this verse. "Honor," and "believe." These words apply only to those who belong to the kingdom of God, through Christ. We sometimes struggle with the idea of there being people who are excluded. There is, of necessity, an exclusivity in Christianity. Jesus shed his blood for the sins of those he came to save. For those who have heard the message of salvation and believed the truth there is eternal salvation. We do well to be reminded of what the Apostle Paul said to the church at Rome: "because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). Those who believe have the honor of being part of an eternal kingdom. Peter, in the previous verses, was talking ab

1 Peter 2:6: 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."

1 Peter 2:6 [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.” (ESV) Peter continues with the stone metaphor. Here he refers to Psalm 118 and shows that Jesus, the precious cornerstone is a fulfillment of Scripture. Here is what was prophesied in Psalm 118:22: "The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone." The builders rejected this cornerstone. He is speaking of the Jewish people who rejected their Messiah. Consider for a moment the value of a cornerstone. It is the first stone laid. It becomes the reference point for all other stones laid after it. If the cornerstone is off the rest of the building will be off. What is the cornerstone of our faith? Jesus Christ! God the Father is building this spiritual building. The stones of this building are you and I. Jesus was the first stone of the building, the cornerstone. In this spiritual house that G

1 Peter 2:5: You Yourselves Like Living Stones Are Being Built Up As A Spiritual House

1 Peter 2:5 [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. (ESV) In the last verse we saw our Savior as a precious stone, loved by the Father and chosen. It is good and proper for us to view our Lord this way. In looking at Jesus as a precious stone, where does that place us? Peter tells us here that we are also living stones with Christ. This is an amazing thing. Part of becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus means that we also, every one of us, is a living stone with Jesus Christ. We are being built up as a spiritual house. Every single one of us is connected to Christ and connected to one another. There is no place in the church for people to be lone rangers. God is building a spiritual house. One of the things we know about a house built of stones is that the stones touch each other. They are connected. If you pull stones out of the church it will crumble.

1 Peter 2:4: As You Come To Him, A Living Stone Rejected By Men But In The Sight Of God Chosen And Precious

1 Peter 2:4 [4] As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, (ESV) The Apostle Peter begins this verse by saying, "As you come to him." Have you ever stopped to think just how wonderful a thing it is that we have such an opportunity? In the Old Testament the people of God would come to a priest. The priest, at certain times, would go to the Lord on behalf of the people of God. There was no direct access to God himself for the people of God. Peter speaks now of coming to him as a normal thing for all the people of God. What an incredible privilege this is for those who belong to God. He is speaking specifically of coming to Jesus Christ. Peter describes the Savior as a living stone. The temple was the previous place that people went to connect with God. It was made with non-living stones. Jesus is a living stone. In other words, he is a better temple. This stone, Jesus Christ, is a chosen and precious stone. In our world today

1 Peter 2:3: If Indeed You Have Tasted That The Lord Is Good.

1 Peter 2:3 [3] if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. (ESV) In the previous verse Peter compared our response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ to babies craving milk. He then says, "If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." You will not crave more of God if you have not experienced his goodness in the first place. Christianity is not the culmination of intellectual pursuit. Although our mind needs to be informed. We need to experience the goodness of God. When we were infants we all craved milk. Then we began to experience solid food. We have never looked back. I can remember the time my son was a baby and grabbed a piece of a pancake. He was hooked. He wanted more pancakes. Then he wanted other kinds of solid foods. This is an experience that we have all had. I once had steak. I decided that I wanted more steak. There is a pattern here. If we have tasted that the Lord is good we will want to taste more! This is one of the things that gives evidence that we ha

1 Peter 2:2: Like Newborn Infants, Long For The Pure Spiritual Milk, That By It You May Grow Up Into Your Salvation

1 Peter 2:2 [2] Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— (ESV) If you are reading this it has been quite a while since you have craved milk like you did when you were a newborn infant. If you are a parent you can identify with what happens when a baby wants milk. If they are hungry they let you know about it! A baby's cry can be quite dramatic. If they are in need of milk they will let you know about it. Peter talks about us craving pure spiritual milk in terms of an intensity of a hungry child. There is something special about a person who has just come to faith in Jesus Christ. They have a brand new passion and desire to know the Word of God. They do not view the Bible as something to turn to if you have nothing else to do, but rather they crave biblical instruction like a baby craves milk. Notice here that Peter describes us drinking spiritual milk so that we can grow up into salvation. Unless there was some allergic exce

1 Peter 2:1: So Put Away All Malice And All Deceit And Hypocrisy And Envy And All Slander.

1 Peter 2:1 [1] So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. (ESV) The key word in this verse is the word, "so." Peter is saying that in light of what was just previously said, here is how we should respond. He just finished describing how we have been born again by the imperishable seed of the word of God. Because we have been born again in this way we ought to put away all of the things that are part of our old way of living. This begs the question, "Just how bad were we before we were saved?" Did we really have malice in our hearts? There are many times in the New Testament where the word for malice is used to describe the evil that is within us. The wickedness within us would also include the practice of deceit and hypocrisy and envy and slander. Listen to Paul's words to Titus: Titus 3:3 [3] For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and e

1 Peter 1:24-25: For All Flesh Is Like Grass And All Its Glory Like The Flower Of The Grass.

1 Peter 1:24–25 [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. (ESV) One of the things that we see in nature is the constant changing of the seasons. The grass grows. It may even become hay if we don't bother to cut it. After the summer season comes to an end the grass begins to wither. What was once lively and green becomes wilted and brown. Things fade away and even die. As beautiful as the flowers are they have a shelf life. Mankind is likened to the grass and the flowers. We grow, we bloom, we fade, and we fall. Ultimately we will die. Everything about our earthly existence is temporal, and headed for death. This is a sobering thought. Those who put all of their hope in things of this earth are putting their hope in something that will eventually be destroyed. The word of the Lord is not like manki

1 Peter 1:23: Since You Have Been Born Again, Not Of Perishable Seed But Of Imperishable, Through The Living And Abiding Word Of God;

1 Peter 1:23 [23] Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; (ESV) Many people in our society use the term, "born again," in a derogatory sense. There are even those who would claim to be Christians who are hesitant to be described as "born again." In this verse, Peter says clearly that we have been born again. We needed to be born again. Scripture reminds us that we were dead in our sins. New birth was essential. Peter now uses an agricultural illustration. He says that our new life involves a seed planted in us. This seed is not perishable, but imperishable. Another we could say this is that what God does in us is permanent. We can be encouraged deep in our spirits to know that what God is doing in us is not going to perish. We do not worry about him forsaking us. We have eternal life, not temporal life. In the last phrase of this verse Peter reminds us that the living and abiding word of

1 Peter 1:22: Having Purified Your Souls By Your Obedience To The Truth For A Sincere Brotherly Love, Love One Another Earnestly From A Pure Heart,

1 Peter 1:22 [22] Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, (ESV) The core of this verse is an instruction on brotherly love. Peter begins by speaking to how we are able to have the love necessary to treat each other with brotherly love. He speaks of us having purified our souls by our obedience to the truth. He is giving us the key to brotherly love that so many people in this world are missing. All nations talk about peace, love, and kindness. It is never a fully realized practice. The reason why there is so little brotherly love is because people have not purified their souls by obedience to the truth. What truth is Peter speaking of? He is speaking of the truth that Jesus Christ was sent to earth to seek us out and bring to us salvation. When we have repented of our sins and believed the truth of Jesus being the holy Son of God, and the perfect sacrifice for our sins we are purified. The hea

1 Peter 1:21: 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.

1 Peter 1:21 [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. (ESV) Have you ever considered how it is that you have faith in God? Maybe you have walked with the Lord for many years. Some people can remember praying a prayer. They know that they have true belief in Jesus, as the resurrected Savior. Maybe they have a profound understanding of the truth of Scripture, and they know that Jesus fulfilled prophecy. Peter reminds us here how we have come to believe in God. It is through Jesus! We are not Christians because we were clever enough to realize the truth. We are not Christians because we were so desperately seeking the Lord, and we found him. Salvation is not something that originates in us. Salvation originates in the heart of God, and we are pursued by him. He brings us to himself. Jesus said in Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Jesus came to Earth on a missi

1 Peter 1:20: He Was Foreknown Before The Foundation Of The World But Was Made Manifest In The Last Times For The Sake Of You

1 Peter 1:20 [20] He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you (ESV) There are some things in this verse that are difficult for our minds to fully grasp. Peter says that Jesus Christ was foreknown before the foundation of the world. This means that before time and space were created Jesus already existed. In fact, he never had a beginning. He is eternally God. Just ponder the fact that God has no beginning and no end. It will make your head hurt. There is something more grand than the reality that Jesus existed before all time began. There is the reality that the entire plan to come to earth, put on human flesh, live a perfect life, take on all human sin, and be sacrificed on the cruel cross at Calvary, was all planned before time and space ever became a reality. It is staggering to think that God would willingly die for sinful mankind. It was long planned out. We are then reminded that this reality of Christ Jesus was

1 Peter 1:19: But With The Precious Blood Of Christ, Like That Of A Lamb Without Blemish Or Spot.

1 Peter 1:19 [19] but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. (ESV) In the previous verse Peter tells us that we have been ransomed from our futile ways inherited by our forefathers. He tells us the price paid was not with perishable things like silver or gold. He then tells us in today's verse the actual purchase price of our sinful lives. It was with the very blood of Jesus Christ, God's son. Does that seem extravagant? It should. It is fascinating that gold and silver are described as perishable. We call these precious metals in our world. They are of the greatest value. Nations have fought to the death over the possession of gold and silver. As much of a price that humankind places on them, they do not even begin to compare with the eternal worth of Jesus Christ. Gold and silver, as precious and valuable as they are, will some day be destroyed. Peter says in his second epistle, "The heavens and earth that now exist are stored up

1 Peter 1:18: Knowing That You Were Ransomed From The Futile Ways Inherited From Your Forefathers, Not With Perishable Things Such As Silver Or Gold,

1 Peter 1:18 [18] Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, (ESV) There is an expression that says, "God has no grandchildren." You may be the most godly follower of Christ on earth, but the only thing that you pass on to your children, in a spiritual sense, is a sinful nature. That is not the most encouraging thought, but it is true. Peter reminds us today of the things that we all inherited from our forefathers; futile ways. The good news is that those who belong to Jesus Christ have been ransomed from the futile life of sin that they inherited. To be ransomed literally means that we have been purchased. Who owned us previously? Is Peter talking about our earthly parents? Not at all. Rather, we understand from Scripture that all of us were under the power of Satan himself. Let's take a quick look at how Paul describes our former situation: Ephesians 2:1-3 : And you were dead in

1 Peter 1:17: 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

1 Peter 1:17 [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, (ESV) The Apostle Peter is talking here to people who are believers in Jesus Christ. He poses, "If you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds." It seems that we are quick to agree that our Heavenly Father judges impartially. Usually. What happens when he allows a particular amount of suffering and persecution to be in our lives? Do we still consider his judgements impartial? In the opening verses of this letter Peter has already addressed the fact that we may have had do go through various trials "when necessary" (verse 6). It is important for us, as believers in Jesus Christ, that we look at God the Father as an impartial judge when our lives are going the way we think they should, and also when we have had to face trials that God deems necessary. This perspec

1 Peter 1:16: Since It Is Written, "You Shall Be Holy, For I Am Holy."

1 Peter 1:16 [16] Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (ESV) The word "holy" is shocking to our system. We are not holy people by nature. For many Christians the mentality is such that they find holiness completely foreign to their nature and just assume that God cannot possibly mean what he says when he calls us to holiness. Yet, here it is. Peter is not only telling us that we are to be holy, as God is holy. He is reminding us that this command has been issued previously. We find this command to be holy in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. In the Mosaic law there were all kinds of restrictions that set the people of Israel apart from all of the nations around them. We often fixate on the dietary restrictions. Rightfully so. We can be glad that in the New Covenant we are under we can now eat things like bacon. Let's take a look at the passage of Scripture Peter is referring to: Leviticus 11:44: "For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselve

1 Peter 1:15: But As He Who Called You Is Holy, You Also Be Holy In All Your Conduct,

1 Peter 1:15 [15] But as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, (ESV) One of the most important truths, that is largely ignored by the Church, is the holiness of God. Our understanding of God's holiness will affect our understanding of our holiness. Peter is making a direct connection between God's holiness and our holiness. The one who called us is holy. Because of this truth, we are to be holy in all that we do, just like God himself. If our view of God is not one in which we see his perfect holiness we are not properly looking at God at all. In fact, the very thought of looking at God should bring us terror in some way. In the Old Testament we have the account of Isaiah seeing the Lord. He does not speak of it casually. It will be helpful for us to look at Isaiah 6:5. Listen to the great prophet Isaiah's response at seeing the holy God of Israel: "And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the mids

1 Peter 1:14: As Obedient Children, Do Not Be Conformed To The Passions Of Your Former Ignorance,

1 Peter 1:14 [14] As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, (ESV) If you are reading this devotional you are likely not a small child. As an adult it is not generally perceived as a complement to be described as a child. We like to think that we are in charge. We can make our own decisions. We will do whatever we want. Unlike children, who have to do what they are told, we assume that we should be the ones calling the shots. Whether we like it or not, we are described as children; God's children. Part of growing in our faith is accepting this reality. Peter reminds us that our posture before the Lord is to be one of humble submission to his authority. We do not call the shots. We are not in charge. We are to do what we are told. We are to act as obedient children. Notice that Peter is presenting a contrast in this verse. Obedient children of God are contrasted with those who allow themselves to be conformed to the passions of their former i

1 Peter 1:13: Therefore, Preparing Your Minds For Action

1 Peter 1:13 [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. (ESV) Here we have the word, "therefore." When we see this word in Scripture we look at the preceding verses so that we know what "therefore" is there for. Peter has just expounded on how wonderful our salvation. It was prophesied by prophets of old. The apostles taught it. Even the very angels of heaven longed to look into our salvation. We have something that is wonderful. We have been saved by the grace of God. Therefore, in light of our wonderful salvation, we should prepare out minds for action, being sober-minded, setting our hope fully on the grace that will be brought to us at Christ's return. It seems there is a tendency of Christians to sit on their hands, waiting for the return of Christ. They are lulled to sleep and inactivity by the allurements of the world around them.

1 Peter 1:12 : It Was Revealed To Them That They Were Serving Not Themselves But You

1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look. (ESV) There are three groups of people in this verse. The Old Testament prophets, the New Testament preachers, and the angels from heaven. There are also three time periods represented in this verse. The prophets were from centuries before Christ. The preachers were in the first century AD, and the angels are from time before all the people on Earth were born. The prophets were preaching to the people of Israel of a coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. They spoke of things that they would never see. None of the Old Testament prophets actually got to see their prophecies come true. They spoke of the grandness of the coming Savior. They gave people of Israel hope as they looked forward to the one who would come from heaven and pay the penalt

1 Peter 1:11: Inquiring What Person Or Time The Spirit Of Christ In Them Was Indicating When He Predicted The Sufferings Of Christ And The Subsequent Glories.

1 Peter 1:11 Inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. (ESV) Peter is speaking her of the prophets in the Old Testament. These godly men searched and inquired of the Scriptures any information that they could to discover more about the coming Christ. We have a vantage point that the prophets of old were not privy to. One theologian has said, "In the Old Testament is Christ concealed. In the New Testament is Christ revealed." How difficult it must have been for the prophets to understand all that was being prophesied about the Christ. Even those prophets who spoke the very prophesies about Christ likely did not fully understand what they were called by God to say. They knew that Jesus would come from God. They knew that he was the Son of God. But the details of how his life would be lived out were a total mystery.  Peter says that the Spirit of God was predicting the sufferin

1 Peter 1:10: Concerning This Salvation, The Prophets Who Prophesied About The Grace That Was To Be Yours Searched And Inquired Carefully

1 Peter 1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, (ESV) We live such busy lives we rarely stop to think of all the blessings that we have been given. Many will gather around a table at a Thanksgiving holiday meal and speak of things they are thankful for. Some will give thanks for their home, their job, or their family. When you think of your relationship with God you cannot help but recognize that it is the gift of God's grace which is your greatest gift. Peter gives us fascinating insight into the centuries before Christ came to earth. Prophets who spoke of the coming Christ, and the salvation that he would bring, could not completely grasp the wonder of the grace that we would be recipients of. They searched and inquired carefully. There must have been some level of awe that we cannot even begin to imagine. This salvation that we possess, which we ought to be most thankful for, is particularl

1 Peter 1:9: Obtaining The Outcome Of Your Faith, The Salvation Of Your Souls.

1 Peter 1:9 Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (ESV) Have you ever considered what is the outcome of your faith? This should be a simple thing for all those who claim the name of Christ to agree on. Peter reminds us that the salvation of our souls is the outcome of our faith. Christ died for our sins. He has made us a new creation in Him. We now have our sins forgiven, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us. We have been given Christ's righteousness. Salvation is something that we think about in the past tense. However, there is the aspect of salvation that you have not experienced if you are reading this devotional! You are not in heaven yet. When we are standing before God the Father, our sinful nature covered completely by the righteousness of Christ the Son, we will experience the final and complete realization of our salvation. This is the outcome of our faith. It is troubling to see what many "preachers" today describe as the outcome of

1 Peter 1:8: Though You Have Not Seen Him, You Love Him

1 Peter 1:8 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, (ESV) In this magnificent verse the Apostle Peter captures the heart of every true believer in Jesus Christ. Peter knew that he was privileged to walk with Jesus. He lived with him for three years. They ate together. They laughed together. They grieved together. They had a wealth of experiences that we could only imagine having. He writes to some who had never seen Jesus. He writes to us as well. We long to see him. It is not a requirement that we physically see Jesus in order to love him. When the Holy Spirit transforms our heart (theologians call this regeneration) we see Jesus as the risen Savior who died to save us from our sins. We are filled with a joy in our hearts that nothing in this world can duplicate. Peter describes this joy as being inexpressible and filled with glory. Take a moment and say, "Halle

1 Peter 1:7: So That The Tested Genuineness Of Your Faith--More Precious Than Gold

1 Peter 1:7 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. (ESV) We are saved from our sin condition by placing our faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This faith that saves us is a gift given to us by God himself. (Ephesians 2:8-9). As we continue to walk with the Lord that faith that we have is tested again and again. The testing of our faith shows us, and shows the world around us, that we genuinely belong to the Lord. Peter uses this illustration of gold being tested by fire. We know that for gold to be purified it has to be put into incredible heat, and the impurities are removed. He is saying that even gold itself, although it can be purified with fire, will ultimately perish. Gold is so precious. It is so valuable. Kings and countries will fight to the death to possess gold because of its value. Peter says th

1 Peter 1:6: In This You Rejoice, Though Now For A Little While, If Necessary, You Have Been Grieved By Various Trials

1 Peter 1:6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, (ESV) In the previous verse Peter says that God has guarded our salvation until it is revealed when we are in his presence. In this we rejoice. There is no way that we can overstate how wonderful it is that God is guarding our salvation for us. If it were left up to us we would not be able to keep our salvation for much time whatsoever. We are just not strong enough. We rejoice. God is doing the work, not us. In the meantime, we may be grieved by various trials. In the time that Peter is writing this letter Christians were facing very terrible trials. They would have their possessions confiscated. They would be put into prison. Some would even be put to death. The Apostle Peter himself would eventually be put to death by being crucified upside down. The recipients of this letter were most certainly grieved by various trials. It is striking to us that Peter uses these w