Life, liberty & the pursuit of holiness (1 Peter 1:1-4)

God’s people will never truly be happy unless we are living wholly for Christ. Let’s get our noses out of the newspaper and bury deeply into the word of God.

In the very first verse, Peter identifies himself as the writer of this book. Peter was like a lot of us. He had the habit of saying things he had no idea about. How could Jesus possibly use one who had denied Him? Just 50 days after the resurrection, Peter publicly proclaimed the name of Christ.

The word “apostle” applies only to those who saw Jesus after the resurrection. Paul was the last of the apostles. There are no more.

Also in this verse, we learn that Peter is writing to various Jews who have scattered to various areas. They are called “strangers” because they had sojourned to places they had never been to before, and they were scattered due to the persecution of the church.

1. Spiritual persecution has always played a significant role in church history. These early Christians were threatened with their lives, and often lost their lives for the cause of Christ. There is persecution going on today. If you are saved by Christ, you ought not be ashamed of the gospel. Christians must stand in the face of spiritual persecution. Christ said if we deny Him, He will deny us. People across the world are begging for copies of the Bible and we in America won’t even read ours. When governments start passing laws, we find out who really loves Jesus Christ. We are in for a bumpy road as evangelicals. But we will be ready for it. The church has always thrived under persecution.

God knows what is coming and where we are going. Christ’s obedience played out in the “sprinkling of the blood.”

2. God the Father planned our salvation. God the Son provided for our salvation. God the Spirit protects our salvation. It takes the entire Trinity to bring about our salvation. He wants all of us to be saved. Paul was worried that we would fall and stumble because of the simplicity of salvation. We humans tend to convolute the process. All we must do is believe in our hearts. It really is that simple. Yet the world is still looking.

We are sealed until the day of redemption. We have life because He gave us life.

3. Believers have been given a purpose to live now and a promise to live forever. If we are saved by the grace of God, the time we spend rejoicing with God is the same as those who are tormented in Hell for eternity. If God has provided us a “lively hope,” then we should at least act alive. We get to spend eternity in Heaven. Why on earth would we waste our lives pitying ourselves and doing nothing? Life’s too short to spend in church just enduring worship. Let us get fired up about something. We have been saved!

4. Momentary suffering cannot compare to eternal reward. Shortly after Peter I & II were written, history tells us that Peter suffered the same death as Christ. Yet Peter told this wicked and tyrannical government to crucify him upside-down, for he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as Christ.

In the midst of our sufferings and hardship and pain, it is okay to ask God “Why?” as long as we remain obedient. For nothing compares to the reward of spending eternity with our Lord. For in eternity, there will be no death or momentary sufferings. There will be no devil.

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