1st Peter is a short little book towards the end of the New Testament that radically changes how you view life and the gifts from God.
If you’ve never jumped into this book of the Bible, here are a couple big lessons from the book.
God’s gifts are given not earned
Often we forget all the gifts God has given us. As Christians, we focus on how to follow Christ and how to behave but forget how much God has already done for us. Peter begins this book with an incredible list designed to help the reader understand in greater ways all God has given them.
We are Chosen
In 1 Peter 1:1, Peter begins by reminding his audience they are chosen by God. This fact that God, the creator of the universe with authority over all things, chose them to be his child is a humbling yet honoring fact. But Peter goes on to remind his readers that not only did God choose them, but that he did it before the foundation of time. God didn’t choose his followers based on their personality or their life choices. He chose them before creation.
We have been given the Holy Spirit
In addition, 1 Peter 1:2 goes on to state that not only did God choose us before the foundation of time, but he has given us the Holy Spirit to sanctify us (make us more like Christ) and the cross to give us forgiveness. Just with these two verses, Peter stresses that God is the one who does all the work and provides everything.
We Have Been Given a New Birth, a Living Hope, and an Inheritance
Peter continues in verse 3 to remind his audience that, after they accepted their salvation from God, God gave them a new birth, a living hope, and an indestructible inheritance. The Christians did not earn any of these gifts from God. God simply gave them to his children as gifts when they accepted him as their Savior.
If only we could all truly comprehend what this means!
Often, especially in Western societies, the emphasis is on outward actions, motivations, and self-help. While these concepts may help you advance your career, they don’t necessarily help you become more like God. As we begin to understand this truth, the natural result in us should be humility and dependence on God.
Humility is what Ephesians 4:1-2 tells us allows us to “walk worthy of the calling you have received”. We tend to reverse this process and believe human effort is what allows us to walk in a manner worthy of our calling as followers of Christ. While we do need to obey and follow God, the work of sanctification, forgiveness, and salvation belongs to God alone.
God guards us as we live by faith
In verse 5, Peter makes the statement “you are being guarded by God’s power”. This statement is an essential statement for his audience to understand.
Peter has just given them a list of all the gifts from God. Then Peter immediately lets his audience know it is God’s power that guards those gifts. The reader does not have to worry about losing these gifts because the very power of God is guarding them.
Understanding How The Resurrection Makes this Possible
Jesus stated in John “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus’ resurrected demonstrated he has power over all things, even death. Therefore, when we read the phrase “guarded by God’s power”, we should understand the power of God is stronger than anything else in existence, even death. This makes Jesus’ statement “No one will snatch them out of my hand” even more powerful. Suddenly you realize nothing is powerful enough to snatch you out of God’s hands. His power is guarding you.
Believing by Faith
Believing this truth takes faith though. Hebrews tells us “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Faith is the proof of what we cannot see. When Peter states we are guarded by God’s power through faith, he means believing what he says will help them see the reality and the truth of what he has just told them.
We need to understand this correlation as well. Often we want our eyes to physically see God’s power before we believe it to be in existence. Faith, however, tells us to believe even when we can’t see. As we believe we will begin to see the truth of what these verses are telling us. Believers today need to look to the cross, understand by faith the power of God, and then live a life in faith that reflects that truth.
You Might Also Enjoy:
- Three Things You Need to Know About Christ
- The Holy Spirit: Understanding the Third Person of the Trinity
- Balancing Cultural Beliefs with Understanding Biblical Ethics