Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


Peter's First

I've been sitting in and meditating on 1 Peter as of late. Figuratively sitting, of course. That little epistle has been...oh, how to put it...tearing me apart and putting me back together. This process reminds me of Hosea 6:1, where we are encouraged to return to the Lord. Why? "He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us." God convicts and tears us, ultimately so that He might heal us. We can be sure that while any rending of our hearts ultimately comes from Him, He brings us such pain that He might heal us to the praise of His infinite glory.

But back to 1 Peter. Several passages and verses have stuck out, and I figured I'd share 'em here.

1:3 - 5
Blesed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Living hope. We have a living hope. Not a dead one, not one that is temporary or tarnished, but one that is alive and well and will not perish and is undefiled. Why? Because our hope is sealed and secured by the faith that God protects us in such a salvation; Christ's death was once for all. In recent weeks, I've had to come face to face with the deadness of my sin, not only in the fact that sin leads to death, but that sin itself is powerless over me, for it has been put to death by the death of Christ. That thought goes immensely contrary to what my experience often tells me here in this world, yet that's what Scripture clearly says. Wow...death is dead, for Christ has died and has risen to new life. A living hope, indeed!

1:6 - 9
In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Peter follows up verses 3 - 5 with a sobering mandate to rejoice, particularly in the face of trials and temptations. Why sobering? It's sobering because Peter does not lay down a cheap foundation for joy; rather, that foundation is the gospel, the living hope that we have in Christ. That's good, because quite frankly, I've smiled far too many cheap smiles in recent days. If I smile, I want it to be rooted in a "joy inexpressible and full of glory." That may sound over-spiritual, but I'm not going to apologize for that :)

1:22 - 23
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.

I thought of how I love people. Or, more accurately, do not love people. And then I thought of how my supposed inability to love goes contrary to what Scripture says about love. Here, I find myself staring at the gospel, the word which has been preached to me, and the fact that it is a seed which is imperishable, living, and enduring. More than that, I think of who Christ is - the Incarnate Word - and I realize that I really can love. We've been born of the imperishable seed, redeemed by the precious blood of the unblemished Lamb, and because of that, we can now love...we must love.

2:9 - 10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Here, Peter makes direct reference to one of children of the prophet Hosea, whose name was given to him by God Himself. Lo-ammi meant, "not my people," for the people of Israel had turned away from God and were not to be counted as His. Yet the Lord is shown to be faithful to His chosen people, even in the midst of their flagrant transgression. *Sigh*...I've needed that reminder quite often in the course of my journey with the Lord, and recent weeks have been no exception. If anything, the Lord's loving lessons of humility have reminded me that it is He who chooses me, He who has redeemed me for His own glory, He who has lavished His love and mercy upon me. What have I done to earn this? Absolutely nothing. Such is the mercy of God!

posted by Bolo | 6:55 PM
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