Where Philippians is about finding joy and peace in standing firm in the salvation and faith through Jesus Christ, the “Peters” or 1st and 2nd Peter, are about the hope of eternal life in heaven through Jesus. Peter wrote his 2 letters, likely from prison in Rome to Jewish Christian believers scattered all over. Peter was never the “bishop of Rome” — read the truth here. The early Christian believers — both the Jewish converts and the gentiles — were persecuted. Similar to what today’s Christians are going through. There are persecutions all over the world, but even here in America we don’t have just discrimination against Christians, but local government persecutions in several states.
We need a hope that we can cling to. A hope that doesn’t come from a political leader, a church, or any other human (living or dead) — only through Jesus Christ. Let’s dig into 1 Peter…
1 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.
First, we have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus. We are not sanctified in any other way!
This may be a bit confusing. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have salvation when we become born again — we do. It’s our passport to heaven. But, we have a special, “priceless inheritance” which is our final salvation in our eternal life with Jesus in heaven. However, note that we true believers have been born again by His great mercy, because “God raised Jesus Christ from the dead”. Not by any sacraments or anything that we can ever do through a church.
Heaven is “pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay”! (There is no purgatory!) All this is “ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see”! And, we can read about that in the Book of Revelation.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must 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. 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.
They were going through trials just like we are going through trials. How we come out of our trials shows how genuine our faith is — how solid. I remember a pastor who was helping in Haiti after the earthquake said, “God gives us tests so we could have testimonies.” When we stay strong in our faith through the many trials of life, it becomes a testimony to the glory of God.
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.
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.
A Call to Holy Living
13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in 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.”
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 here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 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 now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.
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.
Let’s go over certain points here…
- We love Jesus even though we have never seen Him. That is faith.
- We trust Jesus for our salvation — Jesus, not anything that we ourselves can do and through or by no other human.
- The Old Testament prophets spoke many times about the Messiah and His future salvation.
- The Good News — the Gospel has been preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from Heaven. — That’s Acts 2! And I believe that today in the last days, Jesus is pouring out His Holy Spirit and preaching anew the Good News of His salvation.
- We must “exercise self-control”. That’s not easy because we are tempted by the devil’s lies every day.
- Our hope is in Jesus Christ and our future eternal home in heaven. This earth is not our home! Thank God!
- We must be holy because God, who chose us to be His born again believers and His children, is holy. Holy doesn’t mean arrogant. We must strive to be like Jesus — Christ-like. He was perfect. We could never be perfect — at least not while we are in this temporary place called earth. We are citizens of heaven.
- God will judge and reward us by what we do.
- God paid a ransom to save us from the empty life we inherited from our ancestors. It was not paid with mere gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
- We trust in God through Jesus. We have faith because of the resurrection.
- A born-again believer does not have a life that quickly ends, but an everlasting life.
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.1 Peter 1 NLT
The Word of the Lord Remains Forever!
I’m so glad this world is not all there is!
All I know is I’m not home yet.Building 429
This is not where I belong.
Take this world and give me Jesus.
This is not where I belong.
- From Catholic to Prodigal: Surviving College
- From Prodigal to Progressive: Surviving Hurricanes
- From Progressive to Born Again Christian: Surviving Unemployment
I can get through anything that this world and whatever life throws at me because I know for sure that this is not where I belong. I am a citizen of heaven and because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, He took my sins away for good. I am saved.
Are You a Citizen of Heaven?
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…