Summary: Our true identity results from changed behaviour.
July 26, 2009 1 Peter 1:3-12
So, last Sunday I gave you some homework! Now it is time for me to check up on your homework! But don’t let that make you feel anxious, I won’t put anyone on the spot… I asked you to read 1 Peter, and I’m wondering if anyone who actually did read it would like to share what they thought about it…
We started to study 1 Peter last week because it has a lot to say about who we are as God’s people, and thus how we should live in the middle of our world. Last week we concentrated on how God has chosen us by His love to be His children. We continue this morning and next week with the next sections, 1 Peter 1:3-12 and then 13-25. I’m going to read the whole section this week and then concentrate on verses 3-12, and next Sunday read the whole section and concentrate on verses 13-25, from the NIV.
1 Peter 1:3-25 (NIV)
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
A Packed Doxology: vs. 3-9
Immediately after the prescript to the letter which we studied last week, Peter jumps straight into this incredible paragraph of praise to God. And he finds an awful lot to praise God for… and it is rich and deep and beautiful, and it forms us. If we’ll let it, words of Scripture like this, when we allow the Holy Spirit to speak through them into our very being, shape us, mold us, form us into the people that God has created us to be. So as we walk through them, listen not only with your ears, and your mind, but listen with your heart. Take these words in, embrace them, and let God form you and shape your identity through them. I’m going to just simply highlight some of the key phrases and ideas: