Summary: The completed work of Jesus as our Christ gives us the life God intended in the beginning.
IN CHRIST: THE REAL LIFE
The Apostle Peter wrote primarily to believing Jews who were dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.
They were not citizens where they live… but resident aliens.
They had no rights as citizens… consequently they ended up on the short end of the stick.
However, while they suffered on earth… the assurance of their citizenship in Heaven gave them joy.
While suffering prejudice and abuse in life… the truth of their Scriptures produces holiness.
Christmas gave us Jesus as our Christ.
Easter—his death, burial, and resurrection—made Jesus our Christ.
The Holy Spirit made it possible for Jesus to be our Lord—our leader …our pattern …our friend.
If Peter had picked up the TODAY News Paper... before writing this epistle... it would be no different than this morning’s news:
· Threats of war... inflation ... hunger amid plenty...
· Evaporating national spirit,
· No unity between the haves & have nots,
· Widening gap between rich and poor,
· Advertising continually makes the poor aware of what they don’t have.
There is LEGAL equality... by force of law, BUT
Social equality comes from within ... out of the heart.
. It must be cultivated,
. It’s a matter of esteem, acceptance, and participation.
It didn’t exist in Peter’s day.
It doesn’t exist today.
JESUS IS THE SATISFIER & EQUALIZER
Peter... in spite of all the bad news and
in spite of all the uncertainty ...
presents Jesus as...
. The great satisfier,
. The effective equalizer,
. The one who is all-sufficient for ALL human problems.
Simon... the fearful fisherman... who denied Jesus 3 times during the night of his trials... now stands as Peter... the ROCK man... refusing to be moved.
The Day of Pentecost is behind him.
The Spirit and power of the Lord is within him.
He knows what it’s like to stand up for Christ.
He’s paid the price by now.
· He’s been arrested and put in jail.
By a miracle of God... he was freed.
· He knows his own crucifixion is coming soon.
Transformed by both faith... and experience... Peter writes to a multi-racial, multi-cultured church...
· Which... has found equality in the person of Jesus the Christ,
· Which is scattered... yet unified spiritually... and socially.
Standing firm... and with complete assurance... Peter writes:
1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia",
Quite often ... when we read the salutations... we simply gloss of it.
But, there is a wealth of information in it.
"To the strangers"—aliens is the word in Greek... non-residents.
He tells us... as believers ...
· Our true citizenship is in heaven.
· Here on earth... we’re just temporary residents... regardless of where we may be living... camping... or touring.
We are permanently implanted into the Body of Christ...
· by our faith in the completed work of Jesus as our Christ.
· But... we are temporarily assigned to duty on this earth ... until we are ordered to report up to headquarters.
Peter writes to those then—to us now... who have obtained the same precious faith...