Summary: A man does not need to move mountains to display his faith.
“He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and en-during word of God. For, ‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word that was preached to you. Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 1:20-2:3, NIV).
What do you think a man of intellect – one who possesses a brilliant mind – would do to earn a living? Would he desire to remain out-of-school and just be a baggage boy? Or, would he strive to finish college, perhaps even to become a surgeon, a corporate or international lawyer, or a rocket scientist?
How about a man of strength? Would you expect him that his baggage would be carried by his wife? Or, would he carry the baggage of his wife and, perhaps, even together with her?
What do you think a man of “something” would do? Would he just do “nothing”?
This time, we will try to discuss what a man of faith should do, as we go through in our text (1 Peter 1:20-2:3, NIV).
So, what are the things – at least 2 things – a true believer should do?
As we have learned before, Peter was the writer of 1 Peter and he was writing both to the Jewish and Gentile Christians in his time. The Christians then were scattered throughout Asia Minor and were suffering local persecutions before the reign of Nero (before A.D. 68).
In the early portion of the first chapter, Peter encouraged the believers that they have reasons to praise God, though they were suffering trials and difficulties. He also showed them that they could do the extra-ordinary things. And last time, we learned in the succeeding verses, Peter pointed out at least three things how the believers could cope with sufferings: be hopeful, be holy and be a sojourner.
Then, Peter proceeded to declare the Excellence of Christ, and now in verses 20-21, he continued to magnify the Savior:
“He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”
The New Living Translation paraphrased it beautifully:
“God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake. 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.”
Peter pointed out to the Christians then that Jesus was chosen, as ransom -- the payment for our sins to satisfy the demand for God’s justice. And note well that He was chosen as the ransom even before sin entered the world. The passage says, “God chose him as your ransom long before the world began…”
And Peter did not stop there in his exaltation of Christ. He stated further, “Through him you believe in God…”!
Perhaps, demons believe God through their own awareness of His existence. And even non-Christians believe of God’s existence through His creation. But, Christians believe in God through Christ! That kind of belief is not just a mere assent of the mind that God exists, but with an ingredient of trust, reliance and hope. As Peter went on to say that God “… raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”
Jesus Christ did not just die to pay for and absorb the penalty of our sins. He was also raised from the dead, so we are enabled to have “faith and hope” in God. Because Christ came to life again, faith and hope could also come to life in the heart of those who are ransomed.
Then, Peter stated that because of the wonderful things that Christ did to them and now that their faith and hope are in God, he exhorted them to do at least two things that we could draw from the succeeding verses.