Trials From Without - Lesson 1 - Let’s Get Acquainted
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen
2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: may grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Is a man an apostle just because he says so? No, he must meet three requirements:
He must be an eyewitness of Jesus.
He must be able to perform miracles on demand.
He must be one who pioneers the Gospel to new places. Unusual faithfulness ties everything together. 2 Corinthians 12:12 Peter was a genuine apostle and an extraordinary bearer of Christ and the Gospel.
He addressed these saints as those who live like aliens. Like the elite of Hebrews 11, they have been called to something and called from something. If they wanted to go back they could, but they didn’t — they were looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. So like ambassadors on foreign soil, they live everywhere but without earthly roots. Their accountability is to the country to which they belong.
These people are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father. That is their rock-solid foundation. God is the author and completer of our salvation, and it is of Him and from Him and for Him and back to Him. Man’s part is to cooperate with Him and believe in Jesus with the faith that God gives thus enabling him to believe. These early believers rested joyfully in God’s sovereignty even as they lived out their responsibility.
It was the sanctifying work of the Spirit that kept everything in motion. The Holy Spirit’s work is three-fold:
Positional — when one is saved he is placed into the family of God and set apart from everything else.
Practical — over the years that he walks with Jesus and surrenders to the filling of the Holy Spirit his position more and more becomes his practice. It is a growth process accompanied by ups and down’s but always with ultimate perseverance and joy.
Permanent — there is a day when every believer will step into His presence . . . Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely, and may your spirit and soul, and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:23,24 There will never be a temptation or sinning again, any failure, no regrets, no shame, just permanent joy!
All of this is very purposeful, it is the platform for obedience to Jesus. The life that flows out of these truths is a surrendered life that is not self-reliant or independent. Rather totally dependent on Jesus to live Himself through the person. Peter wrote to establish Christians in a faith that could sustain them through the trials that come from outside the church. This opening teaching is what he will build on for the rest of the book.
He pointed out their powerful covering — the blood of Jesus sprinkling them with cleansing, right standing, protection, purpose, and much more. Jesus’ blood is precious to every believer who understands that without His blood there could be no salvation. But by His blood come the riches of forgiveness, adoption, imputation, redemption, and a guaranteed future. Meanwhile, the blood covers and protects them from the enemy and his cohorts. The blood cleanses and protects the conscience, freeing it from dead works so you can serve God. Just a few words, but what powerful teaching!
So may grace (the super-abundant supply of God Himself to you for the need of the moment) and peace (that mental/emotional calm that inexplicably guards the heart as you pray with thanksgiving) be yours in the fullest measure. What sweeter salutation could one give another? Receive this truth. Let the Christ in you bring these words to life in your moment-by-moment experience.