Reposted from Pastor Ross
READ and LISTEN
(25 verses, 2:35 to read)
What I am about to READ
Peter urges the “elect exiles of the dispersion” to holiness, who are finding it difficult to live outwardly as ones who have been elected in Jesus Christ.
MARK and LEARN
Vs. 3. “According to his great mercy he has caused us to be born again to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” – Pay close attention to the verb in this verse. God is the one who acts “HE HAS CAUSED us…” Being “born again” is completely the action of the Father through the Son. In no way does being born again have its origin in the will or preparation of sinful man. Only a resurrected Christ can cause one to be born again, and he accomplishes this through the preached word of the Gospel, as we’ll learn later in the chapter.
Vss 6-9 indicate that trials and tribulations will be the daily bread of the Christian. Peter compares these afflictions to the purifying fire used to anneal gold. Faith however, is more precious than gold but is metaphorically tested in much the same way (vs. 7). Salvation of one’s soul is tied to this faith (Vs. 9).
Vss 13-25 is an exhortation to holiness of living. Again, this in no way makes one merit the mercy and love of God, but is a by-product of that faith which God has worked in one. This is why the beginning of this epistle was so filled with the gospel. Peter was reminding the people of what the Lord had done for them. Even here we find him saying “…you were ransomed from your futile ways…not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ…” (vs. 18.19) Exhortations to holiness without trust in the gospel result in one’s works righteousness or despair.
Being “born again” in Jesus and the guidance for one’s Christian life are products of the word of God. God works through his word to create and sustain faith. This word remains forever (vs. 25) and comes to us through earthly and humble means: preachers. “and this word is the good news which was preached to you.” (vs. 25). Preachers must make the word of God their sole message, rightly dividing (hey the name of this devotion!) the word of truth, so that the gospel may have full recourse on the hard-pack of a sinner’s heart.
Lord God, you have called me to be holy as you are holy. But alas, I am so full of sin. I do not dare lift my eyes to you even to give a pathetic excuse for my behavior. Create in me a clean heart O God! But that is it isn’t it? You alone will do it. You will do it through your word of Gospel that I am forgiven for the sake of your Son. May I cling to this dear Father, and may my life reflect the love which you have for us in your Son, that I may serve others and glorify your holy Name. Amen.
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