I just love the Apostle Peter’s outlook on life. His years with Jesus had permeated his spirit to the point where he could no longer call his life his own. Writing to Christians scattered throughout the Middle-East, he sought to spread a zeal for the Lord. Even now, those who read 1 and 2 Peter feel that flame ignited with him. So, what were Peter’s passions, joys, desires that made him such a worthy teacher?

In 1 Peter, the apostle couldn’t contain himself from worshipping God with his ink. The first portion is filled with joy:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Peter surely isn’t an advocate of gloomy, solemn legalism. Before any rebukes, he gives God the glory, praising His mercy. Isn’t this how we should live? Yes, we must consider the fruits of the Spirit, service, evangelism, and so forth. But before all, we need to let God know we’re thankful for His “mercy… caus[ing] us to be born again to a living hope…” If we get this, how ready we will then be for what come’s next in Peter’s letter!

In that section, the idea is being formed that we are no longer of this world. This is solidified when he refers to the recipients as “sojourners and exiles.” (See 2:11) Brothers, sisters, we should not see this as a bad thing, but as an encouragement! With such a promise – indeed, an inheritance – why would we still wish to align ourselves with the world?

The remainder of 1 Peter is mostly spent furthering this idea of separation by giving Spirit-inspired instructions for godly living. We would do well to listen!

I can imagine responses to Peter’s exhortations for godly living: “How can we do that? We’re so sinful! We can never live up to these standards!” Why do I think this was written to him? After the greeting in 2 Peter, see what he writes.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness . . . he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Please raise your hand if that passage has ever helped you! What a relief to know that God has provided us with the grace and ability to live godly lives. These beautiful promises – justification, sanctification, eternal life and so many more – lead, by standing upon them, to becoming partakers of the divine nature. To Peter’s Hellenistic readers, they would have understood the term “partakers of the divine nature” as becoming more and more a reflection of God. This itself is a promise!

Much could be said about Peter’s exposé of false teachers – I will leave that up to another blogger, or perhaps write about it down the road. What I do want to finally draw your attention to is chapter 3. In a way, this brings everything he has said together: hope, responsibility and glory. As you read this last passage, think to yourself, What sort of life ought I to live? Don’t pass over the thought. Pray to God if you don’t think you’re living as you should. He grants repentance, healing, and strength.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:10-13)

The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you all.

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