I Peter 1:13–2:3. Sorting Precious Stones.
Key Notes: Five social sins. Five elements of salvation. It's all about the future.
In the first half of chapter I, Peter describes our situation. In the second half, he prescribes--gives us much instruction. The information is compact, and hard to condense. It can be collected into themes, like small gems, with interesting interpretations. The instructions are underlined.
1:13 "Gird up your minds" means to tighten the belt, the girdle of truth (Eph.6:14). Roll up the mental sleeves. Get ready for action. Have a clear battle plan in mind.
"Be sober". We approach God with our minds clear, with no inner traces of recreational drugs and their inevitable self-deception.
"Set your hope on grace" coming to you at the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
1:14 Be obedient children, not following the fashion styles of your old foolish passions.
1:15 Be holy as God is holy. "You therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect." (Matt.5:45). It is impossible, but further....
1:16 God will judge each of us impartially according to our deeds: we conduct ourselves with fear of His displeasure.
1:18 We were ransomed from the futile way of our fathers by the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish.
1:20 He was destined before the foundation of the world, and shown thousands of years later for our sakes.
1:21 Through Christ's Resurrection and Ascension we have confidence in God.
1:22 Pure of soul, obedient to the truth, we have philadelphia, brotherly love, leading to agape, selfless love. Be loving.
1:23 We are born again of the living word of God which abides forever; our flesh will fail but the seed from God in us is incorruptible.
2:1 Five social sins must be put away:
Malice is a general desire to be hurtful.
Guile is fraud, baiting or deceiving others.
Insincerity is hypocrisy, playing a part like an actor.
Envy desires what other people are and do.
Slander is unfairly hurting another person's reputation.
2:2 The pure spiritual liquid food will grow us from babies to maturity. It reflects the kindness of the Lord.The writer of Hebrews, on the other hand, would wish that his audience was ready for solid food--meat, but they were still unskilled in the word of righteousness. Heb.5:11–14.
We are to be alert, sober, obedient, holy and loving. What clues does Peter offer us in meeting these commands? We are ransomed, redeemed, freed from an old way of life. We are born into a new life that is not corrupt, and are being fed with the pure milk of the Word of God.
In I Peter 1, we can sort many of the elements of salvation into five periods, although they are not given in this sequence:
A. God's plan
*destined 1:2, as was Christ's sacrifice for sin 1:20
B. Our response
C. The immediate benefits of salvation
*ransomed, redeemed 1:18
*born again, regenerated 1:3,13
D. Our ongoing journey with God
E. Our destiny with God
Romans 8:29–30 gives us some of the same items: foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified. Peter's list omits other components of salvation found in Romans: justified, converted, united with Christ, and adopted. All four of these events are simultaneous with being born again. Sanctification, however, is in two phases, positional, at new birth, and progressive throughout life.
Our salvation is not a single or simple event. It has a sequence which began before time in God's predestination and election. (Eph.1:4). It may or may not have a clear starting point that we can identify in our own lives, but is a progression to a climax at Christ's return (glorified). That is why we say we have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Salvation is present, past and f future.
Peter spends much time on the future:
We have a living hope through the resurrection of Christ. 1:3
There is an inheritance for us guarded in Heaven. 1:4
Praise, glory and honor will come at the Revelation of Christ. 1:7
The outcome of faith is the salvation of our souls. 1:9
Grace is coming at the Revelation of Christ. 1:13
We will be judged impartially according to our deeds. 1:17
The Future began with Christ's first Advent. 1:12
The Future beginning with Christ's Advent starts the End-times. 1:20
What of the past? Peter spends only a little on the past.
We are not to be conformed to the passions of our former ignorance. 1:14
We are ransomed from the futile ways inherited from our fathers. 1:18
We may think that the present is the result of the past, and that the future is the product of the past and the present. We make projections of the future based on the past and present. Our family life and the patterns of life of our parents and friends are the basis of our calculations. The cost of goods, interest rates and real estate prices, and our job prospects are important to our plans.
Peter offers a very different perspective. He says little about the present: "for a little while you may have to suffer various trials." (1:6). He says that we have repudiated the past. The present is based on our rejection of our past and our anticipation of the future: these determine our present viewpoint and actions. Our investment is in the future, which cannot be easily projected from the present or the past, but is based on faith in God and in Christ's atonement.
Faith is gambling our lives on what we have abandoned and what we cannot completely fore-see. But we do not live in a vacuum. Our lives are filled with hope realized, joy and expectation.