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Joyfully Loving in Truth
We have the advantage today of reading an entire letter to see its context and connections. In the Apostle John’s letters and in his gospel we find the recurring themes of love, truth and joy. Even more, we are drawn to their inseparable and beautiful connection to one another. John’s message is both simple and profound.
Resisting the Devil
1 Peter 5:5-14
As Peter concludes his letter, his final admonition is to resist the devil. The Apostle Paul has a similar thought in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” All of the New Testament writers and Jesus have warnings about the devil or Satan. We do best to pay attention.
1 Peter 5:1-5
After his summation of how we are to view and endure suffering, Peter addresses the qualities of leadership which will be needed in the church as people face various trials. Though primarily directed to elders, he is really speaking to all of us since leaders are to be examples of faith for the church. Peter identifies himself as a fellow elder, a witness of the sufferings of Christ and as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed. He exhorts the leadership to:
Rejoicing in Christ
1 Peter 4:12-19
We continue with the theme of suffering. How we respond is critical. Faith and holy conduct are necessary. Peter also emphasizes rejoicing in the Lord because it is an incredible outward witness of the inward heart and mind.
Serving One Another
1 Peter 4:7-11
As we serve one another, we will also extend ourselves outward to serve the world. Scripture is clear that love and service begins within the household of God to bring encouragement to each other and then to act as a powerful witness of God’s grace. Peter helps us to see several important facets of serving one another.
Arm Yourselves with Christ’s Way of Thinking
1 Peter 4:1-6
Earlier in this letter, Peter wrote, “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” (1:13-15) Through the lens of suffering for the sake of Christ, Peter returns to this insight of right thinking.
As we saw last week in the previous verses, Peter reminded us to be prepared for suffering and understand how it works for our good, other’s good and God’s glory. In these verses, Peter gives us more encouragement to endure suffering. Baptism is a powerful reminder of what God has done and of our commitment of faith.
In this passage, Peter is calling for us to be prepared in advance to share with anyone the reason for the hope inside of us. Part of this is to understand the role of adversity and how it ultimately works for our good, other’s good and God’s glory.
After Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, two Greeks, who were there to worship, set their wills to see Jesus. They found Philip, one of the disciples and said, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” This is the heart and mind of all true worshipers and seekers. Jesus’ response to this is interesting. He tells his disciples, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”
Scripture has much to say about marriage; some by teaching and some by example. Peter offers only a small slice of the whole, but it is rich in purpose and insight. Relationships, especially marriage, reveal our flaws and imperfections. The context of Peter’s letter is that all of our conduct is in and through the grace of God in Christ.