Earlier this evening, I was pondering the words penned by Peter so long ago. In the first chapter of the Book of 1 Peter, he writes about the hope of eternal life. He writes:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
1 Peter 1:3-5 (NLT)
Peter tells us that it is by God's mercy that we are saved because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. He tells us that we can live with great expectation, that we have a priceless inheritance in heaven which is pure and undefiled, it is protected. He tells us that through our faith, God is protecting us until we receive it. Peter is revealing God's love, mercy and grace towards us.
Peter goes on to tell us:
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
1 Peter 1:6-7
Peter says that we are to be glad. There is wonderful joy ahead even though we have to endure many trials... for a little while.
The purpose of these trials validate our faith. It shows that it is genuine. This is where the rubber hits the road so to speak. We may have our moments of doubt and fear when enduring trials but when we keep on walking, when we keep reaching out for God, even in the storm, we demonstrate that our faith is not merely words, it is genuine.
After speaking about our glorious hope, Peter begins to tell us how we ought to live. If the way that we live as Christians was not important, I do not believe Peter would have addressed this issue. Sometimes we complicate things with too much thinking. Instead of arguing about grace versus works and so forth, perhaps our energy would be best spent in just simply doing what God's Word tell us to do rather than getting into a debate about it.
Perhaps I am oversimplifying things but it just seems to me that if God says we are to love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul than we must do it. If He tells us that we need to love our neighbor as ourselves than we simply need to do it. If He tells us that adultery, even if we commit it in our heart rather than physically do it, is wrong than we should not do it.
Why do we quibble about whether it is necessary for us as Christians to be obedient? This question ought not to even be raised. Of course it is! We argue about whether obedience is necessary to salvation but let me ask you this question. In their heart of hearts, why would a true child of God not want to be obedient?
Please consider these words:
So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.
So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.
But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.
For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.
And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.”
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver.
It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
1 Peter 1:13-22
We have been saved by grace. Now we must live as one saved by grace.
"We argue about whether obedience is necessary to salvation but let me ask you this question. In their heart of hearts, why would a true child of God not want to be obedient."
Great thought, if we have received a new heart that heart longs for conformity to God's will. Trust, reliance and dependance upon Jesus is not a mental agreement to certain facts and doctrines.