Continuing on in his theme of living a godly life in a hostile world, in 1 Peter 2.18-23, Peter reminds his readers that the right response to unfair treatment in life, especially at work, is one of submission. This submission will not be easy, especially when we feel our rights have been violated, but it is the pattern that Jesus left us to follow. When He was reviled and hated and insulted, he did not retaliate, but trusted final judgement to God. Life isn’t always fair, and this was especially true for Jesus whose obedience to the Father led Him all the way to the cross to save His people. Sorry, audio problems meant the recording is inaudible.
In a day when governments and politicians are generally derided, in 1 Peter 2:13-17, Peter reminds his readers that the right response to the governing authorities is one of submission. This response recognizes that God has arranged human governments to promote the good and legislate against evil, and that this is one of the ways in which God exercises His will on earth. However, there is a limit to this submission, and Peter reminds us of this too. Submission to God comes first and always takes priority. Yet, believers are called to be the best citizens we can be for Jesus’ sake.
When the rescue of miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell was unfolding in Beaconsfield, Tasmania, back in May 2006, the whole world held their breath! After having been given up for dead because of the thick rock that kept the men from freedom, in the course of time, they were rescued from their captivity and the watching world sighed with relief! Throughout the whole ordeal and after, tribute was rightly paid to the rescuers who toiled tirelessly to reach the men in extreme circumstances and at great risk to themselves.
The mine rescue story reminds us of another rescue story, an even better one. The Bible tells us that ‘all men have sinned’ (Romans 3:23) and that because of this we are unable to save ourselves. All of us are ‘trapped’ in the cage of our own sinful natures and all are in need of a Rescuer. Jesus Christ is that Rescuer. At great cost to Himself and to rescue His people, He died upon a cross and was buried. Then to prove that His work was sufficient and accepted by God, and that He was and is the Son of God, He was raised from the grave after three days.
We all need to be rescued. At Easter we are reminded that only Jesus Christ can do this completely. Through faith in Him, all who believe are granted full and free salvation. He said, ‘If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’. (John 8:36). Seek Him. Great joy will follow your rescue too.
Join us this Easter! Good Friday 9:30am, Easter Sunday 10:30am. All welcome!
When Peter used the terms ‘sojourners and pilgrims’ to describe his readers, he reminded both them and us that believers are to be in but not of this world. In 1 Peter 2:11-12, we are taught that in order that we may live as the people of God, we are to have a mindset that this world is not our home, that we are engaged in a war against the desires of the sinful nature, that good deeds will show to the watching world the reality of our faith and that there is a day coming when all will be required to face God as Judge. Peter’s words are a challenge to believers to pursue and value our treasure in heaven over and above the treasures of earth.
In this world where people are vainly searching for their identity, in 1 Peter 2:4-10, Peter lets his readers know just who they are as ‘living stones’ in the spiritual house that God is constructing for the glory of His Son, Jesus. As ‘living stones’, believers are being built upon the one foundation and cornerstone (Jesus) in whom we find our identity as God’s chosen and precious people, and as those called out of darkness of sin into the light of His grace. Then, as God’s people, are task is to be in the world declaring aloud the praises of Him who loved us and brought us to Himself – all because of His grace.
Reading God’s Word out loud is a very important aspect of our worship. Why? Because whenever His Word is read, He speaks to us! It’s for this reason (and some others) that we want to do the public reading of God’s Word to the best that we can. After our 4th Sunday lunch on March 22nd, we’re aiming to do some training in this very area, so that we can all, literally, be ‘on the same page’.
If believers have been ‘born again’ by the imperishable seed of the Word of God, it follows that the natural outcome of this new birth will be hunger. In 1 Peter 2:1-3, Peter tells believers that we should be hungry for that which gave us birth (ie the Word of God) and presents this to us in the image of craving milk just like a new-born baby. But in order to feed properly and be full on the Word of God, we need to put aside those sins which would hinder us, as well as ensuring that we do not fill up on the ‘junk food’ of the world leaving no room for the real truth of the Word.