Tag: new birth
Scripture reading for November 9th: 1 Peter 1
Peter, along with James and John, was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus Christ. Peter also denied His Lord three times during Jesus’ trial before the crucifixion. Peter wept bitterly and was later restored by the Lord after the resurrection. As recorded by John, Peter was told by Jesus that he would eventually die for his faith. (John 21:18-19)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)
Peter understood the ‘new birth’ because of his own experience! Jesus Christ had breathed on him and sent him to preach the good news of forgiveness of sins. (John 20:22) He had seen Jesus Christ in His resurrection body and knew Him as the ‘Living Hope’ for his own life and all who would believe! (2nd Peter 1:16) He knew that at Jesus’ return, he and the Church would enjoy the full salvation promised by Christ–a resurrected body–like His glorious body! He also knew that only genuine faith would result in joy at Christ’s return! Are you resting totally Christ’s sacrifice for you? Only those who have experienced new birth in Christ will enjoy full salvation!
Scripture reading for November 22nd: 1st Peter 1:1-12
Peter was one of the Twelve disciples. Peter was notoriously impulsive and sometimes very fickle in his walk with Jesus. Jesus chose him, not for his perfection, but because of God’s sovereign purpose. Peter faithfully served the Lord by ministering mainly to Jews in the early church. We have two letters written by him to encourage those suffering persecution as believers in Christ. These speak to us today!
“To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” (1st Peter 1:1-2)
Peter began his letter by addressing those who would receive it. He first stated that they were God’s elect! God the Father chose them by His foreknowledge to be a part of His family. God knows the hearts of all men and chooses them. This does not mean that we do not have free will. God knows how we will choose and knows us completely from before creation! (Ephesians 1:4-5)
He told the believers that they were scattered by God. The term ‘scattered’ was a farming term used of the farmer that purposely placed the seed in soil where it would grow and produce a crop. Each believer is placed by God like seed. God’s purpose for us is that we will produce fruit–a crop of righteousness–for His glory!
To enable this, God’s gift of grace to us is the gift of His righteousness brought to us by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit indwells us upon our obedience of placing faith in Christ’s sacrifice. The Holy Spirit works within us to sanctify us, that is to make us holy and complete.
“You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1st Peter 1:9-10) What a privilege we share with the recipients of this apostolic letter from Peter! Thank the Lord for His calling and saving grace!