Many people have lost their faith! I know this is a bold comment and is one that will make some people uncomfortable, but they have! But did they lose it in God? Or did they lose in other things, perhaps in their fellow man? One thing is for sure. We can draw comfort from God’s Word. In the following article I have attempted to explain this scripture in such a way that we can realize that our reliance is not on any man, object or desire but on God.
The books of 1 & 2 Peter are often glossed over by readers. People tend to just read through them without stopping to understand the implications of what they are reading. Many people will just say to themselves “well that was good” and not stop to think how to apply what they just read to their lives.
As with all scripture we must remember that there are layers to what we read (like an onion). We must begin to peel back the layers. Think of this book as a way to pull back the first layer of these wonderful letters that Peter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote to Christians. Think of this article as the beginning of a foundation. As Jesus said in Luke 6:46-49 in the parable of the man who built is house upon a rock. That man had to dig down to the rock. Consider this book a part of the beginning of building upon the rock, the digging portion of the construction.
Luke 6:46-49 (KJV)
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
1 Peter 1:1-2(KJV)
1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
Peter opens this book by telling his readers who he is. These first words “Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ” are filled with meaning to the people who first read this letter, just as it is to us today. This statement shows his authority and what he has been called to do for God. He writes as one having authority. He is someone who transcends an expert, but one who has been touched of God to deliver and important message to God’s people. It is as if he saying LISTEN UP! God has something to tell you! We know that because of this authority, in these words we will find the literal keys of life, if they are applied through prayer and practice in humility before a Glorious God.
Now Peter moves on to whom the letter is addressed. These are known as the churches of Asia Minor. What one must remember is that the early Christians were made up of converted Jews. Jesus was the Jewish savior (Messiah).
Peter uses phrases that would be familiar to them and reminds them of their standing before God. He calls them the elect of God because God foreknew them. This simply means that he looked down the hallway of time (being that God is outside time and space) and knew who would receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. He is writing to them, God’s people (Christians).
In his introduction he uses a term that we will address. He says these people are being sanctified by the Spirit while being obedient to Christ. Sanctification is a large word that we sometimes use in churches that can confuse people. Sanctification is a process in which the Christian, through the power of the Holy Spirit, continually walks in obedience to scripture. The Christian is to continually clean their lives up before a Holy God. We are not left alone in this task, we are given the Holy Spirit and that is why Peter talks about the Spirit here.
He also makes a reference to having our hearts sprinkled by the blood of Christ. This would have been a familiar reference for his audience. They were used to animal sacrifices, in which the animal’s blood was sprinkled on the altar for the remission of sins. This is in reference to what Christ did for us on the cross by making us right with God. The animal sacrifices had to happen continually because they did not get rid of sin, but rather, only covered the sin. Unlike the animal sacrifices Christ did it once for all. What He did never needs to be done again. It was a one-time event. The only thing we are required to do is surrender ourselves to God. There is no longer any need for animal sacrifice because of what Jesus did for us.
For readers going through persecution the first two verses would have brought great hope and comfort to them, knowing that God loves them and has gone through the cross just to bring them closer to Him. We should also find hope and comfort in these first two verses. No matter what we are facing we can face it in the power of Jesus Christ aided by the Holy Spirit. The key is not to put or faith in the wrong things. Our Faith needs to be in God not anything else. Where is/was your faith when you lost it? Was it in God or something else?
In Christ Jesus,