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March 18 Thoughts

On Wednesday mornings I meet with a group of guys and we are studying 1 Peter,. The stuff below is today’s lesson. I thought it worth sharing.

Peter tells us, and I paraphrase, as we prepare our minds for action and live our lives in reverence to God we are to be holy. Holiness is to be set apart for God, which is often confused with perfection. In the Greek, perfection means to be in a constant state of conforming to Christ. And we are to rid ourselves of all intentional sin, which leads to deceitfulness, envy, and legalism. (1 Peter 1.24-25, again a paraphrase) This wrong thinking can be replaced with something altogether Christ-like: preparing our minds to fall in love with what God has done for us in Jesus. Once we have this love we see Christ and his sacrifice more clearly. The metaphor Peter uses here is to crave Christ: in our case, as the first century Christian, Christ’s manifestation in our lives through the Spirit but also through the word. (For more read John 1)

As we see Christ’s manifestation in our life through the actions where we discover God we begin to love his presence and we see him everywhere.

This process is exactly what all Christians are to experience as they become mature in Christ:

  1. New Discovery: We are awakened to God
  2. New Connections: to God and to people. We are changed to move toward God
  3. New Meaning: we see God at work everywhere. Illumination
  4. New Life: We are at peace with God willing to take any step He has for our life. We are at one with God

Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2.1 that we will grow up in our salvation. Implicit in this statement is the fact that there is a process. As we taste what is good (Christ) we grow in Christ.

Peter then tells us as we move toward Christ and take on his character we will be transformed into a priest able to make sacrifices to God and humanity out of our need for gratification to God. In other words we can’t help but give back to God out of the fullness that He has given us. Peter even compares our walk to a house being built. This house if built properly will be made true. The one who trusts in Christ will never be put to shame. To those who do not believe Jesus will become a stumbling block. A person cannot walk around Jesus if they have been exposed to the truth. Rather, they will stumble or trip over the facts.

Peter states in 1 Peter 2.9 that we are a “special possession” so we may declare God’s greatness but only after we are called out of the darkness; again implicit with a process. We are 1, chosen; 2, brought out of darkness; 3, made holy; and 4, that we may declare God’s praises! Exactly the process described above. How is all this possible? Verse 10 states, “because now you have received mercy,” if you have accepted Jesus.

Creed Branson, Executive Minister



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