April 26, 2020

Peter's Letter-The Fisherman Praises God

Scripture Reading: I Peter 1:1-12

Today we have continued reading from the first letter of Peter as he praises God for the new life he has given to his people. Peter’s words are very appropriate in this Easter season as we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This good news is the basis for what we now read in our text. Peter begins saying, “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.” This opening acclamation sets the tone for what follows. I Peter 1:3-12 is one very long sentence in the original text. It’s as if, once the apostle begins with his opening words of blessing in verse 3, he cannot stop! Peter is overflowing with doxology and praise and he wants to share his passion and joy with the whole Church of Jesus Christ. In this time of isolation and uncertainty – now as always – we need to hear this good news.

Questions:

What are some of the good and not so good things we know about Peter’s life?

In light of the resurrection, what does it mean to be “born again”?

Take a look at Lord’s Day 23 of the Heidelberg Catechism which explains what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ and the work he has done for us.

Lord’s Day 23 Q & A 59
 
Q. What good does it do you, however,to believe all this? 
A. In Christ I am righteous before God and heir to life everlasting. 

Q & A 60
Q. How are you righteous before God?
A. Only by true faith in Jesus Christ.Even though my conscience accuses me of having grievously sinned against all God’s commandments, of never having kept any of them, and of still being inclined toward all evil, nevertheless, without any merit of my own, out of sheer grace, God grants and credits to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ, as if I had never sinned nor been a sinner, and as if I had been as perfectly obedient as Christ was obedient for me. All I need to do is accept this gift with a believing heart. Now back to Peter’s letter.

This letter is the good news we need for life right here, right now. The testing of our faith, the trials experienced in this life, the inheritance which is guaranteed – none of it is brand new. What Peter is saying is that all of this is in fulfillment of what the Lord’s prophets had only hinted at in the past. Peter writes, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have been told to you by those who have preached to gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven.” The entire biblical narrative comes together in Christ.

This Word of the Lord is living and active. It encourages us to live by faith in the wilderness of this world and to look forward to the glory which will be revealed. This gives us a worldview which is much greater than anything offered by the powers of this world. We live in the power and grace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Question:

How can you live out this Word in your life today?