December 17

I Peter 1 -- 2

Peter illustrates the Christian life by calling Christians the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ (I Peter 1:2). "Sprinkling" is alluding to Exodus 24:1-11, in which the blood was sprinkled on the altar as a symbol of the people's obedience to God, as well as sprinkled on the people as a symbol of God's acceptance of them.
As Christians, we look forward to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fades not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (I Peter 1:4-5). However, during our brief lifetime in this world, we are strangers and, as strangers and pilgrims (in this world), we are to abstain from fleshly lusts (evil desires and passions of our earthly nature), that war against the soul (2:11).
Peter reminded us of the deception of sin and the necessity, as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He who has called you is holy, so you should be holy in all manner of conversation (daily conduct) (1:14-15). Since the Bible is our source of strength, Peter urged all believers: As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby (spiritually) (2:2). Though Peter directs his words to new converts, he points out that the nourishment of the Word is essential if we are to live as obedient children.
Since we have been saved from sin, Satan, and eternal suffering in hell, we should live as servants of God (2:16). This could only mean our surrender to His authority. This never deprives us of true freedom and is always in our very best interest.
Peter describes Christians as living stones . . . built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (2:5). This is a reference to the Tabernacle in the wilderness and the Temple in Jerusalem. Each of us is a sacred Temple for the indwelling Holy Spirit. We have been chosen to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar (redeemed as His possession) people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you (2:9). As a royal priesthood, every believer has the privilege of direct access to God, and, with that privilege comes responsibility: intercessory prayer.
Just as the Israelites were called to be a holy nation, which represented God to men and became the custodian of His sacred Word, so every Christian today is a partaker of the Divine Nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. . . . Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue (moral excellence); and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance (self-control); and to temperance patience (steadfastness); and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness Christian love. . . . He that lacks these things is blind (II Peter 1:4-9).
Cross References:
For I Peter 1:16: See Lev. 11:44. I Pet. 1:24-25: See Isa. 40:6-8. I Pet. 2:6: See Isa. 28:16. I Pet. 2:7: See Psa. 118:22. I Pet. 2:22: See Isa. 53:9. I Pet. 2:24: See Isa. 53:4-5.

Prayer:

Pray for Youth With A Mission Nashville and Steve Tackett · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio Broadcast in honor of Laverne and Maryann Sharp · Country: Namibia (2 million) in southwest Africa · Major languages: Afrikaans and German · Religious freedom · 68% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 5% African traditional religions · Prayer Suggestion: Accept your responsibility to pray for our country (I Samuel 12:23).
Memory Verse for the Week:
I Peter 2:2