Saturday, October 10, 2009

Peter's Conclusion

1 Peter 5:12-14

Silvanus the Brother, 12

Being, no doubt, delivered by the hands of Silvanus (Silas) to the church or churches to whom Peter is writing is a faithful brother to those written to as well as to Peter. We have many brothers just like this in our day, who are instantly willing to do whatever they are able to do in order that the Kingdom of Christ may be continued and exalted and that the Gospel be preached throughout the world.

Peter sent with his concluding remarks the idea that the true grace of God is existent and confessed among those to whom Peter is writing. The true grace of God is his electing grace (1 Peter 1:2), and it is a grace wherein we are to stand continually and not to forsake, which some have done in our day, becoming lackadaisical and unconcerned about the work of the Lord. We should always stand in the grace of God, always busy about the Father's business. This is our life-long vocation.

The Church At Babylon, 13

This church was, no doubt, made up of pure-blooded Jews who did not return to Judah from Babylon when they were taken away in the captivity. The Gospel had got to them, and they were saved by the true grace of God. Peter is here acknowledging them; otherwise, we would have no knowledge today of their existence. It is believed that this letter was written from Babylon.

It is miraculously by grace that God would find and save people who seem to have been forgotten by God at the time when he was sending Jewish people back into their land after the 70-year captivity. But God has not forgotten his people nor forsaken them. He will save all his people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).

From Babylon, that deceitfully beautiful city with all of its idolatry, its prostitution, its wantonness and greed has in it a remnant who have been touched by the true grace of God; and these lovely people, who have been saved amidst all of this degradation, are now saluting the people to whom Peter is writing as fellow saints of God with Christian love and generosity.

The Holy Kiss, 14

Peter wishes them cordiality and love among themselves, for without love the grace of God is squandered and misrepresented (See 1 Cor. 13 for the more excellent way). Love among brethren is paramount in our ministries today. We must "love the brethren," for this is a genuine testimony of the grace of God that has been worked in our souls (1 John 3:14).

Peter wishes them peace, not world peace, but the peace that passes understanding (Phil. 4:7), that peace with God (Rom. 5:1) that is greater than world peace, and the peace of God (Col. 3:15) which rules in our hearts and pushes us on toward the prize of the high calling of God (Phil. 3:14). The only way we can have this peace, Peter explains, is through Christ Jesus. He is the only way, truth and life (John 14:6). Neither is there any other name whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

So ends the book of 1 Peter with many instructions on how to live the new life that we have in Christ Jesus. He has mentioned many things that affect our individual lives and also church life. This book should be read often and heeded. May God be our guide to follow this instruction for the duration of this short life. Amen.