In our culture, comfort and ease are valued so highly that the very thought of suffering as a normal part of life is unthinkable. In fact, too often the message coming from Christian leaders makes a mockery of suffering and categorizes it as outside of personal faith. Many people try to believe that they can live without suffering and still be faithful witnesses of God’s...Keep Reading
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Everyone wants to be blessed. The problem is that we often view blessings as our gain at other’s loss. We are blessed if we win the lottery. Of course, that means that everyone else did not, and we got their money. We even tend to think that for God to bless us, others must not be blessed. And even further, we begin to feel that we are only blessed when we have more good things happening to us than are happening to others....
In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures....
Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?...
Christians are participants in the new creation, radically born again of the imperishable seed of God’s word. They have been separated for his possession and use in this world. They are filled with light and are placed in the midst of darkness. They are often broken so the light is seen by those walking in darkness. They embrace this calling and are ready to give an answ...Keep Reading
When bondage masquerades as liberty we must be on alert in order to escape the trap. It usually occurs when we have incorrectly identified our captors. If we think that our problem is authority or even rules, we will define liberty in terms of being out from under authority and beyond rules. Many have celebrated their presumed liberation only to find themselves deeper in b...Keep Reading
Peter’s instructions regarding how to live in a culture that is hostile to the Gospel includes how believers are to respond to governmental structures that often put pressure on the Christian worldview. Peter reminds them and us that God has instituted certain structures in society and that submission to those God-ordained authorities is submission to God himself. The ci...Keep Reading
It has been established that we are set apart to represent our Lord on this earth. We have been forgiven and cleansed by an act of unmatched mercy. We have been identified as his people on earth. We have been born again of the imperishable seed of his word. Our purpose is to reveal what free living looks like. We are not only free from the enslaving power of sin, but we ar...Keep Reading
The distinguishing feature of God’s people is that they are objects of mercy and reflections of mercy. No person really knows God personally if he or she has not cried out for mercy. People don’t become living stones in the living temple of God until they have faced their own desperate need of forgiveness. We are dead in trespasses and sins. We are blind to a true pers...Keep Reading
Writing to a group of scattered Christians who had no real identity in their culture, Peter emphasizes who these people really are. They were rejected by the Jewish community because their Savior was the same Jesus that was rejected by the Jewish system. The secular culture viewed them as some kind of strange sect that was neither Jewish nor pagan. They were followers of a...Keep Reading
Jesus is offensive to those who have refused to respond to the previous revelations of God given through creation, conscience, and scripture. It is truly remarkable that mankind could be so blind as not to see the beauty of God in all that is around us. Yet, we are reminded daily that Jesus is rejectable. Believers should be overwhelmed with the mercy shown to us in openin...Keep Reading
We have just endured a grueling election, and feelings are still strong. Some are angry. Some are elated. Some are relieved. A huge transition is under way, and no really knows what the immediate future holds politically. There is still a lot of angst in the air. What a great time to stop and give thanks. Our souls need a refreshing and our hearts long to be whole. But mor...Keep Reading
We were made to worship! It is the reason for our existence. It is the only way we find our purpose, and it is the epitome of our delight. Adam and Eve worshipped God at all times. They adored him and obeyed him as they enjoyed his fellowship. It was in an act of worship that Cain became angry and killed his brother. When humans have gone astray, they have done so by worsh...Keep Reading