Gracefully Truthful

Help,Humility,Identity,Peace,Praise,Prayer,Sacrifice

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

1 Peter 1:5-9

You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith —more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire —may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

The Original Intent

1) How do faith and God’s guarding connect with our “salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”? (verse 5)

Salvation is a “saving” from the eternal punishment everyone has rightfully earned because of our sin. (Romans 6:23) The eternal punishment is separation from every aspect of God’s goodness, meaning only His righteous wrath remains on us. (Romans 1:18)

When our physical bodies die on earth, we enter the eternal consequence where we forever experience the wrath of God without escape. (Romans 2:5) This is the default destination for every human because we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) The only way we can be “saved” from eternal death is for Someone to pay the debt we owe. (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

The debt is impossible to pay by any human because even one drop of sin ruins every attempt at righteous acts. (Isaiah 64:6, James 2:10) We need a perfectly, sinless human to take our death for us. The only human who could accomplish this impossibility is the perfect God. This is why Christ needed to be both fully God and fully human. (Hebrew 2:17-18) He lived the perfect human life without a hint of sin, because He is also God (John 10:30), and then sacrificed Himself as the perfect offering to appease the wrath of God reserved for all humanity because of our sin. (Hebrews 10:12-14)

God the Father, who is perfectly just (Deuteronomy 32:4), accepted this perfect sacrifice and adopts all who come to Him in honest faith relying on Christ’s righteousness instead of their own sin. (Romans 8:15-17) When we have faith in God’s salvation and Christ’s payment for our sin, God adopts us as His children and views us as righteous just like His Son, Christ Jesus. (Romans 5:6-11)

Christ’s sacrifice will never be marred by His sin because He won’t sin, and it can’t be marred by our sin, because all our sin has already been paid for by His death and resurrection. Because God willingly adopts His children on the basis of Christ’s righteousness, we cannot remove ourselves from His rescue. (John 10:28-29) In this way, we are “guarded” for eternity by God.

The Everyday Application

1) How do faith and God’s guarding connect with our “salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”? (verse 5)

At just the right time, our eternal salvation will be revealed to us. It’s “ready” right now! From God’s perspective, as He exists outside of time, all who trust Him for salvation are already saved, raised, and seated with Christ in the heavenlies! (Ephesians 2:5-6) This is a done deal with no way to remove ourselves from it.

Anyone who has true faith in Jesus’ sacrifice for us, is currently being guarded by God’s adoption while we live on earth and suffer trials and do His work. (verse 6) One day, when our life on earth is over, we will finally experience the salvation that is ready for us. That salvation is life with God and His people, lived fully and abundantly without sin.

We will be His people and He will be our God. (Revelation 21:3) No one will condemn us. (Romans 8:33) Sin will never again steal, kill, or destroy any aspect of life or relationships! (John 10:9-10) All will be new! (Revelation 21:5)

Though this is a future reality, we can also live now in that reality. Though temptation still plagues us, and we even still choose sin (1 John 1:9), His promise remains that nothing can separate us from the love of God through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)

As we engage in relationships, as we work at our jobs, when we sin and when we choose God’s ways, we can be confident of God’s overwhelming love for us at all times. We are His and we cannot remove ourselves from His goodness if we have trusted Him with true, genuine faith. (John 10:28-30)

Is Christ’s righteousness yours through faith? If so, celebrate! Every moment of every day, you have a Father who will never forsake you and whose love constantly surrounds you. He sings victorious songs of deliverance over you! (Psalm 32:7)

The Original Intent

2) What brings praise, glory, and honor to Jesus and when does this happen according to this passage? (verses 6-7)

Peter’s purpose in writing his letter to the believers scattered across Asia Minor was to provide deep encouragement to endure their suffering because Christ is worth it! He wanted to remind them that suffering was a natural part of following Jesus (1 Peter 2:12), they weren’t alone in it (1 Peter 5:9), and the coming glories far exceeded the current struggles. (Romans 8:18, 1 Peter 5:1)

He began his letter by setting up a sharp contrast between coming glory and current pain, while acknowledging the very real suffering of life now. For the future, he uses phrases like “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (verse 4) to describe the coming inheritance for all who have believed in Jesus.

We know today that gold is basically indestructible. Sandra Smith writes, “Gold is the most noble of all metals. It is resistant to air, water, salt, and most acids. Heat does not destroy gold, allowing it to be melted and re-melted. Nearly all the gold ever mined is still in existence today, in one form or another.” Despite its durability and near indestructability, it can be dissolved.

Peter compares gold, which is refined by fire, to the faith of a true believer, except one, he notes, will eventually perish, while one will endure forever. Our faith will endure forever, not because of our ability or our righteousness, but because of Christ’s righteousness and His ability to guard and keep our souls without end.

On the day we are raised from the physical grave to enjoy eternity with God, it will be known and celebrated that this work happened because of Christ alone. This is HIS work! He gets the glory, praise, and honor; our rescue is not from us “so no one can boast”. (Ephesians 2:9)

We boast, give praise, honor, and glory to God, for in our weakness Christ proves His all-surpassing strength. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

The Everyday Application

2) What brings praise, glory, and honor to Jesus and when does this happen according to this passage? (verses 6-7)

I can’t think of much I’ve done today that is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” I know the dishes will be dirtied again tomorrow, the laundry will need washed, the floor re-swept, and relationships will need more encouragement. Sometimes the cyclic nature of everyday life feels meaningless, doesn’t it? “Imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” seem laughably impossible.

But God. He promises He is faithfully preserving our souls every single day and carrying us through each night all the way through eternity. Without end, we are preserved by the Lord’s strength. (Psalm 121:8)

Amazingly, He takes our feeble work to serve and honor Him in our everyday lives and counts it as valuable. (1 Corinthians 15:58) He uses even our suffering to produce His own character in us, another work that will endure forever. (Romans 5:3-5)

In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Not one dirty dish washed for the glory of God, not one afternoon sacrificed to help someone in need, not one word of encouragement, not one act of generous love. All of it matters to Him, and all of it is part of the work He will preserve for eternity. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13)

When we consider Elizabeth’s faithful response (see yesterday’s Journey Study!), we know the Lord accepted her offering of faith and used it for His kingdom in ways she would never realize. As for Zacharias, who showed a lack of faith, the Lord still preserved him, pursuing him and teaching him about the character of God until he grew deeper in his faith. His suffering produced greater character that reflected the Lord.

Nothing was wasted for this couple, and nothing will be wasted for you and me. Let’s stay in the fight and keep offering our weaknesses to the One who produces “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” work in us!

The Original Intent

3) What can we learn about Zacharias and Elizabeth from verses 8 and 9?

Sometimes, we need to look at the end of a complex sentence in Scripture to make sense of its beginning. Verse 9 states the reason, signaled by the word “because”, for all that was written before it, “because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

The end goal of our everyday faith is our eternal rescue, which, as mentioned before, God is actively guarding us so as to ensure we receive our eternal inheritance which is ready right now for us. Peter’s words are chosen carefully to convey a cemented, unchanging reality. He could have written “because you are hoping to one day receive rescue…”, but he wrote with certainty. Those who have placed their faith in Jesus absolutely will receive the goal of their faith, rescue from eternal death and forever living with God!

Peter rightly paints the “finish line” with convicted assurance; it will be glorious and worth every struggle, but we still face the unknown right now. We can’t see the Spirit within us. We can’t see Christ standing beside us, carrying us along. We can’t see the glory of the Father as He sits enthroned by angels worshipping and praising Him. Here in the midst of our un-seeing, faith shines with stunning brilliance, stirring within us a earning for what we know is indeed coming.

Peter conveys this by writing, speaking of Christ, “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him […]” (verse 8) The Spirit of God, living inside of all true believers, calls out to the Father constantly pulling our souls to His, teaching us to love Him, desire His ways, long to be close to Him, and yearn to be Home. (Galatians 4:6)

The Everyday Application

3) What can we learn about Zacharias and Elizabeth from verses 8 and 9?

Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.” This was the heartbeat of Elizabeth’s faith when she heard the news she would have a son in her old age and he would be the predecessor of the long-awaited Messiah. (Luke 1:25) All those years of barrenness, she could not see the miracle that was coming, but she had learned to worship the Lord whom she could only see with eyes of faith.

That faith, developed over a life time of choosing worship, gave her the stability and courage to welcome and birth her firstborn when she was old enough to enjoy great, great grandchildren. Hers is a faith we look at it and wish were our own. For Zacharias, his words, though similar to Mary’s at the announcement of Jesus’ coming (Luke 1:18, Luke 1:34) the Lord knew his heart didn’t really trust Him.

His faith wasn’t strong enough to love the God he couldn’t see and trust Him with a miracle that hadn’t happened yet. We look at Elizabeth and Zacharias, wishing we had Elizabeth’s faith, but fearing we may have Zacharias’.

Sister, take heart! The Lord was oh so gracious and tender to Zacharias, despite his disbelief. He was given muteness until the time his miracle baby wailed a newborn’s cry. He still received the child. He wasn’t struck dead in the holy of holies for his lack of heart worship, though he certainly could have been. (Luke 1:21-22) He was given muteness, the gift of a silent tongue to teach his heart to worship in quiet and stillness, through the suffering and while he waited, on the goodness of the Lord to be made evident. (Psalm 27:13-14)

Wherever you are in your journey of growing faith, be encouraged, the Lord is giving you opportunities to trust Him, to know Him and love Him, even if you can’t see Him.

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