Being Grieved by Various Trials

1 Peter 1:1-2 ESV

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

“To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you.”

Who are the “elect”? They are the chosen of God, believers in Jesus Christ, those chosen to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, although all have not yet believed in him. They are those whom God has persuaded to believe in Jesus Christ, to desire to know and to do the will of God and to prefer what God prefers, which is all that is holy, righteous, upright, morally pure, faithful, honest, trustworthy, godly, repentant, and obedient to God.

We are exiles, strangers, and aliens on this earth, because Jesus has called us out from the world to be separate (unlike, different) from the world and unto God and to his service, because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. We are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind away from sin and to walks of obedience to our Lord, discerning God’s perfect will for our lives.

1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

We can do nothing in and of ourselves to earn or to deserve or to gain our own salvation from sin, for we are all born into this world into sin in the image of Adam, and so we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness. Only through Jesus’ death on that cross and because of his resurrection from the dead in victory over sin can any of us be made right with God, be forgiven our sins, and have the hope of heaven.

[Rom 3:23; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49]

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, by God’s grace, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer according to our flesh, but now according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. Our old self is crucified with Christ in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we will no longer be enslaved to sin but to God and to his righteousness.

For, we are to no longer walk (in conduct, in practice) like the ungodly who have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. Thus, we are to no longer let sin reign in our earthly bodies, to make us obey its passions. But we are to present ourselves to God as instruments of righteousness, for sin is to no longer have dominion (rule, authority, control) over our lives, since we have been set free of sin.

For the truth that is in Christ Jesus teaches us “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness,” for sin is to no longer be our master, but Jesus is to be our only Lord (Eph 4:17-24; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Tit 2:11-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 12:1-2).

Those of us who have died with Christ to sin, who have forsaken our lives of sin to follow Jesus in obedience to his ways, and who are living to him and to his righteousness, in the power of God, according to the will of God, and by the grace of God, have this hope of an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, which is being kept in heaven for us, who by God’s power are being guarded through such a faith in Christ as this, for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Now, please make note of that last phrase, for it is important that we understand what that means. We are not saved (one time), done deal, and now we can live however we want, and one day when we die we get to go to heaven. That is not biblical salvation.

The Bible teaches we are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns, which is when our salvation will be complete, provided that we do not walk in sin, and that we walk in obedience to our Lord, and that we continue in such a faith as this until the very end. Otherwise, we aren’t saved and heaven is not our eternal home.

[Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 1 Jn 2:24-25; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

1 Peter 1:6-9 ESV

“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Now, the life of one who is chosen of God for salvation from sin, and who has been crucified with Christ in death to sin, is one who no longer is walking (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh but now is walking according to the Spirit in righteousness and holiness and in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant). And because our lives are dedicated to following Jesus in obedience, we will share in Christ’s sufferings, becoming like him in his death and resurrection.

These sufferings, though, are for our good. If we respond to them correctly, they produce in us endurance, character, and hope. They are also for the testing of the genuineness of our faith, for when we go through difficult times it has a way of either bringing out the best or the worst in us. So, sufferings are used of God sometimes to expose to us our weak areas so that we can surrender those to God and grow in our walks of faith.

One of the ways in which we will be called to suffer for the sake of the name of Jesus and for the sake of his gospel and for the sake of righteousness is that we will be hated, rejected, and persecuted because of our walks of obedience to our Lord, and because we stand strong on the truths of Scripture and of the gospel, and because we are publicly sharing the truth of the gospel and we exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, and we are calling people to repent of their sins and to follow Jesus in obedience.

But we do this because we love our Lord and because we love our fellow humans and we want to see as many as possible be delivered from their bondage to sin and to be able to walk in holiness and righteousness in the power of God, according to the will of God, out of love for God so that the outcome of their faith will be the salvation of their souls, too, which will not be complete until Jesus returns and he takes his bride to be with him.

[Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11]

Hear my Voice

An Original Work / July 9, 2012
Based off Psalm 27

The Lord is my great salvation.
He’s the stronghold of my life.
When my enemies attack me,
My heart will not fear at all.
Though a war break out against me,
Confident in Christ I’ll be.
Of the Lord, I ask that I may
Live with Him eternally.

Hear my voice, Lord, when I call you.
Merciful to me You’ll be.
Though my relatives forsake me,
My Lord God will receive me.
Teach me Your way, O my Jesus.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
I will sacrifice to my Lord.
I will sing with joyfulness.

I am confident that I will
See the goodness of the Lord.
All the richness of His blessings,
My Lord has for me in store.
He asks me to be of courage;
To be strong and to take heart,
Patiently as I wait for Him,
And from Him to ne’er depart.

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