This blog is called ‘Walking on Water Ministries’ because I am in the process of stepping out of the boat and walking on water toward Jesus, and I want to encourage others to join me. This is a scary time for Christians, but it is an exciting time. Peter was the person who literally stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus, and he was also the one that Jesus said would be the ‘rock’ on which He built His church. I think that Jesus could do with some more ‘rocks’ today, so I thought that I would hear what peter himself has to say. This series I’m going to work methodically through 1 and 2 Peter, starting with 1 Peter 1. Join me in reading this, and let’s step out of the boat and be the rock (not literally, as rocks sink, but you know what I mean).
Let’s start with 1 Peter 1:3-6, which says, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. 6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.” I’m sure that you’ll agree that this is quite a positive verse, very encouraging, even with the part about enduring trials. The trials are temporary, and they define and refine us. There are two things that caught my eye here though, take a look at the end of verse 3, Now we live with great expectation. That is not about heaven or our inheritance, that is about this world now. Yes, we have a priceless inheritance in heaven, but we also have great expectations here on earth too. So many Christians are convinced that we need to just ‘get by’ until Jesus comes back or we die. This is not the case, we must live with great expectation, AND have an inheritance in heaven. Win, win. Yes, we will have to endure hard times, but the idea is to learn from those hard times and move on. Easier said than done though. The second thing that I noticed was the beginning of verse 5, it says that God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, now this doesn’t mean salvation as in giving your life to Jesus, this means salvation as in going up to be with the Lord. That is not what caught my eye though, look before that, And through your faith. Now what do you propose that means? Is that because you had faith in Jesus once, or your ongoing faith? Does that mean that you may not be protected if you don’t have faith? I’m not sure, so I’m not going to decide just yet, but it is food for thought. Maybe this is why Jesus said to people that their faith had healed them, maybe us believing and having faith is more important than we may think? Food for thought.
Verses 13 to 16 go on to explain how we need to live holy lives, not as we used to live, but as God has called us to. This again is something that we don’t really like to hear. We like to hear all about God’s blessings, but we don’t like to hear that we also have to behave ourselves. Verse 17 sums it up nicely – And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favourites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” We are rewarded on what we do? What? What happened to Paul’s gospel all about grace? I believe that there is a place for grace, and a place for works. Let’s not use one to try and disprove the other, they are both important and we as believers need to be embracing both. Take a look at verse 22 as an illustration of this – You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Works and faith, both important.
I think that this is going to be an interesting series, the books of Peter do not always make pleasant reading, but it does show the ‘good news’ of the gospel, I hope that like me, you can also learn much though these books.