Dr. Zach Crook
In the letter of First Peter, Peter writes to the scattered churches in modern-day Turkey that are undergoing persecution. He challenges them to stand firm in their faith, even during difficult times. Peter begins the letter by reminding us that we have a living hope through the person of Jesus, which is a certainty that God has saved us from our sins and secured our eternity. Peter then challenges us to live differently, to live holy lives, as a response to what God has done for us. In order to be set apart from culture, we should live holy lives. Throughout the 1 Peter chapter one and into chapter two, he shows how our holiness is tied to our growth in the Word of God.
Immature Christians Need God’s Word
In 1 Peter 2:2, he uses an interesting phrase, comparing our desire for the word of God to the thirst of newborn infants for milk, highlighting the importance of growing up in our faith. Salvation is just the first step, and we are called to continue growing in the gospel throughout our lives. Peter challenges us not to be like children in our faith, who can be insecure, unstable, possessive, and gullible. As Christians, we sometimes question God over insignificant things, hold onto possessions of this world, and miss out on the greater promises He has for us. As illustrated in the comic Calvin and Hobbes, we can be gullible and easily believe in untrue things.
The Apostle Paul warns that Christians can be gullible, as seen in Ephesians 4:14 where we are compared to children swayed by every doctrine. Rather than standing firm on God’s Word, we often seek affirmation instead of truth and may conform to society’s trends by twisting Scripture. Peter reminds us to mature in God’s Word and be sanctified. To withstand trials and persecution, we must obey God’s truth, which purifies and sets us apart. By loving and serving others without hidden motives, we show sincere brotherly love. We need to recognize our need for God’s imperishable Word, which endures forever. The things of this world will fade, just like we all grow older and experience aches and pains.
We Should Have a Thirst for Scripture
In order to rid ourselves of negative qualities such as malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander, we should strive to become like newborn infants and desire the pure milk of God’s Word, which will help us grow in our salvation. Peter quotes Psalm 34 and emphasizes that the Word is imperishable and good for us, just like the milk a baby needs every few hours. We should not only listen to a sermon or attend Bible study once a week but daily ingest God’s Word as it is good news that will help us realize the goodness of the Lord. Peter goes back and forth between talking about the Word of God and Jesus, suggesting they are interchangeable, and reminds us that the Word is living and active, while Jesus is the Word. Therefore, we must build our lives on God’s Word and strive to live in it.
Jesus Is Our Foundation
God’s Word says that as we come to Him, we are like living stones being built into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood that offers acceptable spiritual sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ. It starts by talking about Jesus as our cornerstone, whom people rejected but was chosen and honored by God. The cornerstone is crucial in building the rest of the structure, and we are all called to build our lives on God’s Word and Jesus as our foundation. Peter quotes Psalms and Isaiah to emphasize this point and warns that those who disobey the word will stumble and be destined for destruction.
We must open our eyes and see that every other building will be destroyed, but those built by God will last forever. It can be easy to focus on temporary matters, but we need to build our lives on Jesus, who is the cornerstone and the foundation of our faith.
God’s Word Stands Forever
All of the things that we put so much time and effort into may not actually matter. At times, it can seem like we are on the losing side of things in American society, especially with the statistic that only 6% of Americans have a biblical worldview. However, it’s important to step back and have a global perspective. The continent with the most Christians currently is Africa and by 2030, China, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world, is projected to have more Christians than America. The gospel is spreading rapidly around the world, and it’s much bigger than just our country. Even if having a biblical worldview isn’t as culturally popular in our society anymore, it doesn’t mean that the gospel is losing its power or influence.
Just imagine the struggles faced by first-century Christians as they endured persecution from Nero. Today, Christianity has blossomed into the world’s most populous religion, with billions of people trusting in Christ. We need to step back and gain a more global perspective of who God is and appreciate Him for working around the world while also praying for another great awakening in our country. Peter emphasizes that Jesus is our foundation, and we should build our lives upon the Word of God, which is permanent. Charles Spurgeon implored his congregation in 1856 to make their lives about the gospel rather than opposing it, reminding them that the gospel will win its way because the truth is mighty and must prevail. If we try to stand against God’s Word, everything else will fail, and all other things will fade. However, building our lives in line with the Holy Spirit’s and God’s plan will last for eternity.
We Must Share God’s Word with Others
Peter reminds us that the gospel may be offensive, causing people to stumble and disobey the word. Thus, we must stand firm on God and Jesus as our foundation. Peter quotes scripture repeatedly, following Jesus’s example, who quoted the Old Testament in 10% of his spoken words recorded in Scripture. Therefore, we need to immerse ourselves in God’s Word to obey it and build our lives on it. We must also share God’s Word and understand our identity in Christ, as we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for His possession. Jesus saw our value and spilled His blood on the cross for us. Thus, we must proclaim His praises and share God’s Word with others. Peter reminds us of our identity in Christ and the importance of sharing God’s Word.
God’s Word is our food, and we need to spend time learning it, memorizing it, and letting it immerse us. We are called to proclaim the praises of the one who brought us out of darkness into his marvelous light, and to share the gospel with those who need to hear it. We have a new identity as chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and people for God’s possession. We shouldn’t just thank Jesus and move on, but we should invite others into God’s mercy and marvelous light.
Peter concludes by reminding us that we were once without hope, but now we are God’s people who have received mercy. Now that you have received mercy, it is important for us to not only understand the significance of God’s Word and build our lives on it but also to share it with others. It is crucial for them to hear about who Jesus is and what He has done for us.