Monday, May 09, 2016

Rephrasing 1st Peter, chapter 1 and a bit of chapter 2

Dear far away, as yet unmet, friends who have come to recognize and be changed by the Spirit of the Lord such that you have embraced repentance and discipleship. I wish you much grace and peace.

Thanks be to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ whose abundant mercy has enabled you to be born again to new hope, which hope in you upon started upon learning of Jesus' resurrection,

You rejoice greatly in this, even during the times when temptations come and your faith is tried. Your faith in the Lord is more precious than gold, but that does not mean it will not be tried to the extreme. There is reason to rejoice, even through those fiery trials of faith, for trials of faith can, if you continue in faith, prepare you for experiences full of praise, honor and glory when you meet Jesus Christ again.

You have not met Him, but you love Him. And even though you have not met Him or seen Him, you believe and experience the joy and rejoicing and sense of glory that comes from that decision to believe Him. And that, you will find, fills you with a sense of what will be the ultimate result of your faith: the salvation of your soul: the ability to stand, blameless and free and full of love, in the presence of God.

For centuries prophets prophesied of the wonderful gift of daily grace from God that you would experience, and asked and diligently searched to find out when the suffering and atonement of Christ would happen and when the particularly glorious hope that would follow that would begin.

It was revealed to them that it would not happen during their lifetimes, but, nonetheless, they did teach and testify of it coming. And you have experienced the arrival of that wonderful gift as you listened to those who have preached the gospel to you and taught with the Spirit of the Lord. Angels in heaven love watching that happen.

So, set your mind to be faithful, brave, and ready to do God's work. Be sober. Continue hopeful and continue living expecting the amazing grace that is to be

You are called to be obedient children of God, not just people following our appetites or passions as you were before you understood. Be holy in your conversations. The scriptures have taught us that, as followers of the Holy One, he has called us to be holy.

You know that you were not redeemed with money. Payment for sin is not made with physical things. You were redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. The old way of making a sacrifice with an unblemished lamb was a foretelling of this ultimate sacrifice for your redemption.

Christ was appointed to this work of redemption before the world was created but He carried it out during your current time. You believe in God, the Father. And it was God, the Father, who raised Him from the dead and gave him glory so that you might have this faith and hope in God that you have now.

You have been obeying truth as the Spirit teaches it to you in such a way that you have learned to honestly love those who have taught you. In that same manner you must also learn to love one another purely and fully. You can do that because you have been born again through your embracing of the living and eternal word of God and his grace in your life.

So, humbly and soberly call upon God, the Father, who does not play favorites, but judges and knows you, and everyone else, fairly and completely. ( a sobering thought)


We are mortals with mortal bodies and mortal ideas. Mortal bodies and ideas and their accompanying mortal glory, like grass and flowers, eventually wither. But the word of the Lord endures forever. And this enduring word of the Lord is what has directed the teaching of the gospel to you.

So lay aside all malice, any wishing of harm to others, any desire to deceive others, and all hypocrisy, envying or speaking ill of others.  Instead, humble yourself; hunger and thirst after the word of the Lord.  The word of the Lord is as essential to our spiritual growth and our living in grace as milk is to a baby's physical growth and health.  We thirst must for it. We cannot grow or thrive in grace or understanding without it.

2 comments:

BrieAnn Lund Johnson said...

The line that stood out most to me:
"You have been obeying truth as the Spirit teaches it to you in such a way that you have learned to honestly love those who have taught you."
Also, the call to be holy. I thought of holy in terms of its associations: divine, religious, consecrated, sanctified, sacred. When I got to "sacred," I thought of a line from Wendell Berry's "How to Be a Poet":

"There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places."

Mary Bliss said...

And the next part:
In that same manner you must also learn to love one another purely and fully. You can do that because you have been born again through your embracing of the living and eternal word of God and his grace in your life.

Love casts out fear.