You will certainly remember this exchange between Peter and Jesus, prior to the crucifixion.
Peter said to him, “Even if all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”
Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples (Matthew 26.33-35).
Later, after Peter had denied Jesus, he remembered: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
And he went out and wept bitterly (Matthew 26.75).
Peter knew what it was like to fail under immense pressure. He also knew the joy of forgiveness and the blessing of God’s redemption.
Like a holy cheerleader, he wrote to persecuted Christians.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
And into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
Who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1.3-5).
Peter had first-hand knowledge of God’s mercy. The grief he experienced over his denial of Jesus and the crucifixion was wiped away with the resurrection.
The resurrection gives us an assurance that our heavenly future will be imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
Our perfect salvation is kept in a perfect place. It is imperishable (untouched by death), undefiled (unstained by evil), and unfading (unimpaired by time).
Anybody can say, “Praise the Lord!” That expression has been uttered in deep reverence and mocking sarcasm.
Peter knew that while he denied Jesus, the women followers of Jesus stayed with him through the experience of the cross. At the risk of being crucified along with Jesus, their courageous devotion to Jesus wordlessly proclaimed their praise.
When we remain faithful to Jesus through trials, testing, and persecution, we give him great praise.
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials,
So that the genuineness of your faith — being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1.6-7).
We discover the true value of our professed love to the Savior when confronted with hard times.
Can we say, “Praise the Lord!” to minor irritations? Can we continue to say, “Praise the Lord!” when serious problems come our way?
Genuine praise in hard times gives glory and honor to our Savior.
Loving the Unseen Savior
John 21 records the way Jesus restored Peter. Jesus gave Peter three opportunities to declare his love that replaced the three times he had denied him.
The people who first read Peter’s letter had never seen Jesus, but they loved him.
Peter commended their love with these words.
Although you have not seen him, you love him, and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
For you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1.8-9).
We are like the first readers of Peter’s letter. We haven’t seen Jesus, but we believe in him and rejoice in what he has done for us.
Our simple faith in his gracious gift has resulted in the salvation of our souls.
Salvation is a past, present, and future event.
— We were saved. There is a time in our lives when we turned from self-will and began a life of trusting Jesus.
— We are being saved. Each day we live with Jesus is an opportunity to continue to trust him and to grow in a deeper relationship with him.
— We will be saved. Our salvation will be complete when we see Jesus face-to-face.
John wrote about the future aspect of our salvation:
“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (1 John 3.2).
Rudy Ross and I continue our discussion of 1 Peter on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.
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