Beginning Sunday, September 19, we will launch an eleven week sermon series in the book of 1 Peter. Peter is an often neglected book of the New Testament, unfortunately overshadowed by Paul’s writings, the excitement of the Gospels, and the mystery of Revelation. However, this book is profitable, as is all of Scripture, for our instruction. 1 Peter grants us hope in the midst of our sojourn within the fallen world in light of the salvation that is found in the work of Christ alone. And, it comes from the vantage point of one of Jesus’s closest friends.
Peter is an eyewitness to the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. He is the disciple that many of us relate to; fiercely devoted in one moment and rebuking his own Savior in the next. The Gospel accounts convey the realness of Peter, and, in all honesty, I love it! It is also the draw of 1 Peter as our next series. Do you want to know about Jesus? Then talk to one of his closest friends. Peter went from denying Jesus three times, to being so radically transformed by witnessing the resurrected Jesus that he boldly proclaimed the Gospel at Pentecost. He was so bold that he labored for the Kingdom of God until his death, a martyr’ s death. He was crucified upside down, at his request, because he counted himself unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. We should listen to a faith like this!
In Christ Alone
The letter begins with the foundation of our faith, redemption through the eternal plan of the Father, sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, and blood-bought grace of the Son, Jesus Christ. Why 1 Peter? Because it begins at the correct place with the only message of hope for sinners like you and me. The proclamation of the Gospel marks the pinnacle of Peter’s instruction to the Church. It is after all, everything that redemptive history is hinged upon. Peter infers this in highlighting that the prophets anticipated the grace that would be brought into history through Jesus. This good news then launches into instruction.
Exiles and Sojourners
1 Peter connects the transformative power of the Gospel as the foundation for Christian living, and the hope which propels us as exiles and sojourners in this world. The letter does not leave us at the bloody root of the Cross, but connects this pivotal, historical event to a people that God has called to Himself, who are transformed and launched to bring about the saving message of Jesus to a world that hates them. This is conveyed in the concentric circles of our life: the Church, our homes, our workplaces, and the world. Jesus invades and transforms every aspect of our lives and our world.
I hope that you are as excited as I am to dig back into the New Testament, and to witness all that God has to offer us through the Spirit-inspired words of the Apostle Peter.