Saturday, June 11, 2011

My dad is confused

So far as we've worked through 1Peter chapter 1 we've seen to working of the Trinity(v.2); we have seen how we are redeemed and born-again(v. 3); we have seen what is waiting for those that are born-again(v.4-5, 9); we have seen why believers go through trials(v.6-7); we have seen that the manifestation of the Son of God in human form was predicted long before(v.10-12); we have seen that when we are born-again (born of the Spirit) we will continue to move in the direction of obedience and holiness(v.13-16).

Peter follows all this up with a HUGE point and directive. God does NOT show partiality to ANYONE. He is not like our society that affords people exception or extra attention if they look a certain way or have a certain amount of money. When we are in front of the Creator of all the Universe in that Last Day it will not matter how you look, how much money you have, what kind of car you drive, how many volunteer hours you completed, or any other striving you have done. The question is really simple, are you born-again or not. Peter makes it clear the fact that God does not show partiality and we ought conduct ourselves in fear, but the fear in a believer is defined as an awe and reverence for God. An overwhelming awe that, “He saved me. I could have died in my sin and went to hell, but He saved me!”

1Peter 1:17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,

This should create awe, reverence and fear in us; not to be confused with the fear that will consume those that are not born-again. No matter how good or bad a person may be relative to the world, if they are not born-again, they will be judged for wickedness of their sin, and God is angry with the wicked every day:

Psalms 7:11 God is a just judge, And God is angry with the wicked every day.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

If you are reading this and thinking, “I don't want God angry with me, I want to be born-again.” The next few verses show us exactly how that happens:

First, we need to be redeemed of our sin and that only happens through The Blood of Christ. Do not be deceived by religion, like the Jews Peter was addressing were. For example, I tried to share the Gospel with my dad one time (actually many times), but in this one occasion he said, “I believe that the catholic church is the only true church and nothing will change my mind of that.” The interesting thing is, he doesn't even follow the catholic religion. But, in any case, my dad is like many people that have allowed religion, tradition, and/or “the way they grew up” to cloud their vision and harden their heart from the Truth. This is nothing new, the Jews of been doing this for centuries:

1Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

We are redeemed through The Blood. Now look at how we purify our souls:

1Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

The Spirit of God IN US gives us the ability to obey Him. A transformation happens that cannot be explained any other way, other than God did it. I remember when I was a fake Christian I had a lot of trouble reading verses about love, because I knew I wasn't loving. I was angry, bitter, and flat out mean. It is interesting to me to reflect on the last few days. It seems like God was preparing me to write this post, because the last few days I have had an indescribable joy. I can honestly say that I am loving now. I still have a little bit of edge, and there are still remnants of the old Steve, but God has clearly changed me in this way.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

1Peter 1:23-25 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, 24 because "ALL FLESH IS AS GRASS, AND ALL THE GLORY OF MAN AS THE FLOWER OF THE GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND ITS FLOWER FALLS AWAY, 25 BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

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