We have just dove off into a study of I Peter in our Life Group. I have been reading and re-reading the text in preparation for it, and has it ever been beneficial to my soul! This small epistle is a hidden treasure, and if you haven’t tapped into it, then you should spend some time with it!
So far we haven’t ventured very far into the text. We will be looking at 1:22 – 2:10 this next week. This is what I hear Saint Peter saying.
God loves us. He has given us a hope, the salvation of our souls. And this hope will never perish, spoil or fade – it is for now and all times! God gave us this hope because of his overwhelming love for His people, his holy, royal people. We are his children, and he is our father. And we belong one to another. We love one another, because God first loved us. And more than this, we are to be holy, because He is holy. Holy in all we do, say, think and feel. And if we struggle, God will work through his people to sustain and strengthen us!
As I think back on Peter’s interactions with Christ – his letter makes perfect sense.
When Jesus met Peter, he changed his name from Simon to “Cephas” (or Peter) which means “rock”. Jesus saw something in Simon that he didn’t see in himself. And we all know that for a while after that, Peter was anything but a “rock”. He proclaimed Jesus as Messiah one second, and denied him the next. “Rock” is a sign of stability, dependablity, and solid foundations. Early on, Peter possessed very little such facilities. Still yet, Jesus saw the best in Peter and gave him this name. Well, we all know the story! In Acts, we get to see Peter take on the role of the leader, the strong, stable and dependable apostle. (Of course there is still the embarrasing moment in Galatians.) Jesus knew the potential of Peter and called for his best within himself.
Peter sees that in us. He calls us a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” And I am sure, that when you hear this, you feel inadequate to wear such a description. But remember, that God sees something else in you than you may see in yourself. He sees your potential!
We have the potential to be holy. We have the potential to love one another. We have the potential to be self-controlled. We have the potential to be a royal priesthood. We have the potential to be so much more than we are now. We have the potential to be the Church!