Posted: August 3, 2006
I PETER 1:1-2
We begin a new
study this week of I Peter. Let us look, by way in introduction, at
verses 1 and 2 of Chapter 1. The text says,
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia,
and Bithynia. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,
through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto the obedience and
sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace,
Let us look first of all
at the theme of this book under the heading, The Principles of this
Suffering. In this book on 16 different occasions Peter uses the
word suffer or suffering. It is mentioned in 1:11,
2:19,20,21,23, 3:14,17,18 4:1 (2 times) 13,15,16,19, 5:1,10. Take some
time to read and meditate on these verses. There are two Greek words
used. One is the word pentho which means to experience a
vexing sensation or painful impression. The second Greek word is pathayarah
which means to under go painful hardship that influences the emotions
and affections. Peter has used the word 16 times, which is a number
closely associated with Jehovah God. There are 16 titles used with the
Jehovah title for God in the Bible. In I Corinthians 13 there are 16
characteristics given for love. John said, God is love. We
see this book of I Peter is going to have at its heart the message theme
of The God of Suffering. So often we get caught up in the
suffering of our trials and miss the God who is behind it all.
In verse 1 of Chapter 1
we see The Position in Our Suffering. Peter is the author of
this book. His name before salvation was Simon, which means to hear
intelligently. His name was changed to Cephas, which means a fragment
stone detached from a larger mass. In speaking of building the church
our Lord said to Peter upon this petra (the larger mass) I will
build my church. In our suffering times let us be able to say, On
Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.
Peter introduces himself
an apostle of Jesus Christ, The word apostle means
one sent as an ambassador on a special mission with supernatural power.
We cannot align ourselves with the twelve apostles, but we are
ambassadors sent by God on a special mission.
This book is addressed
(Vs. 1) The word means one called along
side of and to live among heathen people. God has placed us where we
are so we can sow the seed to the heathen. The greatest truth is that
they can watch and see how we respond to our suffering. My, what an
awesome responsibility the position in our suffering affords us to
witness of the grace of God.
In verse 2 we see The
People Called to Suffering. In this verse we are confronted with
the elect of God. The word elect means to pick out or
prefer above another and to select out of a number or whole. Paul said
in Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the
foundation of the world
The word chosen is our word elect
from the text that is before us. We see that being the chosen of God
does not exempt us from suffering but it guarantees us that we will
In verse 2 Peter says we
The word according means
dominated by or under the control of. There are three dominating
factors Peter says that control the choosing of the elect.
The first is The
Foreknowledge of God. This is much bigger than knowing ahead of
time. In Acts 26:5 the word is used of one who knew it from the
beginning because He planned it that way. In Acts 2:23; we are told
that, God is in control of foreknowledge by the determinate (to set
the limits or boundary of) counsel of God.
The next control over
choosing of His people is seen through Sanctification of the Spirit
unto obedience. Those whom the Father chooses the Spirit sets apart and
causes to obey.
The third control is The
Sprinkling of Blood of Jesus Christ. This sprinkling is a picture
of the Levitical cleansing away of all or the remitting of sins. God
the Father chose, God the Spirits sets apart unto obedience, and God the
Son washed us continually in His blood.
Peter tells us we are
not left to ourselves but He continues to flood us with grace and
peace. Grace is the ability to do and to be. Peace is the umpire of
our soul to keep us in the boundaries of being pleasing in His sight.
Let us remember when
suffering comes we are not alone, nor ill equipped to meet what our Lord
has sent. Let us not look at our suffering but look in the shadows.
Standing somewhere in the shadows will be the God of all suffering.