Wednesday 11 November 2015

Bible Book:
1 Peter

“Now that you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love another deeply from the heart.” (v. 22)

1 Peter 1:17-25 Wednesday 11 November 2015

Psalm: Psalm 122


In this section the call to holiness continues by emphasisingthe sense of holiness as a separation. First of all Peter describesthe readers as being in exile, a reference to the exile of thenation of Israel in Egypt and later in Babylon but reminding thereaders that they do not truly belong to the community and world inwhich they live. Peter also speaks of the readers being ransomedfrom the futile ways of their ancestors in verse 18, an idea thatwas deeply counter cultural in a society that saw respect for thetraditions of one's ancestors as far more important than any newideas (of which the gospel was one). Holiness is a separation fromthe world and also from the past.

All of this has been achieved by what Peter describes as aransom in verse 18 but not through the payment of gold or silver.Instead he again uses imagery from the Hebrew scriptures bydescribing Christ in the imagery of the Passover Lamb (see Exodus12). But in order to counter the accusations of novelty withthis new teaching Peter speaks of an eternal plan that was put inplace even before the world was created (verse 20).

The purpose of this holiness is not just for its own sake. Thispurification has taken place so that there is genuine mutual lovein the new community that Peter is writing to. It is not aboutsimple obedience to laws but sincere and deep love between thebelievers. And just as it says in 1Corinthians 13:8, there is permanence in this message of love.Using the imagery of a seed the message is contrasted with flowersand plants which will inevitably wither and die, whilst in contrastthe seed of the good news will endure forever.

To Ponder

  • In Peter's time the gospel was in looked down upon as anovelty. Today we may argue Christianity is looked down because itis old fashioned. How might the Church counter theseprejudices?
  • The purpose of holiness is mutual love. What does this say toyou about ethics and morality?
Previous Page Tuesday 10 November 2015
Next Page Thursday 12 November 2015