1 Peter 3:18: He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

1 Peter 3:18 NIV

Jesus suffered so that we could live forever in His kingdom.  He laid down His life so that we could be free.  He went through a gruesome death so that our sins could be forgiven.  So many times we may take this for granted, but daily we must go before the Lord in thanksgiving for all He has done for us.

We have done nothing to earn salvation but are simply saved by the grace of God.  Once we come to Christ we are called to grow in our relationship with Him.  We are called to grow in holiness and in the character and nature of Christ.  The Lord desires to transform us from the inside out, but it requires us to draw near each day through prayer and the study of His word.

It is the study of God’s word that transforms our lives.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit our lives are literal transformed.  For in Christ we are a new creation and as we draw near and abide in Him our lives are transformed.  Before we come to Christ our lives are mired in sin and unrighteousness.  Once we come to Christ our sins are forgiven and we are declared righteous.  May we stand daily upon the righteousness of Christ and draw near with our whole hearts.

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1 Peter 1:23-25: but the word of the Lord endures forever

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,

“All people are like grass,
    and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25     but the word of the Lord endures forever.”  1 Peter 1:23-25

The word of the Lord endures forever.  It is the word of God that will stand the test of time.  There are many today who reject the truth of God’s word and reject the Lord for that matter.  In their pride and arrogance they see no need for a savior and reject the existence of God.  For believing in God they would be accountable for their lives and the way they live them, and many today believe that they are simply their own god.

But we who have come to faith in Jesus Christ have been saved by God’s grace.  We have been saved by the precious shed blood of Jesus.  The glory of this world and the glory of man will fade away.  This world will one day be destroyed and the Lord shall create a new Heaven and new Earth.  Those who see this world as their home and live for the pleasures of this world will perish with it.  They will spend eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire will the pain and suffering will never end and will be far greater than any can imagine.

God has opened the door of salvation to all who would humble themselves before Jesus and receive what Jesus has accomplished.  It requires anyone who would follow Christ to make Him Lord and Savior and give their lives unto Him.  Understand the truth of God’s word is vital for us living and experiencing all that God has for us.  The greatest detriment to any believer is one who has a wrong understanding of God’s word and His will.  For rightly dividing the word of God is key to walking in the freedom and authority we have in Christ.

 

 

1 Peter 2:15-16: but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

1 Peter 2:15-16 NIV

We are never called to use the freedom we have in Christ as a cover-up for evil or to take part in wickedness.  We are called to be holy because the Lord is holy.  The natural result of growing daily in Christ is growing in holiness because we simply grow in the character and nature of Jesus Christ.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit is produced in our lives.

But there are many false teachers out there who distort the grace of God.  They treat the grace of God as a license to sin and are simply driven by monetary gain.  They have allowed greed to fill their hearts which have led them to distort the truth of the gospel.

But for anyone who is truly a follower of Jesus Christ on a daily basis we will desire to flee the desires and lust of the flesh.  The lust of the flesh simply lead to destruction while the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit leads to eternal life and the blessing of the Lord.  May we always remember the full price that Jesus paid at Calvary for our freedom.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is savedwhat will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.  1 Peter 4:12-19

Testing is a natural part of our journey with Christ.  The trials and suffering we face in this life test the genuineness of our faith.  It is one thing to claim to love Jesus and follow Him, it is whole different thing to truly endure and follow Jesus every step of the way.  The trials we face test the human heart to see if it truly stands with the Lord alone.  There are those who have compromised the gospel and have preached a health and wealth gospel, preaching that once you come to Jesus it is one easy day after another.  But this does not align with God’s word.

In this life we may suffer for the name of Jesus, but there is coming a day when we shall share in His glory.  This world is not our home and this life upon the earth is but a breath compared to eternity.  Some day we shall rule and reign with Christ in His kingdom.  As we suffer on this earth and experience trials of different kinds our eyes must always be focused upon Jesus Christ.

If we are reviled, if we are persecuted, if we are falsely accused for the name of Christ it is of the highest honor and blessing.  To those who don’t know Christ or walk according to the flesh that would sound like foolishness.  But for those who know Jesus and follow Him intimately, they understand the honor to suffer for the name of Jesus.  There is great rewards in God’s kingdom for those who are willing to suffer for the name of Jesus.

We are not called to suffer as one who has broken the law or lived according to the sinful nature.  We are called to live according to the Spirit and that means we may be called to suffer for the Lord and His name.  If we are called to suffer we should take great honor in the opportunity to suffer for the name of Jesus.  The Lord will strengthen us and sustain us through everything we will face upon the earth.

Each one of us who calls upon the name of Jesus and follows the Lord will stand before Him in judgement some day for our faithfulness as wise stewards of the gifts we were given during our time upon the earth.  But for those who reject Christ and His kingdom, they will spend all eternity separated from God.

This Christian journey is not an easy one and it was designed that way.  If it were easy we would rely on our own strength and in our pride would separate ourselves from the Lord.  But the Lord has so designed our journey so that we will rely upon Him for every breath and every step.  This journey is one of submission to the Lord and to His will.  Jesus is not called simply to be Savior, He is called to be Savior and Lord.  For Jesus to be Lord means we are willing to lay down our lives and our will and the will of God must become the driving force and priority in our lives.

 

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.  1 Peter 4:7-11

The apostles during their day and lifetime believed the return of Jesus was very near.  Believers throughout the church age have all felt the imminent return of the Lord.  A mark of walking closely with Christ and pursuing Him is the reality that His return could happen at any moment.  We are called to live with diligence and fervently seek the Lord.  We are called to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.

We are called to fervently love one another.  When we truly love one another as the Lord commands it will enable us to walk in unity.  Division exist when love is not present.  When we begin to focus on things that don’t matter is when we are taken captive by the schemes of the enemy.  The number one scheme of the enemy is to bring division in the body of Christ.  When we as a people walk in love and unity, we become an unstoppable force on the earth for God and His kingdom.

Hospitality is lost in many churches today.  During the first century church hospitality was a huge part of the church growing as a body.  The body of Christ is made up of many different members from many different socioeconomic levels.  We must do all things according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  When we find a brother or sister who is struggling and in need of a place to live and stay, we must be willing to open our hearts and our homes to them.  God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.

All of us who are in Christ have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit.  The gifts of the Holy Spirit have been dispersed according to God’s will.  All we need is found within the body of Christ.  God has so gifted His sons and daughters to accomplish His will upon the earth.  The only way we truly come to discover who we are in Christ and the gifts we have been given is by walking closely with the Lord on a daily basis.  To find our why you have been created is to come to intimately know the one who has created you.

When we speak, when we teach, when we preach we must do so as if we are speaking forth the utterance of God.  Everything we do must be in accord with the leading of the Holy Spirit. The more we fellowship with the Lord the more our minds and hearts become one with His.

When we have the opportunity to serve we are to do so in the strength of the Lord.  In ourselves we are weak and unable to accomplish the purposes of God.  But when we operate in the strength of the Lord all things are possible.  We are temples of the Holy Spirit and it is the Holy Spirit who lives within us and works through us to accomplish the purposes of God.

In all that we do God must be glorified.  In everything we do as we operate in the power and might of the Holy Spirit the name of Jesus will be high and lifted up.  Abiding daily in the Lord is key to all things.  Without daily fellowship with Jesus we will struggle and fail in the world that we live in.  When we fail to fellowship with the Lord and abide in Him we will be overcome by the schemes of the enemy.  But when we abide in the Lord the enemy will be overcome by the power and might of the Holy Spirit.

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin

Therefore, since Christ has [a]suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has [b]suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, [c]having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and [d]abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you;but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For the gospel has for this purpose been [e]preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God.  1 Peter 4:1-6

Suffering for the Lord has a way of transforming the way we live our lives.  When we suffer for the Lord and His kingdom we don’t have a desire to live for the lust of the flesh.  The more we suffer, the more we understand the value of God’s kingdom.  The more we suffer we see how worthless this world and its desires are.  We must have the same attitude that Christ had in which He came to this earth to lay down His life.  He knew the price that had to be paid and it was because of His love that He choose to go to the cross.

In the past before we came to Christ we had every opportunity to purse the lust of the flesh.  The lust of the flesh is the desires of the sinful nature.  Because we pursued these things before we came to Christ, we should no longer pursue them.  Our pursuit should be Christ and His kingdom.  We are called to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.  The more we seek the Lord, the more we are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Those we use to know before we come to Christ will be surprised at our desire not to run after the desires of the world anymore.  Those who are still lost and seeking after the world will stand before Christ some day and give an account of their lives.  We who are in Christ shall stand before Christ some day but give an account of our faithfulness of the gifts given to us by God.  Again if we have come to Christ we should no longer have anything to do with the world and its desires.  If we continue to live for the world and its ways than we truly have not given our hearts to Jesus Christ.

The gospel is preached to those who are dead simply means those who are spiritual dead.  Before we come to Christ we are spiritual dead from God.  We are separated from Him because of sin that we are born with.  All of us are born into sin because of the sin of Adam and Eve.  Every one born to the line of Adam is born into sin and the only solution for sin is the precious blood of Jesus.  All will stand before God in judgement.  Believers will stand before Jesus at the Bemaseat judgment while unbelievers will stand judgement at the white throne judgement.  But the only thing that separates those who will spend all eternity in heaven and those who will not is faith in Jesus Christ alone.

 

 

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us[e] to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited[f] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.  1 Peter 3:18-22

Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins so that our relationship with God the Father can be restored.  In the Garden of Eden the relationship between man and God was destroyed because of sin.  It is only the precious blood of Jesus that removes the curse of sin and death.  It is only the precious blood of Jesus that permanently washes away our sin.  Jesus came in the flesh and died and was brought back to life by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Today He sits at the right hand of the Father and has been given all dominion and all authority.

Jesus once He died upon the cross descended into Hell and declared to those placed in prison that the curse of sin and death has been destroyed.  Jesus took all authority the enemy had.  Satan today has no authority.  He deceives the world and leads all into death and destruction.  But for those who trust in Jesus Christ are saved from being eternally separated from God.

It was God who saved Noah and his family through the ark.  God led Noah to build the ark and Noah faithfully followed the Lord.  Day in and day out those around Noah watched him build and ark.  They thought him a foolish man until Noah and his family were locked inside the ark and the flood waters came.

Jesus is a type of ark for us.  He has saved us from the flood of judgment that has come on humanity for its wickedness and its sin.  People cannot save themselves.  In there pride and arrogance they see no need for a savior.  For all who reject salvation found in Jesus Christ they will be eternally lost and separated from God.  But for us who have placed our faith and trust in Jesus Christ we have been saved.  When we are water baptized it is a public declaration with the world that we have died with Christ and have been raised to new life again with Him.

All things are subject to Jesus Christ.  Sitting at the right hand is the seat of authority.  Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father and has been given all authority and dominion.  Jesus has given us His authority and has told us whatever we bind on earth is bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth is loosed in heaven.  We have been given authority and we must understand the authority we have.  All we need is found in Christ alone.  May we fix our eyes upon Jesus and continue to press on toward the high call in Christ Jesus.