Grace Means Security.
The title above the text in my study Bible grabbed my attention. I hadn’t noticed it before. Normally I skip right over the titles in an effort to keep continuity between the verses, and the past few days have been no different.
I noticed who wrote the letter of 1 Peter – it was Peter, of course.
I recognized the recipients – believers who were scattered throughout 5 Roman provinces of what is now Turkey.
I read the blessings of being one of God’s children, of our inheritance and of God’s protection.
I chewed on the words but somehow was missing the bigger picture until I stumbled on the title – written by a scholar to help us better understand this portion of the text: Grace means security.
And somehow those 1st 9 verses took on new meaning in my heart.
Friends, if we are believers in Jesus Christ, accepting His free gift of salvation, we. are. secure.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”
In mercy, God withheld what I deserved.
Romans 3:23 tells us that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory, and in Romans 6:23, we learn that the consequence of our sin is death. Before Jesus, I was dead in my sins.
I deserve death.
But here is the amazing thing: In mercy, God withheld what I deserved and because of grace, He gave me what I could never earn.
God is a life-giver.
We saw it in Creation, when God breathed the breath of life into Adam. We saw it when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and when Jesus died and rose again! We see new life written all over the pages of Scripture.
God takes what is spiritually dead and gives new spiritual life!
New birth = new life.
New birth = new hope!
“… to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you…”
This hope, this inheritance, is imperishable – it is beyond the reach of change or decay; it is undefiled and unfading, kept in Heaven for me! This salvation is reserved for me.
I am a new creation, and many days, I’m still learning how to live this new life. Being born again means learning to walk differently, think differently, live differently. Even though I’ve been a Christian most of my life, I’m still stretching my legs and building my muscles.
I’ve learned how to walk but I’m still figuring out how to run and leap and live free in this new life.
In the process, I fall down a lot. I make mistakes.
I feel insecure.
I endure suffering, and a lot of times I create my own suffering.
But no matter how we feel, no matter what we walk through, this salvation is reserved for us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39).
God’s protection surrounds us, as we walk by faith, as we live by faith. We will walk through trials. We will face discouragement and disappointment and dissatisfaction, but it is through our trials that God strengthens our faith. “God uses trials to distinguish between genuine and superficial faith” (Dr. Louis Barbieri).
I want real faith, real relationship, real salvation — and it’s found only in Jesus.
We live in a world where we often feel like we have to prove something or try to measure up or work our way to be recognized.
We all struggle with insecurity, don’t we? Am I responsible enough? Kind enough? Fun enough? Disciplined enough? Courageous enough? Thin enough? Smart enough? Talented enough?
And the bottom line is that in Christ Jesus, you. are. enough.
God’s grace gives us that security.
Pray Truth: Using Scripture to Shape our Prayer
Praying 1 Peter 1:3-9
God, it is by your great mercy that I have been born again. You withheld what I deserved and gave me life instead! Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I now have a living hope! May I live with great expectation and remember this priceless inheritance that is mine in Christ — an inheritance that is pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay, an inheritance that is kept in Heaven for me.
Thank you, Lord, that by faith I can rest in your powerful protection as I wait for that day when my salvation is fully realized. Strengthen me, Lord, to be truly glad, even though I may endure many trials. Through those trials you are refining and purifying and strengthening my faith, and there is wonderful joy ahead.
God I’ve never seen you, but I love you. Even now, I don’t see you, but God, I trust you. Where I doubt or struggle to fully believe, strengthen my faith, that I may rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy! (1 Peter 1:3-9 based on the ESV and NLT) #PrayTruth