Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Living in the Power of the Resurrection: Submission 5/15/2011


As we leave the first chapter of Peter, we see that he is emphasizing the Word and what it has brought to us as believers. We have been born again through the Word and by the same Word we grow. For review's sake, let us begin with the latter part of 1 Peter 1, verses 22-25, and then move to chapter 2: verses 1-3.

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: (fervently: eagerly, earnestly, intensely)
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

KJV 1 Peter 2:1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, 2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere (unmixed, unadulterated, pure) milk of the word, (reasonable, logical) that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

After pointing out the reality that we have been born of the Word by obeying the truth through the Spirit (believing the Gospel) and that we have been made pure in heart through the Word which was spoken unto us, he calls upon us as believers to love one another with an unfeigned love (genuine, sincere) and to do it fervently with a pure heart. This has been made possible since we were born of the living Seed of Christ and not because we were born into a family by natural and corruptible seed. Then he goes on to say that have born again (given new life) through the Word of the Gospel and then writes that we are nurtured and grown through the same Word. He begins the second chapter by pointing out five fruits of the flesh that cannot coexist with a heart that is pure, and a heart that he has called us to love others with. Here are the five things that he points out with further definitions provided for us for further clarication as to their meanings:

Malice: Desire to injure
Guile: Deceit
Hypocrisy: Insincereity, pretense
Envy: Jealous over the success of another
Evil Speaking: Slander, Backbiting

One does not love with these attitudes and actions. For these vices are contrary to the nature of love and will hinder an appetite for the Word and the growth that the desire for the milk of the Word produces. We cannot harbor malice and practice guile, hypocrisy, envy, and slander and still maintain a healthy desire for the Word, and therefore we are instructed to put them off. To be full of these evils will cause our appetite for the milk of God’s Word to diminish. This natural desire for the Word only occurs as a result of the Word having made us alive, so that we are as a newborn who has a natural appetite for milk. A healthy newborn baby does not have to be taught to want their mother's milk. A healthy appetite of hunger and thirst after the Word of the Lord will produce maturity in the things of God.

Peter points out that growth comes from the desire for the sincere milk of the Word. That is significant to notice, as since this metaphor is used in other places in the Scripture in a different way, one can get confused with the seemingly opposing metaphorical uses. I remember discussing this with a minister many years ago and he told me that for growth purposes, one should never desire to eat meat, but to always desire the sincere milk of the Word in order to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. I have struggled with that statement over the years, but have come to see that context means everything when one is seeking to understand the use of metaphorical language in the Scriptures.

There could be a number of lessons, here but let us take these from this portion. Being born of the Spirit through the Word creates an appetite for the Word which is compared to a new born baby going after its mother's milk. The desire for the logical, plain and reasonable teachings of the Word is what brings growth and not a desire to "know more of the deep things of the Lord." One of my mentors has shared with me many times that in order to understand the ways of God, one simply needs to read what is written in the Word, seek to understand its meaning through careful study and believe what it says. The Word reveals Jesus Christ in His death and resurrection.

In the third verse, " If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious," Peter could be quoting from Psalm 34:8, in fact, some believe that Psalm 34 formed a lot of Peter's thought toward his writing of this letter that we are studying. Here is the quote from the psalm
KJV Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
This is not a question in Peter's mind, but it is more like "since ye have tasted." It would be similar to "since we have tasted good food before, we desire to eat more that food again."


4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Peter quotes from Psalm 118, and from Isaiah 8 and 28 as he continues with his writing. Let us remember two important instances in his life also. The first one records the first meeting between Jesus and Peter, while the second one is concerning who Peter thought Jesus to be. Here are the references:

KJV John 1:42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Matthew 16:15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

In verses 4-8, is Peter giving his understanding and interpretation of the conversation he had with Jesus in Matthew 16:15-19? Maybe so, but regardless if it is, Peter makes no mention of himself, but only speaks of Christ and the church Let us look at it. Here are the Scriptures that he quotes from the Old Testament.

Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Isaiah 8:14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken.

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

In order to keep this passage in context of the entire Epistle, we remind ourselves that Peter began by assuring us of our hope, our confidence in those blessings which will be ours at the second coming of our Lord. At verse 14 Peter begins to speak of our present conduct based upon our future hope (see verse 13). Our life should be characterized by obedience (1:14, 22), holiness (1:14-16), godly fear (1:17-21), and love for the brethren (1:222:3).

In 1:22-25, Peter introduced the concept of our new birth through the seed of the Word. In 2:1-3, Peter has moved on to the concept of growth, once again brought about by the Word. Now in 2:4-10 Peter moves from the individual dimensions to the corporate dimensions of our spiritual walk. He takes up the subject of growth, but now we are growing up together, as a building. With this he spells out our calling, our purpose. Our relationship to God, to the “Rock,” and to others is determined by our response to the Word (2:8). The stone or rock has many many references to God in the Old Testament and it would have been very apparent as to whom Peter was referring to here in this place.

It is interesting to note that Jesus here is referred to as a stone, and a living one at that. Is this done to contrast the living stone with the dead stones of the idols that were worshipped in the Old Testament time, and yet today are bring worshipped?

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Using the various Old Testament references, Peter writes that Jesus is the living stone to whom they have come unto, He who is disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious. As a result of their being born again, they have come unto Him and are referred to as living stones, no longer as individual parts. Now they are coming together in a corporate sense, and are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wow!!! The Rock, Jesus Christ is chosen and precious of God; to those who come to Him, He is precious. For those who have come to Him, His blood is precious. (1:19) But to those who refuse to come to Him, He is despised and rejected. And not coming to Him will one day in eternity result on one's rejection by God forever.


9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

Following are the verses from the Old Testament that have been linked to the above verses from 1 Peter 1:9-10

KJV Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

KJV Isaiah 43:20 The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.
KJV Isaiah 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.

KJV Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.


11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
12 Having your conversation/life style honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

He calls them dearly beloved, appealing to them as both strangers (illegal aliens) and pilgrims (visitor in a foreign land) By doing this he is reminding them that their citizenship is not here on earth, but is in heaven. This reality he had clearly written to them in the first chapter, as he spoke of the inheritance that was laid up in heaven for them. He counsels abstain from fleshly lusts which war/strategize against the soul. They are to live as citizens of the Kingdom of God and not of the kingdom of Caesar. He points out to them that through their honest life style and practices even those who spoke against them would be won to salvation through the good works of the Christians' life.

13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

The evil ruler Nero was in power at this time of this writing. They were to be in submission to the God ordained governmental system, putting to silence those who through ignorance were considered to be foolish. They were to render them speechless through their humble submission to authority. Many accusations undoubtedly came against the Christians since their loyalty to Christ for it was deemed as disloyalty to Caesar and to Nero. Freedom is not license to live as we please, but it shows itself through submission to legitimate authority. Even in that evil day, the counsel was to honour all people, as they are created in the image of God, howbeit marred by the fall into sin; love the Christian community (brotherhood), fear God, and honour (value) the king.

18 Servants,(house servants) be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.(wicked)
19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. (This is a gracious thing in the sight of God, or it is pleasing to Him)

Servants here are referred to as house servants and they are encouraged to obey their masters. Being a servant to another is to be done in the spirit of obedience, with the hope that the gospel of grace will be the regulatory principle by which masters would treat their servants kindly and fairly. But here even the instruction is for those under authority of masters to bear patiently even in times of being under wicked masters.. Perhaps Peter remembered back to the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus taught that it is nothing to love those that love you, but to love those and bear with whose treatment is unkind and unjust towards us is a characteristic of resident of the Kingdom of God. Matthew 5:43-48


21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (Isaiah 53:7)
24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (Isaiah 53:9, 12, 5)
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (Isaiah 53:6)


As this chapter comes to a close, application is given by the Apostle Peter, who writes that as servants/we have been called to follow Christ's example, (example: a writing copy, including all the letters of the alphabet, given to beginners as an aid in learning to draw them). Then he points out that of all people who suffered wrongfully, Christ is the supreme example. For He did not sin, there was no pretense or deceit found in His mouth, when he was reviled (reproached, railed at), He reviled not back, when He suffered, He did not threaten, but He committed Himself to the Righteous Judge. He apparently quotes much from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah in this last portion. He closes the chapter by reminding them that they were like sheep going astray, but now they are returned unto the Shepherd (Keeper) and Bishop (Overseer) of their souls.

What have we received so far from this beautiful letter of hope and assurance? We have been reminded that we have been raised to a lively hope of eternal life by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled and will never fade away. This inheritance is kept in heaven and the faith that we possess is guarded and protected by God. Therefore, since we have this assurance, we view and receive all hardship, suffering, trials and so on through the lens of the victory that we have in Christ Jesus. Walking in this victory which we have received on an individual basis, and that we have received through the Word of the Gospel of Christ, we hunger and thirst after righteousness as a result of this change in our heart. Consequently we are drawn toward the Living Stone, Jesus Christ, who has united ourselves together with Him in His death and resurrection, so that we as individuals are living stones. But it does not stop there, for we are being built up for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Eph 2:19-22) so that we may proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of the darkness into His marvelous light.

The kingdom is growing from the quickened and sprouting seeds, of which we heard an illustration of a couple of years ago when our visitors from Finland and Sweden were here. He had as a text these verses:
Matthew 13:31 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
As he spoke at our church, he shared about the growth of the kingdom and used a happening with his son to illustrate this reality of growth. He said that as they were walking his young son was carrying a number of seedlings which had already been planted, had sprouted and were now young trees, but in their infant stage. He told his son, "You are carrying a ton in your hands" His son looked at him questionly and asked, "How so?" His father then told him, "These trees will grow up into big trees one day." The father saw the potential in the small trees even as Jesus does in those He gives life to.

Up through verse 10 of chapter two, Peter has primarily been teaching concerning life within the kingdom of God, or within the Universal Church, but for the rest of chapter two, he writes of our behaviour in and amongst the world. Whether in the church or in the world, he writes that we are to lay down our lives in subjection to the appropriate authorities, to not use our Christian liberty to live for self, and to suffer wrongfully if need be. He points us to the example of Christ as our pattern to follow concerning the living of life in the kingdom of God.

In closing, let us not forget that our understanding and receiving of these teachings and instructions must always be interpreted in the light of the first 12 verses of chapter 1. We have a home reserved in heaven because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and we live to proclaim this reality to all others, both in deed and word. We must always remember that our inheritance is already prepared and it is only a matter of changing addresses, so to speak, that will bring us into that reality. Do we understand this? Do we always remember this? No, we do not, for we forget. But when we remember it, our hope remains strong of that which is ours. By faith today, but by sight tomorrow.

As I have thought of the importance of not forgetting to interpret the rest of 1 Peter in relation to the first 12 verses, I recall an incident in my life which has helped me see the significance of keeping the first 12 verses in mind as we read the entire letter. Forty years ago, when letter writing was the main way of communicating, I remember receiving a letter from my wife to be in which she agreed that we would publicly declare our intent to get married when she traveled to the West coast in a few months. At that time I was working in the woods on a swing shift, from 4 to 1 in the morning, and the memory of that night still brings me joy and wonder. I remember the cold night as I was standing by a light plant, a generator which provided power for the lights, and reading that letter over and over again. I remember the excitement that I had as I kept going back to the beginning of the letter to read over and over again of what she had written concerning that she was going to wear my ring. I will never forget it. I do not remember anything else, and there was a lot of details, but what was important to me was that she and I were going to be one.

May it be with us as we continue our study in Peter's first Epistle. May our hearts resound with joy, wonder and praise as we thank the Lord for joining Himself to us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. May we rejoice as we read the letter that he wrote to us, often going back to the beginning of it to reground ourselves with the knowledge that we are One in Him. And dear friends, nothing can change that truth......We are one with Him, with Christ and with one another!!

May He be glorified today and always for the indescribable gift He has given us in His Son!

In His grace,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 15 May 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Living in the Power of His Resurrection: Worship 5/08/11
Sermon Text 1 Peter 1:1-25

After an introduction to the man Peter last week, we now continue in the letter of this Apostle, who was called by Jesus to be a fisher of men, taught by Him, restored by Him after Peter's disownment of Him during the time of Jesus' trial, was commissioned by Jesus to feed His lambs and sheep and was in a state of transformation by Jesus until the day that He was received into glory after he had finished his course here on this earth. Being somewhat familiar with the life of Peter as it is recorded in the Scriptures enables a person to see within Peter's letters (there are two of them) the changes that came into the thinking and the actions of Peter as a result of being tested, tried and taught. We recognize even as Peter wrote that "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". 2 Peter 1:19-21 We recognize that it was through the inspiration and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit that Peter wrote his epistles, but also we recognize that his experiences of life and his personality somehow entered into the content of the letters that he wrote. But we must always remember that what he wrote and what we have before us today is God's Word.

In the first nine verses of this letter, we are given an introduction to the theme of this writing. We understand this since we have the ability to have read the entire letter, we have the ability to organize and separate different themes, and so in a sense we have the big picture already before us. Let us place before us here the first nine verses so that we can see for ourselves the preamble to this letter, or the thesis, or shall we say, the theme of this letter. Personally, I have taken as a theme for this letter: "Living in the Power of the Resurrection."

KJV 1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,
2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

After his introduction of himself, after denoting to whom he is writing, after reminding them that they are chosen of God, through the consecration of the Holy Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, he greets them with the wonderful greeting which we never get tired of hearing. "Grace unto you, and peace, be multipled." Not just grace and peace, but grace and peace multiplied!! He then pours out his heart in abundant praise and worship to God the Father as he recounts that victory that has come to us through God's abundant mercy by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! He continues to pour forth praise as he recounts for them/us of the inheritance/possession that is reserved in heaven for them/us, that cannot perish like the things of this life, cannot be soiled or defiled, or cannot fade away, it being permanent and unchangeable! Wow!! This is waiting for them/us. God not has only prepared the inheritance, He not only has given us the eyes of faith to see what is prepared for us, but He also guards the faith and hope that we have by His power. The word "kept" in the the King James is taken from the word which means "to guard." It is used in a similar situation to denote the sense of protecting and preserving as in KJ Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your (guard) hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. All this is waiting for us and will be shown to us when it is time, as it is written, 5 Who are kept (guarded) by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. That is what is ours by faith. It is a done deal, there is no doubt of it!

Let us stop here and think. Let us not rush by these first five verses so quick that we lose the power of what has been written here. It reminds me of something that my brother in law told me many years ago concerning the allowing of the meaning of the Word of the Lord to be understood and thought upon before going to the next part. He said when we rush too quickly through the Word it is like a stream running rapidly through its course with no impediments to stop its wild rushing, but he said that when we allow the Word to sink into our hearts or into the hearts of our listeners (if we are preaching) it is as if in the rushing stream big boulders have been placed which have slowed the water's rushing and pools are created in which the water may swirl around for awhile before falling over the falls that have been created. May we allow this Word before us today to swirl around in our minds and in our hearts so that we will not lose the impact that the Holy Spirit intends to bring to us through the Word. Let us do that before going onto the next verses, which introduce the main theme (It seems to me) of this entire epistle: Suffering is the entry to the joy of the Lord in this life. What? What? How can that be? How is that possible? Let us consider the next "pool of water."

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

This is a big pool, one which we need to stay in for sometime. Rejoice in trials? Have joy in suffering? Yep, that is what it says, but let us notice that "it is for a season" that this heaviness is experienced and not necessarily for the rest of one's life. Yet, it may be or it may not be. But it is important, oh so important, to not forget what Peter has just written in verses 3-5 and for which he is praising our God for! We have been raised with Christ in His resurrection, we have the eyes of faith that see beyond the difficulties of life all the way to heaven, and we live in the expected and confident hope of a better land. It is ours! Peter compares this trial/testing/proving of our faith with the testing that is done to the natural element of gold. There is no comparison to the worth of our faith vs the worth of gold. Even though the price of gold today is close to fifteen hundred dollars an ounce, it does not compare to the value of faith. Gold will allow us to have things, it will allow us to feel somewhat isolated and protected from financial losses, but it does nothing to provide us with the security of knowing that our inheritance is waiting for us.

Peter understood this testing and examining process. He thought that he had faith, but it proved to be found wanting. It was when he had nothing left of himself that he was able to see that which Jesus had been trying to tell and to show him as He walked and talked with him. He looked at this testing and examination as a positive matter, for it had shown to him his need for real and living faith, one that trusted in Christ and in Him alone. As a result of his conversion and restoration to Christ, he worshipped the Lord by laying down his life for others, so that they might see and come to experience the grace of God as revealed through Jesus Christ. It is encouraging for us to remember that even though Peter was restored and in the power of the Holy Spirit he became a preacher of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he nevertheless, like us, was yet a work in progress in that he had issues that the Lord needed to work through in his life. The two most notable ones are found in Galatians 2:11-2 and Acts 10:9-48. In the first one Peter needed to be rebuked by Apostle Paul for his duplicity and in the second one God from heaven dealt with Peter's remaining prejudice toward the Gentiles. All this had occurred (as best as I can determine) before he wrote the epistle that we are meditating upon.

Yesterday we spent some time in fellowship with our brothers in the Lord in another congregation. At the meeting a man who had grown up in a Christian home gave his testimony and as he did this passage opened up even wider to me concerning the role of suffering in our lives as Christians. He had grown up in a church, but he considered himself a Sunday Christian and it was his getting cancer that "I got a wake up call from the Lord. " Early on he had asked the question of the Lord, "Why me?' but as he was tested and tried by the Lord, his question became, "Why not me?"

He was healed of his cancer by the Lord through the prayers of faith of the elders and he gives thanks to the Lord yet today for the grace of God, saying over and over again in his testimony, "We have a gracious God." "We have a gracious God"

Before we drop into the next pool, I wish to leave some of the things that he left with us concerning of that which the Lord showed and taught to him during that time and yet today continues to show and teach him. Here they are.

1. Getting cancer was the gracious hand of God and was a wakeup call for me,

2. We may learn not to trust in self, but in God.

3. We may learn in everything to give thanks, even in suffering and pain.

4. We may be equipped to comfort others. (2 Cor 1:1-7)

5. We may grow in humility, compassion and patience.

6. We may be unified in our church

As I wrote these things down, I noticed that he kept saying "We may learn, we may be equipped" instead of just saying "we learn" or "we are equipped." As I think about it now, it comes to me that he says that in that way because that is how grace works. Let me explain what I am thinking and of how it applies to this part of our meditation. When we are faced with testings and trials, it is the Lord's intent that things of ourselves would be melted away so that which we have of Christ would shine brighter and clearer for others to see. Grace always teaches us, but never demands of us. When this man said "we may" he was exhibiting his knowledge and experience of grace through the way that he presented that which the Lord had/is showing him. Note that he spoke of his experience as personal only in item one, and after that he said, "we." Christianity is a corporate experience.

This is a man in whom the incorruptible Seed lives and abides. This man lives in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and it is evidenced by his life and his words.. Praise the Lord for His wonderful grace!!!!!!!

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Still in the same pool of water, as Peter writes further about the rejoicing with joy that is not able to be described with words, but is full of glory, of honor, of splendour as our heart is filled with praise towards our Redeemer and Friend, Jesus. Even though we have not seen Him with our eyes, we love Him, even though we do not see Him today, we believe!! For we see the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. In light of that our trials are reduced, as if put into a shrinking device. We see with the eyes of faith that which God has said is waiting there for us. Lord, we bow before you in adoration and praise.

Would we not wish to stay in this warm pool of faith, of hope and of love? Yes, I think so, but we must move to the next one, but never forgetting this huge pool which always remains upstream of every other pool that we will drop into as we go through this chapter. Let us not forget this pool that is the Fountain of Life, Jesus Christ Resurrected and Living. We worship you, Lord.

There are four more pools to drop into, and we will briefly go through them as they seem anticlimactic to that which we have meditated upon to this point, but of course, recognizing that that is not so, for all Scripture is all important.

10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

That which had been prophesied in the Old Testament was now brought to pass, as the grace of God came forth in the incarnation of His Son and in the Gospel message, the Good News of salvation. It was not for themselves that they preached, even though they were partakers of it by faith, nevertheless they longed to see that which now had come to pass. As they struggled with the prophecies, perhaps not understanding the very things that they were preaching, they looked also for the city whose builder and maker was God. They spoke those things for the strangers who were scattered in Peter's day, they spoke those things for us today, and we speak the revelation of Christ into our world today through our lives and our words, which point to the grace of Christ.

The angels who have remained unfallen and will remain unfallen crane their necks from heaven to peer into the mysteries of the Incarnation of their Creator, observing the Gospel that is being preached and the effect it has had and is having upon the world. They are not able to understand the power of the Gospel as we who are fallen humans who have been restored through the Incarnate One, Jesus Christ. We marvel at this verse, as we think of the wonders of His love.


13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

We are called to get ready for action in our lives, remaining level headed in our hope in the grace that has been given to us. We are not to fall back into self, looking inwardly at our imperfections, but we are to look at His perfection in which we have been raised into through the His resurrection from the dead. Because He lives, we live. We have been freed from the guilt of sin, we are bring saved from the power of sin and one day we will be free from the presence of sin. Therefore, as obedient children we live in both the imputed holiness of God, but also we resist the temptations to live in that which we lived in when we did not know any better.


17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

Here in verse 17 we see a hint of what Peter had been taught by the Lord concerning his prejudice concerning one nation over another, as he writes that the Father is no respecter of persons, something he had spoken of earlier in one of his sermons in the book of Acts, He had said, 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

He reminds them/us that this is not our permanent dwelling place, but that heaven is our home and that we are to pass our time here in fear. Not in a slavish fear, but the fear the is reverent, trusting and a fear that recognizes that He is God and we are not. He has the Word of grace for us, but He also has the Word of Truth, and He is Christ our Creator, Redeemer and Judge. In Him there is no slavish fear, but a reverent and trusting and fearful respect. Can it be compared to a child who before learning how to swim fears the water, but after learning how to swim yet fears the water, but now enjoys the water as she swims in the warm embrace of the water....



22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.
24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:
25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

In closing this first chapter, Peter writes to them/us that since you have believed the Gospel through the Spirit, their/our souls have been purified by faith, and as a result we are encouraged to love one another with this same pure heart that we have been loved with. We have and are loved fervently, so we are to love fervently, since we have been born from on high through the Word of God, which never dies, but abides forever. The things of this earth are passing away, even the gold that we may store up as a hedge against our nations collapse, but yet that which the Word has brought to us will never fade away, for it cannot wither or fade away. The Word of the Lord will remain and this Good News of Jesus Christ has been preached to us by this Word which alone remains.

Oh, Lord, for this we fall on our knees, we praise your Name, your Mighty Name, which is mighty to save. Thank you for saving us, for giving us faith, which guards our hope and which flows out of our lives in love towards you and towards one another in gracious thoughts, words and actions.

May this hope of what is yet to be seen encourage us, sustain us and inspire us to continue moving forward in the mighty army of Jesus Christ. The army that does not use guns and ammo, but instead carries the cross of Jesus Christ before us. It is in the cross of Christ that the power of the resurrection is understood, in that in dying to self, we live for others. May it be so today for us......

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 08 May 2011 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Living in the Power of the Resurrection: Submission 5/15/2011
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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