Yesterday we considered 1 Peter 1:1-2:10 as an unfolding of God being the Source of Living Grace for the Christian life. We discovered that:
1. God the Father eternally planned living grace
2. The Holy Spirit effectively applies living grace
3. The Son embodies living grace
Peter writes at the end of 1 Peter 5:12 that we need to "stand firm" in the grace of God that he writes about in this letter. His testimony and ministry are centered on the grace of God, and his pen under the Spirit's divine inspiration explains this living grace for the Christian life. In today's post we will consider the remainder of 1 Peter 2:11-5:14 to see how we are to live out the Christian life of grace as we draw from the Triune God, the living source of grace.
Living the life of grace while relying on God
1 Peter 2:11-5:14
Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:12 "Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." What behaviors are being promoted by Peter? Is he simply telling us to "try harder, do better and pull ourselves up by our bootstraps? Hardly! Without the proceeding Living source of grace, the Triune God Himself in 1 Peter 1:3-2:10, the grace-based behaviors of 1 Peter 2:11-5:14 cannot be carried out. What is a life dependent upon God's grace supposed to look like and do? Living the Life of grace means:
1. Submission to authority, both human and Divine. 1 Peter 2:13-25
2. Solid Marriages. 1 Peter 3:1-12
3. Suffering for the glory of God. 1 Peter 3:13-24; 4:1-6; 4:12-19
4. Sound Mindset. 1 Peter 4:7-11
5. Strong Churches. 1 Peter 5:1-14
Phillip Shaff, the eminent church historian writes the following words about the grace for Christian living in 1 Peter: "The First Epistle of Peter, dated from Babylon, belongs to the later life of the apostle, when his ardent natural temper was deeply humbled, softened and sanctified by the work of grace." Shaff later on writes: "It gives us the fruit of a rich spiritual experience and is altogether worthy of Peter and his mission to tend the flock of God under Christ, the chief shepherd of souls." 1 May we as Christians live the life of grace as we ever depend upon the Triune God, the Living source of grace. As 1 Peter 5:14 states - "Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!"
1. Phillip Shaff. History of the Christian Church - Volume 1. Page 338