I PETER 3
PETER GIVES WORDS OF COMFORT FOR
CHRISTIANS STRUGGLING IN SATAN’S WORLD
In the beginning of this book, Peter identifies himself. He calls himself an Apostle of Jesus Christ. With this, Peter places himself beside the other members of the twelve that Jesus chose to take the greatest message ever heard to the world. Note that he did not put himself in any position of authority in the church, nor take upon
himself any role of power. The Apostles were those who lived with the Lord, listened to His teaching, and witnessed His wonderful works. Therefore, they were prepared to tell the world God’s story of love, embodied in the gift of His Son, which offered them forgiveness, because His love and mercy were extended to them.
Peter addresses his words to God’s elect, scattered throughout Asia Minor as a result of Roman persecution. The people he is addressing are Gentiles. The reason they were called the elect is because they were people who had placed their faith in Jesus Christ. No man could be perfect enough to live in the Kingdom of God, who is perfect. God knew this when He created man, and He determined, because He loved the creature He had made, to offer him forgiveness of his sins, and therefore fit him to leave the Kingdom of Satan and Sin and enter the Kingdom of God. The key to open the door of the Kingdom of Heaven was faith in the Son of God, who sacrificed His blood on the Cross. Peter had first announced this on Pentecost, and in this way used the keys Jesus had given him to reveal the only way to freedom from sin and thus open the doors of God’s Kingdom for them to enter.
Also, Peter said these people had been chosen by God before the foundation of the world, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Christ and sprinkled with His blood. This meant that his message to the Gentiles was because God had chosen all who would accept Jesus Christ, to receive His Spirit and be cleansed by the shed blood of Christ, whether Jew or Gentile. On Pentecost, Peter had quoted from Joel, where God said, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh”. Peter, at that time, had said that was what they were seeing in the miraculous happenings which accompanied his sermon. Those who accepted Jesus Christ were given God’s Holy Spirit to dwell in them and protect them from Satan’s wiles, as long as they walked in the Light with Jesus.
In the few words of this first paragraph, Peter assured his readers that he was one of the ones Jesus had chosen to tell this wonderful story to the whole world. In the rest of this book, we will see Peter expand on this theme as a comfort to the Christians who were suffering persecution for their faith in the Lord. We can look
forward to the unfolding story in the words of this great Apostle throughout our studies in the rest of this book, as the Father permits.