Grace + | Day 1

New Life in Christ

Read 1 Peter 1:1–9
 
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
 
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:
 
Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
 
Reflect
 
As with many of the letters we find in the New Testament, we may, as modern readers, be tempted to skip over the greeting and get to what we might consider the “meat” of the letter. But the content of Peter’s greeting here sets up the entirety of his letter and encapsulates the theme he will explore for his readers (or, in the first century, listeners). Peter’s greeting makes clear that his letter is directed to Christians scattered throughout the non-Christian world where they are being ostracized and facing many trials. And he wants to be sure to confirm right up front that their identities and lives, whatever they might face, are grounded and established in Jesus Christ. In the rest of the letter, Peter will expand on what this new life in Christ means for daily living, and as we read, we will discover how timeless and needed his words truly are.

  • Reflect on these three phrases Peter uses in his greeting: “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”; “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit”; and “to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood.” 
     
    • What happens in your heart and mind when you think of yourself as chosen by the Father for a particular identity, purpose, and future?
       
    • What transformational work do you sense the Holy Spirit is doing in your life right now?
       
    • How is Jesus calling you to obedience to God’s ways in this season of your life?
       
  • What is God seeking to draw your attention to through today’s passage?

Respond
 
God, thank You for choosing me, setting me apart for a special purpose, and constantly working to transform my desires, thoughts, and actions to look like those of Jesus. What a privilege it is that You see me and love me! I pray that You would open my heart and humble me so that I can grow, change, and be healed. Help me surrender my whole self to You. And keep me grounded in my true identity—in Christ—so that in this world, whatever trials I face, my life may reflect Your presence and love. Amen.

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