Letters, Promises, and Faith

(Today's post by Tim David)

1 Peter 1:1-12

Letters used to matter, a lot. Today, I don’t think emails quite have the same level of importance that letters once had. I attended a very strict Christian college that demanded my creative writing abilities in order to communicate with the girl who would later become my wife. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, we found a lot of those letters. They are pretty laughable now and even though I’ve matured a bit – the feelings I have for her haven’t changed in the 14 or more years since they were written. We faced plenty of trials (she had many more attractive guys to date, 1200 miles of separation for 3 years, my immaturity), but each one of our letters always assured the other of our commitment. Those letters were a visible representation of our love for each other that helped get us through some dark points of our relationship.

Anyone who has written a letter knows, the salutation matters…a lot. It sets the tone for the entire letter. There are several questions that should be asked/answered at the beginning of an epistle:

  1. Who wrote the letter? Peter
  2. Who is the letter written to? Strangers (or we can ascribe this even to us)…meaning they don’t know each other…who are scattered across Asia Minor possibly because of the persecution ravaging Christian
  3. Why write the letter? Exhortation – persecution is going to happen remember why you’re being persecuted and the promises that come with the Christian life.

It is impossible to break everything down in a blog post, so I do want to focus on a couple big things I took away. First, I am just going to stay away from the debate that is sure to erupt out of vr 2. There is this promise section I love: We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ; We have an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, and won’t fade away; We have protection until the last day. How about those promises? Those promises give me all the security of commitment any Christian could need. Peter is writing this while knowing he is being persecuted and will die for his faith…yet, he is still confident in everything Jesus taught him. It’s pretty easy to write an upbeat, positive letter while things are going good – it’s even harder when things aren’t easy.

Peter goes on to give “props” to those who haven’t seen, but still have faith. Our faith is going to be tried…and in the end, we will either come out golden or be burnt to nothing. That being said, the faith committed without sight is a stronger faith that will withstand the “fires” of trial. My faith, today, is my salvation. Trusting in that salvation, I know, there is nothing that come against me that is going to consume me. Peter’s assuring them through a letter that they can trust their salvation because it will last the trials of this life – no matter how bad it gets.

So, here’s the question I ask myself: Do I trust my salvation…Meaning, when I’m in the middle of the deepest valley experience, can I trust that God’s salvation is enough for me to keep my feet moving, one step at a time, all the way to the peak of the mountain?

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • Andy Mitchell

    Thanks for the post Tim. I’ve got to quote John Calvin’s commentary on part of this scripture (specifically from vs. 4), especially on our inheritance and faith as a gift. Salvation is of the Lord. It is the only way we can trust in it as sinful men in a sinful world. Because the Lord is sovereign over it, we can trust in it.
    “The inheritance is said to be reserved, or preserved, that we may know that it is beyond the reach of danger. For, were it not in God’s hand, it might be exposed to endless dangers. If it were in this world, how could we regard it as safe amidst so many changes? That he might then free us from every fear, he testifies that our salvation is placed in safety beyond the harms which Satan can do. But as the certainty of salvation can bring us but little comfort, except each one knows that it belongs to himself, Peter adds, for you For consciences will calmly recumb here, that is, when the Lord cries to them from heaven, “Behold, your salvation is in my hand and is kept for you.” But as salvation is not indiscriminately for all, he calls our attention to faith, that all who are endued with faith, might be distinguished from the rest, and that they might not doubt but that they are the true and legitimate heirs of God. For, as faith penetrates into the heavens, so also it appropriates to us the blessings which are in heaven.”

  • Marc Cannon

    I know this is doesn’t really speak to the sentiment of this post. However, I bring away a point from this post that is poignant. Writing. It’s a lost art. Sitting down and hammering out a letter with pen and paper is something lost on us today. Even email is becoming antiquated. I bring that up to say this: We as a society are losing the ability to communicate with one another on an intimate basis. From Husband and Wife to friends, to family to your daily business contacts. I think, but don’t know, that this has probably shaped the way people communicate with God. From a distance. I know it has me. One way I started to combat this is to write out my prayers in a journal. Word for word. I know this isn’t a “New” concept but it’s certainly one that I’m sure in today’s society is becoming rarer than a phone with a cord. To be confident in your Salvation it takes daily communication with the Lord. Emails and text don’t cut it. It’s Personal with Him. Just my 2 pennies in today’s ramblings on.

  • I know there’s a lot of “doctrinal” and “theological” things that could be unpacked from these few verses in 1 Peter. But I tend to land where Tim has..the beauty and grace in which Peter basically spells out the Gospel message WHILE worshiping God through nearly every verse 1-12. I love that! And with this being a message to possibly persecuted believers, it HAD to be encouraging to hear this good news from someone who had been with Jesus. Makes me look closely at my life..would my words be encouraging to someone who is struggling in the faith? Would it be obvious to them that I had been with Jesus? Am I able to share the Good News and praise God the entire time? Would it even come across that way? Thanks for making me dig in today, Tim. Oh, and you too, Peter.

  • Britt Ozburn

    There are times in the valleys that I sometimes lose the feeling of God’s presence. Reminds me that I can’t manage my life with my human emotions but rather trust that He, along with His love and salvation, are still there. He always sees me to the end. Great post Tim!

  • Brandon

    Gold is refined by fire. It goes through extreme testing and it makes.it better…but still not lasting. We are refined by the fires of this life and it makes us better. With faith it makes us lasting. Thankful to have a Savior that is able to do this! Great thoughts Tim…We just have to keep trusting!

Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!
%d bloggers like this:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner