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Veritas Vitae

1 Peter: An Apologetic For Resident Aliens

Posted by Michael Gunn on

"...but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect..."

To listen to the sermons in 1 Peter go to Sermons

We are entitling our new series in Peter's 1st letter to a marginalized church in Asia Minor (Now Turkey) An Apologetic For Resident Aliens because, in a sense, we too are "Resident Aliens" living in a world that is not our own, and living as ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.

Peter was Jesus' first disciple and His trusted servant. He's one of the 12, and even in the inner circle of 3 along with James and John. Peter was the one who was rebuked by Jesus for telling Him that there was no way he'd let Him die on a cross. Peter was the one who started to walk on water until his faith waned and he sunk into the depths until Jesus rescued him. Peter was the one who was rebuked by Paul for his nationalistic, racism. And Peter was also the one who denied Jesus three times at His faux trial, only to be restored by Jesus' grace. Peter was also the person that Jesus commended in Matthew 16 as the person He would build His church with. Peter became a leader of the early Church in Jerusalem and was responsible for thousands coming to Christ, while he ultimately died a martyr's death for his bold proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

                          

  Statute of Peter      @         Capernaum                Homes @  Capernaum

It is easy to look at Peter as an uneducated fisherman from Capernaum, and write him off as ignorant, backward and insignificant, but his life reminds us that God uses ordinary men and women for His glory! It is also very ignorant of any of us 'moderns' to assume that our intellect and knowledge is so much greater than those living in the 1st century. Peter had spent significant time with Jesus, and he writes this letter as an older, wiser and more knowledgeable man. God chooses us unconditionally for service, and then prepares us for the mission He gives us to do. Suffice it to say, Peter was a seasoned vet by the time he penned these words.

And 1 Peter is also a reminder of how God uses the exiles, sojourners and the marginalized for His work in the world today. Peter writes to a very marginalized people group who have turned from their useless paganism to a dynamic trust in Christ and His resurrection from the dead, giving them great hope that there is a better world awaiting their lowly lives. Peter is exhorting them to live in this hostile world in such a way that God's love and mercy are undeniable and real. It is when we return love for hate and blessing for an insult that the world takes notice of who we truly are as people, which destroys the many derogatory labels followers of Christ are often labeled with.

If we truly consecrate Jesus as "Lord" of our hearts, and boldly live the life that we are called to; a life of holiness, purity, submission, and humility, then no matter what people think of our message, they will be hard put to miss the power of God in the community of faith! Because this work is written 2000 years ago, there are some cultural things that are hard for us to comprehend, but when we truly analyze the culture and our lives, we might see that the way "Modern" man lives, is just as barbaric and uncouth as any other culture that we currently denigrate. God's word is still full of wisdom, and consecrating Jesus as 'lord of our hearts,' we might find that His way is still the best way, no matter what the world thinks.

I pray that this study is fruitful for this church, here in Long Beach in 2018, as well as anyone who stumbles upon our site! 1 Peter is a very relevant letter for us, here in America at this time!

Blessings!

Mike

The Sea of Galilee A Stone's Throw From Peter's Home

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