Christians have long debated what it means to fear God. Some view him as the strict judge who is keeping a detailed record of all our misdeeds, and so they are almost paralyzed in fear of doing something wrong. Others emphasize the bigness of God and say that we are to live with a sense of awe, but not to fear any repercussions for our actions. Peter gives us some clarity:...Keep Reading
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Everyone wants to be blessed. The problem is that we often view blessings as our gain at other’s loss. We are blessed if we win the lottery. Of course, that means that everyone else did not, and we got their money. We even tend to think that for God to bless us, others must not be blessed. And even further, we begin to feel that we are only blessed when we have more good things happening to us than are happening to others....
In marriage, the role of the husband is different from that of the wife, but the perspective and attitude are the same. Peter’s use of “likewise” or “in the same way” is common to both his instructions to the wife and to the husband and is probably referring to 2:13 where believers are exhorted to place their explicit trust in God by properly submitting to his delegated authority structures....
Since the new order has been launched in the resurrection of Jesus, every aspect of life is affected, including marriage. As all married people know, marriage can turn out to be not only different than expected, but difficult to navigate. For marriage to be anything like what God intended in the beginning, we need a new perspective. Peter is describing that new perspective in this whole section of his letter. He has already said that we have been freed and empowered to submit to God’s order by honestly respecting the delegated authority structures that allow society to function best. But just exactly how does the resurrection of Jesus affect the wife’s role in marriage?...
The way we sang the old hymn Holy, Holy, Holy in the little Baptist church of my upbringing didn't bring to mind visions of fun and adventure. It felt more like suppression and boredom. I'm absolutely sure it was my perspective rather than the merits of the music or the lyrics, but the idea of "holiness" did not appeal to me. Evidently it doesn't to many others as well. To...Keep Reading
We are familiar with the statement of Paul that we have all sinned and have come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). What glory have we come short of? It is the glory that God designed humans to have in the beginning. It is the glory of trusting God as his partner and image bearer on earth. Mankind is most honored when they are living in total trust toward God. There ...Keep Reading
The salvation that has been revealed through Jesus Christ is of such a nature that the majestic angels would love to look into it, but can't. What is so intriguing to the angels? Aren't they the mighty beings of heaven that have access to realities that we can't see? Aren't they more powerful than even our imaginary superheroes of today? What is so grand about the salvatio...Keep Reading
Christians who are under pressure because of their unfriendly culture need to hear that God is not only their comforter, but also their source. They do not need to be so focused on their efforts that they forget his. They are not breathlessly trying to get to heaven or be heavenly on this earth as much as they are the beneficiaries of God's mercy. Before they got here, God...Keep Reading
We don't pay much attention to salutations now. It is just a formality that we glance at as we move quickly into the content of the correspondence. Biblical writers viewed it with much more appreciation. In this case, Peter is speaking over his readers the blessing given in the gospel he is advocating....Keep Reading
Peter is giving scattered first century believers reason to hope even though they are surrounded by a hostile culture. He establishes for them the truth about who they are and what has happened to them as they embrace the gospel. It is fantastic what has happened to them. It started long before they ever decided to believe. God the Father loved them and chose them to be hi...Keep Reading
Alan Wright has wisely instructed us to get accustomed to living as missionaries in our own nation. Increasingly, the prevailing culture is becoming more hostile to the values of the gospel community. We can spend our time pining over the losses we have incurred morally, or we can take courage from the testimony of the early church that lived in the midst of cultures that ...Keep Reading
It is possible that the eighth chapter of Proverbs is the apex of wisdom literature. Wisdom is personified as one who has the keys to meaningful life and is eager to give them to those who recognize the value of wisdom. It points to a time in Solomon's future when ultimate wisdom is fully demonstrated in the person of Jesus the Christ. In this chapter, wisdom rehearses the...Keep Reading
While many in our culture are arguing over family values and some are insisting that we abandon all restraints to sexual desires, we have the testimony of Wisdom for an anchor. Wisdom teaches us that God ordained families to train us how to view such powerful dynamics as sex and fidelity. We learn by models more than by lectures, and what we see modeled in our early life g...Keep Reading