SOAPing the New Testament–1 Peter 3

Scripture:

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

Observation:

This verse is a distillation of the Gospel. It conveys the reality that Jesus’ mission was to come and set right the division between God and humanity. Peter reminds us that this was an extraordinary thing that Jesus did in that Jesus was righteous and undeserving of God’s punishment yet he suffered to remove the penalty of sin from those who deserved it, the unrighteous, us. He also eludes to the new life in the Spirit that was established in Jesus.

Application:

For me this verse challenges me to be mindful of where I came from and to honor what Jesus did to reconcile me to God. I think often times I rest in the fact that I am saved and I neglect to honor the Lord and the work He has done for humanity. I feel like I need to work on continually submitting to the Spirit and allow Him to guide me more.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to take my penalty on Himself so that I may reconciled back to you. Forgive me where I have failed to show appreciation and honor for that sacrifice. Lord Jesus, thank you for your earthly ministry and your human incarnation. Thank you for modeling what it means to live and to sacrifice for the sake of others. I pray that I would follow your example today. I offer you praise. In your name, Amen.

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SOAPing the New Testament–1 Peter 3

Scripture:

18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit

Observation:

This verse is a distillation of the Gospel. It conveys the reality that Jesus’ mission was to come and set right the division between God and humanity. Peter reminds us that this was an extraordinary thing that Jesus did in that Jesus was righteous and undeserving of God’s punishment yet he suffered to remove the penalty of sin from those who deserved it, the unrighteous, us. He also eludes to the new life in the Spirit that was established in Jesus.

Application:

For me this verse challenges me to be mindful of where I came from and to honor what Jesus did to reconcile me to God. I think often times I rest in the fact that I am saved and I neglect to honor the Lord and the work He has done for humanity. I feel like I need to work on continually submitting to the Spirit and allow Him to guide me more.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son to take my penalty on Himself so that I may reconciled back to you. Forgive me where I have failed to show appreciation and honor for that sacrifice. Lord Jesus, thank you for your earthly ministry and your human incarnation. Thank you for modeling what it means to live and to sacrifice for the sake of others. I pray that I would follow your example today. I offer you praise. In your name, Amen.

SOAPing the New Testament – 1 Peter 2

Scripture:

23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

Observation:

This scripture lays out a key concept for the Christian life that I struggle with the most. The idea is that we should never return evil for evil or even hurt for hurt. Peter is teaching us that we should trust God to right the wrongs we experience. It’s a call to dependency on the Father that we have seen all through the life and ministry of Jesus.

Application:

For me I think verses like these remind me that no matter what happens God has my back. My priority is to be as good and honorable and Holy as possible and let God sort out the rest. My first obligation should never be to establish justice or equity between myself and another but instead should be a dependency on God, knowing that He perfectly executes justice and equity according to His nature and will. I have to be reminded often but the reality is I just need to love and serve and let the Father take care of me. It’s a struggle.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank you God for your protection and your justice. Forgive me where I have returned evil for evil and hurt for hurt. Forgive me where I have tried to be self-dependent rather than dependent on you. I pray for your peace and protection today. In Jesus name. Amen.

SOAPing the New Testament–1 Peter 1

Scripture:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Observation:

Theses verses are an awesome reminder of our condition as Christians. Peter describes the reality that God has caused us to be born again into relationship with Him through the resurrection of Jesus. He also points out that this relationship entitles us to the inheritance of the eternal Kingdom that unlike everything we know on this earth will never diminish or perish. The final thing Peter reminds us of is that God is active in keeping this inheritance ready and prepared for us.

Application:

For me these verses challenge me to remember that this life is just a stop on my way to the eternal Kingdom. The reality is that Heaven is my destination. As I seek Heaven and focus more on Kingdom activities the more my current life with be conformed to the eternal life to come.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for adopting me into the eternal Kingdom. Please help these words by your servant Peter be a reminder to me of where my inheritance lies. Help me be more focused on your plans today and less on my own desires. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

SOAPing the New Testament–1 Peter 1

Scripture:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Observation:

Theses verses are an awesome reminder of our condition as Christians. Peter describes the reality that God has caused us to be born again into relationship with Him through the resurrection of Jesus. He also points out that this relationship entitles us to the inheritance of the eternal Kingdom that unlike everything we know on this earth will never diminish or perish. The final thing Peter reminds us of is that God is active in keeping this inheritance ready and prepared for us.

Application:

For me these verses challenge me to remember that this life is just a stop on my way to the eternal Kingdom. The reality is that Heaven is my destination. As I seek Heaven and focus more on Kingdom activities the more my current life with be conformed to the eternal life to come.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for adopting me into the eternal Kingdom. Please help these words by your servant Peter be a reminder to me of where my inheritance lies. Help me be more focused on your plans today and less on my own desires. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

The Word of God

Just a little something I found while studying. I enjoyed it and thought you might as well.

THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers.

Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.

Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy.

It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you.

It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s character.

Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed.

Christ is its grand object, our good is its design and the glory of God its end.

It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.

Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully.

It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgment and will be remembered forever.

It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”

— Anonymous (found on the flyleaf of an old Bible)

Is Christianity an Intellectual Pursuit?

In describing my relationship with Jesus with others, especially, skeptics or non-Christians, I am often careful to point out that Christianity isn’t solely an intellectual pursuit. I want them to understand that being called by God is deeper than what can be reasoned by the mind. I wonder if I am doing them and myself a disservice. Is it possible that in addition to the spiritual/faith aspect of our relationship with God that our relationship with Him is also fully intellectual? Check out 1 Peter 1:13-16,

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

I really dig this teaching by Peter. What he his telling us is that when God calls us into relationship with Him some things have to be re-arranged not only in our spirit but also in our minds. He is exhorting us to intellectually grab hold of what has happened in our spirit and apply it not only to our thinking but also to our actions. He says to “sober-minded”. The idea here is our relationship with God is serious business and it should not be treated lightly. He is telling us to think about it, that before God chose to save each of us we were all destined to die in our sins, eternally separated from Him. He is challenging us to think about Jesus bloodied, nailed to the cross, brutally dying so that we might live.  He challenges us to action. In verse 14, he tells us not to be ignorant as we once were. We should think about what it means that God reached into time and chose each of us individually to have relationship with Him and we should respond by not living our lives like we did before He saved us. Verse 15 drives it home, “but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct”.

How do we walk out being holy in all our conduct? We have acknowledge first off that the Holy Spirit dwelling in us is making us holy, yet, there is a very real tension between our flesh and the Spirit. I am convinced that we can resist the Spirit to the point where we are rebelling against His work in us. I think that is where the mind comes in. We have to pursue holiness intellectually. That is what Peter is ultimately saying to me in this passage. I need to focus on holiness in my mind and not on the worldliness of my previous existence and as I think and ponder and meditate on the work that God has done by saving me and adopting me into the Kingdom the more I realize God’s holiness and the path to emulate that holiness becomes clearer and easier to conform to. If however, my intellectual pursuits are increasingly more worldly then I run the risk of emulating a life which is counter to the holiness of God.

Sometimes I forget the goal is to be conformed to the image of Jesus not only in the life to come but in this life now. That image is perfect and holy. The redeemed mind is one tool God has given us to work on that transformation. Think about it.