Reading: 1 Peter 1:1-25
After Peter’s denial of Christ and his subsequent restoration, he was commissioned to feed Christ’s people, the sheep and the lambs of the flock of God (John 21:15–17). Peter never forgot that Christ-given charge and throughout the remainder of his ministry he sought to fulfil it. There is evidence of his faithful labours throughout the book of Acts, but perhaps his “shepherd-work” is most obvious in the first letter which he wrote to the saints who were scattered across Asia Minor. These saints were suffering persecution and Peter wrote to encourage and exhort them in their walk with God. As he fed them gospel truth he emphasised three timeless aspects of true Christianity: (1) their standing in Christ was secure; (2) there was an unbreakable link between doctrine and duty; and (3) though they were suffering now, their sufferings would soon give way to glory.
John Calvin said of this letter: “The design of Peter in this epistle is to exhort the faithful to a denial of the world and a contempt of it … that they might with their whole soul aspire after the celestial kingdom of Christ and that they might overcome all kinds of temptations and pursue this course and practice throughout life.” That gets to the point. This entire letter could be summarised by saying Peter is writing to encourage those who have been saved by the grace of God to understand their glorious spiritual position and to continue in holiness before God until He finally brings them home to glory. Those are truths that are applicable not only for first-century Christians, but for twenty-first-century Christians. Our circumstances may be different but the glory of and our duty to the gospel of Jesus Christ remains the same.
The commandment to walk with God is indefinite, without limitation, therefore must be understood to be walking with Him in all things, and at all times, in all companies and in all changes, conditions and estates of your life, whatsoever. To walk with God in general and at large is not sufficient.” (Henry Scudder, The Christian’s Daily Walk, p. 27)