Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's All About Grace!

1 Peter 5

10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings
12 With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.

As Peter finishes his letter he encourages them to stand firm in the grace which called them. In spite of the suffering and trials they have undergone, they will be restored or perfect through this suffering. This is similar to what the author of Hebrews says about Jesus' own suffering and what it produced in Him.

"In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered." Hebrews 2:10

God's grace not only called them to follow Jesus, but that same work of grace will lead them home. Some people say, "God saved me by grace and now the rest is my job." It is like saying God justified me by faith, but I will sanctify myself through hard work. What Peter does say is, "stand fast in it". This is also translated, "in which you stand", or more literally "stand firm in it". I like that thought of standing firm in grace. For by grace you were saved and by grace God will lead you home.

But still what does it mean to "stand firm in grace". A few thoughts:

1. Resist going back to works. Refuse to think God's grace took a hold of you, and the rest depends on you.

2. Grace helps us during suffering. Although suffering is very challenging in the moment, God by His grace uses it to make us more strong and complete. He girds us up to stand up under it.

3. God loves to give us grace. It is His very nature. When we don't rely on His grace, we take the focus off of Him and on to ourselves. It is actually a form of pride. From start to finish the Christian life is fueled and empowered by grace! Thank God right!

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