1 – 1 Peter 2:1 (ESV) So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.
RAF: Look simply at the first word in this verse: “so.” A world of theology can be packed into such a brief expression. It bids us to summarize all of what has come before in chapter 1 – the theme of which is the “living hope” hope the Believer has been “born again to”, and the price paid for such glory – the ransom was paid with the “precious blood of Christ.” “SO” – if this be the case, act accordingly! This is the weight of the Apostle’s words. If chapter 1 is real, how ought that to impact the way we live our lives? And he mentions that its first impact ought to be in putting away the things which are incompatible with the living hope we are headed toward, and the precious blood which was shed for us. Oh what glory is ours! Father, keep such things ever before my eyes that I not live as though these are not true and governing realities. Keep them always in view. Let nothing cloud the clear vision of them.
2 – 1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV) But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
RAF: This is one of those passages packed with so much for us to understand, that one could spend endless hours musing on its implications. Here is one of those statements which is so sweeping in uveiling the scope of God’s dealings with us in salvation that to miss it, is to miss much of understanding the “why” behind this unsearchable plan. In the simplest of terms, it appears that God’s final goal in all things – is the divinely ultimate manifestation of His mercy and grace through eternal, familial society with a redeemed humanity. And that His motive in it all, is love.
That which God knows about Himself within the Triune Godhead, which He delights in in Himself, and which cannot be known any other way apart from the Fall and the Cross – is that He is a God who is merciful to sinners without violating His justice, and so full of grace, that He makes mere forgiven creatures, a part of His own family through adoptive grace. Mercy brings forgiveness, but grace brings sonship. His desire is to cause the universe to rejoice over His mercifulness and His graciousness. And to that end, He conscripts us into this holy and unspeakably joyous, delightful and eternal occupation.
It is a pity that we often focus only upon the naked facts that Believers are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession.” As glorious and stupendous and unimaginably wonderful as these things are – they are not the end. He didn’t just do all of this, to do it. All of this is “that you” – i.e. for this purpose: That we might make His mercy and grace KNOWN! To “proclaim” His “excellencies” in it. To be His declaration of His glory through us. And in order for us to proclaim that with zeal and burning love and not like the reciting of indifferent facts – like parrots reciting the Lord’s Prayer – He makes us the recipients of this mercy and grace. He makes us to partake of it. He wants not just eye witnesses, but heart witnesses. Witnesses so consumed with how merciful He is, and how gracious He is, we are stumbling over ourselves to get the message out.
Heavenly Father – grant me the capacity to understand the weight of this glory, so that I might be set ablaze with the realities of it. My heart is so hard at times. My mind so dark. My ears so dull and my tongue so thick. Open my eyes. Unstop my ears. Flood my mind with light. Melt my heart so that in grasping it all, I cannot but help proclaim your sweet excellencies with every atom of my being. Fill me with your Spirit. Spirit of the living God – fill me with Christ.