The First Letter from Peter | Soul Salvation | 1 Peter 1.6-9|

by | Sep 6, 2019

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1.6-9

I remember first memorizing verse 8-9 several years ago while on a mission trip to Houston. I bribed my fellow students to learn the verse by offering them Starbucks. I had since forgotten the verse until today when I reread it with joy at the message it portrays.

Let’s not forget who Peter is writing to — the early Christian church. There was not a First Methodist or a First Baptist. There were no Pentecostal Churches, Catholics or Non-denoms. There was only The Church which consisted of everyone who believed. Now they were scattered all across the ancient near east because of persecution and the overthrow of Israel by the Romans.

Peter is writing to them and pointing out the “grief” they have had to suffer in “all kinds of trials.” Peter reminds them that these trials came so that their faith might be proven genuine because their faith, as Peter writes is “of greater worth than gold.” And, that their faith might “result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” Jesus is the penultimate of our faith.

Peter then begins to talk more about Jesus Christ. Peter has seen him but he’s speaking to those who have never seen Jesus. Imagine that, living only thirty years after Jesus walked the earth. Many were still alive who knew him, witnessed him and could still tell stories about his life. But the general population of Peter’s audience had not seen him, yet they “loved him” and they “believed in him.” Because of his Holy Spirit, they are filled with “an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Why? Because they, like us, “are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of our souls.”

Soul salvation is our end goal. This includes knowing Christ, having assurance, understanding our purpose, living into his plan for our lives. I wonder if today we are experiencing inexpressible and glorious joy? If not, then why? What is keeping us from being joyful in all circumstances? Is the weight of this world holding us down? Are we allowing current concerns to keep us from the future promise of eternity with Christ?

Why not share in the promise made to all believers — “though we have not seen him, we love him. And though we do not see him know we believe in him.” Believe. Have faith. Await the return of our Lord with anticipation, hope and joy.

“O Lord God, you are good. In the midst of my difficulties, you enter in. You find me willing and able, ready to seek and serve you. And while I am not always exist in a state of joy — you bring contentment. Being in your word and in your will is what life is about. This is the power of your Holy Spirit in me. Come now, Lord God, be my God and my King. Allow me to know the power of your love and the joy of your promise. For you are good and your love endures forever. Amen”