We have such a wonderful God who gave us such a wonderful book. For example, there is 1 Kefa, written by Kefa, an emissary of Yeshua the Messiah. Translated it means the first letter written by Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. This is just an aside to remind us that our holy Bible is a Jewish book.
First Peter was written before the Roman emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians began in 64 AD. Peter addressed the letter to God’s elect, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. These were all real countries (consult a Bible atlas). Today the letter also applies to the faithful followers of Jesus, scattered around the United States, Canada, Africa, Europe, Asia, et cetera.
The letter is addressed to God’s elect. God chose certain people to have a relationship with Him. Does that mean God chose some and left others out? Not at all. When people asked Peter what they should do after his sermon on the resurrection of Jesus, he said, ‘Repent and be baptised, all of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call.’ 1 God calls, we respond.
What is remarkable is the different functions of the Trinity:
- The Father calls into His kingdom. He is in charge, the CEO. We can either reject or accept. This explains why the devil and many atheists hate the elect: they chose to reject the call, and so they became the ‘outcasts’ of God’s Kingdom. They decided by their own volition to reject, but still hate us because we accepted the call.
- The glorious Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself willingly for us. He ‘sprinkled’ His blood for us. This remains an enigma, a King died willingly on a cross for the people of God: to gather a Bride from among the nations. This is the ‘foolishness of God:’ Christ the Crucified became the power of God and the wisdom of God. 2 Justin said, ‘They say that our madness consists in the fact that we put a crucified man in second place after the unchangeable and eternal God, the Creator of the world.’ 3
- The Holy Spirit sanctifies, separates for God. Sanctification has two aspects. The one is to be declared holy (your sins are forgiven). The other is to be trained to act out holiness (to live the kingdom life).
Because of the combined actions of the Trinity, our eternal inheritance will never spoil, fade of perish. Isn’t it wonderful? We will be rich, exceedingly rich, eternally. What a future, what a hope. No wonder we are told, ‘My purpose is that they [us] will be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they [we] may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that we may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ 4
What a wonderful Father, Son and Holy Spirit!
- Acts 2:38-39
- 1 Corinthians 1:23-24
- Just, Apology I, 13.4, cited by M Hengel, Crucifixion, Fortress Press, Philadelphia, 1977, p 1
- Colossians 2:2-3