Honor and Praise

Saturday, October 28, 2017, 7:41 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Jesus, I am Resting, Resting.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 1 Peter 1 (Quoting select vv. NASB).

Chosen by God (vv. 1-2)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

For those of us who are chosen by God, predestined to obtain salvation through Jesus Christ, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, we are chosen to be holy and blameless in God’s sight. We are chosen to serve the Lord, to obey him, and to follow him. We are chosen to use our spiritual gifts for his service, and to do what he has assigned us to do, which is our part in the body of Christ – all in his power and strength now at work within us. We are chosen, too, for daily cleansing from sin, being made holy by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, as we cooperate with God’s work of grace in our lives, doing what he has called us to do, and being who he has called us to be.

Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Jesus said if we want to come after him we must deny self, take up our cross daily and follow (obey) Him. We have to die daily to sin and self. Paul said if we walk according to the flesh we will die (in our sin), but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh we will live (with Christ for eternity). God’s grace is not a free license to continue in sin. His grace, which brings salvation, teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we wait for Christ’s return. Jesus died to make us holy, to conform us to his image, and to use us as his servants and witnesses to bring others to Christ and to encourage his body in the faith and in their walks with the Lord. This is why we are here.

Born Again (vv. 3-5)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

What does it mean to be “born again”? Well, first we are born as flesh, from the wombs of our mothers. We have arms, legs, eyes, ears and such, which are all physical. But, these flesh bodies are going to one day die and rot. And, then the real us, our souls, the core of our being, will live on either in hell or in heaven; either in eternal damnation and punishment, or in eternal life with God. So, what determines our eternal destiny? It is whether or not we have been born again, not physically, but of the Spirit of God. We are all born physically, if we are here on this earth, but we also need to be born spiritually. So, how do we get “born again”?

First we have to realize that we are all sinners, and that we all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval in our own merit (Ro. 3:23), and that we cannot earn our way to heaven through our own good works. It is only by God’s grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, that we are able to be saved (delivered) from our sins and have eternal life with God (Eph. 2:8-10; Jn. 3:16). But, then we must also realize that this “faith” is not just a feeling or something intellectual, but that it is putting into practice in our lives, by the Spirit, what Jesus Christ did for us in dying for our sins, and in being resurrected back to life, so that we could die to sin and live to righteousness. This means we leave our old lives of sin behind us in order to follow Jesus Christ with our lives, which is, thus, the meaning of being “born again.”

Various Trials (vv. 6-9)

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

Yet, while we are still on this earth, prior to going to our eternal home, we will suffer many things, especially for the sake of Christ and of his gospel. But, these trials are for our good, for they test and try our faith in order that, when Jesus Christ returns, our faith in him may result in his praise, honor and glory.

So, through trials and tribulations we learn perseverance, patience, and endurance. We learn to rely on God and not on ourselves. We grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus, and we mature in our walks of faith, being made holy and conformed to the likeness of Christ through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Although, through God’s divine discipline in our lives, we may suffer much, this is for our good that we may share in his holiness, and in order that, when trained by his discipline, we may bear the fruit of his righteousness. And, the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.

Be Holy (vv. 13-16)

Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Since Jesus died and rose again, in order that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and since we have been born again of the Spirit of God to new lives in Jesus Christ, not like our old lives, our desire should be for our Lord, to walk in his ways and in his truth. We should no longer want to walk in the ways of this world or of our sinful flesh, for Jesus set us free! So, we ought to be serious minded about God and his Word and about obeying him. Thus, we have to prepare our minds for action, because the devil is out to get us. So, daily we must be putting on the armor of God with which to fight off his evil schemes against us (Eph. 6:10-20).

No longer should we live the way we did before we met Jesus, for if we truly were crucified with him in death to sin, and resurrected with him to newness of life (born again), we should love him, desire him, obey him, and walk in his ways. This is not to say that we will never sin again (1 Jn. 2:1-2), but that sin should no longer have mastery over our lives, for Jesus set us free! So, we ought not to do the things we did before. We must not lie, cheat, steal, commit fornication or adultery, murder, hate, gossip, etc. These should no longer define who we are. We should not conduct our lives in these ways, but according to the Spirit of God. For we are to be holy in all of our conduct, separate from the world, because of being made to be like Christ.

Jesus, I am Resting, Resting
Jean Sophia Pigott

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.

O, how great Thy loving kindness,
Vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness,
Lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Belovèd,
Know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise,
And have made it mine.

Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus,
I behold Thee as Thou art,
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless,
Satisfies my heart;
Satisfies its deepest longings,
Meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings:
Thine is love indeed!

Ever lift Thy face upon me
As I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ‘neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus,
Earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory,
Sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting,
Fill me with Thy grace.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart.

One thought on “Honor and Praise

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