1 Peter 1:1-5 ESV
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Did you know that there is nothing that we can do to earn or to deserve our own salvation? Our good deeds will never outweigh our bad deeds, no matter how hard we try. We can never, in and of ourselves, ever be good enough to win God’s approval or to gain his righteousness. For, all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory and praise of God (Rom. 3:23).
But, that doesn’t mean it is impossible for any of us to be saved from our sins. We just can’t do it in our own flesh. Only by the mercy and grace of God can any of us be forgiven our sins and have eternal life with God. It is only because Jesus Christ, God the Son, took our punishment for our sin on the cross that we can become the righteousness of God (2 Co. 5:15-21).
And, we can only live for Jesus, in the power of God, because Jesus died and was resurrected back to life, that we might live in Christ and to Christ and with Christ for eternity, and that Christ might live his life in and out through us for his praise and glory. But, for us to live holy and righteous lives, we must put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior.
And, now here is the clincher: Our forgiveness of sins and our eternal life with God are conditional upon us having continuous God-given and God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ. For, we are saved by God’s grace through faith, which is a gift of God, and not of our own fleshly works, so that none of us should boast that we accomplished our own salvation from sin.
So, even the faith to believe in Jesus is God-given and God-persuaded and God-empowered, too. And, if our faith is of God, and empowered by God, then it submits to God. For, God is not the author of evil. And, the Spirit is opposed to the flesh, and the flesh is at war with the Spirit (Gal. 5:17).
So, only those who have such faith, which submits to God, which surrenders to Christ as Lord, which forsakes sin, and which follows Jesus in obedience, are those who have this inheritance being kept in heaven for them (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Tit. 2:11-14; Lu. 9:23-26; Gal. 6:7-8).
Also, our salvation is not complete until Jesus Christ returns for his bride and he takes us to be with him for eternity. And, we will only gain that salvation and eternal life with God if, by God’s power, we are being (actively) guarded through faith for that salvation which is yet to come. And, this faith is submissive, continuous, empowered by God, and revealed as genuine through death to sin and obedience to Christ (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
1 Peter 1:6-9 ESV
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
One of the ways in which God, by his power, guards us through faith for the salvation that we will receive when Jesus returns, is that he allows us to go through various trials. For trials and tribulations have a way of testing our faith to see whether or not it is genuine (Heb. 12:1-13; 1 Pet. 4:12-17).
For, not everyone has genuine faith. For, not everyone who claims to believe in Jesus has God-given faith which submits to Christ as Lord, which forsakes sin, and which follows Jesus in walks of obedience to him. So, the tests of life have a way of dividing those who have genuine faith from those who do not. For, sometimes we are tested by fire, meaning we will go through very troublesome difficulties which severely put our faith to the test.
The tests of life also reveal where our faith is weak. For, Jesus often spoke to his disciples about being weak in faith. And, so trials and tribulations are for our good to prune us, to mature us, to make us holy, to conform us to the likeness of Christ, and to teach us endurance and perseverance.
And, I believe that is the purpose of the present trial the world is undergoing right now with this “pandemic,” which apparently has spread across the globe. Yet, I have no first-hand knowledge of how far spread it is, or how severe it is, or even if it is worse than any other flu season.
What I am certain of, though, is that there is an agenda behind it all, that we are being lied to on a daily basis by the government and media, that the numbers are being exaggerated, and that the dead are being falsely marked as Covid-19 deaths on a presumption only of Covid-19, and/or if the virus is merely present when they die, even though they might already be dying of other causes.
And, this is intentional in order to deceive us, so that they can issue their draconian measures against us, which is what they are doing, and in order to fulfill their hidden agenda of world domination (See Revelation 13).
And yet God has allowed this to take place. And, I believe it is biblical prophecy being fulfilled, in order to test our faith as though by fire, so those who are weak in faith will be strengthened in their faith; and so those whose faith is of human origin, and not of God, can be turned from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18; Rev. 2-3; Heb. 12:1-13; Phil. 3:7-11).
1 Peter 1:13-16 ESV
“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
Yet, whether you agree with me or not on the government’s agenda behind the Covid-19 “pandemic,” still it is obvious that our faith is being tested through it all, and that God’s agenda for testing our faith is being accomplished. For his purposes are for our strengthening, for our maturity, for our holiness, for the revival of his wayward ones, and for the salvation of many lives before Jesus comes again to judge and to take us home.
So, what our Lord wants for us through this is that we will be those who do spiritually prepare our minds for action. He wants us to not be distracted by the things of this world, but he wants us focused on him and on following him in obedience to his will for our lives. And, he wants us to be those who exercise critical thinking, and who exercise the wisdom of God.
For, he foretold us long ago that in these last days there will be many wolves in sheep’s clothing out to deceive us, and that there will be many liars and deceivers and unholy people who will lay traps for us, and who will try to lead us astray from our pure devotion to our Lord. And, he said that they will even deceive the elect of God, if that is possible. And, so we shouldn’t just go around believing everything we see, read, or hear, thinking it is the truth just because our government and our media say it is so.
And, one of the biggest weapons for deception is television and the media, for they can be very hypnotic and mind controlling with their subliminal and their outright and bold messages.
And, so if we are going to prepare our minds for action, we have to pull away from these influences, and we have to get alone with God and spend time in His Word, and listen to what he has to say about what is going on. And, we have to test what we see and read and hear in prayer, asking God for wisdom to discern the truth from the lies.
So, not being conformed to our former passions of the flesh is not just about forsaking obvious sins, but it also involves not being easily influenced by the thinking and speaking of other humans who may not have God’s will in mind, and who may be lying to us, and who may be deceiving us for their own evil agendas.
So, being “holy” is not just about setting ourselves apart from the sinful practices of the world, but it is being separate from the mindset, attitudes, and values of the world. And, we can’t do that if 90% of what we take into our minds comes from the world and only 10% comes from God. So, we need to flip-flop that, and set our minds on Jesus!
Hide Me, Rock of Ages
Brantley C. George, 1946
…Keep me when the storm clouds gather;
(storm clouds gather, keep me)
‘Til the sun comes shining through;
(comes shining through, oh Savior)
Keep me ‘til my work is over;
(work is over, Jesus)
‘Til I bid this world adieu.
Hide me oh blessed rock of ages
(blessed rock of ages hide me)
‘Til Thy blessed face I see
(Thy face I see in glory)
When the storm around me rages
(round me rages, blessed)
Rock of ages hide Thou me…
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