Posts Tagged ‘Forgiveness


Our Motivation For Virtue

Peter wrote about a list of virtues that Christians should strive for in chapter 1, verses 5-7. He wrote about goodness and godliness, self-control and love, among others. He said that if we possess these qualities, we will be productive and effective. What if we don’t strive for them? He says:

But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. – 2 Peter 1:9 (NIV)

Motivation is key for a follower of Christ. Jesus did all of the work necessary on the cross to save us from our sins. We cannot add a thing to what He did. We must simply obey the Gospel (belief, repentance, confession and baptism) and our sins are washed away. Since Jesus washes away our sins by God’s grace, we should work toward faithfulness, service and love all the days of our lives and not forget what He has done for us. As the old hymn says: Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe. Sin had left a crimson stain but He washed us white as snow.

Affection Toward One Another

Peter closes his first letter with two greetings, an exhortation and a blessing. He wrote:

She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ. – 1 Peter 5:13-14 (NIV)

Our relationships in the church should be rooted in love. It’s not always easy to get along with one another and sometimes we don’t feel like loving each other. Our personalities may clash and we bump into one another causing disagreements and hurt feelings. We may have times when conflict arises and we don’t feel like much of a church family. Then Peter comes along and says to greet one another with a kiss of love. Scholars aren’t exactly sure what kind of kiss it was, but they say that by the 2nd century, it was a regular part of church gatherings. If you think that the meet and greet time at church is uncomfortable now, imagine what it would be like if everyone started kissing each other! The point is that we need to love each other, even when it is hard and even when there is conflict. We’re all on the same team. We all are serving the same Master. Let’s love each other well because sometimes, we’re all we’ve got.

Above All…Love

Being a follower of Jesus Christ means that we are to do one thing really, really well. Peter wrote:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV)

We are to love well. Notice that Peter doesn’t say that we hate deeply. He doesn’t say that are to protest everything we disagree with. He doesn’t say that we are to be divided against other believers because they believe a little differently or take a different political stance. He doesn’t say that we should hold a grudge well. He doesn’t say that we need to be more right than anyone else. He doesn’t say to go to church well. He doesn’t even say that we are to believe deeply. It’s a good thing to go to church and to have deep convictions about our faith in Jesus Christ. But the hallmark of EVERY believer in Christ is love. We must LOVE one another. That means that we serve one another in love and forgive one another in love. The love of Jesus covers our sins and our love for one another should do the same. So whatever you think, say or do as a Christian, above all…love.

Living Forever

Jesus commanded His followers to share the good news about Him with the entire world. He said to make more disciples everywhere we go. This way no one has to miss out on eternal life unless they choose to reject Jesus Christ. Then, they will be judged by God and condemned for all eternity. Those who accept Christ’s offer of forgiveness will live forever with Him. Peter wrote:

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead,so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. – 1 Peter 4:6 (NIV)

The reason that the good news was and continues to be preached is so that people will be saved from their sins. We will all stand before Jesus someday. We will all be judged for everything we’ve done while here on earth. Those who follow Jesus will be declared, “Not guilty.” We will go on to our reward in Heaven where we will live with Jesus forever. Amen.

Redeemed By The Blood

Our salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus did not cost material things. We cannot buy it. In those days, people were redeemed by monetary payment. Prisoners of war were ransomed with silver and gold. Freedom for slaves was purchased with money. Our freedom did not cost Jesus money. It cost Him his life.

For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. – 1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, never sinned in any way. This is why He was a perfect, pleasing sacrifice to God the Father. He paid the price that we could never pay. Now we are redeemed and we are free.

Praying For One Another

One of the more difficult to understand passages of Scripture is in 1 John 5. John writes:

If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin,and there is sin that does not lead to death.

​ – 1 John 5:16-17 (NIV)​
So for whom and for what are we supposed to pray? We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and that they will not persist in sin. We need to pray that we will all confess our sins and repent from them. Sin is serious as it says in verse 17. For the believer in Jesus, our sins are forgiven by God’s grace through faith expressed in Jesus. Though we all continue to sin, God is faithful to forgive. For those outside of Christ, their sins are not forgiven until they come to Jesus for forgiveness. They are on the path to destruction. Pray for them to come to Christ and pray for each other that we may continually walk in the light.

Water And Blood

The Apostle John says that Jesus, the Son of God, came by water and blood.

This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify:8 the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. – 1 John 5:6-8 (NIV)

So what does John mean that Jesus came by water and blood. It could be a reference to His death when the soldier pierced his side and blood and water flowed together indicating that Jesus was, in fact, dead. By God’s grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven and the Spirit of God dwells in our hearts. The physical water and blood of Jesus and the Spirit of God all testify that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Trust in Him alone for salvation and you will be saved and forgiven.

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