Monday, March 2, 2015

How? Obeying and Yearning for God's Word (1 Peter 1:22-2:3)

How do we live the new life into which we have been born?

Step one is all about God’s Word. Obeying it and desiring it.

Well, the obeying it is what got us into the new life really. So, continued obedience is a big part of remaining in this new life. Sort of like the way the flow of air over an airplane creates the lift it needs to fly, and continued motion avoids staling. Then again that metaphor falls apart because what God’s Word tells us about our new life (both here in Peter and elsewhere) is that obedience is not a condition but rather a sign of salvation.

That said Peter also tells us that continued obedience of God’s Word is what enables us to grow in the new life we experience with God. And that is why we should long for more and more of the Word, just as a baby longs for milk.

So, again, step one. Someone who has experienced new life in Jesus Christ spends time in the Bible. Daily. And contrary to what you may have seen, the believer’s goal is not mere study or a discovery of “deep” or “secret” messages. It is reading the mostly straightforward message and following the life described. Mostly, it is about what Peter is describing right here. Love one another.

Peter says we have been saved for sincere brotherly love. We are not saved for our benefit, our blessing, health, wealth, and all that jazz. Ultimately we are saved for God’s glory. But in the meantime, we are also saved to play our part in His plan. And whatever specifics that involves, it always boils down to following the lead of unselfish love.

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