“Called Out Of Darkness” ( 1 Peter 2: 9, HCSB ) by Carley Evans

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who calls you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”


God “calls us out of darkness.” His call is irrevocable. When He calls, He makes us “a people of His possession.” We become “a chosen race.”


“God’s love is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us.” (Romans 5: 5) Through the Holy Spirit we become “a holy nation.” And this transformation from darkness to “His marvelous light” occurs “while we are still helpless.” (Romans 5: 6) We are enemies of God when we “are reconciled to God through the death of His Son.” (Romans 5: 10)


If God does this for us “while we are enemies…then how much more, having been reconciled, are we saved by His life!” (Romans 5: 10)


And since we are indeed “saved by His life,” we raise our voices in praise of Christ — to whom we owe everything. Let us be grateful to our God, for He is merciful beyond our imaginings. He “calls [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

“Your Mind Remade” ( Romans 12: 2, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“Adapt yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present world, but let your minds be remade and your whole nature thus transformed. Then you will be able to discern the will of God, and to know what is good, acceptable, and perfect.”


To know God’s will, writes Paul, you must allow “your mind [to] be remade.” As your mind is “remade,” “your whole nature [is] thus transformed.” A transformation occurs; the old nature is progressively destroyed as your thinking is altered. Simultaneously, the new nature is progressively “put on.” You take off the old, and put on the new.


The power to achieve this transformation is given to you by God’s own Holy Spirit. Rather than adjusting to “this present world,” Paul implores you to “offer your very self to [God]: a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, the worship offered by mind and heart.” (Romans 12: 1)


“So come to Him, our living Stone — the stone rejected by men but choice and precious in the sight of God. Come, and let yourself be built, as [a] living stone, into a spiritual temple; become a holy priest, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2: 4-6)


“You are now [one of] the people of God, who once was not His [own]; outside His mercy once, you have now received His mercy.” (1 Peter 2: 10)


God is building you — transforming you from a person of “this present world” into “a living sacrifice,” “a spiritual temple,” “a holy priest.” Allow your mind to be remade.

“Honour God With Your Bodies” (1 Corinthians 6: 19 – 20, NEB) by Carley Evans

Do you not know that your body is a shrine of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is God’s gift to you? You do not belong to yourselves; you are bought at a price. Then honour God in your body.”

Paul wishes persons to control themselves and remain unmarried; but he recognizes that self-control is difficult and that it is “better [to] be married than burn with vain desire.” (1 Corinthians 7: 9)

Some say sex outside a committed relationship is fornication; others say any sex outside marriage is fornication. Jesus says that if a man looks at a woman with lust in his heart, this is fornication; i.e. adultery. Since Jesus always speaks the truth, fornication is rampant — for men and women certainly look at one another in lust.

Paul contrasts a man’s payment to own a harlot for a night with Christ’s payment to own us for eternity. What a contrast! A fleeting moment of pleasure contrasted with Christ’s agonizing shedding of blood so that His Father might call us His own, and give us His Holy Spirit. A man links himself to a harlot; Jesus links Himself to us through His own sacrifice. Since we belong to Christ, we are called to “shun fornication. Every other sin that a man can commit is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against his own body.” (1 Corinthians 6: 18 – 19)

Jesus calls us to purity; and this must start in our minds. Peter calls us to “be mentally stripped for action, perfectly self-controlled.” Peter writes, “Do not let your characters be shaped any longer by the desires you cherished in your days of ignorance. The One who calls you is holy; like Him, be holy in all your behaviour, because Scripture says, ‘You shall be holy, for I Am holy.’ ” (1 Peter 1: 13, 14 – 1

“A Living Hope” (1 Peter 1: 13, ESV) by Carley Evans

“Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” writes Peter.

The author of 1 John writes, “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who thus hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.” (1 John 3: 2 – 3)

Peter exhorts us to “prepare [our] minds for action.” He reminds us that at one time we were “not a people, but now [we] are God’s people; once [we] had not received mercy, but now [we] have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2: 10) Given these facts, we are to change our minds and “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against [our] souls.” (1 Peter 2: 11) We are to purify ourselves as Jesus is pure. The author of Hebrews offers encouragement, writing: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promises is faithful.” (Hebrews 10: 23)

God “causes us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1: 3) Therefore, says Peter: “Live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” (1 Peter 4: 2)

“Set your hope fully on the grace” revealed in Jesus Christ.

“You May Have Peace” (John 16: 33, ESV) by Carley Evans

Jesus says, “In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”


And Paul says, “God has called you to peace” when writing of the unbelieving spouse abandoning the marriage. (1 Corinthians 7: 15) The author of Hebrews tells us to “strive for peace with everyone.” (Hebrews 12: 14) Peter writes, “Let [us] seek peace and pursue it.” (1 Peter 3: 11)

Yet, Paul also promises, “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 7) God’s peace is not our own, not a peace we strive for or fight — in some sort of human effort — to give to others. Rather this is a peace residing within us, shown to the world through us.

From whence comes this inner peace? From Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus tells us, “In Me you may have peace.” We already are fully aware that we have tribulation in the world. We know less fully that Jesus has overcome the world. Of this, we need reminding.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!’ ” (Luke 2: 13 – 14)

Remember! Jesus has overcome the world.

“Accomplished Only Once” (1 Peter 3: 18, ESV) by Carley Evans

Christ suffers once, put to death in the flesh for our sins. He is the Righteous One. We are the unrighteous. Christ never suffers again, but remains alive in the Spirit.

Note who suffers: Christ. Note how many times He suffers: Once. Note: Though He dies in the flesh, He lives in the Spirit. Note the location of the Spirit: In us. Note the location of Christ: At the right hand of God the Father where He always lives to intercede for us. Note the One who dies: Christ is the righteous. Note those for whom He dies: We are the unrighteous. Note: We do not die for Him; He dies for us.

Note: We have no need to add to Christ’s work. Jesus, on the Cross, proclaims: “It is accomplished.”

“Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.”

“Called And Confirmed To His Glory” (1 Peter 5: 8 – 10, ESV) by Carley Evans

Peter exhorts us to “be sober-minded.” He tells us to “be watchful.” We are to watch out for our “adversary the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Peter expects us to “resist him, firm in [our] faith.” We are able to remain firm in this faith because we know “that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by [our] brotherhood throughout the world.” “And after [we] have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called [us] to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself… Restore, Confirm, Strengthen, and Establish [us].” Peter says we are called by God Himself to His eternal glory in Christ. Because God calls us, He also restores us, putting us back into a state of holiness as before the fall. God also confirms us, admitting and verifying us a full members of His body. God strengthens us, making us grow as His children. Finally He establishes us, bringing us into a full existence as His own, keeping us on a firm foundation, and recognizing us as belonging only and wholly to Him. Resist the adversary. Tell him to whom you belong; show him God’s seal of ownership.

“Of An Imperishable Seed” (1 Peter 1: 24 – 25, ESV) by Carley Evans

Taste that the Lord is good. Know that His Word stands forever. Know that you, like all flesh, will fade away. Know that whatever worldly glory you have will end as a flower withers and falls from the stem. The only difference is that now, in Christ, you are born again of an imperishable seed. The seed is the Holy Spirit. He is both the Father of Jesus and of us. “For He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why [Jesus] is not ashamed to call [us] brothers.” (Hebrews 2: 11) Jesus “helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2: 16 – 18) Jesus was born a baby, grew through a childhood into an adolescence and then into manhood. Along the way, He was tempted just as we are, except without sin. Therefore, Jesus knows firsthand what it is to face temptations, what it is to resist them, what it is to conquer them. On the Mount of Olives, Jesus prays, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22: 42) “Now may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” (Hebrews 13: 20 – 21)

“A Living Hope” (1 Peter 1: 3 – 5, ESV) by Carley Evans

“He has caused us to be born again to a living hope.” We are born again, just as Jesus says to Nicodemus, “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ ” (John 3: 7)

“You, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation.” Our salvation is guarded by God Himself, via the power of His Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

“Therefore…set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1: 13) Our hope is in the grace and mercy of our God and Father.

Our inheritance is presently “kept in heaven for [us].” This inheritance is “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” (1 Peter 1: 4) Our salvation is “ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1: 5) Our salvation is a future event. Presently, we are “obtaining the outcome of [our] faith, the salvation of [our] souls.” (1 Peter 1: 9) Yes, we are saved now; but our ultimate salvation is to be had in the future, outside of this limited time and space, in eternity.

In the meantime, “we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, grown inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8: 23 – 25) Our hope is sometimes painful as we long for the other country, the better place, the close fellowship with God, the three in One.

And, “though you have not seen [Jesus Christ], 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.” (1 Peter 1: 8)