“Even When We Are Enemies” ( 1 Peter 5: 10, ESV ) by Carley Evans


Peter writes that after we suffer awhile, specifically a little while, “the God of all grace, who calls [us] to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish [us].” God isn’t going to relegate His responsibilities to anyone else, including us. Yes, Peter calls us to resist our adversary who “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:9,8) But Peter knows, as should we, that it is God the Holy Spirit who enables us to “be sober-minded [and] watchful” and to stand “firm in [our] faith.” (1 Peter 5:8,9) This is the reason Peter exhorts us to “cast all [our] anxieties on Him.” After all, says Peter, Christ “cares for [us].”

Jesus cares for us. Let that truth sink into your heart. Jesus loves us. He loves us enough to give His life for us. Even when we are His enemies, He dies for us. Paul reminds us that if Jesus is willing to die for us when we are His enemies, how much more is He willing and able to give to us now that He has made us His friends!

“Born Again” ( 1 Peter 1: 22, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“Love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you are born again — not of perishable seed but of imperishable — through the living and enduring Word of God.”

If we are in Christ, then you and I are born again. Jesus tells Nicodemus that unless he “is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) “Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed”, says Jesus, “that I tell you that you must be born again.” (John 3:6)

Jesus says to the Samaritan woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks from this [well] water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water I give him will never get thirsty again — ever! In fact, the water I give him becomes a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

If we are in Christ, then you and I are born again of water and Spirit, and we have eternal life “springing up within [us].”

The seed we hold within — “the living and enduring Word” — germinates, grows, buds, blossoms. “For the Word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword.” (Hebrews 4:12) Given that the Word of God dwells within us, let us be fragrant to our Lord, “loving one another earnestly from a pure heart.”

“Love At Full Strength” ( 1 Peter 4: 8-9, NEB ) by Carley Evans


Peter calls us to “lead an ordered and sober life, given to prayer” because “the end of all things is upon us.” (1 Peter 4:7) Even above this ordered life, however, Peter urges us to “keep [our] love for one another at full strength.” This brotherly love – at its full strength – “cancels innumerable sins.” Perhaps this is partly true because Jesus recognizes our love for Him in how we treat one another.

Paul says, “I will show you the best way of all.” (1 Corinthians 12:31) The best way is love. Paul reminds that “if [we] have no love, [we] are none the better” even if we “have faith strong enough to move mountains.” (1 Corinthians 13:3) Above all else, “love will never come to an end.” (1 Corinthians 13:8) “There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Let us love one another.

“Set Your Hope On Grace” ( 1 Peter 1: 18 – 19, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“You are born again,” writes Peter. (1 Peter 1:23) “Conduct yourself in fear during the time of your temporary residence.” (1 Peter 1:17) After all, says Peter: you are a “living stone, being built into a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5) “You are [part of] a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for [God’s] possession.” (1 Peter 2:9) Therefore,”be holy, because [God is] holy.” (1 Peter 1:16)

Because you are a “stranger and temporary resident” of this earth,”rid yourself of all malice.” (1 Peter 2:11,1) “Love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) “Be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:13) Remember that “you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:3)

“Now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith — more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him though you have not seen Him.” (1 Peter 1:6-8) Even in these various trials,”you are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5) “Humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

“Partakers Of The Divine Nature” ( 2 Peter 1: 4, NIV ) by Carley Evans


How is it that we, who are called by God into His Kingdom, are able to “participate in the divine nature?” Is it due to something inherent in us? Or, is it due to God’s generosity? The answer is obvious — nothing we are, nothing we do explains our “escape [from] the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” Only the sacrifice of Jesus, the Son of God adequately explains our sharing in the divine being. All other explanations pale by comparison. Avoidance of sin, fervent worship, self-sacrifice, martyrdom — none of these fully meet God’s requirements for being divine.

We are provided with “His divine power [which] gives us everything we need for life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) “[We] are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God.” (1 Peter 2:9) We are partakers in the divine nature simply because although “once [we] had not received mercy, […] now [we] have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:10)

God’s mercy is the reason we share in His nature. “In His great mercy, He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade — kept in heaven for [us], who through faith are shielded by God’s power.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Our faith guarantees our inheritance — not because we generate that faith — but because of the shield of God’s power. God shields us “from the corruption in the world” and seals us for “the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)

“An Obligation To Love” ( Romans 15: 1-2, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


“Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

 

“Therefore,” says Paul, “let us no longer criticize one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in your brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)

 

If we are strong, we may be able to genuinely say “that nothing is unclean in itself.” But if we are weak, we may find our conscience pricked by that very act another finds acceptable, perhaps even finds suitable. If we are weak, we may protest against the other. If we are strong, we are to bear up under this protest. In a sense we are to deny what we know to be true –“that nothing is unclean in itself” — and avoid participating in that activity in the face of the one who is weak. In this way, we (who are strong) will not harm the one who is weak.

 

James say, “Brothers, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!” (James 5:9)

 

Peter says, “Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you are called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)

 

“Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

 

“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5)