3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
When I think of ‘saved’, I think of a past act that happened once and for all. The Christian lingo for that would be ‘justification’. I am justified, and it means that it’s just if I’d never sinned. There is some truth to that, but it is not the complete picture. The complete picture is that God’s salvation was given to me once and for all, but it continues to cover me. It is saving me as I write this. It will save me from all the consequences of my sin in the future. It is cleansing me and creating in me a new identity. If I leave salvation in the past, I can not allow the new identity I have in Christ to become a reality. It is like the cleaner that I put on my bath. It is applied once, but as it sits there it cleans away all the scum that tries to hide underneath. I am covered by the cross of Christ, but as it sits in my life it wars with my desires and my false identity to reveal the reality of God’s purpose for me.
When I see the descriptors in the passage, I know that they are all mine. They are given to me by the cross. However, dwelling with Jesus in an intimate relationship cleans away all the lies that cover them. I am able to rejoice more now than I could last week. I feel more secure today than I did yesterday. Why? Because a person who is saved is secure, accepted, forgiven, has hope and rejoices. Who I will be has not been revealed, however, at the same time I know who I am. I want to declare that to myself so that it becomes a reality as Peter’s first recipients also had to do.
Jesus, bring your salvation in such a way that your cross cleanses me in the way it was designed to do. help us all not to shy away from admitting where our ambitions and our will falls short. help us to endure the pain of washing away the corruption so that our true identity shows through.
- What is the role of salvation in the passage?
- What words define the recipients?
- Why do they need to hear who they are?
- How does a false sense of self hide your true self from you?
- How does salvation strip away your false ideas of self over time?