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God is with you - Part 8

1 Peter 1v20-25

Reverent Fear

5th May 2017

Verse 17 of 1 Peter Chapter 1 taught us to live in reverent fear. As we read on, Peter explains why we should. We looked as far as verse 19 last time, so let's continue.

1 Peter 1v20
He [Jesus Christ] was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.

God knew, before He said "Let there be light", that mankind would ignore His laws, and turn away from Him, and do what we want, not what He wants. He knew mankind would become sinners and would face death unless He intervened. He knew before He ever created the world, that our sins would have to be paid for, and He decided before the creation of the world, to send Jesus Christ to die in our place. So let's hold Him in reverent fear.

But Jesus has been revealed. 2,000 years ago He came to earth in the flesh, lived and walked and talked and slept and ate and drank - for your sake, and mine. Let's hold Him in reverent fear, not out of terror, but out of gratitude.

1 Peter 1v21
Through him [Jesus Christ] you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

You believe in God because of Jesus. You have faith and hope because of Him.

1 Peter 1v22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

Obeying the truth includes obeying the gospel but it surely also includes obeying all the truth revealed by God. When you repented and put your faith in Christ, you chose to live His way and not your way. And His way is revealed in Scripture. So we have decided to obey the Bible because it's God's word. Now we've purified ourselves by doing that, and for many of us it required radical changes to some of our ideas and lifestyles.

But you have (imperfectly) obeyed the truth, and because you've obeyed the truth, you now have sincere (if imperfect) love for your brothers and sisters in Christ. The Greek word here is "Philadelphia", which means "brotherly love". Christians love each other as brothers and sisters, because we are brothers and sisters - in Christ. We've all been adopted into His family.

But Peter says that now we should love one another deeply, from the heart. The Greek word here is "agape" - the love of God. Go on to love each other as Jesus loves us - with sacrificial love. His love should be the hallmark of the church.

Jesus gave his very life for His friends. And we should lay down our lives in service for our brothers and sisters.

1 Peter 1v23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

If a human has a child, that's wonderful thing. The way human seed works is amazing, but it will last for maybe 70, 80 or 90 years, and it will die. I was born of perishable seed. I will die. But I've been born again of imperishable seed, so I will live. The word of God is imperishable seed. If you've been born again, you will never die.

So let's hold God in reverence.

1 Peter 1v24
For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,

Men and women get older and frailer, and they die, and they're buried in the clay. If they're believers, their spirit rises to be with God and they get new bodies. But their earthly bodies is like grass - perishable.

1 Peter 1v25
but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

You will hear some well-meaning people say, "This part of the Bible is fine but that part of the Bible is out of date. This part of the Bible still applies today, but that part of the Bible only applied 2,000 years ago. It doesn't apply now." But it says here that the word of the Lord endures forever - all of it.

And the word of the Lord is what caused you to be born again. The word of the Lord, when it met repentance and faith in your heart, germinated (as it were) and made you a child of God, a new creation, who is imperishable.

What a God! He guarantees you and me eternal happiness, eternal health, eternal freedom from sin, eternal peace, eternal living in the very presence of Jesus.

So let's hold Him in reverent fear.