When Jesus died on the cross, He did so in order to give us the gift of Salvation. Since this is true, we need to ask what are the benefits of being saved. As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is important to understand the components of salvation. In my first post, I began to explain that according to his letters, Peter describes salvation as something in the present and in the future. Let’s continue where we left off.
In the earlier verses of Chapter 1, Peter reminded believers that they have an inheritance that is coming to them when Christ returns. In these two verses, he proceeds to answer the question that many Christians ask: “How do I know that I am saved?” Proof of one’s salvation is shown by the believer’s response to various trials.
Peter compares these trials to the purifying of gold. A goldsmith uses fire to remove all impurities. In the same way, trials test the authenticity of a believer’s faith, if a person falls away and never comes back, then that person was not a believer in the first place (Hebrews 6:4-6). These trials test how much a faith follower trusts in God. If the believer endures the trial, he will receive his reward: the salvation of their soul both in the present and the future.
Now that Peter has answered how a believer knows that he/she is saved, he now moves on to describe what a Christian is supposed to do with this knowledge. Peter tells us in verse thirteen that a believer must have their mind prepared for action. The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB) adds that a believer must be serious in our preparation of our minds.
What is it that a believer should be thinking so seriously about? Their thoughts should be about the coming salvation which will be revealed at the second coming of Christ. The very thought of His return, as verse fourteen explains, should motivate a believer to live their lives as obedient children of God and not going back to their sinful desires. Therefore, a faith follower must strive to be holy in all that they do (verse fifteen), for how would we feel if we were caught sinning when Christ returned?
Peter continues with the ‘what’ that Christians are supposed to do with the knowing of their coming salvation. In verse nine of chapter two, the Apostle reminds us that we are a chosen people; a nation of priests that belongs to God. That nation is the Church.
The purpose of a priest is to worship God and to teach others who do not know Him. When we worship God, we proclaim His virtues to a lost world. Salvation is such a wonderful gift, that it needs to be shared to all who have not heard the message.
The role of the Church is to witness to the splendor of moral transformation in Christ. In verse ten, Peter quotes from the book of Hosea (1:6, 9-2:1) to solidify his point. Before Christ, we were not a people and had no mercy before God. Now, through Christ, we have obtained mercy in the form of salvation in Christ.
Peter reveal that it was by God’s kindness that we can share in His eternal glory. In the New King James Version, this kindness is called His ‘grace’; in other words, unconditional favor. That glory that Peter speaks of consist of: a purified character, a perfected humanity, victory over sin in Christ, honor received from God, God’s ever constant presence, and an enjoying of God Himself.
Nevertheless, before the Christian can experience fullness of this glory, which is salvation, they must suffer. We must live with the understanding that God’s purposes realized in the future requires for us to endure pain in the present. Despite this, we can be comforted knowing that the Almighty will give us the strength that is needed to persevere.
Want to learn more? Check out these Commentaries and Study Bibles and learn more of God’s Truth.