Category Archives: 1 peter

To Those Who Reside As Aliens…

“What makes the children of God so strange?

The grace of God which calls them out of this wretched world. Every man who carries the grace of God in his bosom is necessarily, as regards the world, a stranger in heart, as well as in profession, and life.

As Abraham was a stranger in the land of Canaan;
as Joseph was a stranger in the palace of Pharaoh;
as Moses was a stranger in the land of Egypt;
as Daniel was a stranger in the court of Babylon;

so every child of God is separated by grace, to be a stranger in this ungodly world.

And if indeed we are to come out from it and to be separate, the world must be as much a strange place to us; for we are strangers to …

its views,
its thoughts,
its desires,
its prospects,
its anticipations,
in our daily walk,
in our speech,
in our mind,
in our spirit,
in our judgment,
in our affections.

We will be strangers from …
the world’s company,
the world’s maxims,
the world’s fashions,
the world’s spirit.

“They confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” -Hebrews 11:13

“I am a stranger with you and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.” -Psalm 39:12

“I am but a stranger here on earth.” -Psalm 119:19 

The main character of a child of God is that he is a stranger upon earth. One of the first effects of the grace of God upon our soul was to separate us from the world, and make us feel ourselves strangers in it.

The world was once our home—the active, busy center of all our thoughts, desires, and affections. But when grace planted imperishable principles of life in our bosom, it at once separated us from the world in heart and spirit,

if not in actual life and walk. We are strangers inwardly and experimentally, by the power of divine grace making this world a wilderness to us.”

-J.C. Philpot (1802-1869)


Missed Opportunities

But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” – 1 Peter 3:15 (ESV)

I was leaving the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend and saw a group of guys standing just outside the center with what looked like Oakland Athletics t-shirts on, just like the one above. As I got closer though, I realized their shirts didn’t say “Athletics”. Instead it said “Atheists”.

As I walked past them, I started going through my jacket for a copy of John Piper’s “For Your Joy”, as I brought a bunch of copies out here with me. Then I realized I had left them back at the hotel. I then thought about starting a conversation to ask them about their shirts. But I was on my way to a conference session, so unfortunately I just kept walking, went past them, and didn’t say a word.

Missed opportunity.

This has really bothered me since it happened. A main reason why is that I’ve prayed for God to put opportunities in front of me to share my faith with others. So right on cue, God provided me a chance to do just that, and I did nothing.

What would you have done here ? How would you handle a similar situation the next time it’s presented ?

“The Spirits In Prison”

About a month ago, I mentioned that my plan for reading the Bible this year was to read through the Old Testament chronologically and then try to go through a short book every day for a month (as suggested by John Macarthur in his study Bible). In January, I read through 1 John nearly every day and John Macarthur is right- it really helps you to understand the message when you review it like that so often. For February, a friend and I decided we’re going to read through 1 Peter every day (or just about every day) and then compare notes. We met up a couple of weeks ago and talked a little about 1 Peter and were discussing one passage in particular. I have seen this passage referenced in regards to this line in the Apostles’ Creed: “He descended into hell”.

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison…” – 1 Peter 3:18-19 (NIV)

Who exactly were these spirits ? I’ve seen several different commentaries and interpretations on this, but am not sure which is correct (if we can know for sure).

What’s your interpretation of this passage from 1 Peter ?