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  • Virginia Brown

Christ’s Sustaining Power for His Church


Last quarter in one of the Sunday school classes, we were encouraged by the glorious picture of the Lord saving and sanctifying His church from 1 Peter. Here were my main takeaways. First, Peter opens with an amazing description of the Triune God’s redemptive plan. God the Father chose the elect for His Son Jesus (1:1–3, 21), who purchased our pardon with His precious blood (1:18–19). The Spirit sanctifies us for obedience (1:2) and brings us the Father’s Word (1:11–12). Unpacking the Trinity’s unified act of mercy to save sinners broadened my own understanding of God’s nature, and I’ve found encouragement in acknowledging the three persons of the Godhead in prayer. The magnitude of God’s loving sacrifice of His precious Son to redeem us should amaze me (2:7). Wow, the Lord did this for me (1:12)!


My second takeaway concerned the importance of Christian obedience. Peter shows us how sanctified Christian obedience flows from knowing Christ. Following Christ means that we sober-mindedly focus on Christ our living hope, put off sin, and resist the devil (1:3, 1:14, 5:8). Also, we should humbly submit to authority as unto the Lord (5:6): servants to masters, citizens to government, wives to husbands, members to elders (2:13–3:7, 5:1–5). We are called by Christ to rest on His example as He sustains and purifies us through trials, rejoicing for we bear the name of Christ (2:21–25, 4:13–16). Concerning the church, the Spirit beckons us to pursue unity, service, and brotherly love together as the church (2:17, 4:8-11).


While we rest on Christ’s sacrifice and hopefully await His coming return, He is building us as living stones upon Himself, the living stone, so that we may offer spiritual sacrifices to Him. (2:4-10) Our victorious Lord will strengthen and establish us (5:10)! How sweet to follow the Shepherd who secures our salvation, “obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” (1:9). Simply put, what Christ has done for us defines our self-understanding and motivates how we live. 


Timothy Schoonhoven


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