|Volume 25 Number 5 May 2023
Gary C. Hampton
Peter’s first letter is addressed to the “pilgrims” or “sojourners” dispersed over the world. The idea of sojourning in the New Testament “focuses on the believer’s temporary ‘sojourn’ on earth as a passing, finite preparation for eternity in the consummated kingdom of heaven” (Renn 915). Our transformation from a vision limited to earth to one reaching toward Heaven gives all followers of Christ reasons to praise God.
We praise God because we are born of His mercy (1 Peter 1:3). Jesus told Nicodemus a man must be born again to see the kingdom of Heaven (John 3:1-7). That birth and the new life it produces occurs in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:3-4). Paul told Titus we experience the kindness and love of God, “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 NKJV).
We praise God because we have a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). Our hope is alive because Jesus was raised from the dead by God’s power (Romans 1:4). Paul reassured the Corinthian saints that the resurrection is real, describing Jesus as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death (1 Corinthians 15:20). Jesus offered Himself as a sacrifice for our sins in His death. “To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
The sacrifice of Jesus gives Christians a reason to praise God for their inheritance (1 Peter 1:4). Our inheritance is “reserved” or guarded and kept safe for us. No wonder Paul proclaimed, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:6-7).
Let us all devote every day to praising God!
Renn, Stephen D. Expository Dictionary of Bible Words. Carol Stream, IL: Hendrickson P., 2012.