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Steve Zeisler - October 11, 2009
The Sojourners Paradox
In 1:1 there is a phrase which indicates that believers have two identities, “God’s elect and strangers in the world." Believers are “scattered” across regions ruled by Rome, yet “chosen” by God. We are characterized by divine blessing (new birth, living hope, a glorious inheritance) and dismissed by the world. The opening verses of our letter call on us to understand these dual identities and to give allegiance to the voice of God.
Scripture References: 1 Peter 1:1-5
From Series: "Beloved Exiles: Studies in 1 Peter"
At the center of the Bible’s message is the declaration that what you see is not what you get. By faith we rest, we fight, we rejoice, we endure, and we love - counting on realities that are either invisible or waiting for us in the future. For this reason we live distinct from our neighbors whose hopes and values are rooted in this world. First Peter was written to encourage ‘sojourners’ – those whose home is elsewhere. Peter insists on growth toward maturity, calls for courage (even joy) in hardship and for righteous living that is likely to be misunderstood and ridiculed. He describes an eternal family that is based on Spirit not tribe, and observes that gold and silver perish, while godly character lasts forever. Peter speaks forthrightly, with great wisdom, about suffering and the enmity of the devil. Finally, this letter has clear, practical instruction for employees, citizens, spouses, parents and church leaders. First Peter has much to offer us - living in Silicon Valley while belonging to Jesus.