Welcome to our online Bible study on 1 Peter!
— Read: 1 Peter 1 —
We normally begin letters by saying, “Dear So-and-so,” and we sign off by saying, “Sincerely,” and then we write our names.
But that’s not how letters were formatted in biblical times. It was customary for a writer to begin by stating who the letter is from. In the case of Peter’s first letter, he opens this way:
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…”
You can already guess that Peter’s letter is going to be one of hope.
Just look at his introduction. He doesn’t begin by saying:
Peter, the guy who disowned Jesus three times in his worst hour.
Peter, the disciple who bragged about his faith and then failed miserably.
Peter, the one who will always be known for his failure.
Nope. Peter has a new name.
Before meeting Jesus, Peter was called Simon. Then Jesus gave him the name Peter, which means stone, because Jesus prophesied that Peter would soon become a rock in the faith and instrumental for the new gathering of believers.
Yet, throughout their three years in ministry together, Peter went by both names “Simon Peter.”
I love this because it shows how much of the “old nature” was still a part of him. But after Christ’s resurrection, and after Jesus restored Peter by the Sea of Galilee, he became known as just Peter, the rock.
And now in his letter, he begins by saying, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…”
Peter’s failure is recorded in history, but his name reflects his “new nature” in Christ. Peter is an apostle of Jesus Christ. Hope is here.
No matter how we may have failed in the past or even earlier today, hope remains.
In Christ, our old natures can be crucified and a new nature raised. This is the hope we have in Jesus.
— Diving Deeper —
What is your name? How do you introduce yourself?
What are you most known for?
Share in the comments…