Before we get all self righteous and criticize Peter for his three denials, we need to examine ourselves – examine our own lives. Do we unknowingly deny Christ in our actions? I believe we deny Him daily when we refuse to do as He asked in the Scriptures! God tells us in His word to be holy for He is holy. We all know that unless one is born again, (John 3:3) we cannot even begin to attempt this command.
Denying to be born again, to have a newness of life the biblical way, is to deny Christ. Salvation is not through a church, or through an “experience.” God shows us in His word how salvation can be attained. To try to earn/achieve salvation any other way will result in a life filled with trying to be holy, attempting to live a religious life but failing daily. The guilt from this daily failure will be such a heavy weight. I personally know because I was one of these who carried an enormous weight of guilt. No amount of “good works” lessened my weight. One can go to church daily, say rosaries daily, have communion daily, but none of that counts for anything if one doesn’t have the new nature that comes with newness of life in Christ Jesus. (Isaiah 64:6)
Let’s read what Peter had to say:
1 Peter 1:13-25 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Now concentrate on the underlined portions of these verses. Peter clearly outlines the plan of salvation and the results of the new life – the natural progression of the born-again nature. Verse 13 says the revelation of Jesus Christ – this is the Gospel that draws us to God. The Gospel is just this: Christ (God in the flesh) left Heaven to become a man. He was born of a virgin and walked this earth, experiencing everything man experiences. He lived a sinless life and became our sinless offering to the Father. He died on the cross and shed His own blood for the remission of our sins. He arose three days later and is now in Heaven awaiting His return. Glory! God knew man could not abide by all the Laws – man could not keep them. But sin cannot be allowed into Heaven. Therefore, a perfect sacrifice – a sinless sacrifice – was provided so God’s creation would have the opportunity.
How? Well, verse 14 states that in obedience to the word of God (John 3:3), we must shed the old nature (our former lusts) and put on the new nature (II Corinthians 5:17). Do you see the progression? First was the Gospel, then the repentance and acceptance, then the new nature. Verse 15 states that now that we have this new nature, we are exhorted to live holy lives. This can only be done (I Corinthians 10:13) through the power of the Holy Spirit who now resides in the one with the new nature. One doesn’t have new life if one doesn’t repent from the former lusts of the flesh and believe on the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:15). The two go hand-in-hand! On a side note: Too many so-called ‘born-again Christians’ are out there living in sin with no desire to remove themselves from it. They claim to be saved but yet they continue to live with another person outside the bonds of marriage. They claim to be saved but continue in a sodomite life. They claim to be saved but they curse, drink, and party like they did before. Really? Does this sound like what Peter is speaking of in today’s text? There’s something wrong if you are reading this and are guilty of those thing I just wrote.
Verse 18 shows us that we were not redeemed by someone who has sinned and who provides a salvation that we can lose (corruptible). No, we have been redeemed by God Himself, Jesus Christ the Messiah, and His work is incorruptible. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Because our salvation was not provided by us, there is nothing we can do to earn it or keep it. It was not our work (Ephesians 2:8-9) but Christ’s work on the cross. The Righteous Judge is the only one who can forgive our sins (I John 1:19) and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Verses 23 and 25 reveal that our salvation is from God through His word. When we are truly saved, we cannot lose what He has given to us. There is only one way – the word of God reveals this. (John 14:6) Jesus is the only way to Heaven. God’s word endures forever. When we are born again by the word of God, it is incorruptible because it is now man’s (who is corruptible) but God’s (who is incorruptible). The Lord gave us the scriptures so we can find Him, fellowship with Him and look forward to His return! Amen!!