Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter’

Whoever covers an offense seeks love,

But he who repeats a matter separates close friends. 

– Proverbs 17:9

What are the 2 greatest commands in Scripture? The first would be to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second is like it; to love you neighbor as yourself. Now we are really good at loving ourselves right? I mean, everything we do, we do to make ourselves happy. Whether we eat or drink, we do all to bring ourselves joy. We need not work at loving ourselves. Daily though we struggle to live up to God’s command to love others just as we love ourselves. It’s hard right? It’s hard to love others, especially other sinners.

Our call here today in this Proverb is once again to love, and the way we love others is by covering one’s offense. So what is an offense? Simply put, an offense is any wrong done unto us. It’s something that causes a person to be hurt, angry, or upset. We often say, “I am offended that you would say such a thing”. Now obviously I think it’s safe to say that we have all been offended. And when you are offended, what is your natural tendency? What do you tend to do? Do you just cover it up? Doyou pretend that nothing happened? No, probably not. Not if you are like me. My natural tendency when someone wrongs me is to get even. To make sure justice prevails. “They will pay for this!” is my cry.

If I’m driving down the road and someone cuts in front of me, before I even know what I’m doing, I lay on the horn, speed up on their tail, and make some type of hand motion (hopefully without using any fingers). What naturally happens is that I seek revenge. Now what if this happens with one of our friends or family? Maybe one who is close to us offends us by some silly comment. We get offended and say something snarky back. What happens is that the offense is separating us, as sins of anger and bitterness creep in and take root. Before we know it the offense has separated us, fellowship is broken and God’s law is transgressed.

So the question is, “How do we cover an offense when we are full of rage?” I don’t know about you but I don’t have the magic button that I can push that just let’s me release all feeling. Well, we must look to God. We must look to Jesus Christ who became sin for us that we might become righteous in Him. We must look to the Gospel. God created us. We rebelled sinning against Him. We offended Him, yet He covered us with grace and forgiveness, with the blood of the perfect Lamb of God. If you think that the offense committed against you was big, and it very well might have been big, think again at how many miserable filthy sins you have committed against the Holy Creator God. Yet He still covers you. He still showers mercy and grace upon you! Meditate on the good news when you are filled with wrath; when you feel powerless to forgive your offender. God’s love will empower you to cover the offense and restore your relationship. “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.”

I close with an exhortation from 1 Peter where the Lord’s people are surrounded by difficulty. Know that in times of trial it seems that our patience grows thin, and offenses are always on the rise.  In this situation Peter says “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” –1 Peter 4:8. Remember that it was Christ our Lord, our Savior who covered the multitude of our sins by taking the due wrath of God upon Himself. May we be filled with this love today, and may we cover those who offend us.

-J.C. Hahne

“…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

– 1 Peter 1:18-19

Just a few things I think worthy to point out…

1. Before God’s effectual call upon our lives we lived in “aimless conduct”. This aimless conduct was inherited and passed down by our fathers, being born under sin. Indeed we were “slaves to sin” (Romans 6), and “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2).

2. We weren’t redeemed by something corruptible, but with the perfect eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He was the spotless Lamb of God and was the ultimate sacrifice to appease God’s holy wrath which hung over our heads.

Oh what sweet news! We have been redeemed! Made new… able to enjoy our Creator!

J. C. Hahne

I figure that it’d be good from time to time to just share some great verses from the Holy Scriptures that are full of Gospel. I always say that the Gospel not only justifies us but sanctifies us as well. The Gospel keeps our hearts humble and enables us to glorify and enjoy God. It also keeps us from falling to legalistic service, and thus it’s necessary to be constantly reminded of what God has done for us. So here’s our first Gospel truth…

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…”

-1 Peter 3:18

“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” – 1 Peter 2:11-12

Just as we always find in Scripture, we have a command empowered by gospel truths. The command is to “abstain from fleshly lusts…having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles”. The first thing we need to do is to find out what these fleshly lusts are that war against us and desire to overthrow our faith? Well they could be a number of different things. If we look at Galatians 5:19-21 we find a long list of “works of the flesh” and these are some of the things that wage war upon ourselves. In that list we find sins of jealousy, selfish ambition, envy, hatred, outbursts of wrath, idolatry, adultery, drunkenness, and we could probably add a number of other fleshly lusts… Love of money, love of possessions, laziness, etc… We are to abandon such things and live in holiness.

So how do we fight against these lusts? I believe the answer is in knowing who we are in Christ; in reflecting upon the gospel truths. Here, Peter addresses these believers, by saying “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims…” He reminds them of their identity as Christs redeemed people. Beloved, “[you]who once were not a people… are now the people of God,[you] who had not obtained mercy… now have obtained mercy…” (verses 10) You are sojourners, you are pilgrims, you don’t belong to this world, you are citizens of Heaven, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. Your hope is not in this world. Not in the things of it, nor the justice (or lack of) that it offers. O Christian, Do you see how blessed you are?

Seeing who you are and the hope that awaits you, honor God in your conduct, that they might see your good works and glorify God.

I leave you with a few verses from earlier in Peter’s epistle.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” – 1 Peter 1:3-5

J. C. Hahne