Letters to the Family of God
by Joe Franzone | September 28, 2023 | Pastor's Blog
September 28, 2023
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Resist Him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
Humility, gratitude, dependence on Christ, contrition—these are the characteristic attitudes of the truly converted.
As you read the above verses, did you notice how Peter connects every imperative he gives with a Gospel promise? Humble yourselves because God will exalt you (1 Peter 5:6). Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you (V.7). Be sober-minded and watchful because you are now an enemy of the devil (V.8). Resist the devil and stand firm in the faith because you are not alone: you have Christian sisters and brothers throughout the world who share that struggle with you (V.9).
We find here that the good news of God’s grace in Jesus becomes the motivation and impulsive strength for living as a Christian in this broken world. How so?
Peter will not leave his readers wondering about the logic of the gospel of God’s grace to empower obedience. Jesus Himself will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (V.10). When the gospel of grace does its work, as D.A. Carson said, ‘proud Christian’ is an unthinkable oxymoron.
God is no absentee Father. Jesus is not a far-off Savior. The Spirit is not hands-off. Our Triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit has all power (V.11) and all grace (V.10). He has brought us to Himself. The grace He provides is enduring, overwhelming, sustaining, eternal, and compelling.
Yesterday, I read about Tomas De Torquemeda (1420-1498). Tomas was an extremely religious man who lived in the fifteenth century. He was the lead executive torturer (grand inquisitor) for the Spanish Inquisition.
At the end of the 15th century, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel wanted to purify Spain. To do this, all Jewish and Muslim people either had to convert to Catholicism or face death. Under this command, Tomas had at least two thousand Jewish and Muslim people executed by executive order. Tomas sought change through law and threat, not grace and Gospel. The irony here is that Tomas Torquemeda died, hiding the fact that he was born Jewish.
Some thrones have power but no grace. The government of God has all power and all grace; therefore, we take refuge in Him and Him alone.
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.
God bless you and yours at all points.