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Handbook for the Christian journey

Make it simple. Keep it practical. Peter delivers.

The letter of 1 Peter offers us a short handbook on how to live the Christian life within a hostile society. It may have other purposes as well, but it certainly provides us with a practical guide for traveling to heaven. Five practical commands show the way.

You might have difficulty identifying only five imperatives in your Bible. The reason is our English translations typically cut up Peter’s long sentences. In the process they transform various participles and verbal forms into commands, thereby diffusing the actual force of Peter’s imperatives within a heap of others.

Here’s Peter’s advice:

  1. Set your hope completely upon the grace you will receive when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:13).  Having already described the incredible inheritance awaiting us, we focus on our future while living in the present.
  2. Be holy in everything you do (1 Peter 1:15). We belong to God’s holy family.
  3. Live out your Christian journey with reverence (1 Peter 1:17). What an appropriate response to God for those of us who have placed our hope in Christ, while knowing that God is an impartial judge who has redeemed us.
  4. Love one another (1 Peter 1:22). Those made new by God’s word ought to live as God’s people.
  5. Yearn for the nourishment coming from God’s word (1 Peter 2:2). We need strength to complete the journey.

While hardly an exhaustive list for Christian living, nevertheless: Set your hope, be holy, live with reverence, love each other, and yearn for spiritual milk provide excellent guidance for wading through difficult times toward the goal. Our Christian journey reaches completion when we finally enter the promised destination.

Which of these do you need most in your life now?

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Barry Newton

Married to his wonderful wife Sofia and a former missionary in Brazil, Barry enjoys trying to express old truths in fresh ways. They are the parents of two young men.

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