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The good news is not just a matter of our eternal security but a matter of our daily identity and purpose

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Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. – 1 Peter 1:3-4

 

The Apostle Peter was a man of many words. Yet, of all the things he could’ve said to those suffering through the dispersion, he chose to remind struggling Christians of their second birth. Peter says, “According to his great mercy, [Our Father] has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4). He rehearses the basic core of the gospel by reminding them that change has already occurred. They’ve already been made new. They’ve already been made alive. They’ve already been included in God’s grace and mercy and eternal inheritance which can never be taken away. This means they’ve already been granted hope – forever.

Later, in Peter’s letter, he returns to this truth and selects four phrases to reiterate the newness these believers already possess. He tells them they’ve already been selected as a “chosen race.”  They’ve already been purposed as a “royal priesthood.” They’ve already been set apart as a “holy nation.” They’ve already been claimed as “God’s own possession.” Peter offers these believers encouragement through words of identity and purpose. Why? Because words have power. And since we all deeply yearn to know who we are and what we’re living for, we need words to cling onto in times of confusion or hardship. Words that bring us hope. Words that bring us life.

This is the power of preaching the gospel to ourselves. We don’t just need to the gospel to get us into the doors of the Christian life, we need the gospel everyday of our Christian life. The good news is not just a matter of our eternal security but a matter of our daily identity and purpose. And, if we don’t preach gospel identity to ourselves everyday, our desire for approval or applause or affection will convince us that our identity is at the mercy of others and their words. Worse yet, if we don’t preach gospel identity to ourselves everyday, our self-evaluation or self-doubt or self-pity will convince us that our identity is at the mercy of the biggest critic of all – ourselves. The result is that we’ll inevitable be influenced by the enemy and his schemes and give him the power over who we are and what we’re living for. When it comes to identity, let’s determine to only give power to the One know we can trust – the One who claimed us as his own. Today, preach the gospel to yourself by stating out loud who God says you are and thank him for how that practically applies in your life. You can use Peter’s words because they apply to us as well. Read the text aloud and claim these promises as your own.

 

But you are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood,
a holy nation,
a people for his own possession,
that you may proclaim the excellencies of him
who called you out of darkness
into his marvelous light.

Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.
– 1 Peter 2:9-10

 

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By Yvonne Biel 

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