An apostle of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 1:1-12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
Peter begins his letter to the church saying: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. First Peter identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. The dictionary defines apostle as: one sent on a mission: such as a : one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ's 12 original disciples and Paul b : the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group… Peter certainly fits this criteria, he was part of that authoritative group called, commissioned and sent out to preach the gospel. In Matthew 4:18-19 we see the account of Peter first being called by Jesus: Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Later in Matthew 16:13-19 we see the account of Peter being part of the authoritative group: Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” It is upon the rock, the foundation of the revelation of the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, the Messiah, the Redeemer, Savior, Lord and King, that Jesus says He will build His church. The word church used here is the Greek word ekklesia, which refers to a group called apart with authority to rule. Finally in Matthew 28:18-20, we see the account of Peter and others being sent out to preach the gospel: And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Peter rightly identified himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. More importantly, Peter walked in his identity in Christ as an apostle.
It’s interesting and important to note also how Peter identifies those he writes to. He says: To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood. Peter draws parallels between himself and those he writes to. First he says that they were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God. Then he speaks of the sanctifying work of the Spirit and the blood of Christ. Peter was himself highly qualified, by personal experience to speak of the power of the Spirit and the blood of Christ. In Luke 22:55-62, we see the account of Peter denying Jesus: Peter was sitting among them. And a servant-girl, seeing him as he sat in the firelight and looking intently at him, said, “This man was with Him too.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know Him.” A little later, another saw him and said, “You are one of them too!” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” After about an hour had passed, another man began to insist, saying, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean too.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. That was Peter in his own strength, a man willing to follow and even die for Jesus yet weak in his natural human flesh. In Acts 2, we see the result of the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ in and on Peter’s life. Acts 2:37-41 says: Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!” So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.
You may not qualify as one of the original apostles, called and sent by Jesus. But you have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God. As part of Christ’s church, you are part of the ekklesia, you are called apart with authority to rule. If you will submit and yield fully to the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, if having overcome the weakness of your flesh through the blood of Christ, you will walk in your identity, you too will be among those Peter writes to. Grace and peace will be yours in the fullest measure. Power and authority will also be yours. An apostle is: one sent on a mission: such as a : one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel… the Christian missionary to a region or group. Are you, sanctified by the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ, called to be an apostle where you live? Where you work? In all of the places and groups you are in?
Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit that I am chosen, called and set apart, sanctified, empowered in and by You. May I walk fully in my identity and calling, sharing the gospel everywhere I go. Amen.