Over the next few posts, I will be sharing some thoughts from 1 Peter. I am learning from 1 Peter how about “Godly Living in an Ungodly Age.” Be blessed as we journey through 1 Peter.
Recognizing My Identity in Christ
“1 This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:1 NLT
As Peter writes this letter, he is no longer the brash young fisherman who was known in the early church for putting his foot in his mouth. He is no longer the young church leader who was struggling with whether or not Gentiles can know God. He is now a seasoned pastor and elder pouring out hope and encouragement to the young and developing churches in persecution. Peter knew the great challenges in following Jesus. He knew the cost of faithfulness to the Savior and he had seen some of his friends lose their lives and others lose their freedom. Peter was no longer divided in his thinking though. He wasn’t thinking about going back to fishing anymore. There was no going back. He is giving the rest of his life to accomplish what Jesus said to do in Matthew 28, and in Acts 2. Now as he sits back, Peter writes. He writes to the church and offers them encouragement as they face challenges that are not unlike his own from years earlier.
1 Peter 1:1 says “1This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:1
I pause on chapter 1 verse 1 because I see an important shift in Peter’s view of himself. He writes to the churches as “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ…” and no longer as “Simon the fisherman.”
In bible times, names carried significant meanings. When the Lord changes people’s name, He changes what they are known for. In the Gospels, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter. Why? Because Peter meant “Rock” and Jesus said that Peter would be the “Rock” on which the church would be built. It is important now to see that Peter, recognizes himself as “Peter” because that is what Jesus identified him as. He no longer identified himself as “Simon” or “to hear.”
This is important because when he identifies himself to others, Peter no longer sees himself as what he was, but rather as whom Jesus Christ identified him to be. There are many times that I identify myself as whom I used to be, over whom Jesus has called me to be.
I need to learn to let Jesus and the Word of God, rather than the circumstances and critics, define my identity.
When the world says, something, I need to correct it back to the Word of God.
When the world says, “You’re not good enough…” I need to remind myself that I am, “a royal priesthood and a chosen generation…”
When the world says, “No one cares for you.” I need to remind myself to, “cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you…”
When the world says, “You can’t overcome your problems.” I need to remind myself that, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me…”
When the world says, “God cannot forgive you.” I need to remind myself, “He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it in me.”
Holy Spirit, thank You for reminding me that I am no longer “Ty, the depressed, isolated, and downcast,” but “Ty, the new creation in Christ, and servant of the Most High God.” In Jesus’ name amen.