CALLED FOR A PURPOSE III

clip_image002 “For you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9a

There are three main elements to chapter 3 and verse 9 of Peter’s first letter, 1) calling, 2) purpose of calling, and 3) blessing.

The Apostle in his letter makes plain the purpose for which all Christians are called, and that is so they might inherit a blessing. The question we need to answer, however, is to what blessing does Peter refer? Keep in mind that blessing is the fulfillment of God’s purpose; calling is the means to accomplish the divine purpose of blessing. In calling, there is the means by which God can accomplish His purpose of blessing. We need to understand the nature of calling to understand the blessing we are to inherit.

The Christian is summoned or called out of the present world that rejects and hates God and Christ who must have full authority over their lives. All men are monsters of iniquity because they deny God as sovereign of the universe, and Christ who declares them sinful because He was sent to save them from the righteous wrath of God.

Calling has a meaning in itself, which is to come out of the world and act different toward God, which brings with it suffering, but here Peter says, “For you were called for the very purpose THAT YOU MIGHT INHERIT A BLESSING.” (Emphasis added) Peter emphasizes the purpose of blessing in calling so that he can make clear the reason Christians suffer. The question that appears frequently in the mind of the Christian is why suffer since I am blessed of God.

The answer to the question why do Christians suffer is found in the little word “for” in verse 9, which directs us back to verse 8, “To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead.” Verse 8 directs our attention to the character of the Christian, which is contrary to the character of worldly people but is consistent with Christ. Christ came to create a new world where harmony and not war is prevalent, where people are sympathetic to the core needs of the soul and spirit in others. Christ by becoming a man became our brother and He would have His brethren to be brotherly (close, caring, intimate, and defending the family). He would have His brethren kindhearted and none was more kindhearted than Christ who virtually healed all of Israel in the time of His visitation with sensitivity and sincerity. If Christ humbled Himself by becoming a man, a slave, and obedient to death as a criminal when He only did right, then we His followers are to share in His divine characteristics.

Here in lies the blessing of God that we become like our brother, God, savior, and Lord. YOU ARE BLESSED WHEN YOU ARE SYPATHETIC, BROTHERLY, KINDHEARTED, AND HUMBLE AND GIVE A BLESSING TO THOSE WHO GIVE EVIL AND INSULT. The word “for” points us back to what we Christians are to “be” and therein is the blessing we are to inherit.

A blessing is a word of praise, as when the patriarchs were about to die they pronounced good things for their son’s future. However, there is a big difference between the blessing of men and God; when God blesses He is also able to bring it to pass. Peter speaks of the blessing in terms of inheritance or something that is received from another because the Christian’s behavior is not something manufactured by self; the blessing that Christians inherit must come from God. God is for the Christian even though the whole world is against him. Peter states this truth in 3:12, "For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." Here blessing is clearly stated that God favors, gives special treatment, listens, and graces with His presence those who suffer as He did.

Peter emphasizes throughout his letter that the Christian is to do right but always returns to, “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed” 3:14. The greatest blessing for the Christian is Christ; every time the believer does right for Christ’s sake he/she rejects the world and chooses Christ. We see this as Peter continues, “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify (set apart) Christ as Lord in your hearts.” 1 Peter 3:14-15. The Christian is given a choice daily, should he/she side with the world and its sinful desires and lusts or Christ with His holy will and character. To side with Christ is to deny the world and to deny the world is to bring its anger.

In conclusion, the purpose of Christian calling is blessing through identification with Christ in His sufferings so that His presence may rest upon us and He will receive the glory for our lives.

“If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” 1 Peter 4:14. God gets the glory when the Christian does what he does for the NAME of Christ, not in his own name or for his own sake but for Christ, it is then and only then, that God’s spirit rests upon him.

Identification with Christ is never without brokenness over sin, repentance and of course faith!

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