1 Peter 1:1-2

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, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.
1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter’s opening sentence communicates a lot. Let’s dive in. First, we notice that Peter identifies himself an apostle, because he was one of the eyewitnesses of Jesus’ life, and he was tasked directly by Jesus to make disciples in all nations. Peter’s audience for this letter was a group of new Christ-followers that lived near modern Turkey. Referred to as ‘aliens’, other Bible versions translate the word as foreigners or immigrants. These Christ-followers were not living in their native land, and this no doubt compounded their daily living especially as persecution of Christians was growing.
This lengthy sentence also includes a significant piece of doctrine. Did you notice? It’s the doctrine of the trinity. In verse 2, God, the Spirit, and Jesus are all involved in the process of salvation and sanctification (the process of becoming more like Christ), and all three are mentioned as givers of grace and peace. At an early age, the doctrine of the trinity was explained by comparing the trinity to water in three states; solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (vapor). All the same in essence, but varying displays of the same substance. I also remember singing the hymn, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’ that included words that are still clear in my memory - ‘God in three persons, blessed trinity’. The ‘blessed trinity’ phrase was extremely confusing to my seven-year old brain, and still now, to my not so seven-year old brain.
God has revealed Himself in Scripture as one God eternally existing in three persons, all co-equal and each worthy of worship. Throughout the Bible, this triad is presented, beginning with Deuteronomy 6:4: ‘Here, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!’ While the actual word ‘trinity’ is not used, all three persons of the Godhead are described multiple times in the scriptures.
After studying the trinity extensively, eighteenth century preacher, Jonathan Edwards, stated, ‘I think the doctrine of the trinity to be the highest and deepest of all Divine mysteries.’ So why did Peter start this letter with the mention of God, the Holy Spirit, and also Jesus?
Perhaps he was teaching his readers (and us), that each member of the trinity plays a significant role, both in the redemption of believer and in experiencing life with God while still on the earth. Or, perhaps it’s good for us to think often of this divine mystery as a reminder that we cannot comprehend everything God has revealed about himself. To write or think about God when compared to the totality of his attributes, is like examining a grain of sand compared to every beach, every mountain, or every star in the universe. It is too great for the human mind.
Thankfully though, God graciously has allowed us to get a glimpse of him, but we will never understand the trinity in its fullness. We worship a God we will never totally understand, but we know enough of God to be certain he is worthy of our worship and our lives. This is grace to us.

Questions for reflection:
  1. Think today for one whole minute about God as he lives and works in three unique and united persons.
  2. How does following a God who is ‘way beyond finding out’ comfort you in times of uncertainty?
  3. What aspect of God’s character are you especially thankful for today?
Linda Miller | Ministry Development

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