Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens …
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.
1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter the fearful, denier of Jesus, who became the courageous, outspoken witness to Jesus wrote this book to those Christians who did not live in the land of Judea. But, as Christians, we are all aliens in this world. John 18:36 says, “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.’” Ephesians 2:19 goes on to say, “So you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.” We are aliens to this world because our citizenship is now that of the heavenly realm. The spiritual living among the physical.
This has many ramifications. First is the promise that we will eventually go to our own world–heaven, to reign with Jesus Christ the King and to serve God Almighty. 1 Peter 2:9-11 says, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light: for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.”
Second, that we should live set apart from this world, not engaging in the corruptness of the flesh, but rather living a pure life before God because of His great mercy. Grace and peace in fullest measure are ours when we live unto Him rather than to the lusts of the flesh.
And yet, we are to be in this world, just not a part of this world. “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world (1 John 2:15-16).
My nephew, Max, is a new member of the kingdom of God!