Chosen for a Reason

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 2:1-9 But you are a chosen race . . . (v. 9) What enormous encouragement is lavished upon Christian believers in just one verse. We are called chosen, royal, holy, and as if that were not enough, God's own people. Out of all the people of the earth God has chosen one for himself, and through the blood of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit we are among that people. Praise God from whom …

Oh Give Me That Book!

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 2:1-9 For it stands in Scripture . . . (v. 6) Have you noticed how many appeals Peter has been making to other Scripture passages? In just a single chapter and a few verses he has already drawn deeply from Deuteronomy, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Daniel, and of course the Psalms. And this reliance on Scripture as his binding authority is also reflected in the monumental sermon he preached at Pentecost, the one in response to which 3,000 …

Like Living Stones

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 2:1-9 As you come to him, a living stone. (v. 4) My father was a brick mason, so I learned very early in life the difference between headers and stretchers, and between closers and bats. And if I learned anything at all, I certainly learned the meaning of a cornerstone. Set the cornerstone right and the wall will be straight and true. Mislay the cornerstone and the strength, function, and beauty of a wall is in …

Ordered Affections

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 2:1-9 Rid yourselves, therefore . . . (v. 1 NRSV) A very wise friend of mine often says, “If we are talking about real Christianity, we must get comfortable with the fact that there will be a 'no' somewhere in the sentence.” While we have been culturally conditioned from our cradles to yearn to be boundless and free, with no constraints holding us back whatsoever, there is no getting around the fact that following Jesus will …

The Enduring Word

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:22-25 . . . but the word of the Lord endures forever. (v. 25 NRSV) Everything around us is fading away with the striking exception of the Word of the Lord, which is “living and active” (Heb. 4:12) and endures forever. John Calvin, the spiritual guide for many in the Reformed tradition, writes in his commentary about this staggering claim: “What the prophet had in mind was that there is no permanent life but in God, …

Action-Oriented Thinking

Tim Brown

READ : 1 Peter 1:13-21 Therefore prepare your minds for action . . . ! (v. 13 NRSV) Something doesn't seem right in verse 13: “Prepare your minds for action . . .”? Minds think! Bodies act. Not the other way around. Isn't that right? Apparently not for Peter! Lurking beneath Peter's conviction is something he learned in the company of Jesus, namely, the joining together of hagadah and halachah. I'm pretty certain that for most of us that isn't …