1 Peter: Christians Are Guarded By The Power of God

(Christians) by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

1 Peter 1:5

Earlier, we studied how God the Father caused Christians to be born again to a living hope because of His great mercy, that hope being an eternal, incorruptible inheritance which is “kept in heaven” for us (1:3-4).  Peter did not stop there, however.  There is another blessing our Father gives us every day, another reason behind the praises Peter had heaped upon Him earlier (1:3a).

The apostle now informs his Christian readers that the power of God guards us (1:5a).  This term, also rendered “kept” in some English translations, comes from the Greek term phroureo and is a military term; it refers to being under military guard.  During biblical times, soldiers at the gates of a city would stand at post to either keep the hostile invaders from entering the city or keep the citizens within that city from leaving the protection of its walls and falling into enemy hands.  Our heavenly Father does the same for us through His awesome power.  The gospel is the power God uses to save us (Rom. 1:16), and this same power is used to guard us from Satan.

God uses this power to guard us from the enemy in several ways.  Peter would later write that “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials” (2 Pet. 2:9).  Paul wrote that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13).  Because of His power we have “the whole armor of God” that help us “stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:11-18).  God’s Word – “the sword of the Spirit” which is part of this armor (Eph. 6:17) – is “powerful” (Heb. 4:12), and this power “thoroughly equips us for every good work” as we continually meditate upon it and obediently apply it to our lives (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Ps. 1:1-3).  It is the Word of God that Peter later says is the “imperishable seed” which “remains forever” and is the reason we “have been born again” (1:23-25).

Calvinism erroneously teaches that the fact that Christians are kept under guard by God’s power means that we are saved unconditionally.  One reason among many why this is false is because Peter says that we “by God’s power are being guarded THROUGH FAITH” (1:5b).  Scripture teaches that our faith is alive and strong if it is backed by our works of obedience (James 2:14-26; cf. Heb. 5:9; Matt. 7:21-27; James 1:21-25).  In fact, it is because of a weak or dead faith that we knowingly give into temptation and sin.  Think about it.  The Bible promises that the wages of sin is death in hell (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 21:8), and we know this.  So why would we decide to give in to the temptation to do something we know God considers sinful?  It is because we, at that moment, have convinced ourselves that “God surely wouldn’t send ME to hell, not for something like this, so it’ll be okay, He’ll understand, everything’s cool.”  Why would we think something like this?  Because of a weak or dead faith in what God has promised in the Bible.  Therefore, a strong faith that produces penitent obedience is just as necessary a component of what guards us as is the power of God.  Let us never forget that.

Christians “by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1:5c; cf. Heb. 9:28b; Col. 1:5).  This is another way of describing the “inheritance” that is “kept in heaven” for us (1:4).  This salvation is offered to all (Tit. 2:11; John 3:16; Rom. 5:8), but unfortunately most will reject it (Matt. 7:13-14).  For those of us who decide to penitently serve God, “the glory that is to be revealed to us” at “the end” (1 Cor. 15:24; cf. Matt. 25:46) will be unimaginable (Rom. 8:18; cf. 2 Tim. 4:6-8; James 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4; 1 Cor. 9:25)!  I can’t wait to see it!  What about you?

— Jon

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