In a time of great persecution, the Apostle Peter pens a letter, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to encourage those who are aliens and strangers, who have been disbursed throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. These Christians were being persecuted because they were unyielding in their faith and refused to bow down to Cesar, or any other false god that was worshiped in the Roman Empire. The eyes of their hearts and minds were completely immersed by the perversity of the land, and the enemy tempted them continuously with sensual desires. Peter commanded them to keep a clear mind, to not being entangled in the world’s affairs so they could take all things captive to the truth of God’s word. Peter knew that apart from divine truth, and the leading of the Holy Spirit, these Christians, in this harsh environment, would be like lambs being lead to the slaughter. Though their lives were at risk by the hour, they were to gird themselves with the strength of God’s love, for they had not been redeemed by silver or gold from the sin that so easily entangled them, but by precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. Therefore the Apostle tells them, “Prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
May the words of Peter, to the persecuted saints of his day, ring very loud and clear in the hearts and minds of all Christians. Though we are not being persecuted unto death like the believers of Peters day, our minds are continually being afflicted by the enemy. He tempts us with the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, seeking only to elevate our prideful tendencies to exceed the statutes set in The Lord’s moral law, causing us to sin. We must keep a sober mind, with a fixed hope on Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Concerning not being lead astray by the deceitfulness of our own heart, Charles Spurgeon penned in one of his sermons, “We have a worm in the heart, a pesthouse, lusts, vile imaginations and strong evil passions, which, like wells of poisonous water, send out continually streams of impurity. I have a heart, which God knoweth, I wish I could wring from my body and hurl to an infinite distance; a soul which is a cage of unclean birds, a den of loathsome creatures, where dragons haunt and owls do congregate, where every evil beast of ill-omen dwells; a heart that is above all things desperately wicked.”
Therefore let us be attentive, as soldiers ready for battle, as a watchman standing guard over our own heart’s lest we fall captive to the tempter. Saints of God, rise, set your heart at the foot of the cross and gaze at the Lord hanging on a tree. Do you see Him there? Can you see His crimson blood flowing from his marred body? Yes, He did this for you. His blood is precious, able to redeem the chief of sinners such as me. Will you not stand boldly today, and subdue the sin that Jesus was crucified for? May The Holy Spirit give you the strength to do so.