Who We Are in Christ
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, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1 Peter 1:1-7
Peter wrote the first of his two epistles to encourage people who were undergoing persecution. And the disciple decided to begin the letter by reminding believers of who they are in the Lord.
Believers are chosen in Christ. It’s not that the Lord selects some people to enter heaven and others to go to hell. Rather, the good news of Jesus Christ is offered to all humanity (John 3:16; Rom. 1:20)—salvation is for everyone who receives the Savior through an act of free will. The bottom line is that God wants you (2 Pet. 3:9).
Believers are recipients of mercy. No one can claim that his or her righteous works earned a place in heaven. We are saved through the mercy of Christ alone (Titus 3:5). God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be in relationship with Him now and forever.
Believers are protected. Psalm 34:7 says, “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him.” We are so well guarded that the only way our life can be touched by hardship is if God allows it. That doesn’t mean we won’t experience loss or upheaval. Sometimes the Father permits His children to walk through dark valleys, but always the protective shepherd, He remains by their side (Psalm 23:4).
The message of Peter’s letter is simple: Do not be afraid when you go through trying times. Focus on who you are in Jesus Christ. You have reason to be bold, assured, and triumphant, because you are a chosen, beloved, and well-protected child of God.