by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
Exodus 24:1–8; 1 Peter 1:2
... chosen by God ... the Father and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood (1 Pet. 1:2, NRSV).
The first readers of this letter were strangers in their environment because they were God's chosen people. Their destiny was set by the goals of God. Their lives were consecrated by the Spirit. Their existence was determined by their relationship to Jesus Christ.
Before Jesus came into the world, God treated only one nation as his very own. Exodus 24 describes how God established a covenant with this nation. Moses read from the book of the covenant, and the people took their oath of obedience: "We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey" (Ex. 24:7). Then they were bonded to God by the blood of the covenant, which Moses sprinkled on them.
Today God has a new covenant with people from all nations. In his love the Father sought and found these people. By the Spirit's holiness their lives were set apart. And by Christ's saving blood they live in covenant obedience every day.
Anyone who wishes to identify with those addressed in the first epistle of Peter must bear the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We receive that name when we are baptized into the name of the triune God. Baptism is our mark of belonging to God's covenant people. And it is our relationship to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that explains why we are strangers in the world.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version