“Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”
In our studies of First Peter, we come to an entirely new section of the book. Up to this point in the book, Peter sets forth the believer’s privileges in view of his sufferings. The believer has status; he has positional standing with God.
He now asks his readers to respond to their prerogatives. Because Christians have a new identity in Christ, they should live out that identity.
2:11-12 is an introduction to this new section.
Christians are “beloved.” They have respect from God and Peter. Exhortation to live the Christian life is based on love. Peter exhorts those loved by God to live as aliens and strangers. Their real home is heaven.
“Beloved” is a pet term for Christians. Christians are well-loved. This term identifies a Christian. The Bible does what people hate – make a clear-cut distinction between Christians and non-Christians, between sheep and goats, the saved and the lost.
People are not Christians because they have admirable feelings toward things that are respectable. That is nice, but it is irrelevant. That has nothing to do with becoming a Christian. Until a person comes face to face with the cross of Christ, he is an alien from heaven. If you reject the cross, there is no place in heaven for you.
“Beloved” is also distinctive of God’s love. This term occurs 62 times in the New Testament. God draws us close to his heart with a love that calls for a corresponding love. This is a term of endearment. The Asia Minor Christians will not take the challenge unless they are sure that the one who does the challenge loves them.
“Beloved” is a special term for the Christian, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6).
God loves us with the same infinite love he has for his Son.
There is nothing we can do to change God’s love for us. God accepts us in the beloved one. God loves the Son with an infinite amount of love. We entered into union with Christ at our salvation. Therefore, God loves us with the same infinite love with which he loves Jesus Christ.
No matter how unlovely we may be, God loves us with unconditional love. We are objects of God’s love. We can do nothing to change that love. His love toward us does not depend on who we are or what we do. God’s love depends entirely upon God’s character. It depends entirely on who and what he is. We cannot get out from under God’s love. We can never say that “no one loves me.”
Because of God’s love, you do not care whether you lose profit in the stock. Because of God’s love, you do not worry if you have a business failure. It makes no difference whether your boyfriend leaves you or not. You stand independent in God’s love. We cannot change the love of God because of our failures or because some catastrophe comes our way. God provides from billions of years ago anything that we might need. We need to relax in that love.