By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God, stand firm in it.

1 Peter 5: 12

 

Peter knows what it means to live outside of the stream of culture. He also understands from first hand experience what it is like to stand against the wishes and the desires of those in power, both governmental and religious. He is sharing this hard earned knowledge and Godly wisdom with others in his circle of contact. Now, as God’s Word continues to be just as valid in our world as it was in Peter’s, he is sharing these same life-giving truths with us. In short form, this is a hard world to live in as a committed follower of Christ. We will encounter opposition and we will be out of step with our culture if we are in agreement with Christ’s will. So, how are we to live?

 

The fact that Peter says to stand firm is not surprising, for fear, doubt, wavering, and compromise are the outcome that Satan intends to accomplish in his assault upon followers of Christ. What is interesting here is that Peter directs us to stand firm in grace rather than truth, the word, wisdom, or courage. Yet, as I do reflect on what grace means to me, this does make a great deal of sense. Grace is God’s acting out of His love. It was love that sent Christ to Calvary, and it was grace that brought my soul into eternity with Christ. Now, that same grace is poured out to cover me with Christ’s robe of righteousness, and it is poured into me to fill me with His love, truth, and peace.

 

This process of standing firm in grace demands humility of me, for the very idea of grace reminds me that there is nothing that I have done to deserve God’s loving care for me and that there is nothing that I will ever do to earn His continued favor. Strangely enough, standing submitted under the grace that has set me free is the singular position of enduring strength that I can adopt in order to hold up under the pressures and the assaults of this world. In Christ I live in a state of freedom that is far greater than any that can be conferred upon me by human institution, and by grace that freedom provides the strength and the courage to stand for what is righteous at any cost.