We forget the difference salvation makes. Peter noticed it in his day, as lives were being bogged down again with habitual living, strongholds, and defeat. His solution, that of God’s, was presented in the opening admonitions in his letter written to Christians who were being scattered by persecution from the Roman government.
Defeat seemed to be a characterization of these poor saints lives, but Peter tried to remind them that the salvation they received insured victory. In this, even in the worst conditions, Peter tells us that men throughout history coveted what we possess and how this means victory for us over the rudiments that seek to defeat and control us. Let me summarize this before you open up the Bible and check it out for yourself. Or, open up the Bible and follow me as I go.
- The mindset of realizing what we have that everyone in history has wanted (3-12).
Those who are saved have an imperishable, undefiled and unfading inheritance (3-4). We are currently being guarded for a future complete salvation, though times are tough now (5-6). This is a reason for great joy (6).
The very difficulties we are experiencing now are refining us, testing us by fire, all for the praise of our Savior (7). We know this in faith, not seeing Him, but recognize how glorious that will be, which gives us “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (8). At that time, we receive the fullness of our salvation (9).
This salvation was longed for by the Old Testament saints, the prophets seeing glimpses of it, but you receiving all of it. They wondered who would be so blessed as we are to receive it (9-11).
The difficulty for them was the realization that they were working for a people of the future (you) and that they and their contemporaries would not full receive what they sought through the suffering and glorification of the Messiah.
This is the message of the gospel you have received and is confirmed by the Holy Spirit in your lives. It is that for which even the angels even long (12).
2. The result of this realization.
The simple result of focusing on our salvation is preparation for action. It calls for a clear, focused mind, an eye to the finish line and the grace that is revealed in everything God has given us. We are truly blessed, but blessed for service.
Therefore, being obedient to the calling of salvation, we are free, and commanded, to release the habits and sinful patterns, with their passions (13-14). We are empowered, and thus expected, to live holy lives, as is our calling (15). The One who resides within us and who has empowered us is holy.
Victory over the flesh is ours because it is a gift of God. Victory over circumstance is ours because we will outlast them.