Workin' through this in my quiet time this week. Found Peter saying 'to this you have been called' a lot in his first epistle. So here is some study on the five uses of calling in 1 Peter.
TO WHAT ARE WE ‘CALLED’?
1. YOU ARE CALLED TO BE HOLY
Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct (1:15)
-God has called us to be set apart. So we need to live as those set apart. Distinctness matters. Uniqueness is necessary. Set apart means that the status quo is not our status quo.
2. YOU ARE CALLED TO BE UNIQUE
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (2:9)
-God’s people are called from a former way of life to a new way of life. This starts with new birth. If anyone should get this, its Peter. Peter talks about new birth (1:3, 2:2) as one who has experienced it himself. Darkness is the previous
way. Light is the new way. And the light proclaims the new way.
3. YOU ARE CALLED TO BE HUMBLE
If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. (2:20-21)
-Peter is speaking to slaves here, but there is a universality to his message as well. Self-motivated, self-actualized justice or retribution is not your concern. Honor is. It is much like MLK’s philosophy in the Civil Rights Movement. Let them hit you, beat you, strike you, but do not respond in kind. Instead let their revelation come from your peculiar retaliation. Humility. Grace. Love. Jesus modeled it. Now ‘Go and do likewise.’
4. YOU ARE CALLED TO BE A BLESSING TO THOSE YOU DON’T LIKE
Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing. (3:9)
-Retributive Blessing. Dude cuts you off in the express 10 items or less grocery check out line with 40 items to your 3? Get over yourself and buy his groceries. Again, self-demanded, self-realized justice is not your concern. Being Christ is. Church hurt your feelings or wound you? Boss slight you or belittle you? Normal response? Wound back! Quit! Jab and belittle them behind their back! Christ response? Bless the hell out of ‘em. I don’t mean fake good when they are around. I mean do something irrationally sacrificial for them. Even if it leads to you suffering and not getting justice for yourself…bless the hell out of ‘em.
5. YOU ARE CALLED TO GOD’S GLORY
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. (5:10)
-There is a lot in 1 Peter about suffering being the Christ-follower’s path. And likewise, that suffering being linked irrefutably to the glory of God. You are called to His glory. And when you live a life that is called to holiness, called to humility, called to blessing others and called to God’s glory, listen to what Jesus promises to do: Restore you. Support you. Strengthen you. Establish you.
He did it in the life of Peter and he wants to do it in you too. Friend, It is time to answer the call.