Friday, 27 September 2019
…receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:9
Peter now completes the greater thought which began in verse 6 of this chapter, but of which a lesser thought is connected to the previous verse. Taken together the two verses say, “Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
The word translated as “receiving” simply means to carry or bear something. However, based on the context, it carries one of a couple different ideas. The first is that of receiving something back which belonged to a person. That is seen, for example, in Matthew 25:27. However, it is also receiving something that has been earned or recovered. This is what is Peter is speaking of here.
He says to his audience (meaning the saints) that you will be “receiving the end of your faith.” It is faith which brings the result. One does not receive what is promised based on works, living a particular type of life, or being better than another (grading on a bell curve), or any other such notion. It is faith alone by which one receives “the end” which Peter speaks of, which is “the salvation of your souls.”
The “end” or object of faith is what the faith is expectant of. One can have faith that putting money in the bank will result in a return on the principle through whatever interest rate is promised. One can have faith that starting a journey on a sailboat will bring him to his anticipated island getaway. The “end,” or object, of the Christian’s faith in Jesus Christ is salvation.
In short, sin is the problem. The law is how sin is made manifest, Jesus’ lived perfectly under the law and was found without sin, Jesus died in fulfillment of the law, and for the sins of those bound under the law (a principle known as substitutionary atonement which is authorized in the law), and therefore Jesus removes our sin debt. Jesus rose from the grave, having triumphed over death. In His resurrection, the proof of His sinless nature, and the proof of His acceptable substitutionary death for our sin is seen. In this, the person who believes in Christ’s work (demonstrating faith) is deemed justified and freed from sin’s penalty. And in this, the person is granted eternal life. In this declaration of justification by God, one is saved, which is the “end” of his faith.
Concerning this word, translated as “receiving,” Vincent’s Word Studies says, “Paul uses it of receiving the awards of judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10; Ephesians 6:8; Colossians 3:25). In Hebrews, it is used of receiving the promise (Hebrews 10:36; Hebrews 11:39), and of Abraham receiving back Isaac (Hebrews 11:19). Peter uses it thrice, and in each case of receiving the rewards of righteousness or of iniquity. See 1 Peter 5:4; 2 Peter 2:13.”
It should be noted that in this verse, this word komizó, or “receiving,” is a present participle in the Greek. Peter says in “believing,” (of verse 8), one is “receiving” (of verse 9). In other words, the deal is done. By an act of faith in what Christ has done, the salvation is received. How terrible it is that people add to the simple gospel, or that people attempt to divide the simple gospel into various categories (one gospel for the Jew & one gospel for the Gentile) instead of seeing that what God has done in Christ is a one-time act, based on faith, and it is a single gospel message for all people. Those who add to, or attempt to divide, this gospel will receive their just punishment for proclaiming “a different gospel, which is not another” (Galatians 1:6, 7). Be wise! Don’t listen to these false workers who teach their message of demons.
Life application: Positionally, those who have called on Jesus are already saved. We know this from a multitude of verses, for example –
“For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” Romans 8:24
The action is completed in the sense that we need to do nothing else except wait to receive our final redemption. Until that day, let us act as if we really believe it. We should attend church – not to be blessed, but to worship out of gratitude. We should endure trials joyfully, knowing that even these serve a good purpose. We should sing in our hearts (and even with our lips!) as we walk along life’s path.
If you are forgetting to thank the Lord for the glory to come, take time today – even right now – to reflect on what is ahead, and then thank Him for the marvel of that Day! As Paul said in the Romans verse, “hope that is seen is not hope.” And as Peter shows, a day is coming when we will receive the end of our faith. This will be when our hope is changed to sight – that glorious day when Jesus Christ Himself calls us to the paradise He has prepared.
Get ready, Jesus is coming, and our eyes will behold the One who brought us to the end of our faith. Praise God! Jesus is coming and we shall be saved. Hallelujah and amen!
What a day! O, what a glorious and joyful day – O, happy day! Lord Jesus, what You have promised is worth all the waiting in the world. One day we will look upon Your majesty and bask in Your beauty for all eternity – saved from the stain of sin found in this temporary world. Praise to You, O Lord! Amen.