How nice would it be if every New Born baby came with an owner’s manual? Fortunately, the new mom can look to the older generation for help and advice on what to expect when they’re expecting. (Titus 2:3-4).
What about the New Born in Christ? Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an operator’s manual for how to live as a New Creature in Christ?
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2Cor 5:17).
Well, there is one, and it’s available to all that will decide to open it and study it.
It’s called the Bible.
“But where do you start?” some may ask. Let me suggest to you
to begin with the book of 1st PETER. While every book of the Bible is important and instructive, this book could be described as a QUICK START guide to the New Christian’s walk. Let me point out a few things in each chapter.
The FIRST CHAPTER is a mini course on what it cost for us to become children of God. A good one-line summary could be;
We have a hope in the Promise of the resurrection. Christ Paid the Price for our Protection by the Power of God, through our Precious faith, with His own Precious blood.
Lesson ONE: You’re PRECIOUS; know Who & Who’s you are.
CHAPTER TWO, while using the illustration of a new born babe, Peter encourages us to follow the EXAMPLE of Christ in the way that He ENDURED suffering. This is part of what makes us different. Because we are in Christ, we are a “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (2Pet 2:9).
We are the living stones, being built up into a spiritual house. Therefore, we are to be different. When we ENDURE grief, suffering wrongfully, we are following the EXAMPLE of Christ as He also suffered wrongfully. He did not threaten, but committed himself to him that judges righteously (1Peter 2:23).
Lesson TWO: ENDURE to the end.
CHAPTER THREE teaches us how to live in more specific, perhaps less than ideal situations. Wives toward husbands, husbands toward wives, brethren toward brethren, and Christians who display hope amidst suffering. In the midst of this is this line; “For, He that would love life, And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips that they speak no guile: And let him turn away from evil, and do good; Let him seek peace, and pursue it.” (3:11-12 ASV).
Lesson THREE: TURN Away from evil and pursue peace.
In CHAPTER FOUR we learn this; We’ve spent ENOUGH of our past in lusts of the flesh, the END of all things is near, so be sober. ENTRUST your soul to a faithful Creator when you suffer for the name of Christ. “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1Pet 4:7).
Lesson FOUR: The END is near, ENTRUST you soul to God.
Then we come to CHAPTER FIVE. This chapter instructs the members of the local congregation. First to the Elders who shall RECEIVE the crown of glory if they shepherd the flock of God. Then, he instructs the younger to submit to the elders. If not, he warns that God RESISTS the proud.
Continuing the instructions, we are told to RESIST the devil. We are not alone in our suffering among the brotherhood who also suffer and must RESIST.
Then the letter closes out with a promise to those who have endured the suffering. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1Peter 5:10).
Lesson FIVE: RESIST the devil, God will remember you.
This letter is a wonderful letter for the New Born in Christ. It’s also a wonderful reminder to the older children of God.
Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ in Borger Texas.