Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message I would like to give a further word concerning the basic structure of the Epistles of Peter and Jude.
In 1 Peter 1:2 and 3 we can see the operation of the Triune God: “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from among the dead.” In these verses we have the foreknowledge of God the Father, the sanctification of the Spirit, and the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Here we have the Triune God the Father, the Spirit, and Jesus Christ, the Son. In verse 3 Peter also tells us that the Father has regenerated us unto a living hope through Christ’s resurrection. Here again we see the Father’s operation. The Father not only chose us in eternity, but in time He also regenerated us. In verse 2 Peter says that the Spirit sanctifies us, applying to us what the Father decided concerning us in eternity past. Then in verse 11 Peter speaks concerning the witness of the Spirit of Christ in the prophets of the Old Testament. In verses 18 and 19 Peter says, “Knowing that you were redeemed not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ.” Now that we have been redeemed with Christ’s precious blood, we need to have our souls purified by obedience to the truth unto unfeigned brotherly love (v. 22). This purification of the soul is based upon the Father’s regeneration. We have been regenerated by the Father with an incorruptible seed, a seed that is the living and abiding word of God (v. 23).
As we consider chapter one of 1 Peter as a whole, we can see that this chapter reveals the operation of the Triune God. Here we have the Father’s regeneration, the Spirit’s sanctification, the blood of Christ, the incorruptible seed, the living hope, and also the inheritance kept for us in the heavens (v. 4). In this chapter we have not only the basic structure of the first Epistle of Peter, but we also have the basic structure of our Christian life. The Christian life is constructed of all the items related to the operation of the Triune God.
The basic structure of the Christian life revealed in 1 Peter 1 is something far different from our natural concept. In our natural mind we do not have the kind of thought presented in 1 Peter 1. Our natural thought is to do good, to love others, to worship God, and to work for God. This concept is religious and traditional.
A person who is far from God may not care for God at all. But once such a person repents and begins to care for God, he will immediately have the desire to do good in order to glorify God. He will also have the desire to be more considerate of others. He may even decide to give a tenth of his income to the Lord. Although these things are good, they are religious, traditional, and natural.
You may have heard many messages telling you that the Triune God has been processed to become the life-giving Spirit in order to be everything to you. But in your daily life you may not care for the processed Triune God. Instead, you may try to be a good husband or wife and a good parent. In your effort to improve yourself, you may not have the realization that you are not living the Triune God, that you are not one with the life-giving Spirit. Instead of putting into practice the word concerning being one spirit with the Lord in your daily living, your desire may be to be victorious or to improve yourself.
The reason we fail to put into practice what we have heard is related to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In our fallen being there is the tendency toward this tree. The thought of doing good belongs to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Before you repented and believed in the Lord, you may have had the knowledge of evil. But now that you are a believer, you may turn to the knowledge of good. However, the knowledge of both good and evil are of the same tree.
Throughout my years in the ministry, I have come to realize that although the saints may listen to messages on the Triune God as life, in their daily living they care for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But whenever we come back to the Triune God as the life-giving Spirit, we are immediately feeding on the tree of life.
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