Resident Aliens


1 Peter 1:17 (NET) “And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one's work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence.”

The occasion of the writing of this amazing epistle of Peter is on account of persecution that grew in Rome and Asia Minor against the preaching of the Gospel. Peter reminds this elect people that suffering on account of being a Christian is a normal part of being a resident alien in the world. As sojourners in this foreign world, resident aliens have no rights. Resident aliens also don’t receive justice here. Inheritance rights and justice for believers belong to another homeland.

However, in the opening of the letter, Peter reminds believers that through the resurrection of Christ, God has “rebirthed” us with that result that we have an eternal inheritance in heaven. Our salvation is incorruptible and sure (1:3-5). Even though suffering in this world tests the holiest saint, we can rejoice in this fact because it brings praise to God (1:6-9), who brought the message of salvation the prophets sought to us exclusively (1:10-12).

You say, “If we are ‘resident aliens’ here, doesn’t this mean we can live how we want, since this world is not our own?” Hardly! God’s holy people are to lead a distinctive, different way of life as resident aliens in a foreign land. This always comes about by affixing our eyes on the grace to be brought to us at the coming of Christ (1:13-16). Though in a sense we are “passing through,” we are to live as distinctive foreigners who clearly belong to the only living God.

Are you living more like a resident alien or a content citizen?

Faith Lesson: “We sojourn among those who ungodly lives cause us frequent grief, and the Lord Jesus meant it to be so, for he said, ‘Behold, I send you forth as sheep among wolves’” (Matt. 10:16)—Spurgeon


In Christ,
Darin Smith

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Submitted by Richard