Original Research

Towards Maturity in 1 Peter: Freedom, Holiness, Immortality

Paul B. Decock
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 2 | a2037 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i2.2037 | © 2016 Paul B. Decock | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 2015 | Published: 18 November 2016

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Paul B. Decock, St. Joseph’s Theological Institute, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

Growth towards maturity is dependent on the presence of freedom, holiness and immortality. These are presented as divine qualities that are utterly lacking in human beings. However, while human beings are ignorant and weak, sinful and mortal the addressees of 1 Peter1 are reminded that they have also been begotten anew by the imperishable seed of God’s Word, the Good News of Jesus Christ in order to share immortal life. This article looks first at human beings who as God’s creatures are ‘flesh’, but are also enabled to acknowledge their ‘fleshly’ state, to appreciate (‘desire’ and ‘taste’) (2:2–3) the Gospel and to submit to God. The second part considers the saving role of Christ as the powerful yet rejected ‘stone’ placed and offered by God as the model and means to transcend the ‘flesh’ in the flesh (4:1–2). A final part focuses on the new birth and the growth process in which the fleshly desires and ways of living give way to a manner of life, which is a witness to God’s saving power.


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