II. THE BELIEVERS’ GROWTH IN LIFE
UNVEILED IN THE WRITINGS OF PETER
First, we need to see the believers’ growth in the divine life unveiled in the writings of Peter. Although Peter was a fisherman who wrote awkwardly in Greek, his writing is very high and very solemn, with no lightness.
A. Its Base
The believers’ growth in life has a base, and this base is unveiled in Peter’s writings.
1. The Sanctification of the Spirit
In Peter’s writings the first item as the base for the believers’ growth in the divine life is the sanctification of the Spirit (1 Pet. 1:2b). To sanctify something means to separate it and make it holy unto God. When something is sanctified, it is separated unto God for God’s purpose; hence, it becomes holy. We were born as Adam’s descendants. As such, we were not holy. But one day as we were listening to the gospel, the Holy Spirit of God came to sanctify us, to separate us unto God and make us holy. This is the first step of the Spirit’s sanctification.
2. The Redemption of Christ
through His Vicarious Death on the Cross
The sanctification of the Spirit, the seeking of us, the lost sinners, by the searching Spirit is based upon Christ’s redemption accomplished by Him through His vicarious death on the tree (the cross—1 Pet. 2:24a). In that vicarious death Christ, the Righteous, died for the sins of us, the unrighteous (1 Pet. 3:18). This is a base for us believers to receive the eternal life of God (John 3:15) and to live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24b).
(The Constitution and the Building Up of the Body of Christ, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)