September 20, 2022 – Tuesday
1 Peter 5:12 NIV
12 With the help of Silvanus, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.
1 Peter 5:12 ESV
12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.
Frankly, I almost chose not to cover this verse, thinking it simply part of a concluding goodbye along with the last two verses. I also almost chose to ignore Silvanus, after all not a word spoken by him is in scripture. But it is Silvanus whom we will first look at here.
Silvanus or Silas is mentioned as a chief in Jerusalem, but later as a companion and helper of Paul in his first missionary trip. Then later as we see in this verse, he is now a companion and helper of Peter, one Peter holds in high esteem as a faithful brother. It is likely he was also Peter’s amanuensis (scribe) as Peter’s background was fishing and handling fish nets, not writing as Paul was easily able to do. Additionally McLaren’s Exposition suggests Sylvanus’ relations to the two Apostles throws light upon the perfectly cordial alliance between them, and how it destroys the theory of a ‘great schism’ in the early church between one section, led by Peter, and another, headed by Paul. Instead of that, we find the two men working together, and the only division between them was not as to the sort of gospel they preached, but as to the people to whom they preached. It also provides great insight on how important a role helpers have in the grand scheme of things.
Returning to the verse, Peter writes, I have written to you briefly, but compared to many letters in the New Testament it is not that brief. He is probably referring to the idea how he could have written much more concerning the gospel of Jesus the Christ and the grace available through Him. Most of the New Testament is about the gospel and how salvation comes through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Thousands of books have been written since about the gospel. And here we are writing on Peter’s one sentence.
Now we come to the ‘meat’ of the sentence that he was writing briefly about, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. What was the true grace of God he was exhorting and declaring? It was dual in nature. First what Peter had written about in his epistle herein, but also about what Paul had preached earlier throughout this entire area. What they had learned from Paul was to be trusted and what Peter had added only pointed to the truth of the gospel preached by both men. But once again what was the true grace of God he was exhorting and declaring? The true grace of God was Peter’s summary of God’s incredible love and mercy towards His undeserving sinful creation. The true grace of God is unimaginable because of the depth of God’s love and mercy. It is unfathomable that God would send His only Son to die (!) for our sins, to pay the price for our sins so that if we would but repent and believe we could go to heaven and spend eternity with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Finally, this grace is so amazing we are to Stand fast in it or to Stand firm in it. This only makes sense, the more we understand it, the more we grasp the enormity of it, the more we realize the true grace of God is something we truly can stand firm in.
Bottom Line: Understand how incredible the grace you have been granted is and then stand fast in it.
Prayer: Almighty God, I do not understand why You love us so very much, but our gratefulness and gratitude knows no bounds. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.