“This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through.” Perhaps you have heard or sung these words of that old gospel song. Peter reminds us in his first epistle not to be too comfortable on earth. We are “strangers and pilgrims” (1 Peter 2:11), marching to Zion. As strangers we live here, but never really become citizens. As pilgrims we are here for only a short time. What matters is how we live until we die or until Christ returns.
This perspective places us in conflict with the surrounding society and its values. Christians live in a culture that makes every attempt to seduce them and to ridicule their faith. Peter does not deny the pressures to give up the faith, but he does stress the need for continued perseverance through the resources that are available for victorious living, even in the middle of trials. Throughout his letter there is evidence of a robust faith that takes both sin and salvation with the utmost seriousness, and proclaims the possibility of victory through divine grace.
We must beware of adopting a selfish model of the church, viewing it as a mother caring for her only child. The church is directed to go into the world, not to isolate itself from the world. All edification within the church should be undertaken for the essential purpose of becoming a more effective instrument through which the saved are united in Christ and the lost are won to Christ.