Daily Reading: (1 Peter 5:12-14)
12 With the help of Silas, 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.
13 She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you her greetings, and so does my son Mark. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
“With the help of Silas”- Silas using the gifting he had, encouraged Peter to his own gifting, resulting in encouragement to us and the spreading of the grace of God (1 Peter 5:12).
What we have in verse 12 is a perfect example of God (through Peter) exalting Silas through the written Word as mentioned in verses 5 and 6. Because in the very same chapter 1 Peter 5:5-6: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.
Now, I can tell you the secret of encouragement. How do you encourage brothers and sisters in the faith? The key is in the word “faithful” (pistos)- in the New Testament, one who trusts in God's promises. Silas would remind Peter, Paul and possibly Mary 😊 of the promises of God, to put your trust in God’s Word and this served as a word of encouragement for those who were on the front lines (1 Peter 5:12).
Why does Peter write this letter- he reminds us in his closing remarks to encourage you. Who is the who that Peter refers to? Look at 1 Peter 1:1 and you will find the who is written to the exiles – the persecuted Christians forced out of their homeland and now living as foreigners in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. I am reminded to encourage you because when I was down and out I received encouragement from Silas.
“I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.” So, #1 I am writing to encourage you- and #2 testify that I am speaking the true grace of God. So, in that statement as we deconstruct it, encouragement in the faith can only be found in the good news of Jesus Christ, anything else is a false gospel because it is not the true grace of God.
“Greet one another with a kiss of love.” The kiss is a sign of fraternal affection, Christians were accustomed to welcome or dismiss their companions in the faith. So, upon greeting a fellow believer and upon them leaving it was always a greeting and departing of love (1 Peter 5:13). It is the bond of being in Christ that can bring harmony between individuals (1 Peter 5:13) and make it possible to greet each other and depart from one another always in love.