“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” (1Peter 5:12).
Peter wrote his letter to encourage the church to stand firm facing the troubled times. He did so by reminding them about who God is; what God has done; who are they; the cost of their redemption/adoption; their calling.
The words that conclude his letter reveal a secondary purpose for writing, namely testifying regarding the “true” grace of God.
The word “testify” is a “disciple” word…it means to bear witness. One major function of Jesus’ disciples was/is to bear witness. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem…and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The disciples were commissioned to be His witnesses: of Him as a person; of His teachings; His death; His resurrection; His ascension.
Here, Peter is being true to his calling…commissioning – testifying about the true grace of God. What is God’s grace?
God’s behaviour/attitude towards all people is referred as God’s common grace—every breath that people take is of grace; the earth produces food and materials for clothing and shelter, often in great abundance and diversity.
God’s saving grace. The true grace of God was revealed at the right time…God’s time. Paul makes this affirmation: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” (Titus 2:11, 12).
The “true” grace of God has something to do with “salvation” and something to do with “godliness”. If what is being preached doesn’t reveal the need of salvation and it doesn’t call for godliness then it is a false gospel promoting a false grace of God. Let us stand firm in the true grace of God!