1 Peter 1:3-9
Stephen Caswell © 2000
Hope, Taking The Hand Of God
Many years ago, King George VI of England addressed the British commonwealth on New Year's Eve at a moment in history when the whole world stood on the brink of uncertainty.
Despondency and uncertainty filled the air.
The king's own body was racked by cancer.
Before that year was over, his life ended.
Unaware of his own physical maladies, he uttered these memorable words: /I said to the man at the gate of the year, Give me a light that I might walk safely into the unknown.
/He said to me, /Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God.
It shall be to you safer than the light and better than the known.
Last week we saw how Peter wrote his letter as an encouragement to suffering saints.
Peter knew that their suffering was about to increase so he shared his /living hope/ with them.
Peter revealed to them something of God's plans for His people.
He wanted them to focus their attention on the things that really last.
Man’s glory simply does not last, but God’s glory is eternal; and He has deigned to share that glory with us!
In this first section of his letter, Peter shared some wonderful discoveries that he had made about the glory of God.
He shared with them how rich God's salvation is.
We will see three wonderful attributes of our faith.
An Excellent Hope II.
An Examined Faith III.
An Exuberant Love
/Firstly/ An Excellent Hope
Born Into God's Family/
*1 Peter 1:3* /Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy *has begotten us again* to a* living hope* through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,/
When we were born the first time, we were not born for glory.
Our first birth brought us into the human family.
Every person that is born into this world becomes a descendant of Adam.
Because of this they receive his sinful nature.
The entire human family has been separated from the life of God.
They are destined for eternal judgment.
Because of our sin, we are spiritually dead.
But God who is rich in mercy has provided us with a way to be born again.
The words */begotten again/* ajnagenaw in verse 3 mean */to be born again or born a new/*.
When Nicodemus came to see Jesus by night, the Lord told him that he must be born again if he wanted to enter the kingdom of God.
When a sinner believes in Jesus Christ to save them from their sins the Holy Spirit comes into their heart and gives them new life.
Instead of being dead in trespasses and sin believers experience the life of God.
This new birth results in */a living hope/*.
God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are all involved in our salvation.
We have been chosen by the Father, purchased by the Son, and set apart by the Spirit.
It takes all three if there is to be a true experience of salvation.
As far as God the Father is concerned, I was saved when He chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world.
As far as the Son is concerned, I was saved when He died for me on the cross.
But as far as the Spirit is concerned, I was saved on the 4 th of July in 1978 when I heard the Gospel and received His spiritual life.
This was when it all came together, but it took all three Persons of the Godhead to bring me to salvation.
If we separate these ministries, we will either deny divine sovereignty or human responsibility; and that would lead to heresy.
When we were born again, we exchanged the passing glory of man for the eternal glory of God!/ /What a thrilling thing it is to know that we were born for glory!/ Have you been born again?
Are you bound for glory or destruction?/
Become Heirs Of An Inheritance/
*1 Peter 1:4 */To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, /
In verse 4 Peter calls this living hope /an inheritance./
This inheritance is both rich and lasting.
God*/ reserves/* it to all that are born into His family.
The word */reserved/* threw means */to keep, guard or take care of./*
This word is in the */perfect tense./*
It has been reserved for us with the result that it can never be lost.
As the children of the King, we share His inheritance in glory.
We are included in Christ’s last will and testament, and we share the glory with Him as He prayed we would in *John 17:22–24*.
Note the description of this inheritance, for it is totally unlike any earthly inheritance.
For one thing, it is /incorruptible,/ which means that nothing can ruin it.
Because it is /undefiled,/ it cannot be stained or cheapened in any way.
It will never grow old because it is eternal; it cannot wear out, nor can it disappoint us in any way.
In* 1 Peter 1:5* & *9*, this inheritance is called */salvation/*.
The believer is already saved through faith in Christ, but the completion of that salvation awaits the return of the Savior.
Then we shall have new bodies and enter into a new environment, the heavenly city.
Believers have been born into a wonderful family.
Their heavenly Father has reserved a */glorious inheritance/* for them.
One that will never fade away.
My Most Precious Possession
Pastor Rittenhouse and his family were on vacation traveling down the highway when they saw a suitcase fly off the top of a car going the opposite direction.
They stopped to pick it up, but the driver of the other car never stopped.
The only clue to the driver's identity was a twenty dollar gold piece inscribed: /Given to Otis Sampson at his retirement by Portland Cement Company./
After extensive correspondence, Otis Sampson was contacted.
He wrote a letter telling them to discard the suitcase and all its contents, and send only the gold piece.
Sampson used the phrase /my most precious possession,/ several times to describe the gold piece.
Pastor Rittenhouse sent the gold piece, and wrote a cover letter telling Otis Sampson about his most prized possession, Jesus Christ.
A year later, the pastor received a Christmas package.
In it was the twenty dollar gold piece.
Mr. Sampson wrote, /You will be happy to know we have become active members of a church.
We want you to have this gold piece.
I am seventy-four; my wife is seventy-two.
You were the first one to tell us about Jesus.
Now He is our most prized possession too./
*/Is Jesus Christ your most prized possession? /*
Being Kept By God's Power/
*1 Peter 1:5* /Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time./
*Not only is glory being/ reserved/ for us, but we are being kept for the glory!*/ /The word */keep/* frourew is a military word that means* /guarded, shielded or protected/.*
The tense of the verb reveals that we are /constantly/ being guarded by God, assuring us that we shall safely arrive in heaven./
/God is watching over His precious children.
Nothing can snatch us out of His care.
*2 Timothy 4:18a */And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for his heavenly kingdom.
/He has promised to complete our salvation at Christ's' return.*
Philippians 1:6*/ Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
/A visitor said to a wounded soldier who lay dying in the hospital, What church are you of?* *Of the Church of Christ, was the immediate reply.