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1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Foundation of Hope

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Strangers

Introduction

This morning we are shifting gears. We will find our ay back through the Gospel according to Mark when the Lord opens the door. I believe the Lord wants us to take a journey through 1 Peter. As we journey through 1 Peter, the thought that I want to prevail upon our hearts is hope! Hope is an elusive concept. It is a concept that seems to be theoretical but not real, concrete or factual. Consider how much we invest in hope.
2015 8 billlion UN
2015 36 Billion to fight drugs
2017 100 billion on LE and 80 billion on incarceration
2013 - 14 - 634 billion - 12, 500 per student
Sadly this hopelessness prevails amongst Christians.
Hope is elusive because hope is not seen in circumstances but Jesus Christ.
The word “strangers” means “alien, foreign residents. What was Peter’s context to the word “strangers?”
Peter did not sugarcoat this epistle. Christians have real struggles but hope is possible in a Person - Jesus Christ.

Strangers v.1

America is the beacon of hope to most of the world. The reason we have legal and illegal immigration problems is most people view America as hope. Regardless of how immigrants get here or their status (naturalized or illegal), they are foreign residents. This is not Peter’s context. Peter does not view this world as a beacon of hope. Therefore, as unhappy foreign residents of this world, we need to understand the implications of being strangers.

Christians

Some people believe Peter wrote to scattered Jewish Christians. Others believed he wrote to scattered Gentile Christians. I think the point is, Peter wrote to Christians who have been forced to flea because they identified themselves with Jesus Christ. Peter refers to these fleeing Christians as strangers.

Our Hope is not here!

Identifying with Jesus meant so much is the last half of the first century than it does today because there was so much more at stake back then. Christians did not serve out of convenience but conviction. There was a practice known as Caesar worship, in which Caesar was to be worshipped as the supreme Lord. The did not outlaw other religious systems so long as the Caesar supreme deity. Therefore, in many cities throughout the Roman Empire, once a year citizens would have to come before the altar of Caesar and worship Caesar as Lord. So long as the people identified with Caesar they had peace, privilege and opportunities for prosperity. However, if you did not identify yourself with Caesar than you would be punished. Thus the reason these strangers are scattered throughout the Roman Empire is they are refusing to identify themselves with anyone other than Jesus.

Context

First, this does not mean we cannot laugh, experience joy or happiness.
The context of the word. “Strangers” means “foreign resident.” Someone who is a temporarily a foreign resident.
We live in America and for many people throughout the world America is the beacon of hope. The reason people are coming here legally and illegally is they they was piece of the American dream. Coming here is their goal. Whether they come here legally or illegally or become naturalized or never becomes a citizen to this county, they will always be a foreign resident.
Understand Peter’s point, When God saved us, we were born again. We were birthed into a new family. In fact Peter focuses on this family in verses 2 and 3 - God is our Father. This birth made us citizens of Heaven. This means, we are not citizens here. We are foreign residents. America is not the beacon of hope but heaven is.

Convinced

When I was dispatched to Operation Desert Shield/Storm we had moments of laughter, joy and pleasure but in the midst of these experiences there was a sense of longing and desire to be back home, with out family and friends. The goal was not the Middle East, it was America.
The words “scattered throughout” comes from two Greek words: 1) Through; 2) to sow, scattered.
If we can have joy while down here, then what is Peter’s point? His point lines up nicely with Paul’s point in 1 Corinthians. Paul is addressing the impact if Jesus Christ never came out of the grave. One of the consequences is our utter hopelessness.

Salvation v.2

1 Corinthians 15:19 KJV 1900
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
This verse is the foundation to the entire book of 1 Peter. Verse 2 is the reason we have hope in a world that has gone completely backwards.

Where is our hope v.3-5

When we view salvation it is through the lens of God, not us. In other words, Peter did not address our responsibility to the Gospel but God’s responsibility in saving us. There is a reason he does this, his book is about hope and hope does not rest with us but God
Peter addresses this. In verse 3, Peter says we have a “lively hope.” This “lively hope” is in verse 4 - Heaven. Consider some truths about the impact of our hope being in Heaven has for us.
This verse is also controversial. One of the reasons this verse is so controversial is we are stuck in our theological struts and systems. Therefore, we spend so much time arguing back and forth on what a word means because we are so afraid of doing damage to our theological system; and in the process, lose out on the beauty and power of the word and verse at hand. So it is important that you understand where I am coming from. First, I am not a Protestant Reformation fan. I am not a John Calvin or a Martin Luther fan in particular. Neither, am I for a reactive grace; as if God waits on humanity to determine the success or failure of grace.

Description of our hope

The controversy rest with the word “foreknowledge.” There are those who believe this word reflects God foreseeing who would be saved and therefore, based upon this foreseeing, God elects them unto salvation. There are two problems with this understanding of the word foreknowledge:

Inheritance

Before God could ever foresee anyone being saved there must first be a plan of redemption. This plan of redemption is Jesus Christ. Let me illustrate.
Inheritance - Any piece of property that passes by law to an heir on the death of the owner. Most of us understands how this works in an earthly kind of a way. Yet, lets see two unique features about our inheritance being in Heaven and why this produces so much hope.
John wrote in Revelations 13:8 how that Jesus Christ was a lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Within literary devices that was written in the accommodative language. The reason John used this kind of literary device was to help us understand the plan of redemption. In effect, before God ever conceived of creation, He knew Jesus was the answer. Before God foresaw anything, He already knew Jesus was the answer.
First, usually an inheritance is secured upon the death of someone; however, our inheritance is secured through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In other words, it was not Jesus’ life and death that secured us this inheritance but His resurrection and defeat of death and the grave. Our inheritance was produced by life, not death.
However, if God’s foreknowledge in is based upon looking forward into time to elect those who would turn to Christ. Based upon Jesus Christ being the Lamb slain for the world, then this means there was a moment in time in eternity when God did not know if the plan of redemption would work.
Second, this means, upon death is when we receive our inheritance. Put this thought into focus. When we die, others will receive the fruit of our labor through inheritance. But, when Christians die, we receive the fruit of our labor (our inheritance) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The context of . This is the introduction to the entire letter and in the introduction, Peter laid the foundation of hope. So that everything that is followed is constructed on this foundation. For example: who are the strangers? Verse 2. The Genesis of our hope? Verse 2.

Incorruptible

Affirmation

Incorruptible - not being subject to breaking down (and thus lasting forever). I can understand the word incorruptible but I cannot grasp the meaning of the word. Everything down here is impacted by corruption but everything in Heaven is impacted by incorruption.
https://lonelyplanetwpnews.imgix.net/2017/12/northern-lights-1.jpg9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(KJV 1900)
The word “foreknowledge” is an incredibly powerful affirmation of God’s love! This speaks of His unbelievable and unrestrained love for us!
There are four different words in the Greek for our English word “know” and each of these words have a different meaning. For example, there is the word “eido.” The word “eido” means knowledge of facts or having information about something or someone (illustration – I know intellectual putting my hands into fire will burn them. I do not know this experientially but intellectually). Another Greek word for our English word “know” is “Ginosko.” Ginosko is a knowledge that is personal, relational, experiential or intimate (Mathew 1:25, the Bible says that Joseph did not know Mary until after the birth of Jesus. The word “knew” is connected with intimacy and sexual relations). The word “foreknowledge” comes from two words “before” and “knowledge.” The word “knowledge” is not “eido.” If the word was “eido” then it would mean that God looked into the future for a baseline of facts regarding who to elect or not elect. However, the word is “Ginosko.” Therefore, Peter’s point is the Father’s election is based upon His fore-love for us. We love him, because he first loved us.
(KJV 1900)
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV 1900
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV 1900
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV 1900
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
i. Why do I have so much hope as a scattered stranger? Because of His enormous love for me.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Undefiled

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
ii. There is a relational truth to this verse. God the Father choses us out of His fore-love for us to be a part of His family. Please don’t misunderstand the point. We still have to repent and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the Lord wills all men to be saved and He does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. The key to us being a part of a family relationship with the Father is because of His fore-love of us, not our responding love to Him.
undefiled - Free from stain or blemish.

Transformation

As I mentioned before, I do not believe in cheap grace, and I do not believe the God’s word supports cheap grace. Grace must change the recipient or its not grace. Paul mentions this transformation from Paul’s perspective, but keeping in line the context of verse 2, the reason this transformation takes place is because of the work of the Spirit of God.
I have a saying that if there is a perfect church out there, and I decide to become a part of that church then the church ceases to be perfect. This rule of mine does not apply to Heaven.
i.

Fadeth not away

Confirmation

Fadeth not away - never losing quality of beauty
i.

Source of our Lively Hope v.3

Conclusion

The source of our lively hope is not us but the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This explains why human agencies fail, their cornerstone is not Jesus Christ. Our society has bitten into false hope.

The power of lively hope v.3

Love

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