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You Have A Living Hope

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Introduction

Every year just before Easter, we have a special giving opportunity called the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. The proceeds from this offering go to fund the work of Southern Baptist missionaries throughout North America. Watch this short video...
[AA video] - 3 min
1 Peter 1:1–23 NASB95
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 pet 1:1
[prayer]
Father God, we praise your Holy name. Your are our God and we are Your people. Father, we thank you for the eternal hope that we have and we long for the day that we can be with You. God, we thank You for missionary work in North America. We ask that you would keep our missionaries safe and that their work would serve to spread the Gospel in unreached cities throughout North America. God, please give me clarity of mind, precision of speech, and a heart for Your people here today as I bring your word. Amen

I. To The Persecuted Saints - vv 1-2

1 Peter 1–2 NASB95
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, All flesh is like grass, And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, And the flower falls off, 25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word which was preached to you. 1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, 2 like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, 3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. 4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For this is contained in Scripture: Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.” 7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, The stone which the builders rejected, This became the very corner stone, 8 and, “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. 12 Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. 15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. 18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; 24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 1:1–2 NASB95
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Peter, in good form signs his letter right at the top. This helps us know who the letter is from and to whom it is addressed.
This letter was not addressed to a specific church, like many of Paul’s letters. The letter was passed around from church to church throughout a region. Specifically Peter is writing this letter to Christian brothers and sisters who have fled their own countries and have been dispersed throughout modern-day Turkey. Much of the reason for this scattering of the saints was due to persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
God calls men and women across the world to uproot their families and go into specific areas so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be heard.
Peter called them strangers or foreigners. The Greek term is παρεπίδημοις (parepidēmois), which means that they were separated from their homeland to live with the natives of a foreign land.
Peter also says that these refugees were chosen by the foreknowledge of God the Father. In my mind that makes them missionaries. God worked their persecution to a good end by allowing them to carry the Gospel message into Central Asia. This allowed the church to spread into these areas.
God moves people all over the world for various reasons today. Some of you came here to Los Fresnos with family that moved from elsewhere. Others of you pursued job opportunities here. Some of you moved here from just across the border. Some of you only live here for a portion of the year. The reason for your move was that God put His hand upon you and placed you here.
Do you believe that? I do!
No matter the reason for you being here, your job as a follower of Christ is to do the work that God has for you right here where you are.
The introduction to this letter is theologically rich, dipping into themes of election of the saints, the foreknowledge of God the Father, the sanctifying work of the Spirit, and obedience to Christ. But we just don’t have time to address each of those themes this morning.
Instead I want to move into the next section and focus on verse 3 today...

II. We Are Born Into A Living Hope - vv 3-5

1 Peter 1:3–5 NASB95
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 Peter 1:3–12 NASB95
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
Peter’s letter here is not at all morose or mournful. Instead, much like Paul’s joyful letter to the Philippians, Peter dives in headfirst with a joyful look at the good news.

A. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

Peter begins with a theme of blessing and praise to God for the salvation that He gave to those who follow Christ. This blessing rings a note of joy and gladness that echoes throughout the remainder of the passage.
A. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
The reason for Peter’s praise is because we have been allowed to be born again. We have been given a new chance in Jesus Christ. This is not something that we can manufacture on our own. It comes as a gift from Jesus Christ and ultimately from God, the Father.
We are taught in the world today that we should measure our lives by our success and by our level of happiness. It goes against culture to point any further than ourselves for either of these things. Our culture loves a self-made man. But in the Gospel, there is no such thing as a self-made man.
We can’t pull ourselves up by our own boot straps when it comes to matters of our eternal salvation.
It says here in Scripture that “God CAUSED us to be born again into a living hope.” That’s a hint pointing to the election of the saints. God chooses us and then we choose Him!
Have you done that in your life? Have you chosen God?

B. Because of His great mercy

Here also in verse 3 we see Peter point to God’s great mercy. Mercy is just as deeply imbedded in God’s character as is justice and righteousness. How big is God’s mercy? Is it big enough to save you from yourself?
We can see God’s mercy in the great events of the Bible: the flood, the History of Abraham and Sarah and their son, Isaac, in the story of Sodom, in the history of Joseph, in the Exodus of the Hebrew Nation… and on and on.
But most of all, we should recognize God’s mercy in our lives and praise Him for it when we catch a glimpse of it.
But most of all,
I would challenge you to keep an eye out for God’s mercy in your life. Take time to regularly consider where God might be working in and around you. Then when you see it, point it out and praise God for it!

C. He has given us a new birth into a living hope

God, in His infinite mercy, gave us a way out of our predicament of sin. He gave us a new birth in Jesus Christ in which we are made into a new creation. And for this, we have access to a new life that is filled with a living and lasting hope. Jesus spoke about this to Nicodemus...
John 3:3 NASB95
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Jesus corrects Nicodemus’s confusion in asking how one could be born again after having been previously born. Jesus is saying that we must experience a second birth from God before we will be able to enter into the kingdom of God. It is this new birth that is the key to the kingdom of God. Have you experienced it? Have you been born again?
It is this new birth that is the key to the kingdom of God. Have you experienced it?
This new birth gives us reason to rejoice even when we are in the midst of trials and troubles. Our faith in God proves to us that He loves us through His son, Jesus Christ. In fact, that is where we find the hope of our salvation.
Our NAMB missionaries are a lot like these refugees. They are carrying a cargo of living hope to the foreign lands and cities in which they dwell. The cargo that they carry is the gospel message of Jesus Christ.

III. We have a future inheritance - vv 6-9

If we have anything greater to rejoice in than our new birth, it is our future inheritance.
1 Peter 1:6–9 NASB95
6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Peter is more focused on the joy and love in the lives of the believer than he is on the trial and suffering. He points to Christ as the eternal hope and the source of our future inheritance in Heaven.
This inheritance is greater than our trials,and greater than all the riches in the world. This salvation gives to us a future inheritance that we will claim on the day of Jesus return. It will be redeemed on the great day of judgment.
This salvation gives to us a future inheritance that we will claim on the day of Jesus return. It will be redeemed on the great day of judgment.

IV. We have a Job to Do

Our relationship with God and our salvation, found in Jesus Christ, puts us in a position of living on mission, that is to say living out God’s purpose.
Each of you who has chosen Jesus Christ is a missionary—an ambassador to the land in which you live and work. We have been given the task of giving hope to the people that we interact with every day.
Just by looking at these missionary stories, we are reminded that people are searching for a real and permanent hope for their own lives. They seek for this hope in relationships, possessions, and power. These paths to hope are empty and void of true meaning.
Hope is the great equalizer in today’s world, it cuts across race, gender, culture and socio-economic status.
NAMB missionaries are sent out by the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and they are spread throughout North America to share the sure and eternal hope only found in Jesus Christ. This hope transforms lives. It transforms families, communities and ultimately our nation and world.
There are several things that we can do for this cause...
Pray - we can pray for these missionaries and the people in their mission field
Give - we can give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering to help these missionaries accomplish their ministry goals
Join - we can partner with these missionaries by working in our own mission field right outside our door
We live in one of the richest and most fertile mission fields in North America. Let’s take advantage of that opportunity by sharing the Good News of Christ with our own community.
I want you to watch another video with the story of one of our NAMB Church Planting missionaries in Salt Lake City, Utah.
[Soto Video] - 2:30 min

Fund

Acts 1:8 NASB95
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
1 Peter 1:10–12 NASB95
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.

Fund

There are four annual offerings that we participate in as a church...
Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions
Mary Hill Davis Offering promotes the missions work of Texas Baptists
Martha Dizdar Offering promotes the missions work of the Rio Grande Valley Baptist Association
A few years ago, we developed a fund to give to these global and regional missions efforts. This helped us here at First Baptist Church meet our goals by providing our church membership with a way to give throughout the year.This fund is still functioning today. Many people on the first Sunday of the month, write a special offering check designated . These funds, collected monthly throughout the year, allow us as a church to meet our goals for each of these special offerings.
Acts 1:8 NASB95
8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
If you participate monthly in this fund, then you know that you are already giving to our mission efforts as a church.If you are a Winter Texan or otherwise visiting our church, you may choose to designate your gift to “Annie Armstrong” and we’ll add it to our Easter Offering when we send it in later this month. Otherwise, you can designate your funds to in order to join our efforts in missions giving year round.
If you participate monthly in this fund, then you know that you are already giving to our mission efforts as a church.If you are a Winter Texan or otherwise visiting our church, you may choose to designate your gift to “Annie Armstrong” and we’ll add it to our Easter Offering when we send it in later this month. Otherwise, you can designate your funds to in order to join our efforts in missions giving year round.
[Offering]

Conclusion

You might be here today wondering about this living hope and this future inheritance that we’ve talked about.
These gifts come from knowing and accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and making him the Master of your life.
See, to be called a Christian is one thing. To live as a Christian, devoted to Jesus Christ, is another thing altogether.
One must believe that Jesus is the Son of God and place their faith in Him to save them from a life of eternal separation from God. You must recognize your sin and turn from it, asking God to forgive you. This faith and this repentance allows us to take hold of this living hope and this future inheritance that we’ve been discussing.
If you would like to have that in your life, then I would ask you to come as we sing.
You may also be seeking baptism or membership in this church.
I’ll be standing here at the front as we sing. You will have the opportunity to respond and take the next step of faith with God.
1 Peter 1:13–23 NASB95
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, 23 for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
Holy Living is a witness to those who God is calling.
Do you reflect the living hope of Christ with your life?
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