Faithlife Sermons

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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 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
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
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...
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.
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.
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