Faithlife Sermons

The Hope & Security of Our Salvation - 1 Peter 1:3-5

1 Peter: A Living Hope for Holy Living in a Hostile World  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:04
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Since our final inheritance is certain, secured by God himself, we can be marked by unwavering hope through faith in Christ.

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PRAY & Intro:
1:30pm last Wednesday, a hail storm hit our little section of town
[two images]
Praising God for the hope and security of our salvation… listen to Peter:
1 Peter 1:3–9 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
God’s initiative and grace in the lives of believers (vv. 3-12)
Our focus today will be on vv. 3-5… in which the emphasis is primarily on our future inheritance

Praise God for Salvation

(Let’s clarify this first) Blessed - eulogetos - praiseworthy (adjective - so the verb form is eulogeo, to praise, to verbally bless God for his worth - even in English eulogize means to praise highly in speech or writing… not just what we think of as a eulogy after one’s death)
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) A Promised Inheritance (1:3–5)

The blessing is directed to God, “even” (kai; NIV “and) the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The Father is the fount from which all goodness flows, and even the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Son, yields to the Father. We know from the Gospel of John that the Father commands and the Son obeys (John 5:19), the Father sends and the Son goes. And yet such a difference in role does not diminish the dignity of the Son, nor is there any notion that the Son is a creature (cf. John 1:1, 18; 20:28).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… or Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… - Why does Peter praise God for salvation? Because if it weren’t for God’s initiative, none of us would be saved.
What if on your side, in your current situation, you are not always feeling particularly #blessed? No problem, that is actually far from the point! - Until you submit yourself to God’s worth and authority through faith in Christ, and thus bless (praise God), you will never be truly blessed. (And we will see as we continue that such an understanding of security in God does in fact give you deep-seated joy, deep-seated hope, that doesn’t waver with circumstances that make you feel #blessed.)
What a paltry excuse for the blessedness of knowing God our culture has perpetrated against us! Peter sets the record straight. He turns the tables and unequivocally reminds us of the hope and security of our salvation — it is God himself. Look with me first at who Peter tells us is the source of our salvation:

The Source of Our Salvation (vv. 2-3)

Review v. 2 - the activity of Father, Son, and Spirit
His great Mercy - mercy means leniency and compassion shown toward offenders (the other side of the grace coin) - We don’t get what we deserve: judgment and wrath
Ephesians 2:4–5 ESV
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—
Another really interesting way to think of mercy: Wuest writes that eleos is "God’s “kindness and goodwill toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them” (Vincent). Grace meets man’s need in respect to his guilt and lost condition; mercy, with reference to his suffering as a result of that sin. (Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)
He has caused to be born again…
To be clear… (Wayne Grudem states)
1 Peter: An Introduction and Commentary 1. Joy in Future Heavenly Reward (1:3–5)

No foreknowledge of the fact that we would believe, no foreseeing of any desirableness or merit on our part, is mentioned here or anywhere else in Scripture when indicating God’s ultimate reason for our salvation. It is simply ‘according to his great mercy’ that he gave us new life.

“The focus therefore is on God’s initiative in producing new life. No one takes any credit for being born.” - Thomas R. Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 37, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 61.
At the same time, the Bible speaks of this rebirth as being available to those who respond to Jesus Christ by believing, putting your trust only in Him to save you from sin and God’s wrath, to redeem you (purchase you as his own), to reconcile you with relationship to God (God offers us himself).
Now is the time to respond in faith to what God has done… and promises to do.
And that will result in giving you a Living Hope, even in this life.

The Hope of Our Salvation (v. 3)

Hope - hope as an object, meaning the basis of hope (someone or something on which expectations are centered)
Illust: Hope depending on a fluctuating market
Living hope! - genuine and vital (not empty and vain) - Like a tree with sturdy, living roots
Those experiencing persecution are not dashed to the ground by their troubles
They have a sure confidence of future blessing awaiting (v. 4)
Not grounded on baseless superstition but secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ
The certainty of Christ’s resurrection becomes the hope of our resurrection - triumph over death, sin, and suffering
We praise God from a deep-seated hope - This brings you great joy (6a)

The Inheritance of Our Salvation (v. 4)

Future hope more fully explained: using the language of “inheritance” - no longer the promised land (which was the inheritance for OT Israel)
But now in terms of the end-time hope before us - It still has an actual physical, literal fulfillment: 2 Peter 3:13
2 Peter 3:13 ESV
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
As sojourners on this earth, we may experience hardship and hostility now, but our hope is in Christ and in a future inheritance with him.
Here are the descriptors of this inheritance:
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) A Promised Inheritance (1:3–5)

This inheritance “can never perish” (aphtharton) or be corrupted.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) A Promised Inheritance (1:3–5)

The inheritance cannot “spoil” (amianton) or perhaps better is “undefiled.” The inheritance will not lose its luster and beauty. It will never become stained or filthy. The same word is used to denote Jesus’ sinlessness (Heb 7:26), the purity of marriage (Heb 13:4), and genuine religion (Jas 1:27).

The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) A Promised Inheritance (1:3–5)

Finally, the inheritance will never “fade” (amaranton).

What else do you have in your possession that can’t perish? That can’t be tainted (never losing its quality or beauty)? That will never fade?
Kept in heaven for you (passive) - So who is keeping? God is! - This begins Peter’s emphasis in the strongest terms the security and certainty of the reward awaiting believers…

The Security of Our Salvation (v. 5)

The certainty of our living hope and receiving the promised inheritance in v. 5 -
[going to the second part of the verse first] “… for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” - Salvation has a beginning/inauguration at a point in time, also has a present effect in our lives, but most often is referred to even as Peter does here as the future culmination/completion of our full deliverance from sin, self, and God’s wrath to receive perfectly new and sinless selves and to receive perfect fellowship with God and to permanently dwell with him in a new heaven and earth without sin and suffering, without anyone battling the right and worthy rule of God.
The reason for our confidence in receiving these things is that God himself is guarding/protecting us (military term - to be secure and kept under watch)
By whose power (controlling influence) are we being guarded?
When the hail got really bad in our section of town the other day (enough to severely damage the siding and roofing on our houses), I quickly moved our family to an interior room in the house with no windows (we couldn’t get under the house… too late, it was hailing hard). I was doing everything in my power to make sure they were safe, but somehow I still saw fear in their eyes. Why? Because my power to guard them is pretty limited. - By contrast, can you imagine the power that God has to secure us and keep watch over us even when we are experiencing the greatest of trials?
Listen to these reminders from the Apostle Paul in Ephesians and Romans:
Ephesians 1:19–20 ESV
and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
Romans 8:11 ESV
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
How is God guarding us? “Through faith” — through the faith he has granted and the faith he sustains. - It is God who grants us faith (Eph. 2:8-9) and God you sustains it… but it is important to understand that God’s protection isn’t compartmentalized separately from our believing. Faith means continuing trust or faithfulness. Faith does in fact mean believers must exercise it to receive final salvation. And since our believing is a condition, does that mean that some can fall away? That is the paradox: God has confirmed our responsibility to respond, to trust him… that is faith, but God knows that we can’t do that on our own, and therefore by his initiative we are enabled to respond. So too,
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) A Promised Inheritance (1:3–5)

1 Pet 1:5 contains a glorious promise. God’s power protects us because his power is the means by which our faith is sustained.

The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude (1) A Promised Inheritance (1:3–5)

What would prevent us from maintaining our allegiance to Christ until the end? Surely the answer is sin, and we know that sin stems from unbelief—in failing to hope in God during our earthly sojourn. God’s power, to be effective at all, must guard us from sin and unbelief.

“All of 1 Peter clarifies that we are not exempted from suffering or even death because of the power of God since the church experiences persecution. God’s power does not shield believers from trials and sufferings, but it does protect us from that which would cause us to fall away.” - Thomas R. Schreiner, 1, 2 Peter, Jude, vol. 37, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003), 65.
1 Peter: An Introduction and Commentary 1. Joy in Future Heavenly Reward (1:3–5)

Ultimately their attainment of final salvation depends on God’s power.

Nevertheless, God’s power continually works through their faith. Do they wish to know whether God is guarding them? If they continue to trust God through Christ, God is working and guarding them, and he should be thanked.

Conclusion:
Since our final inheritance is certain, secured by God himself, we can be marked by unwavering hope through faith in Christ.
Such deep-seated hope leads to present joy in and praise to God. (And we will see as we continue that because of this…) We remain undaunted by present trials (because our hope cannot be unseated by any mere hostile environment or persons), trials which only prove our faith and lead to greater purity and holiness.
No matter what problems you face, God offers you a salvation that he himself secures eternally. That salvation can be yours through faith in Christ.
That is great cause for praise!
And for comfort and courage!
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