Sunday, January 3, 2021 pm                                1 Peter Index                            MP3                    PP                        PDF



Begotten Again to a Living Hope (2)

1 Peter 1:3-5


Tonight, we continue our study of 1 Peter.  We are still dealing with Peter’s greetings to these brethren who are suffering for the cause of Christ.   In our last lesson we began addressed our living hope.  Peter blessed (glorified) God because of His abundant mercy and the living hope.  It is a living hope, meaning it is real and now.   We then noted that it is demonstrated through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  IN that you might say we have this hope because Jesus is alive.  In this lesson, we want to continue to examine Peter’s address of this living hope by noting 2 more things that give us this hope – our inheritance and the power of God. 


I.                     Our inheritance

a.       We have a living hope because of a promised inheritance.  Inheritance is usually associated with family.  We know scripturally, we are the family of God.  We are His children and together brethren. 
The idea of inheritance is fundamental to living the Christian – Romans 8:16-17. 
We know we have something better waiting for us beyond this life. 
Matthew 25:34, in judgment the righteous will inherit heaven
Hebrews 9:15 speaks of eternal inheritance for those called.

b.       Four different phrases are used to describe this inheritance:

                                                   i.      Incorruptible – a word meaning imperishable, something not subject to decay. 
the word is interestingly used 7 times in the NT. 
It describes God (Romans 1:23), our victor’s crown (1 Corinthians 9:25), our resurrected state (1 Corinthians 15:52), our immortal King (1 Timothy 1:17), and 3 times in this letter (here, 1 Peter 1:23 – the seed of the word of God, and finally the beauty of a godly wife – 1 Peter 3:4). 
On earth things break – in fact virtually everything breaks eventually, but not so in heaven.  This is a term describing heaven’s eternity.

                                                 ii.      Undefiled – a word meaning something is pure, not polluted or stained. 
Again in this world, we see so much corruption around us – men are wicked and many despise the godly.  And clearly, sin has had its impact in this world. 
Revelation 21:27 says, But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

                                                iii.      Does not fade away – this means it is something that never loses its luster or beauty.  Again, here on earth, things have a way of growing more dull – maybe still useful for a while, but they don’t look new anymore; OR flowers that bloom only for a season and then they begin to wilt.  But not so in heaven.  It is a place where after time, things will be as new and useful as when we begin. 
Remember how Jesus spoke of treasure in heaven where moth does not destroy and thieves do not break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20).
Many of the songs we sing about heaven appeal to this:  The last verse of Amazing Grace – “When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun.  We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun.” Or a place described as “where the roses never fade”, etc. 

                                                iv.      Reserved in heaven for you – think of a reservation.

1.       It is a spot held for someone, like a hotel reservation.  You make them so that as you travel you know you have a place to stay for the night, or a specific place to dine. 

2.       It a word used more than 90 times in the New Testament and is at times translated “Keep” as in Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace 

James 1:27 – “Keep yourself unspotted from the world

3.       The point -  God has reserved a place for the faithful in heaven.

4.       SOMEONE might say that this means eternal security (Once saved, always saved - OSAS). 
In a sense yes – no one will EVER stop God from rewarding those who belong to Him.  But there is more to this as we will examine in the next phrase of our text.

5.       But for the sake of this text, I simply ask – can you cancel your reservations? Can you quit keeping His word and commandments?  And if so, is He obligated to keep that reserved spot for you? 

c.        But to emphasize Peter’s point – we have an inheritance and that gives us a living hope to endure whatever comes our way. 


II.                   Kept by the power of God

a.       What does it mean to be kept by His power?  Is this teaching OSAS? 

                                                   i.      First I want to emphasize that point Peter is making, is that we serve a God is in all-powerful and all-knowing.  None will EVER stop His will from being accomplished. 
God can and will keep His promises – Titus 1:2 speaks of our hope of eternal life “which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”   Romans 8:28 – all things work together for good to those called according to His purpose…
The point is – GOD IS IN CONTROL and has been (cf. 1 John 4:4 – He is greater than he who is in the world)

                                                 ii.      I believe this is the emphasis of Jesus in John 10:27-28 when He said, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.   

                                                iii.      BUT, does this teach “once saved, always saved”?  I do not believe so.  Just because God is in control does not mean we cannot walk away from Him and as already noted, “cancel our reservation”, or as sheep of Jesus this does not mean that we cannot choose to leave the sheepfold.

1.       Consider Hebrews 10:26-31

2.       And Hebrews 3:12-13 – beware, lest there be in any a heart of unbelief in departing from the living God.

3.       Even Peter taught strongly about the possibility of apostasy (2 Peter 2:20-22) 

                                                iv.      This is a reference to God’s part – He will NOT be defeated, and He knows what is going on.

                                                  v.      But WORTHY of consider here are passages like 1 Corinthians 10:13 and 2 Peter 2:9 – God knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and He has made the way of escape. 
This NEEDS to be an element of our living hope.  Knowing that God WANTS to preserve us and will give us the tools we need for that to happen. 

b.       We are kept Through faith for salvation – this is descriptive of our part.  It is written as a conditional phrase – we are kept by God “by means of” (dia) our faith or faithfulness.  This too points to our endurance.  In fact, that is primary in the message of Peter in this letter. 
He noted that we are going to face troubling times, but don’t give up.  
We have to continue to believe and do His will – Luke 6:46.   Hebrews 10:38-39 – do not draw back…

c.        Ready to be revealed in the last time

                                                   i.      In this final phrase, we are reminded that a time is coming when there will be a judgment. 
Acts 17:31- God has appointed a day when in righteousness God will judge the world. 
It will be a day of separation – Matthew 25:46, 13:40-43 where Jesus explains the parable of the wheat and tares.  He notes they will be separated and the “tares” – “all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness” will be cast into the furnace of fire.  Note vs. 43, Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

                                                 ii.      IN that last time, that is when the inheritance AND living hope will be realized. 
As Peter would note in 2 Peter 3:10-13 – the Lord will return and the elements will melt.  But we, “according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells”. 


And thus we can see the living hope of the faithful.  It is revealed because: 1) Jesus arose from the dead, 2) we are promised an inheritance, and 3) God has done His part to keep us in that inheritance.   The question that remains is this: Are you living your life with that living hope?  If not, why not take the necessary steps right now to do that?  Think about it!