Wednesday, July 03, 2013

1st Peter 1 - A living hope

"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" (1 Peter 1:3)
Peter was a Hebrew man and, in the Hebrew understanding, "living" was more than breathing. It carried the connotation of being active, of moving, of affecting other things. For example, when Isaac's men dug a well it is said that, "And Isaac's servants dig in the valley, and find there a well of living water." (Genesis 26:19 YLT) Other translations say flowing or springing waters. A living hope is more than just a wish for an old promise, it is a hope that animates our life; a hope that motivates us to action, fills our everyday with purpose and meaning, and flows out to everyone we meet. A living hope is an active hope, having power in our lives and the lives of those around us. This is the hope Jesus came to give us; not a hope based on an old law, but a hope founded on something greater, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is not only the purchase price for our hope but it is also the very evidence and foundation of our hope and the very thing for which we ourselves hope for. We have this hope because He rose again, we know we will have our hope because He who rose again is able to give it to us, and we hope for a resurrection because He too rose from the dead. "knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus" (2 Corinthians 4:14)
"to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you," (1 Peter 1:4)
Paul writes of hope, "For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it." (Romans 8:24-25) While there is much to hope for in this life, everything in this life is temporal. Paul further writes, "If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." (1 Corinthians 15:19) Our hope extends beyond our brief existence here on this earth to include things that are eternal. One day we shall leave this earth and enjoy our eternal inheritance in heaven with God; to be forever with Him and to always enjoy His presence and His love. One day our struggle on this earth will be over and our adoption as sons and daughters complete and we shall then enjoy eternity with our Father and His son. However, sometimes, as we sojourn on this earth, heaven seems far away. Our view of heaven can become dim and the promises seem distant and uncertain, but in these times we must remember that it is not heave or its promises that have faded away, merely our perception of them. The things promised by God are sure and true and will never fail or fade away; our view of them may fade but they never fade in God's sight. No matter how distant and obscure heaven seems to be in our sight, it is always as real and as certain as the time when God first promised them. Our hope is not founded on our ability to stay connected to heaven but on God's ability to stay true to what He has promised.
"who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:5)
The word here translated as "protected" has the idea of being kept and defended, as a city would be defended by a garrison. Its the picture of troops stationed all around the city to watch for the enemy and to protect the city in case of an attack. While we have received much from the Lord, there is yet much more to be given. Paul, speaking of God, said, "who also has sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." (2 Corinthians 1:22 Darby) An earnest is a pledge or down payment, as one would give earnest money to secure the sale of a home; a promise that the full amount would follow later. There is much more that God has in store for us, yet how shall we secure our life here on earth that we might one day receive the fullness of what God has promised? The good news is that it is not according to our own will, power, and might but according to God that we shall be protected and saved for what is yet still waiting for us. It is God Himself who shall protect and save us by His own power and might. We can rest in faith that God is in control, not ourselves. What peace this brings to our soul, to the soul who has counted God worthy of faith!

David Robison

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