Tuesday, August 24, 2021

2021.08.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Peter 1:3–9

Read 1 Peter 1:3–9

Questions from the Scripture text: What is the apostle doing unto God in 1 Peter 1:3? What does he call God? What has God done to us? According to what characteristic of His? Through what action of Christ’s? Unto what kind of inheritance (1 Peter 1:4)? What will not happen to it? Where is it reserved? And what keeps believers who are on earth (1 Peter 1:5)? Through what? For what? When will this salvation be revealed? But what can believers already do about it (1 Peter 1:6)? Even though what else may be happening now? What do such events “test by fire” (1 Peter 1:7)? How precious is it? What three things does this genuine faith bring? When? What haven’t we done with Christ (1 Peter 1:8)? Yet, what have we still done with Him? What do we not do with Him now? What are we doing instead? And what does this believing cause us to do—with what kind of joy? What, then, are we already in the process of receiving (1 Peter 1:9)? What is the end of our faith?

Next week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, and Song of Adoration all come from 1 Peter 1:3–9, so that we will see that we are singing God’s thoughts after Him with Rejoice, Believer, in the Lord

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ… who has begotten us.” God is worthy of praise for all of His perfections and for all of His works, but for the believer, our greatest cause for praise goes to who God is in Himself, because He Who has eternal fellowship within Himself has brought us into that fellowship. 

Before God saved us unto an adoption in which we have Him as Father, He has from all eternity, in Himself, that from which all true fatherhood and sonship springs. The highest reason for the Christian to “greatly rejoice” that we are already receiving salvation is that it is this rejoicing which makes us to praise God. 

“to a living hope.” Jesus’s resurrection means that our hope is alive. His ascension into heaven, where He sits on the throne, means several other things about this hope. It is incorruptible; just as God is the incorruptible God because He is perfect and cannot change at all, let alone become less good, the incorruptibility of our hope means that it can never become less good. 

Our hope is undefiled; just as our High Priest is holy, harmless, and undefiled, so our hope is perfectly pure and holy. It is not a hope for satisfying the fleshly lusts, but for satisfying the holy desires of that new nature that we have by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. Every pure and right desire of this nature will be abundantly and eternally satisfied.

Our hope is unfading. It is not like the borrowed glory on Moses’s veiled face, which was fading away. It is a participation in the glory of Christ Himself; its intensity and brilliance can never wane or fade. We cannot see it now with eyes of flesh, so we must look upon it through the lens of passages like this, with eyes of faith. Behold your unfading hope!

“who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation.” By the end of 1 Peter 1:9, we find that believers are already receiving the end (goal) of our faith: the salvation of souls. It is this salvation which 1 Peter 1:5 tells us will also be revealed in the last time. We already have it, and we know wonderful things (1 Peter 1:4) about it, but we don’t see it yet. 

Well, there is actually something that helps us to see it more: “various trials.” They grieve us “now for a little while,” but they are also proving the genuineness of our faith. Because our hope is bound up in a resurrected, reigning Christ, the trials can’t destroy our faith but rather prove its imperishable nature. 

Suddenly, we see that for believers, trials are a mechanism by which God shows the true quality of our faith: much more precious than gold. Gold? Even fire does not destroy it but only purifies it, but in the end gold perishes. Faith in Jesus Christ? That’s forever. And when He appears, this will be found to His praise, honor, and glory.

“joy inexpressible and full of glory.” One of the marvelous things about the salvation to come is that faith already enjoys the great part of it: “Jesus Christ, Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice.” 

Loving Christ and rejoicing over Christ are the essence of faith. Loving Christ and rejoicing over Christ are the great part of our inheritance and our salvation. When trials come, they show us that they cannot separate us from Him Whom we most love, and over Whom we rejoice. If we are already rejoicing with joy inexpressible, what will it be like when we see Him Whom we love and over Whom we rejoice? The thought should ravish the already-inexpressible-rejoicing heart.

Blessed be God indeed!

Through what trials are you going? What are they showing about the quality of your faith?

Sample prayer: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, how glorious You are from all eternity! And yet You have given the Son for us, so that by Your Spirit, we might also know You as our Father in Christ. Forgive us for how often, in our trials, we focus on the trials themselves rather than what they are showing us about Yourself, our inheritance, and the faith that You have given us. Grant that we would so love Jesus, and so rejoice over Him, that even grievous trials would make Him and our faith more precious to us, which we ask in His Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP4 “Answer When I Call” or TPH486 “Rejoice, Believer, in the Lord”

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