A living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
1 Peter 1:1-12 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
3 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, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
Today’s text says: 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, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” That we have eternal life through faith in Christ is the salvation that will be revealed in the last time. Our living hope, the inheritance that we receive now, is through our believing in the truth and the power of the resurrection, that Christ truly died for our sins and was raised bodily from the grave to live again. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly.” We have both eternal life with Christ and a “living hope” of an abundant life in Him.
In Matthew 6:33 Jesus says: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you.” If we want to know and experience the abundance of our inheritance in Christ, we must also seek to know His righteousness. Everything we need is ours in the kingdom of heaven. It is ours through the finished work of the cross and the resurrection. Also in Matthew 6:9-10, Jesus taught us to pray saying: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.’ In Hebrews 4:14-16 it says: Since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let’s hold firmly to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. In Christ, we have the ability to enter into the heavenly realm, where there is no sickness, disease or deformity, where there is no sorrow, need or lack. We can find and receive grace and mercy for whatever we need at the throne of grace. Because of the resurrection, we are not to leave those blessings only in the heavenly realm to be obtained later. We are to be those who are part of the answer and fulfillment of Jesus prayer. We are to bring the realities of heaven to earth. The abundant life that we have in Christ is to live in the kingdom of heaven here on earth.
There is one more thing we need to know and believe if we are going to know the fullness of the kingdom of heaven here on earth. In Matthew 11:22 (Amplified) Jesus says: “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize].” Surely, we are in a time when there is violence throughout the world and our society and culture. Surely the kingdom of heaven is suffering a violent assault. There are people and forces who want to completely eliminate God from society. If we want the precious prize that is ours, we need to violently seize it. We need to fight and contend for it. We need to remember though the exhortation of Romans 12:21: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Our violence is not to be directed at people, even those who are walking in and working for evil. Our violent contention is not on the earthly realm at all. Ephesians 6:10-17 says: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit. In John 16:33 Jesus says: “These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” We contend for our inheritance through Christ who has already obtained it; through prayer in His name.
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.