Summary: Hope is both a verb and a noun, something we do and something we have within our hearts. Hope is one of the many blessings God offers to all who will obey and follow Christ.

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A Living Hope

04/12/09 PM

Text: 1 Peter 1:3-5


The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines hope as “a desire with expectation of obtainment; to expect with confidence (Trust.)”

The word hope appears some 68 times in the New Testament and is in one of my favorite verses: Ephesians 1:18-19 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

Hope is both a verb and a noun, something we do and something we have within our hearts. Hope is one of the many blessings God offers to all who will obey and follow Christ as is described in 1 Peter 1:3-5. There we learn that God has caused us to be born again to “a living hope.”

A “living” hope can be a source of great joy in the lives of Christians; it certainly was to the original recipients of Peter's epistle: 1 Peter 1:6a “In this (the living hope) you greatly rejoice…”

An understanding of this “living” hope can help us today to be more joyful as we sojourn in this life. And so we will examine what Peter says about our hope in Christ that makes it a “living” hope

[Verse 3 begins with Peter praising God, and this leads us to the first reason our hope is a “living” hope...]

I. By Our Merciful God!

A.The basis for our hope lies not in our own perfection or righteousness…

1.It is a good thing that it does not, Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

2.1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

B.The basis of our hope lies in the abundance of God’s mercy…

1.Mercy given while we were yet sinners - Romans 5:6,8

2.Mercy accessible as we repent of and confess our sins.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

3.Mercy attainable through faith and obedience. Read Acts 2:37-39

[By God's abundant mercy we who are sinners have a “living” hope! But there is another reason for our “living” hope...]

II. Because Jesus Is Alive!

A.The resurrection of Jesus is crucial to our hope:

Read 1 Corinthians 15:14-19

1.If Christ is not risen, our faith is vain!

2.If Christ is not risen, we are still held guilty for our sins!

3.If Christ is not risen, those who died as Christians are lost!

4.If Christ is not risen, then we do not have a “living” hope and should be pitied!

B.But we know Jesus has been raised and we have reasons to believe!

1.We have eye witnesses. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-11

2.We have the proof of a world transformed by his being.

C.And by His resurrection, we are “born again” to a living hope!

1.As it is true then everything Jesus said about our hope is true: John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die…”

b. Since Jesus rose from the dead, we have a firm hope that we too will one day rise from the dead.

Read 1 Corinthians 15:20-23

[By the abundant mercy of God and the resurrection of Jesus we have “born again” to a living hope! But Peter provides more reasons in verses 4-5 as to why our hope is “living”. One is...]

III. The Nature of Our Inheritance!

A.The life of our hope is directly related to the inheritance we have...

1.If our inheritance is good, our hope is strong, or “living.”

2.If our inheritance is poor, our hope is weak, or “dying.”

B.As described by peter, our inheritance...


a.The Greek word is aphthartos {af'-thar-tos}, meaning “not liable to corruption or decay, imperishable”

b.Unlike the works of this present earth which will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10


a.The Greek word is amiantos {am-ee'-an-tos}, meaning “not defiled, unsoiled”

b.Our hope pertains to New Jerusalem “and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27


a.The Greek word is amarantos {am-ar'-an-tos}, meaning “unfading, perennial”

b.The word is a variation of “amaranth” which was the name of a mythical Greek flower whose bloom was perpetual and whose loveliness never faded

c.Such is our heavenly reward: it will not rust, fade, or wither like so many things do here on earth

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