Summary: The Living Christ is the source of our new birth & our living hope. If you have a living hope in the living Christ you can deal with your past failures & present difficulties because of your future blessings. God’s glorious best for you lies ahead.
1 PETER 1: 3-6 [Renewing Hope Series]
A LIVING HOPE
[ Mark 16:1-8 ]
The power with which Peter aims to equip these beleaguered saints is the power of hope. [If they, or we, are going to live and love like Jesus commands us, even in times of great stress and worry, then they, and we, must be filled with "living hope."] Peter’s letter has been called the gospel of hope. A great characteristic of the Christian life is that we live in hope. Christian hope sustains in the midst of difficulties, for hope is born out of full confidence, belief, and trust in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Living in the light and life of Jesus’ resurrection does not exempt us from life’s evils, ills and tribulations. Yet resurrection hope does diminish the debilitating power of distressing trials. We thus can not only endure, but live victoriously as we experience the life and joy of Christ which is a foretaste of glory divine.
The Living Christ is the source of our new birth and our living hope. If you have a living hope in the living Christ you can deal with your past failures and present difficulties because of your future blessings (CIT). God’s glorious best for you lies ahead. Anticipating what God has in store for us can release joy in our soul and put a smile on our face. Hope gives us confidence and lets us live with inner strength for we know that one day we will be radically different than we are now.
I’ve divided the message into three parts:
I. A LIVING HOPE (3).
II. A FUTURE HOPE (4).
III. A PRESENT HOPE (5-6).
Peter penned these words about 30 years after Christ’s death and resurrection. He was writing to encourage the persecuted Christians of Asia Minor. Peter addresses those who are feeling discouraged, displaced, depressed, or in danger, and tells them that they need to take hold of their living hope through the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1st, A LIVING HOPE.
Peter begins the main body of his letter in verse 3 with praise for the wonder of salvation. “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,”
God “has caused us to be born again to a living hope.” The “new birth” results in a living hope. This “living hope” is based on the living resurrected Christ (1 Peter 1:21). The Living Christ is the source of our new birth and of our living hope.
What is a living hope? What is the hope we now have, that only the resurrection of Jesus Christ can give us? A living hope is a hope that never dies. Isn’t that thought- a hope that never dies- a most blessed? This hope is like living waters flowing from a perennial spring which never runs dry. Such hope springs from the very fountain of God Himself. [See my -Dennis Davidson’s- sermon, A HOPE THAT NEVER DIES. SermonCentral.com]
The Christian’s hope in Christ is as certain and sure as the fact that Christ is alive! Here “living” means that the believer’s hope is sure, certain, and real, as opposed to the deceptive, empty, false hope the world offers. [Peter used the word “living” six times (1:3, 23; 2:4-5; 4:5-6).]
Christian believers have a living hope because Jesus is alive. Our hope is based on the solid evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. The Bible tells us that over 500 people witnessed the resurrected Christ, including the disciples, and Paul himself (1 Cor. 15: ). Seeing the resurrect Christ changed their lives.
Those who have been born again have a living hope through their new life in Christ. This constantly living hope is that death is not the end.
A man had A CHECKUP and then went in to see his doctor to get the results. The doctor said he better sit down – that he had bad news and worse news for him. Then the Doctor asked the man, “Which do you want to hear first?” The man was a bit puzzled and said he'd rather hear the bad news first. The doctor said, "The bad news is that you have only 24 hours to live." When he heard that, the man jumped up, totally shocked. He paced back and forth and said, "24 hours to live? I can't possibly get my affairs in order that quickly. I can't believe this! What could be possibly be worse news than this?" The doctor said, "The worse news is that I was supposed to tell you this yesterday, but I forgot."
Death is certain, but so is the Christian’s hope of eternal life. The Christian’s hope in Christ is as certain and sure as the fact that Christ is alive!