Summary: Biblical hope is a sure thing, not a maybe thing.
In his book, "Come Thirsty (pages 47-48)," Max Lucado tells a story of a little Haitian Orphan by the name of Carinette. He says that she lived in a different world, a world called, “home-to-be.”
"See the slender girl wearing the pink shirt? The girl with the long nose and bushy hair and a handful of photos. Ask to see them; Carinette will let you. Fail to ask; she'll show you anyway. The photos bear the images of her future family. She's been adopted.
Her adoptive parents are friends of mine. They brought her pictures, a teddy bear, granola bars, and cookies. Carinette shared the goodies and asked the director to guard her bear, but she keeps the pictures. They remind her of her home-to-be. Within a month, two at the most, she'll be there. She knows the day is coming. Every opening of the gate jumps her heart. Any day now her father will appear. He promised he'd be back. He came once to claim her. He'll come again to carry her home.
Till then she lives with a heart headed home.
Shouldn't we all? Carinette's situation mirrors ours. Our Father paid us a visit too. Have we not been claimed? Adopted? 'So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God's very own children, adopted into his family - calling him 'Father, dear Father' (Romans 8:15).'"
Max’s story of Carinette is a great illustration of a Christian’s hope. Carinette is an orphan who has already been adopted, but she has not yet been picked up by her new daddy. But, since she knows that she is going to be picked up soon, she lives with a joyous hope of what is going to happen any day now!
Christians live every day in world much different from the rest of those living around them who haven’t been adopted by God yet. Carinette called her different world, “home-to-be,” because she knew she was going there soon.
Like Carinette, this world is not our home! We’re foreigners here (“… elect exiles (verse 1)”); orphans that have been adopted, we just haven’t been picked up yet.
In the meantime... Our Father has given us a Teddy Bear (His Holy Spirit) to comfort us and keep us company and to be a constant reminder of His love for us and that He is coming soon to pick us up. “Till then we’re to live with our hearts headed home.”
That’s what Peter’s talking about in our passage. In verse 3 he says that we’ve been adopted (those who’ve received Jesus)!
It’s just that we’re still living in the orphanage – this world, which is not our home! The Bible tells in John 3:16 that God came looking to adopt all the orphans in the orphanage - “For God so loved the world that whosoever…” and those who accept His offer become His adopted children. Like Carinette, no-one earns this. God just wants us as in his family!
A. This Hope is for CHRISTIANS Only! “In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope ...” Verse 3
(1) I love how Paul makes this point in Ephesians 1:1-14 when seeking to encourage them to stay strong in their faith, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
We are the King’s property! We became God’s precious and protected possession until He comes to pick us up!
(2) God didn’t have to adopt us any more than anyone has to adopt anybody. He didn’t birth us into sin, so He has no responsibility of delivering us from sin. But, because of His great love and mercy He acted to save us from our sins. Romans 5:8, ”God demonstrates His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!”
Like the good Samaritan, God didn’t just walk by us in our pitiful condition and wish us luck. He stopped, cleaned us up; provided for our needs, then went even further and adopted us into His family.
When I was in Seminary I visited Henry, who was on Death Row awaiting his execution. When I entered the visitation room Henry was already sitting there. He looked up and asked me if I was a Christian. I said, "Yes. Are you? He said, "No." I then said, "Would you like to be?" He said that he would and we spent the rest of our time together sharing the Gospel of Jesus. At the end Henry received Jesus as his personal Savior. He was sill on our Death Row, but was no longer on God's because he'd been adopted. One day he'll be going to his "home-to-be." Do you know for sure you’ve been adopted?