Summary: Foreigners in a Foreign Land God's Great Mercy and Our Great Salvation, part 2
Foreigners in a Foreign Land
God's Great Mercy and Our Great Salvation, part 2
We are in our third week of a new series “Foreigners in a Foreign Land,” from 1 Peter. We will look at what Peter says about our identity, our salvation, dealing with suffering, and walking out the life of Christ.
Big idea – Meaningful worship flows from understanding the depth of God's great mercy toward us who believe.
This passage is very practical. As you think deeply about God, your affections for God will beocme inflamed to give you strength to deal with difficult times. How do you get comfort in life? 6-7, 2:12. This first section, 1-12, is all about God and the nature of our salvation beign the work of God not our work. If we ignore thinking about God and I am just practical then it will only be self help. You can get that form Anthony Robbins, Wayen Dyer, or Joel Olsteen.
Great Mercy Leads to Great Exaltation
Peter starts out with 'blessed be God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' He continues to hammer out our identity is found in God, God is our Father. The love the Father has for Jesus is the same love he has for us. The immeasurable love that flows between the Father and the Son, the joy and delight they have in each other, is the same love he has directed toward you in particular by choosing you before the foundation of the world to be foreigners in a foreign land. When you understand and can rest in that love you will worship wholeheartedly. Peter worshiped as he thought and wrote about God's great mercy, 'according to his great mercy he has caused us to be born again to a living hope, an inheritance, and keeps us secure by his power. God's mercy is so great because it is so utterly and absolutely necessary for us. So deep and pervasive is our blindness and bondage to sin we see ourselves as free (Eph 2:1-5). He has caused us to be born again - that is something God does, not us. He is not talking about making us spiritual, moral, good people. He is talking about making dead people alive – because of his great mercy, he caused us to be born again.
Great Mercy Leads to Our Salvation
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to born again. This is the new birth, what theologians call regeneration. We see this pictured in John 3, “Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (Joh 3:3-8) “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (Jn 1:11-13). New birth is so radical, it demands to be the work of God. New birth is the removal of a heart of stone and giving us a new heart; removing our old nature and giving us a new nature with new eyes to see, new affections with new desires to obey. We need a supernatual power to make us alive because we are so dead in our sins.
We are born again to a living hope. It is living because it is supernatural. Hope in the bible is much different than how we use hope. Biblical hope is a certainty in the life to come; the next life. The New Testament makes it clear that this life is not the source of our hope, but the next life – in the near term heaven but ultimately the new earth (2P 3:13). So much of our pain and sorrow is because we put so much hope in this life and it was never meant to be our source of hope. What is your hope in? This hope is through the resurrection of the dead. Only reason we have a living hope is because we have a living Savior.