Summary: Hope In Christ Not Your Circumstances1 Peter sermon one!

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Hope In Christ Not Your Circumstances

(1 Peter 1:3-13)

Key Center:

1:13, “13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled, set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Hope in Christ for New Birth (1:3-4)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade--kept in heaven for you,

Exegesis: The contemplation of God's grace caused Peter to praise God, the Author of salvation and the Source of hope. The words Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ are identical in 2 Corinthians 1:3. Peter says in His great mercy mankind has received new birth in to a hope that will last forever and will never fade into to corruption of this world. Peter was saying God had deep sympathetic, compassionate and charitable feelings towards the miserably and afflicted humanity, joined with a desire to relieve them, which moved God to help the weak, the sick, and poor. He withheld the inflicting righteous punishment upon all mankind. He actively gave mankind unmerited favor in disposition which manifested the clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ: Lk. 1:54; Rom. 15:9; Eph. 2:4; Tit. 3:5; Heb. 14:16; 1 Pet. 1:3). The phrase in His great mercy refers to God's unmerited favor toward sinners in their hopeless condition. He has given us new birth; people can do nothing to merit such a gift. The words “has given . . . new birth” translate better from the verb “beget again” or “cause to be born again.” It is used only twice in the New Testament, both times in this chapter (1 Peter 1:3, 23). Peter may have been recalling Jesus' interview with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). The “new birth” results in a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The “living hope” is based on the living resurrected Christ (1 Peter 1:21). The Christian's assurance in Christ is as certain and sure as the fact that Christ is alive! Peter used the word “living” six times (1:3, 23; 2:4-5; 4:5-6). Here “living” means that the believer's hope is sure, certain, and real, as opposed to the deceptive, empty, false hope the world offers. The sure hope is of a future inheritance. This same word is used in the Septuagint to refer to Israel's promised possession of the land (Num. 26:54, 56; 34:2; Josh. 11:23); it was her possession, granted to her as a gift from God. A Christian's inheritance cannot be destroyed by hostile forces, and it will not spoil like over ripened fruit or fade in color. Peter used three words, each beginning with the same letter and ending with the same syllable, to describe in a cumulative fashion this inheritance's permanence: can never perish (aphtharton), spoil (amianton), or fade (amaranton). This inheritance is as indestructible as God's Word (1 Peter 1:23, where Peter again used aphtharton). Each Christian's inheritance of eternal life is kept in heaven or kept watch on by God so its ultimate possession is secure (cf. Gal. 5:5).

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