Summary: We all struggle with doubt, but we don't have to allow our doubts and fears to dictate our spiritual lives. Our hope in Christ exceeds any doubt we may have.
Series: Saved, Settled, and Sanctified
Hope that Exceeds our Doubt
1 Peter 1: 3-8
At this point in the history of the church, she was growing exponentially. The Gospel was being shared and many were coming to saving faith in Christ. Such rapid growth had gotten the attention of the authorities and devout Jews. The rapid growth had not dispelled opposition and persecution, rather it had caused an increase. Those in positions of influence were concerned with this new movement, and the majority sought every means possible to defeat it.
Physically, militarily, and financially, Peter had nothing to offer the church. He couldn’t promise the church any external resources in their struggle for religious liberty. Although the church was experiencing amazing growth, they remained a minority among society. He had nothing external to offer, but Peter was convinced the believer possessed something within that would carry them through whatever adversity they faced. After his greeting, Peter immediately reminded the churches of the hope they had in the Lord. In the face of increasing opposition, their hope remained and it would provide all they needed to endure. They just needed to be reminded of the hope they had in Christ, keeping it always before them.
Our situation is much different, and yet it is much the same. We are facing increased pressure to conform to society and abandon our faith. Our modern society isn’t interested in a biblical worldview, living according to biblical standards, and would rather the voice of the believer be silenced. Numerically it may appear that the church is in decline, but we too must maintain faith and hope in the Lord. These will sustain us as we deal with increased opposition. I want to examine the principles Peter shares as we consider: Hope that Exceeds our Doubt.
I. The Hope of the Believer (3-5) – When all else appeared to be gone, Peter reminds us that hope is not lost. Every believer enjoys a lively hope in Christ. Consider:
A. The Source of our Hope (3) – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…Peter reminds them they are never alone in the journey. They were not born of corruptible seed, but of the Lord through the righteousness in Christ. God had graciously provided for their redemption through the sacrifice of the Son. He loved them enough to allow His only begotten Son to die in their place. Such love was not to be marginalized or forgotten. They were loved and kept of the eternal, omnipotent Lord. He knew where they were in the journey and He was more than able to provide all they needed to endure. Their hope wasn’t in the abilities or policies of men, but in Christ Jesus their Savior and Lord. The Romans may threaten, and even martyr some, but even in death, hope remained!
We would do well to remember the source of our hope. We serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Our hope is not in those around us, the policies and legislation of government, or the resources obtained through Wall Street. When it appears all hope has been removed, remember the source of our hope. It wasn’t given by earthly means and nothing we face in this life can remove or diminish our hope! Eph.3:20 – Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
B. The Significance of our Hope (3b) – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Their hope wasn’t temporal or fickle. It was lasting, enduring, and eternal. Every believer had experienced the abundant mercies of God, being born again in Christ, risen in the lively hope He provides of eternal life. Christ had faced death at the hands of the Romans. He gave His life on Calvary for the sin of the world. They placed His lifeless body in the tomb and rolled the stone in front of the entrance. For His followers it appeared hope was buried in the grave, but three days later Life came forth triumphant! Christ had faced death and He had conquered it along with the grave. Their hope wasn’t in one who had been, but in a risen Lord who provides eternal life for all who come to Him by faith!
What comfort and joy that brings to my heart. We have no way of knowing what we be asked to endure before this life is through, but I know this life is temporal. It serves as a time of preparation for the life to come. Death is certain for each of us if the Lord doesn’t return for His church in the near future. It is possible that some of us may even be called to give our lives for our faith. Regardless of the cause of death, I know I am secure in Christ my Lord. He came forth triumphant over death, and through Him I have the assurance of eternal life. When I lay aside this body of flesh, whenever that may be, I will enter the glorious presence of my Lord and Savior. Death is not final for the church. We have the promise of life in Christ! He will come again, calling for His church. When He does, the dead in Christ will rise first, then those who are alive and remain, will be caught up together with Him, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be! Titus 2:13 – Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Rom.8:11 – But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.