Summary: Hope, Trials, Trust, Inheritance
ONE CHURCH - One Hope
1 Peter 1:1-9 (p. 850) July 3, 2016
Satan is the god of “immediate gratification” and “the quick fix.”
Here’s what I mean by that…“Suppose you’re having a rocky time in your marriage…You begin to think, “I’m not sure I love him or her anymore…and a co-worker or the opposite sex begins to commiserate with you…They listen, and all of a sudden you meet for coffee, privately…“After all, it’s just coffee.” But you recognize feelings of attraction…feelings you’ve missed…and you choose to act on them.
Instead of doing the hard work of making your marriage what you “hoped” it could be…you choose “the immediate gratification” of a new relationship…you choose the “quick fix.”
Maybe an even better example of “immediate gratification” is when we go deeply into debt to buy something we want or can’t afford…We buy things we can’t afford, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like…our house owns us instead of us owning it…our new car makes us feel good when we drive it, but the crushing payment steals the joy.
Why would we do stuff like this? Because we aren’t willing to “wait.” We believe that this new relationship…or new possession will fix the dissatisfaction and pain we feel right now.
It’s not a new scheme…but it’s Satan’s most affective one, and it’s what he used to cause our spiritual grandparents, Adam and Eve, to sin.
GENESIS 3:1-6 (p. 2)
“Did God really say “You must not eat from any tree in the garden.” Doubt is planted…the focus is directed at what is not available…not what is…was it successful…Eve replies.
“We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say Don’t eat fruit from one tree, in the middle of the garden…and you must not touch it, or you will die.”
I’m not sure if God said you can’t touch this tree, but the Liar and Deceiver has started the thought process…“God is withholding from me this thing…and I want it.”
The Serpent lies… “You won’t die…God knows that this will make you like Him if you eat it…you’ll have your eyes opened…you’ll know the difference between good and evil.”
It looked good…it was tasty…so she ate, and so did Adam who was with her. “Immediate gratification” and “the quick fix.” Satan’s not a one trick pony, but this is his first trick and his most successful trick.
Hope is defined as “The anticipation and expectation of something to happen.” “Faith is the choice to wait for it to happen.”
For God’s children, faith and hope walk down the same road holding hands…This is the encouragement Peter expresses:
I. WE ARE TO BE GOD’S ELECT IN EXILE
Peter’s first letter is written to believers scattered throughout the world because of their faith…Many who are scattered because of severe persecution…men and women who have been called by the Holy Spirit to surrender their lives to Jesus…and they answered that call.
God’s plan…one He had before creation, was to save us through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood. The elect are those who experienced the Spirit’s conviction for sin…and chose the sacrifice of Christ as the answer.
But the hard truth for those who become the elect is: “We still live in a world of sin…temporarily under the control of Satan…the god of this world.”
Our place as God’s people is with God…our home. And our hope is that “we have a place prepared for us, Jesus opened a way for us to be with Him in our Father’s house…He promised to come back for us so that we also may be where He is.”
That’s our hope…an anticipation and expectation to be with Jesus, and our Father…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade…an inheritance kept in heaven for God’s elect.
But what does this hope do to help us while still in exile? Well, God’s Word reveals two ways:
II. IT HELPS US DEAL WITH DEATH AND SHIELDS US DURING DIFFICULTIES
No one likes to talk about death…we’d rather ignore it…we’d rather have distractions that keep its apparition on the peripheral of our everyday lives…But scripture describes it as… “The last enemy to be destroyed.” (1 Cor. 15:26)
Peter praises God the Father of our Lord Jesus because in His great mercy He has given us “new birth” into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Without the resurrection there is no living hope. Jesus paid for our sin, all sin, with His sacrificial death on the cross…but the resurrection proves His authority over death…He conquered the greatest and last enemy…and God’s Word says, “The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you…He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.” (Rom. 8:11)