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Summary: A message of encouragement to remind us that salvation through Christ provides us with a living hope for today as well as for our future.

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CHRISTIANITY IS A RELIGION OF RESURRECTION. IN FACT, IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THE MOST SIGNIFICANT WORD OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS "RESURRECTION."

PAUL SAID IN 1 CORINTHIANS 15:14, "IF CHRIST BE NOT RISEN, THEN IS OUR PREACHING VAIN." WITHOUT THE RESURRECTION, THE VOICE OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN HEARD.

THE RESURRECTION IS A LIVING GOSPEL, A LIVING TRUTH, AND A LIVING REALITY. WE MUST BE CAREFUL, THEN, NOT TO ACT LIKE THE RESURRECTION IS AN EPILOGUE TO THE GOSPEL OR AN ADDENDUM TO THE SCHEME OF SALVATION.

THE RESURRECTION IS NOT AN APPENDIX TO OUR FAITH! THE RESURRECTION IS "THE" FAITH. JESUS IS RISEN INDEED! BECAUSE OF JESUS’ RESURRECTION SALVATION IS POSSIBLE. THIS IS WHY THERE IS A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION AND A NEED TO BE IN A STATE OF THANKSGIVING.

PETER THOUGHT SO! IN OUR SCRIPTURE PASSAGE TODAY, PETER LAUNCHES INTO PRAISE FOR GOD FOR PLANNING SO SPLENDID A SALVATION. HE PRAISES GOD AS THE FATHER OF HIS UNIQUE SON, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND AS THE ONE WHO RAISED THIS JESUS FROM THE DEAD.

AS A CHRISTIAN, PETER NOW BLESSES GOD FOR THE "NEW" CREATION, OR AS HE CALLS IT, "THE NEW BIRTH." HE ALSO EXPRESSES HIS GRATITUDE FOR GOD’S GRACIOUS AND DIVINE PROVISION FOR THE "INHERITANCE" OF HIS ETERNAL KINGDOM IN HEAVEN WHICH IS SAFE BEYOND THE SLAVERY OF SIN AND ITS DESTRUCTIVE FORCES AGAINST HUMANITY.

THIS "NEW BIRTH" OF REGENERATION CANNOT BE ACQUIRED BY HUMAN EFFORT OR TOIL. THIS NEW BIRTH THAT GIVES US A "LIVING HOPE" IS THE GRACIOUS GIFT OF GOD AND IS BESTOWED UPON US SOLELY ON THE ACCOUNT OF GOD’S GREAT MERCY.

THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO TO SAY THAT WE "DESERVE IT" NOR IS THERE ENOUGH CHARITABLE CAUSES TO DONATE OUR MONEY TO BE ABLE TO SAY THAT WE’VE EARNED IT. THE NEW BIRTH COMES TO US ONLY THROUGH THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD.

THE NEW BIRTH OF SALVATION IS THE DIRECT RESULT OF JESUS CHRIST COMING OUT OF THE GRAVE IN TOTAL TRIUMPH OVER THE WORST THAT THE POWERS OF EVIL CAN ACHIEVE; NAMELY, DEATH ITSELF!

HEAR THE GOOD NEWS TODAY! SALVATION IS ALL COMPLETELY FROM GOD WHO LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU’LL EVER BE ABLE TO COMPREHEND! WE CAN HAVE FREEDOM, POWER AND JOY AND THE SUREST OF CONFIDENCE BECAUSE OF WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US IN CHRIST JESUS.

JESUS HAS MADE SALVATION POSSIBLE FOR SINNERS SUCH AS YOU AND ME! SALVATION IS WHAT GIVES US OUR HOPE HERE IN THE "NOW" AS WELL AS IN THE FUTURE OF GOD’S ETERNAL KINGDOM. IT IS A "HOPE" THAT IS NOT "JUST" FOR THE FUTURE, BUT ONE THAT IS ALIVE AND LIVING "NOW."

THE REASON OUR HOPE IS LIVING "NOW" IS DUE TO THE FACT THAT ETERNAL LIFE BEGAN FOR US WHEN WE ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST AS OUR LORD AND PERSONAL SAVIOR. IT DOESN’T SIT "DORMANT" WAITING TO "ACTIVATE" AND START THE MOMENT OF OUR DEATH. THIS HOPE BEGINS THE INSTANT CHRIST COMES INTO OUR LIVES.

WHEN WE ACCEPT JESUS CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR WE ARE REBORN INTO THIS LIVING HOPE. THE "HOPE" REFERS TO OUR CONFIDENT EXPECTATION OF LIFE TO COME IN HEAVEN. IT IS REALIZING THAT THE SAME POWER THAT RAISED JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD WILL BE THE SAME POWER FOR OUR OWN RESURRECTION.


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