Summary: The first letter of Peter takes your breath away as he relates to the wonderful gift God has given us in His Son that we are children of God and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. Andersen relates how God in Christ gives us a totally new view on life.

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St Peter and Hans Christian Andersen

1 Peter 1:3-12

There are few passages in the NT where more of the great fundamental Christian ideas come together than in this passage of St Peter.

It begins with a doxology to God--but a doxology with a difference. For a Jew the commonest of all beginnings to prayer was, "Blessed art thou, O God."

The Christian takes over that prayer--but with a difference.

This prayer begins, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

We are not praying to a distant, unknown God; we are praying to the God who is like Jesus and to whom, through Jesus Christ, we may come with childlike confidence.

This passage begins with the idea of rebirth; the Christian is someone who has been reborn; begotten again by God to a new kind of life.

Whatever else this means, it means that, when we become a Christian, there comes into life a change so radical that the only thing that can be said is that life has begun all over again.

This idea of rebirth runs all through the NT and with rebirth comes inheritance, as children of God – inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Peter gives us 3 great pictures to describe this inheritance- It is imperishable.

A word that means a special kind of peace and joy, which no one can ravage and destroy.

It is undeniable, the Christian has a purity which the sin of the world cannot infect.

It is unfading, the Christian is lifted into a world where there is no change and decay and where peace and joy are untouched by the chances and the changes of this life.

What, then, is this wonderful inheritance which the reborn Christian possesses?

There may be many secondary answers to that question but there is only one primary answer--the inheritance of the Christian is God himself.

It is because the Christian possesses God and is possessed by God that makes the inheritance imperishable, undefilable and which can never fade away.

The inheritance of the Christian, is the full joy of God, waiting for them in heaven; and of that Peter has this to say.

That on our journey through this world to eternity we are protected by the power of God through faith.

The word which Peter uses for protect is a military word which implies that our life is garrisoned by God and that he stands sentinel over us all our days.

We who have faith never doubt, even when we cannot see him, God is standing within the shadows keeping watch upon his own.

It is not that God saves us from the troubles and the sorrows and the problems of life; but he enables us to conquer them and march on.

Hans Christian Anderson puts it like this:

Satan always takes great delight in creating confusion. To help him do this better, he once had a special kind of mirror made.

This mirror shrank the reflections of all the good and beautiful things in the world, and it enlarged all the bad and ugly things.

Satan took great pleasure in going round the earth, holding the mirror in front this of people's eyes, until there was not a single land, or a single person, who had not seen this distorted view of the world.

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