Summary: 1) The Source of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:3), 2) The Surety of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:4), and 3) The Salvation of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:5)
On Thursday, Dr. R.C. Sproul, one of this generations greatest theologians and teachers, went home to be with the Lord around 3 p.m. surrounded by his wife, Vesta, and family in his hospital room in Altamonte Springs, Fla. The audio that was scheduled months ago to be aired a few hours later was entitled “The Believer’s Final Rest”. In the original introduction to that teaching, there is an explanation of one of the hymns that Dr. Sproul wrote, entitled “Highland Hymn”. The next to last verse reads: “We know not yet what we will be, in Heavens final blessed state. But know we know that we shall see our Lord at Heaven’s gate” As that broadcast was being aided, Dr. Sproul was seeing that very one for whom he lived, and pointed to. Although this is a time of unparalleled peace and joy that Dr. Sproul is experiencing, for his family and those who remain, it is a time of grief and sorrow. Their comfort is from the one who Dr. Sproul is now in the presence of and The Blessed Hope of being reunited one day with him before Christ’s presence. (http://renewingyourmind.org/)
In 2017 we come to Advent after a year filled with natural disasters, mass shootings, and a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations. It can be particularly challenging to be hopeful when faced with difficulty. When difficulties occur, we face obvious questions: How can we find hope when: We are tempted, when family is threatened, when life seems unfair, or when all hope seems to be lost Advent teaches us a prophetic posture: to simultaneously see what is broken and hope for what is being made new. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2017/december-web-exclusives/feeling-ugh-at-christmas.html?utm_source=leadership-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=22762429&utm_content=553655379&utm_campaign=email)
For the Christians to whom the Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter, they had lost hope. They were facing great persecution from the Roman government and were fleeing for their lives. They were dispossessed from their homes and seeking hope. Peter knows that the source of hope in the midst of difficulty is to focus on the person of God and the assurance of being secure in Him. Therefore, he follows the introduction of his first letter with a sweeping doxology regarding the wonder of salvation. The passage is a hymn of worship designed to encourage Christians living in a hostile world to look past their temporal troubles and rejoice in their eternal inheritance.
In 1 Peter 1:3-5, the Apostle Peter comforts those who face difficulty by explaining the nature of our Blessed Hope. In that, he shows 1) The Source of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:3), 2) The Surety of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:4), and 3) The Salvation of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:5)
We can be comforted even in the midst of difficult because of:
1) The Source of our Blessed Hope (1 Peter 1:3)
1 Peter 1:3 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (ESV)
Peter, … starts with a doxology A doxology is a hymn of praise. The word comes from the Greek doxa, which refers to glory that is ascribed to God, because it belongs eternally and intrinsically to Him. The concept of glory in the Bible refers to the weightiness of God, the depth of His character… Singing praise to God is a central significance of worship; the primary dimension of godly worship is not the offering of our money, time, or body but the sacrifice of praise. Doxology is at the very heart of true worship, and this is how Peter begins (Sproul, R. C. (2011). 1-2 Peter (p. 26). Wheaton, IL: Crossway.).
Peter assumes it is necessary for believers to bless God. The intention is so implicit that the Greek text omits the word be, which the translators added. (In the original, the sentence literally begins, “Blessed the God,” which conveys Peter’s expectation that his audience “bless God” as the source of all spiritual inheritance.) The apostle adores God and implores others to do the same. The word blessed (Gr eulogeios) is the word from which we get “eulogy,” and means “to be well spoken of” or “to be praised.” Peter is expressing a desire that God should be praised by all believers everywhere ( Hindson, E. E., & Kroll, W. M. (Eds.). (1994). KJV Bible Commentary (p. 2601). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.).
Peter further calls Him the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a phrase that identified God in a distinctly Christian way. Historically the Jews had blessed God as their creator and redeemer from Egypt. His creation emphasized His sovereign power at work and His redemption of Israel from Egypt His saving power at work. But those who became Christians were to bless God as the Father of their Lord Jesus Christ.