Summary: The hope of the believer is settled in Christ our Lord. He is the theme of the Bible, and the Gospel is the central message of the ages.
Series: Saved, Settled, and Sanctified
The Hope of the Gospel
As we continue our study in regard to the benefits of salvation, the passage before us is actually a continuation of the previous verses. In fact, verses 3-12 deal with a central theme: the lively hope we have through salvation in Christ our Lord. It is impossible to fully grasp all that we receive in Christ through salvation, but I hope our study will provide comfort and assurance for those who belong to Christ. I am convinced the Lord desires each believer to be settled in their faith while growing in the faith and living abundantly for Him.
Some may consider these messages elementary, but they are focused on the great theme of the Bible: salvation. "It is contained in the history books, chorused in the poetic books, and contemplated in the prophetic books. It is crystallized in the Gospels, confessed in the Acts, clarified in the Epistles, and consummated in the Apocalypse.(i)" The message of the Gospel, resulting in salvation remains the greatest message ever told. It provides forgiveness of sin, reconciliation to God, and eternal life. Simply stated, there is no other message that bears the weight of the Gospel. It is a message of life, hope, assurance, and faith. While life brings many circumstances that are unpleasant and difficult to bear, the Gospel offers abundant hope in the midst of a troubled world.
Let’s take a few moments to examine the certainties revealed in our text as we consider: The Hope of the Gospel.
I. The Measure of Salvation (9) – Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Here Peter makes a profound statement which holds eternal truth. As we consider the salvation revealed in the Gospel, we discover:
A. The Approach (9a) – Receiving the end of your faith…Peter speaks of the end of their faith. He reminds all who hear these words of the importance of faith in salvation. It is impossible to receive apart from faith. One must embrace the finished work of Christ on the cross for the remission of sin by faith in order to be saved. It isn’t obtained through works of the flesh or endurance in adversity. It isn’t received through inheritance or purchased with money. Salvation is by faith in Christ alone.
It seems as if I have been led to preach passages that deal with this fundamental truth a lot lately, but it cannot be overemphasized. If you are depending on anything other than faith in the finished work of Christ to secure your salvation, you are depending on a false gospel. We must all come to the place where we realize our need for salvation and our inability to obtain that through any measure of human effort. We must confess our sin and need for a Savior while embracing the redemption Christ secured for us by faith. There is no other way of salvation and eternal life!
B. The Abundance (9) – Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Peter also deals with the abundance received through faith in Christ, the salvation of our souls. Faith in Christ is not of little value or consequence. Those who fully embrace the work of Christ, believing solely upon Him by faith for redemption, receive the greatest gift ever given: salvation of the soul. It cannot be overemphasized or expressed. If you possess nothing in this life but salvation in Christ, you have received abundance beyond measure! Most of what we obtain and possess in this life will wear out and decay, or be left for someone else to enjoy when we die. Salvation is eternal; it secures life beyond the grave and will guarantee entrance to heaven.
We find this abundance stands as the end of faith. That doesn’t mean that faith ceases when salvation is obtained. It speaks of our salvation being the culmination, the grand result of our faith. While we live here on earth, in Christ, faith remains, and we continually enjoy its benefit! I rejoice that faith doesn’t end in death and salvation provides eternal life in Christ.
C. The Assurance (9) – Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. We must notice an important word in this profound statement. Peter speaks of receiving the end of our faith. This has the idea of “receiving that which was promised.” We certainly didn’t work to earn our salvation and it was clearly undeserved, but we find assurance in its reception. Salvation was secured by Christ the Lord and promised to all who receive Him by faith. He is the source and security in our salvation. We have received it of Him and promised by Him that it will endure. My efforts didn’t earn it, and may effort won’t keep it. I believed by faith in the work of Christ for salvation and I continue to rest in His finished work. It is forever settled in heaven! I am eternally secure in Christ my Lord.