Summary: Peter reminds a suffering Church what’s so special about their "living hope."
What’s So Great About It?
Text: 1 Peter 1:3-12
Illustration: Farmer who was so fed up with His farm he wanted to sell it, but when he listed all the features of it with the realtor he realized he had all that he wanted
Peter writes this letter to a church in the midst of suffering. To a church suffering because of their faith in Jesus. To a people who might be on the verge of selling the farm. And here in the opening lines of His letter he wishes to give them some encouragement--a gentle reminder that
Proposition: No matter what you might be facing in your life today If you have received the gift of Salvation you are unbelievably fortunate--You Have "a Living Hope".
Interrogative: What exactly is it that makes our New Life in Jesus so special?.
Transition: I would like to undescore from our text today four features of our Salvation that remind us "What’s so Great About it. The first is that:
1. The Promise is Perpetual
3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
You see God’s Promises to us who have received His wonderful salvation to us are not just a temporary thing they are ongoing, His Promise is Perpetual first of all because He has given us...
a. The Promise of Eternity
v. 4 …into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you…
If you have put your trust in Jesus for salvation you have the promise of eternity, a permanent inheritance kept in heaven where you will be a joint heir with Jesus forever.
No matter what your life on earth is like, no matter what is spoiled, no matter how your dreams seem to have faded. Your inheritence in heaven is good as new because Our living hope is an eternal promise.
ILLUSTRATION: People buying Gold in preparation for Y2K
Our inheritance in heaven is genuinely eternal, nothing on this earth can touch or affect it. No matter what passes away on this earth, It will never Pass Away
And there is another aspect to our Perpetual Promise
b. The Promise of Protection
v. 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
Remember this letter is being written to a people who know oppression, who know genuine sorrow and pain, Peter’s Spirit inspired promise to them is that they are sheilded from all that the world can throw at them by God’s power. Ultimately, no matter what happens we know that God has us in the palm of His hand and nothing happens to us that takes our loving father by surprise.
And this promise of Protection is also a part of God’s Perpetual Promise--It is a two part promise God has a place reserved for you in heaven and until you join him ther to partake of your eternal inheritance He is watching over you and sheiding you from the enemy of your soul.
The second thing that make our salvation special is that...
2. Our Problems are Passing
Wheras God’s promises to us are Permanent, the trials of this life are temporary...
6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
There is in fact a two part truth here the first is that..
a. Our Trials are Temporary
v. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
Peter says that while we are waiting to receive that eternal inheritence we can rejoice in our living hope in spite of the fact that right now life may not be so grand..in fact you may be suffering in all kinds of trials, trials of faith, trials of persecution, physical trials but these only last a little while. We are looking forward to eternity.
ILLUSTRATION: As a chaplain for basic trainees I often had conversations with them about long term goals and short term problems. Often in the midst of the trials of training they lost sight of the goals that had brought them to the army in the first place and we’re ready to throw all their hopes away just to escape the passing problems.