Thursday, April 20, 2017

1 Peter 1:3-9 Born Again for a Future Hope

KEY TEXT: 1 Peter 1:3-5 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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

KEY THOT: Peter describes believers as being "born again into a living hope" (v.3). While our salvation starts at some point in the past when we were "born again" (regenerated), we are born again to possess a future hope. Instead of looking back to the moment of our spiritual rebirth, Peter calls us to look forward into the future hope of "an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you" (v.4). While we may mark our starting point of our walk with God differently at some point in the past (usually baptism), we should not be focusing on how or when we started this journey but rather on where we are going. By associating our "born again" experience with our "living hope", Peter is telling us believers that we are now to take our spiritual bearing from the future rather than from the past. We are called to be future-oriented people who is open to change and transformation, not become stuck in our past ways and traditions.

Having been initiated into Kingdom life at our regeneration through the gift of the Spirit, we are now to exercise this living hope as a people "who are guarded by God's power through faith" so that we may focus our life on the "salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (v.4).  Such is our hope and our goal--not arguing about how or when we got our salvation but looking forward to how we are going to receive our full inheritance and salvation at Christ's coming. As our hope is strengthened by faith, our appropriation of God's salvation increases in our personal and corporate life, resulting in increasing manifestation of God's gifts and graces.

A church that is constantly looking back breeds spiritual complacency and stagnancy. But a church that is looking forward with a living hope will result in spiritual growth, filled to the the fullness of God in the Spirit, experiencing kingdom life in increasing measure. And such a church is attractive to non-believers seeking for authentic and abundant life.

Father God, thank You that You have giving us a living hope to help us become future-oriented people that is focused on our inheritance and salvation at Your coming. Amen.

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