Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 Peter 1:3-5

The apostle Peter begins this wonderful epistle with an outburst of praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He acknowledges that what God has provided through the Lord Jesus is totally undeserved, an act of God’s great mercy. Unfortunately, this is a truth many people fail to understand because they are convinced they are basically good people who happen to slip up from time to time. But the Bible teaches that we are all by nature sinners in rebellion against God. Long before Jesus was born, Isaiah wrote, “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned, every one, to his own way,” (Isaiah 53:6). Not only that, “your iniquities have separated you from God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear,” (Isaiah 59:2). Yet in His abundant mercy, God has made a way for sinners to be reconciled to Himself.

This reconciliation is through the new birth, as Jesus taught (John 3:3-7). “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope,” (1 Peter 1:3, ESV). Clearly, God is the active agent in this work of new birth, because just as we could never bring about our own natural birth, so we cannot bring about our spiritual rebirth. As we have seen, those who believe in His name are born again “not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:11-13).

This living hope is based on the fact that Jesus has risen from the dead, proving that He is who He claimed to be and that He has the power to give life to whomever He wills (John 5:21). As always in Scripture, this hope is certain, a confident expectation based on the character and promises of God. And He has promised an inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade” (1 Peter 1:4, NIV). Isn’t that marvellous? No crash in the stock market will wipe out this inheritance; it can’t be stolen; and it won’t wear out or go past its sell-by date. It is reserved in heaven by God’s limitless power for all who have experienced new birth through faith in the risen Lord Jesus.


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