3 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, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
This extra post today is unique in that it is taken purely from my rough notes from Pastor Jacob Brothers’ sermon on the above scripture this morning in Glenrothes Baptist Church. I will not claim they are word for word what the pastor said, but they are my reflections as he spoke.
Often in life we are in a situation to be comforting/consoling others who are in the midst of hard times. This could be those who may being persecuted for their faith, it is this group that Peter is speaking to here. He doesn’t give them soft words but instead commands them to worship God in the midst of their trials! In the line “Blessed be the God and Father” the call is to not look at what is around us, but to look up into the face of God; to look at Christ rather than the wind and waves of the storm, or even in the prison as was the case for Paul and Silas. “Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.” Psalm 103:1
He has caused us to be born again. Our primary reference for many of us is the story of Nicodemus visit in the night to meet with Jesus in John 3. “for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23. Just as babies have nothing to do with their existence our regeneration (born again) is all the work of God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. it is the Holy Spirit that commits us, changing us, choden by Him! In God’s hands we are a new creation, washed, sanctified (2 Corinthians 5:17).
There are four reasons to praise God.
1. Born According to His Great Mercy. The wrath of God for sin was poured out on the cross of Calvary and our Saviour, rather than on us the sinners; that is Perfect Grace in action.
2. Born Into A Living Hope. This living hope is seen in the Resurrection of Christ, our Lord and Saviour – hope for a future. Great hope can be seen in Philippians 1, written in prison, read it and see the hope that Paul finds in his imprisonment! Let us find hope regardless of our circumstances in this world. Romans 5 – we rejoice in the hope of His glory. Romans 15:4,13 – our Father God is a God of Hope!
3. Born Again Into An Eternal Inheritance. We are born again, adopted through Christ our Saviour, into God’s family. The Greek word for adoption (huiothesia) means to “place as a son” and is used only by Paul in the New Testament. The inheritance of the born again believer is imperishable, lasting forever, and is in Heaven. The hope of this inheritance alters how we look at life and particularly our trials. Analogy: Jeremy Clarkson has a farm but is not dependent on the success of his farm, he has millions in other investments elsewhere. The everyday farmer is dependent on his farm’s success, for he has nothing else.
4. Born Guarded Until We Receive Our Salvation. God’s sovereign protection is over believers always; “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4. We are shielded by Him in this world until that day we leave this world (Psalm 3:3). “who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1Peter 1:5).