Lesson 2


The First Epistle of Peter

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became the father of us again to a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1:4 to an incorruptible and undefiled inheritance, and that doesn't fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 1:5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


Today's Lesson 

In the letter writing of the ancient world, it was traditional to give a blessing or prayer directly following the introduction. In the letters of Paul we most often find a prayer, but in 2 Corinthians and Ephesians there is a similar section that is a blessing and a praise to God the Father. Peter begins by blessing God who he describes as being the "Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." In Christianity, God is uniquely "the Father." One of the most startling revelations of Jesus of Nazareth was the revelation of God as "Father." God had been revealed as savior, as king and any other number of images in the Old Testament. He had even been regarded as the Father of the nation and of the People. But the God that Jesus revealed was a personal Father that cared for the individual lives of His children.

 

Peter tells his readers that because of His great mercy, God has given us a "living hope" by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. All the blessings that God offers us come to us because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Because Christ was raised from the dead, we are offered a "living hope." God's promise is sealed with the resurrection of Jesus. We can be sure of all that Jesus taught and all that His apostles revealed after His death because the death of Jesus was validated by His subsequent resurrection. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and lives an everlasting life; therefore we can be certain that faith in Him will lead us to the Father.

 

Through faith in Christ we are granted an inheritance. Peter tells those who are suffering persecution that their inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled because it is reserved in heaven for them. If our inheritance were gained or retained by our own efforts, then it could be lost and destroyed through chance or our own failures. But Peter tells them that they shouldn’t fear this. Their inheritance is not in this world. It cannot be corrupted or lost because it is reserved for them in heaven. Heaven is where God is and where Jesus Christ sits at His right hand. Peter tells these men and women that they can overcome persecutions and trials because their inheritance cannot be lost in these persecutions. It cannot even be lost in their death. It is reserved in heaven for them.

 

Not only is their inheritance protected for them in heaven, but in this life the people themselves are guarded by the power of God. God the Father is on their side. God guards them for a specific purpose. God is revealing a salvation to mankind in these last times that was not previously available. This salvation is through faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

 

Here is the theological core of all that Peter will say throughout this letter. It is the basic message of Christianity. Because of His mercy for us, God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. He seated Him in the heavens in a position of power and authority. By faith we can enter into salvation through His resurrection. Our inheritance is kept in heaven with Christ and is incorruptible because Christ is incorruptible. Because he will always live, our hope is a living hope. Because Christ cannot die, our hope need never die.

 

Do you believe that your inheritance is incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in heaven for you? Do you know the living hope that is found through faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead? Are you ready for the salvation that God will reveal in the last time?

 

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