Monday 09 November 2015

Bible Book:
1 Peter

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (v. 3)

1 Peter 1:3-9 Monday 9 November 2015

Psalm: Psalm 119:145-160


This letter was most probably written by the apostle Peter andis addressed to the churches in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asiaand Bithynia, all of which were regions of modern day Turkey.

Peter speaks of a "living hope" in verse 3 and it is worththinking about what makes a hope 'living'. If a Tottenham Hotspurfan were asked if her team were going to win the league this yearshe would probably reply 'I hope so'. But even though she hopedthis would happen, she probably did not expect it. Another fan(Manchester United for example) might have a more realistic hopebut even this is not certain. Neither of these hopes is a "livinghope" because neither is certain.

But when Peter speaks of a living hope, he is speaking of theresurrection life in which we can all participate. Peter is notdescribing the natural life of our human bodies but theresurrection hope we have in Jesus Christ that we will be raisedfrom the dead. This hope is "kept in heaven" (v. 4) but will also be revealed at the end of time and symbolised by the idea ofthe new birth (verse 3).

Because of this, when we suffer the trials and tribulations ofthis life we do not lose hope. Even when a loved one dies, we donot lose hope because we have this promise of eternal life;described by Peter as an 'imperishable inheritance' in verse 4.

In verse 8 Peter recognises that the recipients of his letterwould not have seen the Risen Christ although we know that Peterdid. But this does not matter. The important thing is that thishope is accessed by faith in Jesus Christ. Their love for Christ isnot based on seeing him but because they believe in him andconsequently have an indescribable joy in the midst of thechallenges of this world.

To Ponder

  • Would seeing the risen Christ as Peter did help your faith?How?
  • Have you experienced the indescribable joy described by Peter?What was it like? And what effect does it have on you?

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