What Our Real Home Looks Like
1 Peter 1:3-5
Truth Taught – All believers are kept and secured and have a glorious eternal inheritance that is also kept and secured
This next section begins the doxology. Peter praises God for what he and all Christians currently possess. My goal in today’s message is to give you adequate reason to praise God as well. Beloved, when we can walk by faith and not by sight our souls will rejoice in The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ regardless our current situation. This is exactly what Peter is shooting for.
Remember last time we looked at Peter’s recipients, namely, God’s elect exiles. Christians do not have a citizenship in this world but have their citizenship in God’s Kingdom via the new birth. You know how it works; you are a citizen of whatever country you are born into. God tells us the New Birth has given us heavenly citizenship.
Our true citizenship brings us into conflict with our current residence. We are in conflict because we are Christians and seek to maintain God’s values and worldview. The fact that we do suffer because we are Christians reminds us to whom we belong.
Suffering also proves that we belong to God because no one would choose suffering over ease unless there is a promise coming in the future. Beloved what we are called to is to live in such a way that will bring us into conflict with our current society looking to the future for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Peter teaches us that whatever suffering comes to us because of our obedience to God pales in comparison with our future reward.
Because we are elect exiles living away from our true homeland, Peter wants us to get a glimpse of our real home. The verses today, I pray, should make us long for our true homeland.
Usually, when we suffer in this life, it’s because something is being taken away from us. Because of our faith we may lose a job, wealth, status, home, family, even our very lives. Here Peter’s mission is to convince us that our inheritance is infinitely more valuable than anything we might lose, and what God has for us as an inheritance cannot be taken away.
What does our real home look like?
When we moved away to go to Bible College we had not seen where we were going to live.
1 Peter 1:3–5 (ESV)
3 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, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
“Blessed be God” is a very common praise in the Old Testament. Here are a few examples:
19 Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation. Selah
35 Awesome is God from his sanctuary;
the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!
18 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.
48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!
And let all the people say, “Amen!”
Praise the Lord!
Here, Peter makes this Jewish blessing and praise entirely Christian. He identifies God as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Beloved, take Jesus’ God and Father as your God and Father. Embrace Him through faith and obedience.
2 Corinthians 1:3 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
What do the OT writers and Paul and Peter mean when they say “Bless the Lord” or “Bless be to God”?
My thesis is that in the Scripture when God “blesses” men they are thereby helped and strengthened and made better off than they were before, but when men “bless” God he is not helped or strengthened or made better off. Rather (with C. A. Keller in THAT, I, 361) man’s blessing God is an “expression of praising Thankfulness” (ein lobendes Danksagen), when the OT speaks of blessing God it does not “designate a process that aims at the increase of God’s strength” (THAT, I, 361). It is an “exclamation of gratitude and admiration” (THAT, I, 357).
With this meaning clearly in mind, Peter is praising God for something specific. . .
According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again
Peter blesses God for the specific act of his and all Christians’ regeneration. Salvation is brought about entirely by God because of His great mercy. God alone has the power to regenerate us, and He alone has infinite mercy, which is one of the reasons He does it. Because our New Birth is by God’s mercy it is totally undeserved and unearned.
Before we were born, God already loved us and chose us for regeneration. He has caused us to be born again. If we are to be His people with full rights of citizens in His heavenly Kingdom, then we must be born into that Kingdom to be a citizen. The New Birth is the means God uses to place us into His Kingdom.
Do you remember back in John 3 when Jesus and Nicodemus had their conversation about the New Birth? Nicodemus was discussing other things and Jesus simply said:
John 3:3 (ESV)
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Now, for some reason many are trapped in the mindset that somehow we can experience the rebirth on our own. Beloved, what say so did you have in your first birth? Did you tell your parents where you wanted to live or when you wanted to be born? Did you decide who your parents would be? You had nothing to do with birth number one. It’s the same with the second birth.
Notice the dilemma we are in: Jesus tells us that unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God and yet we cannot be born again in our own power. So, Jesus has just made a demand that we cannot fulfill. This demand is not optional but a vital necessity, and yet it is completely impossible for mankind to obey the command.
This is why Peter blesses God. God is so merciful he has caused us to be born again. God has done for us what He requires and yet He knows we cannot do ourselves.
God is the Father of our Lord Jesus and also becomes our Father at the New Birth. We are not children of God by the fact that we are created by God, but we are granted a new birth through His power. At the New Birth we become God’s children, and in turn, He becomes our Father as well.
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Peter tells us that our New Birth is a direct result of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Our New Birth is very much like Jesus’ resurrection. Just as the Spirit made him alive, we too are made alive and in a very real sense experience a resurrection from the dead ourselves. To those whom God has chosen and set His love upon before the foundation of the world, He has given a living hope. The hope God’s people possess is alive in contrast to the dead futile hope of the lost. Beloved the world in all its attempts at happiness and fulfillment ends up with no hope at all. The lost try everything to gain meaning and happiness and hope only to come up empty. Why is that the case—because only God gives the human this true and meaningful hope.
Ephesians 2:11–12 (ESV)
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (ESV)
13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
Do you see what God tells us? Seeking hope outside of Christ is a waste of time. Unfortunately, most have sought it all their lives and will die entirely without hope.
We live in a world of hopelessness and despair.
The Christians Peter was writing to had been suffering massive persecution and were being expelled from Rome. They had lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, and many had even lost family and friends. At the same time, Peter wants them to know that if the evil world should take everything you possess it cannot take your hope. Beloved we like the first century Church have all eternity to be at peace and joyful. So, suffering in this world because we are citizens of the world to come is a very good trade. Peter wants us to realize this.
What better way to encourage suffering Christians than to remind them? . . .
They are elect.
They are exiles.
They are eternally loved by God.
They are Born Again.
They are citizens of God’s Kingdom.
They have a living and vibrant hope.
And one more for now—They have an Eternal Inheritance.
4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
Because we now have God as our Father, we are given an inheritance as His children. Of course, God isn’t going to die in order for us to receive it, but it’s waiting for us when we die. An inheritance is wealth or legacy that is passed on to a member of the family. Listen; if you are a believer, you’ve become a child of God. Because we are children of God via the New Birth, we are promised an inheritance. For those suffering Christians who have lost everything, this inheritance is especially sweet.
Peter adds three descriptions of our inheritance:
We have an inheritance that is imperishable.
Nothing can take it away from us. It will not leave or be destroyed. Our eternal inheritance will never be lost.
We have an inheritance that is undefiled.
It cannot be contaminated with sin or evil. It’s outside the realm of this fallen world and not contaminated with sin. Whatever our inheritance is exactly, it will only add to our ability to praise and glorify God.
We have an inheritance that is unfading.
None of the decaying elements of this world can touch it. It will never rust, corrode, rot, or lose its luster. This word unfading in the original language means it will never cease to be magnificent.
This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.
As Christians, our inheritance is already in heaven waiting our arrival. It’s literally being guarded and reserved for you.
Jesus referred to this inheritance when He preached the Sermon on the Mount. . .
Matthew 6:19–21 (ESV)
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Notice how secure things are in heaven.
Our inheritance is currently divinely guarded waiting our arrival. But is there any possibility that our inheritance will go unclaimed?
5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Our inheritance is being guarded, and beloved, we too are being guarded.
Our hope is a living hope that will not fail. Listen, as believers it is an impossibility that we will ever lose what God has so richly given to us. We are secure and so is our inheritance.
How secure are we? 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith.
Here’s where we must make sure we get things right. It’s not our faith that guards us, but God guards us, and our ongoing faith is the mark or manifestation of God’s power at work within us. He guards us; He keeps us; and this is proven as we continue to believe.
Christian, you are guarded by God’s power until you are ushered into a salvation that is now ready to be revealed to you. God has prepared everything. Our Lord has accomplished all things necessary. Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension have achieved everything. Peter in his book anticipates the day when salvation is presented to all of God’s children.
1 Peter 4:7 (ESV)
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
1 Peter 5:4 (ESV)
4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Peter speaks of our inheritance and salvation in ways, which are meant to remind us of the Israelites anticipating the Promised Land while in Egypt. There are many parallels which include: Slavery-Suffering, Strangers or exiles waiting for their redemption. Being rescued from Egypt by God Himself. The big difference is that they did not receive the Promised Land because of their sin and rebellion. We will inherit the Promised Land because we gain access through a better covenant, which is the very blood of Jesus Christ. He makes the Promised Land ours through His life and death. This is exactly why and how we are guarded. The salvation that’s ready to be revealed is ours because it was purchased with the imperishable blood of Jesus Christ.
Teaching 1 Peter by Angus MaCleay
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1 Peter by David Helm
1 Peter by John MacArthur
1 Peter by Peter Davids
1 Peter by Wayne Grudem
1 Peter by Edmond Clowney