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Studies from 1Peter: 3

III. Fourfold great works of God. 1Peter1:3—5

“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.”
1Peter 1:3—5.

After his introductory words, Apostle Peter in vs. 3—5 is praising God for the wonderful things He has done for every Christian. Peter’s intention is to encourage the suffering, scattered saints by reminding them what they already experience as part of God’s mighty works for them. Four things are noteworthy. 1). Regeneration 2). Hope 3). Inheritance 4). Security.

It is important for us also to be acquainted with what God has done for us, and what our position in the Lord Jesus Christ is.

Illustration: - Some one has said this story. A poor young man wanted to go for a cruise. With much hardship accumulated enough fund for a tour and bought a ticket. Before boarding the ship he bought some peanut butter and bread realizing that he doesn’t have enough money to eat from the restaurant on board the ship.

But he could not control himself as he smelled the delicious food being prepared in the restaurants. Once he approached a cook and narrated his story and requested to give some food. The cook said, what a fool you are, when you bought the ticket that includes everything on this ship. You can eat any thing freely!

Ignorance of our possessions, position, and blessings in Christ is very unfortunate. We lose that joy and confidence we ought to have experienced.

So Peter goes on to explain what God has done for us.

Notice the title he used for God. “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”
God is related to Christ in two aspects:-

-‘The God of’ – refers to the humanity of Christ.
On the cross as He was taking our punishment, being forsaken by the Father, He cried, “My God, My God why hast thou forsaken me?” Matt.27:46. As a representative of man, He calls God.
-‘Father of’ – refers to the deity of the Christ.
                 John. 10:30:- “I and My Father are one” v.38b “..The Father is in Me and I in Him”
               John. 14:11:- “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.” Says to Philip

The relationship between God the Father and Christ is unique. Notice John. 20:17, After resurrection says to Mary “I am ascending to My Father and your Father and to My God and your God.”

Peter uses the full title of Christ: - “Lord Jesus Christ”

This is also noteworthy. There are many today who pray ‘in Jesus name’! The ideal is to use His full title. Paul as well as Peter here addresses Him using His full title.
                 Lord – refers to His Lordship. - The master.
                 Jesus - refers to His mission- the name taken at incarnation.
                 Christ - refers to His office- the anointed one to take the throne.

Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God is doing four things for mankind. Let us consider one by one quickly.

1. Begotten us again. V.3.
                 “Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again”

Regenerated us; gave us a new life. Notice, what motivated God to give us a new life? “Abundant mercy”. Why abundant mercy is necessary?

This shows the pitiful, wretched and desperate condition of man’s un-regenerate state:-
                 -Born of flesh- naturally. John 1:13; 3:6.
                 -Devil’s children.
                                  John 8: 44 “You are of your father the devil...”
                                   1John. 3: 8 “He who sins is of the devil…”
                  - Sin nature
                                   o Psa. 51:5 “Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me.”
                                   o Genesis. 6:5 “Then the Lord saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
                 - Deceitful heart
                  - Corrupt mind. 1 Cor 2:14
                  - Wicked desires Eph 4:7
                  - Slave to sin
                 - Enemy of God
                  - Headed to Hell

Though it was very had for any change possible in the lives of man naturally, God in His infinite compassion regenerated us.

                 Eph.2:4 :- “But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us…”

                 Titus 3:5:- “...Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us…”

Remember it was not repairing, but renewal – new creation. Imparted His life to the dead in sin and trespasses and quickened us. Eph 2:1

                 2 Cori. 5:17 :- “There is if any one is in Christ he is a new creation ; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

                 1 John 3:9:-“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in Him, he can not sin, because he is born of God.”

This wonderful work of God reminds that we ought to walk in this new life and strengthen this new nature by the help of the Holy Spirit.

Also, we ought to be merciful to the unworthy remembering that God had such compassion on us, why not we show it to others as well!

2. Granted a living hope
                 “Begotten us again to a living hope”
God did not finish His work with making us a new creation: gave us a hope – a goal for life. Paul says we had no hope earlier. Cf. Eph.2:12; Pro. 10:28

What is the hope we have today?
                 Titus 2:13:- ‘Glorious appearing of our saviour”
                  2Peter 3:13:- “New heavens and a new earth”
                  1Thess. 4:13—18:- The resurrection of our dead. Etc.

It’s not just a wishful thinking but confident optimism. Conviction that is based on the infallible word of God, directed towards the future.

‘Living hope’:- Hope of this world is dying hope. It’s a world of advertisement. Most of the advertisements give hope but in the end we come to know that we have been deceived. Lose of money and expectation is the result. But the hope that God gives is sure hope and helps us to live. Two ideas emerge:-

                 a. Lively hope – full of life and joy.
                 b. Hope that prompts us to live. This hope gives meaning to life.

“Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” – It is the resurrection of Christ that confirms:-

- Our salvation.
                 1Pet. 3:21:- “…Saves us -….through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
                 Rom. 4:25:- “was raised because of our justification”.
                  1Cori. 15:17
- Our hope. 1 Cor. 15:20
                 Christ rose again from the dead as the first fruit, indicating the resurrection of all the dead in Christ.
                 John 14:19 “Because I live, you will live also.”

We must be gripped by this hope 1Pet. 1:13. Our eyes must look forward to this wonderful event and comfort one another. (1 The 4:18). Paul says this hope works as a helmet protecting us in our spiritual warfare. 1The 5:8

3. Reserved an inheritance v. 4
‘Inheritance’ speaks of the possessions that we have in Christ, as children get the property of the parents. Cf. Eph. 1:4; 2:6.

Peter’s readers are scattered Christians. They lost their property and possession as a result of the persecution. Peter wants to comfort them. God has kept a possession for them, much better than the earthly. Three things Peter says about this reserved possession:-

a. Incorruptible – no decay or destruction. Fire or flood can not destroy.
b. Undefiled – no pollution – perfect and flawless.
c. Unfading - No lose of beauty, quality or value.

Peter would say later that we can also add on to this inheritance! How?

a. 1Pet. 5:4 :- By serving the Church.
b. Mark. 9:41:- By serving the saints.
c. Matt. 6:20:- By spending for the cause of Christ. etc.

What guarantee?
                 Eph 1:14:- The indwelling Holy Spirit.

So, let us keep on serving the Lord. Colos. 3:24

4. Keeping the saved v. 5
                 “Who are kept by the power of God”

Not only the Lord keeps an inheritance, He keeps the heir too. Some times an heir dies before enjoying his / her possessions. Such a thing will not happen to us in connection with our heavenly inheritance. We have double protection. John. 10:28, 29. – Christ’s hand as well as the Father’s hands! Cf. Jude v. 24

“Through faith” – Does it mean if we fail in our faith, He will not keep us? No. It speaks of the ‘saving faith’. Once we trusted Christ for salvation, He keeps us for eternity. We should not forget that even our faith itself is God’s gift. Ephe 2:8.

It is the ‘practical faith’ – experienced and exercised every day- helps us to appropriate such wonderful works of God. It is true that while ‘saving faith’ is permanent, ‘practical faith’ is fluctuating.
Whether we recognize it or not, it is He who keeps us, not by our effort. Our realization of His protection makes us happy and confident.

How long to keep?
                 “For salvation ready to be revealed.” Till salvation to be revealed. What does it mean?

Three aspects of salvation:-

a. Saved Eph. 2:8; Tit 3:5
                 From the penalty of Sin -Justification
b. Being saved 1 Cor. 1:18
                 From power of Sin - Sanctification
c. Will be saved 1Pet. 1:5; Heb. 9:28 Rom. 8:23; 30; 13:11
                  From the presence of sin – Glorification.

Peter refers to the day of our glorification, when we shall see the Lord and be conformed to His image, He shall keep us by His power till then and even beyond.

How wonderful to know these fourfold works of God in our lives.

1. Begotten us again. V.3.
2. Granted a living hope
3. Reserved an inheritance v. 4
4. Keeping the saved v. 5

What should be our response:-

Live it:-

• Live in the newness of life
• Be hopeful
• Serve the Lord
• Keep on trusting

Worship “Blessed be the God..”

Next: Christian's Joy in the midst of trials

Prepared by Nelson Thomas as part of his teaching ministry. You are free to use it for your personal study.
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