1 Peter: 
Living Hope in a Fallen World

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on September, 18, 2019

1 Peter 1:3-5 
A Living Hope

The Lord implants a living hope in each believer. What is a living hope? Peter discusses three aspects of this living hope: a sure hope (1:3), an eternal hope (1:4), and an enduring hope (1:5). Nothing can cripple us in this life when the living hope of meeting with Christ brightly burns in our hearts.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

People tend to look down on the Christian faith because of its hope, implying that Christians are weak, unstable, and perhaps weak-minded. The opposite is true. This passage provides three stimulating reasons why this is not so. Christian believers are steady because their eyes are on God’s eternal promises rather than those things on earth which are quickly passing away. Anxiety disorders are said to affect 18% of the American population! This large number does not sound like a steady-minded people. Combine the less serious cases of worry and increase terrorism, crime, and economic instability, then watch this number surge.

The Christian hope is established on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and starts when God’s work of a new life starts in a person’s life. There are three characteristics of a Christian’s hope.

1. A Real Hope (1 Peter 1:1-3)

Our hope as Christians begins and ends with our Christian confession. Any hope outside of Christ is superficial and temporary at best. Our hope does not come from possessions or what we do but who we are in Christ. Only Christ overcomes mankind’s most basic need: alienation from their Maker.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3).

A real Christian only has this special hope for new life is accompanied by new hope.

1. Salvation begins with God (2 foreknowledge, election)

2. Salvation is secured by God (2 blood)

3. Salvation is completed by God (2 Holy Spirit’s work, 3 regeneration)

4. Salvation is confirmed by God (3 resurrection)

Application

As much as God has brought our salvation about, let us be sure that our hope can, in the same way, be secure. “Living hope” symbolizes a hope which continues perpetually. It is not a hope that disappears when we forget about it. This hope will come about even if you forget it!

1 Peter 1:3-5 
A Living Hope

2. An Eternal hope (1 Peter 1:4)

Living hope: If one hopes in this world, then it is a dying hope for this world is perishing!

“To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet 1:4).

• Imperishable {untouched by death}. Immortality

• Undefiled {unstained by evil}. Purity

• Unfading {unimpaired by time}. Used of flowers. Beauty.

An inheritance is distributed upon a person’s death (Eph 1:14), and so, God’s people obtain this great inheritance due to the death of Christ. Inheritances follow the person’s death. Our inheritance is reserved for us in heaven.

3. An Enduring Hope (1 Peter 1:5)

An enduring hope continues through bad times. Satan tempts us; the world lures us, and our flesh battles us, but God’s power is stronger. We might not feel like holding on, but we do and must.

“Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5).

1. An end to the trouble. The last day of trouble will come. SALVATION!

2. A beginning of the blessing. Our rewards are being prepared, and one day they will be delivered.

3. The keeping power of God. We need to be dependent upon God, not ourselves.

4. A greater faith with a great blessing.

Necessary trials. We can grow from difficult times associated with living along with evil people. God’s curse is all around us now, but one day it will be lifted.

A hope that does not endure is not a real hope. Christians persevere and overcome. Christians who backslide often come back to the church to reassure them of their hope.

Application

Although you might feel like giving up, don’t do it. God is not to blame. It is His grace and power that can keep you during these hard times. One day the troubles will end, and with the arrival of the blessings, you will not remember how difficult the bad was.

Summary

Our challenge is to take that hope and let it become a living hope. “Living” means to deeply affect and penetrate our lives so that Christ’s joy, hope, and love will shine through our lives. By God’s grace, we do not suffer a loss on earth, but instead, Christ’s radiance will continue to shine forth from our lives.

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