Sermon Notes & References

Christian Destiny

1 Peter 1:3-5

January 27, 2019

A. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of Jesus Christ our Lord, Who, according to His great mercy, having regenerated us unto a living hope, on account of Jesus Christ's resurrection out from among the dead, 4 unto an incorruptible, unpolluted and unfading inheritance, having been kept in store for you all in heaven 5 who are kept by God's power through faith until ready to be revealed in end time salvation. (RGH)

 

B. Introduction

    1. Concerns of the Future

    2. Three Full Verses

 

C. The Father’s Work

    1. Gratitude Footnote

        a. To God the Father

        b. Blessing the Lord

    2. Mercy Footnote

    3. Begotten Again Footnote

    4. Living Hope Footnote

    5. Jesus’ Resurrection Footnote

 

D. Our Inheritance

    1. Imperishable

    2. Undefiled

    3. Unfading Footnote

 

E. God’s Keeping

    1. Reserved Inheritance

    2. Protected Heirs Footnote

    3. Guaranteed Results


Endnote  1 Peter 1:3-5. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christian Destiny

 

A. Introduction

    1. Concerns of the Future

        a. there are the less serious concerns

            (A)    such as determining your character based on the Chinese calendar or the day of the week on which you were born!

            (B)    or when making purchases –

                 (1)    minor – you see something in the mall, do not buy it right away and afterwards wonder, will it still be there?

                 (2)    major

                     (a)    car or house (or a yacht?!?!)

                     (b)    there can be the same anxiety of its still being available

                     (c)    along with the added concern of how to finance it

                     (d)    lay-away plans are one way to deal with availability: you put a certain amount down, so much a week, the store sets it aside and you get it when you have fully paid for it

        b. there are however, more serious things

            (A)    in raising a child there is the desire for their best

                 (1)    their health, education, career, health, fulfilment of potential

                 (2)    child raising is filled with uncertainty as is evident from observing other parents and their problems

                 (3)    children don’t come with a warranty; there is no money-back guarantee

            (B)    concern about where we are going

                 (1)    Dr Einstein was travelling by train, and couldn’t find his ticket for the conductor. But he was assured, ‘That’s alright, Dr Einstein, we know who you are; you don’t need to show your ticket.’ As he went on down the aisle he looked back, and there was Einstein still looking. ‘It’s all right, Doctor, we know who you are.’ ‘Yes,’ said Einstein, ‘I know who I am, too; but I don’t know where I am going!’ Endnote

                 (2)    it has been said that if we do not change, the place to which we are headed is the place where we are going

            (C)   and that has great significance as we come to death

                 (1)    what’s going to happen to us then?

                 (2)    some avoid this concern by disbelief, or claiming disbelief – saying that at death everything ceases, it’s all over

                 (3)    but Christians have a better answer as found in today’s text

 

    2. Three Full Verses

        a. Have you heard the term, ‘cut and come again’ of a meal: it means there is more than is needed now, and it’s so good you’ll come bact to it later

        b. that perfectly describes these verses – there’s more than one meal here

        c. in looking at these verses some dozen or so years ago in our adult Bibie class, we spent a week each on the three verses

            (A)    verse 3 – the matter of blessing God

            (B)    verse 4 – our spiritual, eternal inheritance

            (C)   verse 5 – our being kept by God

            (D)   which we shall repeat today but with a different perspective

        d. in these verses Peter begins by blessing, that is thanking, God

            (A)    reason upon reason is piled up for thanking God

            (B)    hence, this passage is full of theological truths

                 (1)    of concepts we can find difficult to put our minds around

                 (2)    but truths to equip us as sojourners and as pilgrims

                 (3)    as we walk through life these will enable us to overcome the difficulties and trials we are sure to face

 

B. The Father’s Work

    1. Gratitude

        a. Peter’s blessing is addressed to God the Father, particularly as the Father of our Saviour-Lord, Jesus Christ

        b. the word blessing has different meanings depending on the context

            (A)    when God blesses man

                 (1)    man being blessed is enriched, something given to him

                 (2)    but God is not in any way made poorer or impoverished

            (B)    when man blesses man

                 (1)    that could be materially or otherwise, such as encouragement

                 (2)    in this a person gives of themselves to that other person

                 (3)    so there can be material loss, but spiritual gain

            (C)   finally there is when man blesses God

                 (1)    can we in any way give anything to God that enriches Him?

                 (2)    we sing, ‘He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the weath in every mine …’ Endnote confessing everything belongs to Him

                 (3)    there is nothing we can give to enrich God, so what does it mean when, e.g., Psalm 29:1-2 says ‘Give unto the Lord’?

                     (a)    an alternate translation of these is ‘ascribe’

                     (b)    we are to confess, praise God for some quality He possesses

                 (4)    nor does this make us any poorer; but quite the reverse

                 (5)    thanksgiving to God brings realization of His goodness

                 (6)    Psalm 103:1-5 or Ps 104:1-2 – when you have a moment, turn to these and meditate over the reasons to bless God

            (D)   Peter’s blessing the Lord in this passage is expressing gratitude for His saving us and His saving others

        c. the opening, blessing the Lord, that Peter’s letter makes

            (A)    a common opening with other

                 (1)    NT letters and with prayers in both OT & NT

                 (2)    when you are looking at psalm 103 & 104, take a few more moments and go on to see how Psalms 105, 106 & 107 begin

                 (3)    they thank God for His many goodnesses and benefits

            (B)    and our benefits are concrete reminders of His grace & nature

            (C)   blessing confesses how good God is, expressing gratitude to Him

 

    2. Mercy

        a. if we just had the Greek word it would simply mean exercising a quality that spares a person from punishment

            (A)    but Greek NT words are closely connected with Hebrew OT ones

            (B)    and the corresponding OT word encompasses the ideas of mercy, yes, but also of steadfast or unfailing love, of goodness & kindness, a broad word that is therefore often rendered lovingkindness

            (C)   this describes God’s character: ‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; …’ (Numbers 14:18).

        b. it is the extending of God’s grace meeting us where we are

            (A)    it reflects His pity and tender compassion for our lost state

            (B)    Jeremiah even looking upon destroyed Jerusalem, could see this in God: ‘22 The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; Great is Thy faithfulness.’ (Lamentations 3:22-23)

        c. and, as Peter writes, so does the rest of Scripture, that God’s mercy is great and abundant

            (A)    ‘For Thy lovingkindness is great to the heavens’ (Psalms 57:10)

            (B)    ‘For Thy lovingkindness toward me is great’ (Psalm 86:13)

            (C)   ‘For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.’ (Psalms 103:11)

 

    3. Begotten Again

        a. is the next phrase, and it puts emphasis on God’s work by the Holy Spirit, and not on man

            (A)    even as Jesus told Nicodemus: ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. … Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.’ (John 3:3, 5)

            (B)    God has attended this spiritual necessity on our behalf

            (C)   He has caused us, by His Spirit, to be born again, or to be born from above, or both of them: again from above

        b. with the new birth, comes the much needed spiritual nature

            (A)    that enables the believer to absorb spiritual truth

            (B)    that allows him to take hold of spiritual life

            (C)   this cannot be done in the old, sinful, dead state

        c. and it is this that moves him from the terrible destiny of being lost and outside of Christ and provides him with the Christian destiny

 

    4. Living Hope

        a. this reads literally, ‘begotten again unto a living hope’

        b. these little words like ‘unto’ are important: in this case it points to the purpose and/or result of the new birth – our new, living hope

        c. hope in the Bible, if I may be permitted to repeat myself again,

            (A)    is not the ‘I hope so’ kind of attitude

            (B)    among other uses, it was used of a person named in a will

                 (1)    they therefore had an expectation or prospect

                 (2)    there was something concrete to which they looked forward

                 (3)    it described the feelings of the heir

                 (4)    as well as the expectancy they were to receive

                 (5)    and in this case it looks forward to our inheritance

        d. and this is a living hope

            (A)    the Jews had a hope of the Messiah, an expectation of His arrival

            (B)    but, by and large, except for the remnant chosen by grace, in their rejection of Jesus, that hope died

            (C)   it is sad when a person’s hope dies as some event occurs

            (D)   Jew or Gentile, hope is dead for those without Christ, ‘remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.’ (Ephesians 2:12)

            (E)    but hope is alive for believers because of what God has done …

 

    5. Jesus’ Resurrection

        a. His resurrection confirms efficacy of the work of Christ on the cross

        b. this truth is in the Gaither song, ‘God sent His Son … an empty tomb … show my Saviour lives. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow ...’ Endnote

        c. Jesus’ resurrection, prerequisite to ascension, confirms his promises; e.g.,

            (A)    ‘I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; …’ (John 6:51)

            (B)    ‘Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. …’ (John 11:25-26)

            (C)   ‘In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.’ (John 14:2)

            (D)   ‘After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also.’ (John 14:19)

        d. and because He ever lives to make intercession on our behalf, this confirms the promise of our Christian destiny, …

 

C. Our Inheritance

    1. Imperishable

        a. it is perpetually sound, firm, solid; literally incorruptible, undecaying

        b. that is not true of our earthly inheritances

            (A)    house, property, goods: all decay all fall apart

            (B)    those investments could turn out being worth but cents on the dollar

            (C)   precious relics eaten by mice and worms

        c. our inheritance has its permanent character assured by God's character

            (A)    ‘Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not …‘

            (B)    only the eternal God can provide such inheritance to His children

        d. it is a full and complete inheritance, to be wholly enjoyed

 

    2. Undefiled

        a. it is perpetually pure; unpolluted, unstained, untainted, unsoiled

        b. earthly inheritance can fail this test

            (A)    As applied to an inheritance, it means that it will be pure. It will not have been obtained by dishonesty, nor will it be held by fraud; it will not be such as will corrupt the soul, or tempt to extravagance, sensuality, and lust, as a rich inheritance often does here; it will be such that its eternal enjoyment will never tend in any manner to defile the heart.

            (B)    “How many estates,” says [George] Benson [1699-1762], “have been got by fraudulent and unjust methods; by poisoning, or in some other way murdering the right heir; by cheating of helpless orphans; by ruining the fatherless and widows; by oppressing their neighbours, or grinding the faces of the poor, and taking their garments or vineyards from them! But this future inheritance of the saints is stained by none of these vices; it is neither got nor detained by any of these methods; nor shall persons polluted with vice have any share in it.” Endnote

        c. Israel’s inheritance, the promised land, cannot be so described

            (A)    the Canaanites had befouled it by their practices & religion

            (B)    the Israelites did the same, falling into every form of iodaltry

            (C)   you will find this message in such prophets as Jeremiah & Ezekiel

            (D)   but our inheritance is undefiled, the perfect one for a holy people

        d. it is a pure inheritance and to be purely enjoyed

 

    3. Unfading

        a. it is perpetually bright, enduring, neither washed out nor disappointing

        b. you have doubtless seen the cartoon of a lawyer’s office, all the heirs sitting round while the will is read: ‘being of sound mind, I spent it all!’

        c. in such fashion the heirs’ rosy expectations come crashing down to earth

        d. but this our inheritance is fully glorious, never to dim

            (A)    “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,” (Ephesians 3:20)

            (B)    ‘However, as it is written [in Isaiah 64:4]: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—‘ (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

        e. it is a wonderful inheritance to be wonderfully enjoyed

 

D. God’s Keeping

    1. Reserved Inheritance

        a. this is the first of two similar words, ‘keep’

            (A)    it applies to the inheritance

            (B)    it is spoken in the past tense of an historical event

            (C)   this reservation of our inheritance has already taken place

        b. this is God’s great ‘;ay-away plan’

            (A)    it has been safely put away for our benefit

            (B)    the down payment, everything owing has been fully paid

            (C)   completely by Jesus Christ on the cross: ‘It is finished, paid in full.’

                 (1)    it has been wrapped up, put on God’s shelf all ready for us

                 (2)    and we are simply awaiting delivery

        c. for it is being kept by God on our behalf, safer than any store’s shelf

 

    2. Protected Heirs

        a. this is the second word for keep

            (A)    this one applies to the inheritor instead of the inheritance

            (B)    it is present tense: now being carried out on an ongoing basis

            (C)   God is keeping watch over His children, this day, hour, moment

            (D)   He has set a guard, a garrison about those who are His own

            (E)    a vivid picture of this protection is Job, hedged around by God, as Satan’s complains in Job 1:10

        b. similar idea, different word in Jude’s benediction:

            (A)    ‘Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy’ (Jude 1:24)

            (B)    it is God who has the power and does keep us from falling

            (C)   the perseverance of Christians comes not from within, but outside of us: it is God who is preserving us for that great inheritance

 

    3. Guaranteed Results

        a. are to be found in God’s power

            (A)    literally, the hedge or garrison, the fortification of the place where we are being kept is the power of God, even as Luther wrote: ‘A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing!’

                 (1)    So Jesus promised: ‘My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.’ (John 10:29)

                 (2)    so, in this garrison, this place of protection and safe-keeping, we are kept by the power of Almighty God

            (B)    God’s means of maintaining this protection is

                 (1)    through faith;

                 (2)    protection comes by our entrusting ourselves to His mighty, rather than to our own feeble power

        b. the final end of salvation is to usher us into this inheritance

            (A)    there are the three tenses of salvation: we speak of our being saved

                 (1)    past: from our sins – justification, from guilt, punishment

                 (2)    present: from sin’s power – sanctification; overcoming Satan & his woks

                 (3)    future: from sin’s presence – glorification

            (B)    just as surely as the Scriptures prophesied

                 (1)    Christ’s first coming which kept God’s promise

                 (2)    so His second will bring those promises to consummation

        c. God wraps up His package, and takes us home!

        d. this, then is the Christian destiny, our inheritance in Jesus Christ.

 

E. Conclusion – Bless God as you count these and all your blessings