Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our Heavenly Inheritance

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.  (1 Peter 1:3-5)

In 1 Peter 1:2, believers are chosen to be included in God’s family, not on the basis of what they have done or who they are, but on the basis of God’s eternal wisdom. Sanctification is the ongoing process whereby the Holy Spirit works in believers, making their lives holy, separated from their old ways and to God in order to be more like Him. This verse mentions all three members of the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit.  All members of the Trinity work to bring about our salvation.  The Father chose us before we chose Him (Ephesians 1:4).  Jesus Christ the Son died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 6:6-10).  The Holy Spirit brings us the benefits of salvation and sets us apart (sanctifies us) for God’s service (2 Thessalonians 2:13).

Do you need encouragement?  Peter’s words offer joy and hope in times of trouble, and he bases his confidence on what God has done for us in Christ Jesus.  We’re called into a living hope of eternal life (1 Peter 1:3).  Our hope is not only for the future; eternal life begins when we trust Christ and join God’s family.  No matter what pain or trial we face in this life, we know that it is not our final experience.  Eventually we will live with Christ forever.

according to His abundant mercy: Our salvation is grounded in God’s mercy, His act of compassion toward us despite our condition of sinfulness.

has begotten us again: God has given believers a new, spiritual life that enables us to live in an entirely different dimension than the one our physical birth allowed.

to a living hope: Hope here does not imply a wishfulness but rather a dynamic confidence that does not end with this life but continues throughout eternity.

through the resurrection: Although this phrase may modify the phrase “to a living hope,” the context suggests that it is to be understood as the means of our salvation rather than the means of our hope (1 Cor. 15:12–19).

The term new birth refers to spiritual birth (regeneration) – the Holy Spirits act of bringing believers into God’s family.  Jesus used this concept of new birth when He explained salvation to Nicodemus (John 3:14-17).

In 1 Peter 1:4, the Greek word translated inheritance here suggests both a present and a future reality. God has already determined what we will one day experience in its totality.  God has set aside in heaven a wonderful inheritance that is waiting for us even now.  The Jews had looked forward to an inheritance in the promised land of Canaan (Numbers 32:19; Deuteronomy 2:12; 19:9).  Christians now look forward to a family inheritance in the eternal city of God.  God has reserved the inheritance; it will never fade or decay; it will be unstained by sin.  The best part is that you have an inheritance if you have trusted Christ as you ‘savior.

God will help us remain true to our faith through whatever difficult times we must face.  The “last time” is the judgment day of Christ described in Romans 14:10 and Revelation 20:11-15.  We may have to endure trials, persecution, or violent death, but our souls cannot be harmed if we have accepted Christ’s gift of salvation.  We know we will receive the promised rewards.  God keeps His people safe from external attack and safe within the protective boundaries of His kingdom.  We do not now see or understand fully the salvation that God has prepared for us, but one day we will (1 Cor. 4:5; 1 John 3:2).

References: NKJV Holy Bible, Life Application Bible (NIV), the Nelson Study Bible.


Frank Blasi said...

That was a very encouraging post. How true it really is to know that we as believers have an incorruptable inheritance awaiting us in Heaven!
It makes me want to serve God with a greater enthusiasm for such undeserved grace and mercy.
Thank you for posting.

Gorges Smythe said...

Well said, Lloyd!

middle child said...

I really appreciate your description of "to a living hope.." It was full of meaning to me. Blessings.

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Great post Lloyd! Thanks for this.

Michelle My Bell said...

Thank for this posting Lloyd- "God will help us remain true to our faith through whatever difficult times we must face." - how true and conforting this is...

dfish said...

What a wonderful promise that we have an incorruptible inheritance, and that we are kept by the power of God. We are free to serve God out of love, rather than in a desperate effort to keep our salvation. That some choose not to serve him reveals their lack of love as John 14:23-24 explains.

Tam said...

Wonderful Post!!

Daughter of the King said...

Dear Lloyd,

How are you?

I was having so many problems with my blogspot, so I had to start again and transfer my blogs over. I hope you will stop by and follow me again. I am so-oo sorry for being such a pain.

This is a fabulous post! Thank you for such wonderful encouragement. It's mind boggling sometimes in an awe-inspiring way to think "Wow - the Father chose us, before we chose Him." God is good... and all the time!

Thank you for being such a wonderful friend! I am blessed by your friendship!

May the love of God always shine in your life, as you become a light for others.

Have a pleasant day. God bless.

With love and care from Kerrie. xOx

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Love the "bumper sticker" true!