Skip to main content

1 Peter 1:3-5

Born Again to a Living Hope

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.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (ESV)

A few things to note here:

1.  "Blessed be" is more of an observation than a command.  It's the essence, really, of our worship of God.  We don't add anything to God by worshipping Him.  This doesn't mean we don't do it, just that we're doing is expressing realities, not inventing them.  This is why you can worship God with new songs or old ones: as long as they are connected with the truth of who God is, and He doesn't change, they're valid. It depends, of course, on where your heart is.  But you're not adding to God by worship.  You're recognizing the reality that is already there.  Peter is observing that God is blessed, not blessing God.

2.  "our Lord Jesus Christ" is an essential here.  Peter is an eyewitness of the Resurrection.  He's been with Jesus face-to-face, was called by name, and even had his name changed, by Christ.  He's the first one to really confess "You are the Christ!" about Jesus.  Yet he doesn't identify "my Lord Jesus Christ, and yours too" or any other differential.  He equates himself among his fellow believers.  Did he have some authority as a preacher and teacher?  Certainly!  He taught the Word, and rightfully received respect and honor from doing so.  Moreover, when he presented truth and instruction, he most likely had a reasonable expectation that people would follow those instructions. 

However, he's still one of all who follow "our Lord Jesus Christ."  We fall into several errors these days.  One is that our leaders are always right when our leaders aren't always right.  Another is that we need no leaders at all, since we're all part of the priesthood of believers.  Find the balance.  Respect, listen, compare to Scripture, but realize that God might just have placed that leader in your life to guide you.

3.  "According to his great mercy" is where we'll stop: never forget that what God did for us through Christ at Calvary was to be merciful to us.  He has never owed us a favor, and nothing we do puts God in our debt.  It is according to His mercy, His great mercy, that we continue on.  We live our lives in response to this mercy.  We sometimes act like our actions make God obligated to us.  If we go to church, He's obligated to give us a great week.  If we tithe, He's obligated to balance out our finances.  Actually, we're obligated to His mercy to count 100% of our money and 7 days of our week as His.

There's obviously more here.  Hopefully next week will bring the opportunity to address it!




Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…