The outcome of enduring trials is an inexpressible joy as we experience God's intimate presence. The outcome of this joy and hope in God is that we are motivated to work for the transformation of the present in the light of God's promises for the future.
Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-9
- Though Peter was the disciples’ leader, called ‘the rock’ by Jesus, yet he began timid and wavering in his faith.
- Jesus called Peter to feed His sheep, and in this pastoral letter Peter declares the grace of God and exhorts God’s people to stand firm in God’s grace.
- To understand the true grace of God, our disposition or orientation toward God must be one of blessing His name.
- The glory of God is revealed when He speaks, as He did to Moses (Exodus 34).
- We are spiritually dead, unable to know God, and so we need to be reborn by God’s word and Spirit.
- We are born again to a living hope and to an inheritance.
- Outside of Christ there is no real, lasting hope. We have a living hope because of the resurrection of Christ.
- Jesus defeated sin and death in His resurrection, changing all of history. We now live in the hope of resurrection.
- We await the savior who will one day raise us.
- A cemetery is a place for sleepers awaiting resurrection.
- In the ancient world, an inheritance was land. In Christ we are born again to a guaranteed inheritance kept in heaven where there is no death, decay, or danger.
- What God promises His people is the whole world restored to a perfect Edenic condition (Is. 25:6-8).
- God guards His people with divine military strength and angelic armies (cf. Ps. 91).
- In faith we see these great realities that God has promised.
- God brings various trials and strengthens us for them.
- Our trials are light and momentary (2 Cor. 4:17), and they are necessary to test and strengthen our faith.
- God is purifying and sanctifying us to be presented spotless to Christ.
- The outcome of enduring trials is an inexpressible joy and hope of glory as we experience God’s intimate presence.
- When we have this joy and hope, we’re motivated to work for the transformation of the present in the light of God’s promised future.
- When we catch the hope of God’s restoration, we are motivated to see lives, families, institutions, society and culture transformed to be as they should be.
- We’re working and laboring for change, to spread God’s inexpressible joy, full of glory.
- Outline Peter’s pastoral emphases.
- What are God’s promises to those born again by God’s Spirit?
- What is the inheritance God has promised us?
- What are God’s purposes for trials in our lives?
- How do trials appear to us in light of hope?
- Where do you see things that are corrupt, sinful, broken?
- How are you applying God’s work of restoration, making things holy, just and pure?
- Examine Amazing Grace by John Newton. How is God’s glory exalted in this hymn?