Living in Hope

KEY VERSE: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” —I Peter 1:3


WHEN WRITING TO the “strangers” in Asia Minor (I Pet. 1:1), the Apostle Peter addressed many disciples including Gentiles, slaves and others who had been subjected to persecution and shunned by society because of their faith. His epistle was sent as an encouragement to strengthen their faith by reminding them of the living hope they had received through the mercies of God, and has since been an encouragement to Christ’s body members down to our day.

Man has always needed hope to plan for the future—something which gives a reason for living. Yet hope may refer negatively to things we want to happen, while having little belief that they will actually come to pass. People often ‘hope against hope’ that some miracle might happen.

We, too, had no real hope before we came to Christ (Eph 2:12), but now our hope is grounded on God’s mercy—a hope anchored by God and guaranteed by Christ’s resurrection.—I Pet. 1:3

Jesus was resurrected through the power of God, and “raised again for our justification” (Rom. 4:25), thus making ours a living hope. As Peter declares in verse 3, God has “begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

The word ‘begotten’ used here, and incorrectly translated “born” in verse 23 in the King James Version, is the Greek word ‘anagennao’ and refers to spirit begettal, showing clearly that spirit begettal comes to the sons of God from God himself, our Heavenly Father. This is in agreement with the Apostle John’s declaration that the sons of God “were begotten, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”—John 1:13

Peter says that the substance of our living hope is a heavenly inheritance which will be revealed “in the last time” (I Pet. 1:5), which we now perceive through the begettal of God’s Holy Spirit. This hope of a future inheritance “that fadeth not away” (I Pet. 1:4) is reserved for the “partakers of the heavenly calling” (Heb. 3:1), those called “with an holy calling.” (II Tim. 1:9) The Apostle Paul describes it by saying, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 3:14) This high calling is a one-time offer during this Gospel Age to those who deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow Jesus. (Luke 9:23) It makes our hope come alive so it is the directing force in our lives to prove faithful in our calling to God, remembering the promise, “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”—Rev. 2:10

Knowing the prospect of this heavenly inheritance, Peter says we should greatly rejoice, even when trials come to perfect our faith. These trials are but for a little while compared to the everlasting glory that will follow, and are the evidences that the Father is dealing with us as sons.

It is reasonable and necessary that we should suffer a while as Jesus did, so that we might share his glory with him. (II Cor. 1:5,7; II Tim. 2:12) We are therefore comforted in the trials we endure daily as soldiers of the cross, by this living hope, and look forward to the outcome of our faith.—I Pet. 4:13

Dawn Bible Students Association
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