Hope Secured in Heaven.
In the last post we looked at the beginning of Peter’s letter. This time we will look at verses 3 thru 5. In this section we will look at how Peter teaches us to have hope in this life.
This verse begins with Peter laying down the basics of Christianity. He starts with reminding his readers about the Gospel. He tells us how God is blessed; who through Jesus Christ made us born again by His mercy (c.f. Titus 2:11). We are born into a living hope through Jesus’ resurrection. The verb form that Peter uses for the word “living” is in the present tense. This means that we have hope that is active now, with ongoing effects. It is a present reality.
In this verse 4, Peter tells us about the believers’ future. We have an inheritance in heaven which is “imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away.” This hope is reserved. The verb form used for reserved here is in the perfect tense, and passive voice. What this means is God has made our treasure reserved in heaven in the past with ongoing results that we did not earn: it is not subjected to being lost! We can trust God to keep it for us.
Peter continues with great truth. This hope we have is protected by the power of God. The verb protected is a present reality in the passive voice. We do not keep our hope for our future, but it is God who protects it for us. It is through our faith, but even our faith is a gift from God (c.f. Eph. 2:8-9). This verse ends with reminding us about how our salvation is reveled in the last time. The last time is a common idea in the New Testament (2 Tim. 3:1, Hebrews 1:2, Jude 18). It is the time between Jesus’ first and second coming.
This passage should give us immense hope. Especially for the Christians living in Rome at 70 A.D. They might have had their houses and homes destroyed by fire. With persecution increasing at that time, Rome would have been taking their possessions. So imagine how they would have received this letter! Their (and our) inheritance and hope is NOT in stuff we have here. Our brothers and sisters overseas know this well. So do not hope in the physical stuff that we have Christian because we might lose all of it if persecution comes. Do not trust in your 401(k), your possessions, or even your self. But hope in the future we have in Christ Jesus.
Next post we shall look at 1 Peter 1:6-9.