Whether we have joy and comfort or misery and heartache depends on where our focus in life is. We are told to set our affections on things above and not on things of the Earth. To have our minds on the things of this Earth is to prepare for a miserable life. The people written to in First Peter were undergoing severe persecution. They needed the joy that came from knowing God's truth.
In Chapter 1:2, they are reminded that they are the elect of God. The world may persecute God's people, but God has chosen them. That is enough to bring relief, but the Lord also described to them the inheritance provided for all His people in verses 3-4, “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 to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Anyone who receives news of an inheritance gets exited. The Bible says that God has given us an inheritance, but for some reason, we don't get too excited about it, but we ought to. This inheritance becomes ours at salvation even though we will not receive the fullness of it until we go to be with the Lord.
Not only does God have an inheritance for us, He is our inheritance. Psalm 16:5 says, “ The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.” When we get saved, we inherit God. The Bible tells us that when we see Christ, we shall be like Him for we shall see him as He is. We are joint heirs with the Lord Jesus and we receive the Holy Spirit as the down payment of full salvation.
Since we have such a great inheritance, we ought to learn about it. Verse 3 tells us that God is the source of it. He is the one who “hath begotten us again unto a living hope” by Jesus' resurrection unto an eternal inheritance.
Verse 3 gives us God's motive in providing this inheritance. It is according to his abundant mercy. God is a merciful God. Man is in a cursed, depraved, fallen condition damned to an eternal hell and unable to do anything about it. He is enslaved to sin with his heart and mind corrupted by the world, flesh, and Satan. The greatest thing man needs is mercy. God looks on the pitiful sinner and has mercy. He takes him from misery to glory.
The means by which we receive mercy of God which brings the inheritance is by the new birth. That is a reason Jesus said, we must be born again. The new birth gives new life and a “living hope” according to verse three. All man's hopes and his dreams are gone at his death. But for a child of God, death just brings the fulfillment of our hope.
This inheritance is incorruptible. Everything on this Earth decays whether it is a new car, home, or relationship. We live in a polluted world. This is the reason we are to store our treasure in heaven where it will not be corrupted. Nothing can cause this inheritance to fade as things do on Earth.
Our inheritance is undefiled. It is not contaminated or touched by sin. It is eternal. Why should we keep our focus on things of the Earth which are temporary when we have an eternal, non corruptible, non defiled, non fading inheritance in heaven?
This inheritance is secure. It is reserved in heaven. There is no safer place to keep anything. There will never be an invasion of heaven to steal what we have there. Someone may say, “I can see that our inheritance is safe and secure, but what about me. I'm saved, but how do I know I can make it?” Good question. Verse five describes what God does for those who are elect and chosen, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
We have an inheritance which is secure, but we are also secure because it is God, not us, who keeps us for the inheritance. Some may say, “I was saved. Jesus started a work in me, but how can I know that I will make it?” Philippians 1:6 gives a good answer, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” It was God who started the work and it is God who will finish the work he started.
Some may say, “What if I stumble before I get to the finish line?” Jude 24 answers that: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” You may stumble, but God will see to it that you don't permanently fall. Who gets the glory for that? God does, not you. If I had to keep myself, then when I got to heaven, I would have a right to brag, but if it is God who prevents me from falling and if it is God who is going to finish the work he started, He gets the glory for it.
Someone will say, “ What is my part in all of this? I know I have to keep the faith.” That is true, but verse five says we are kept by the power of God through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Even the faith to be saved is a gift of God. If God gives the faith to be saved, he continues to give the faith to stay saved. What a great inheritance we have through our Lord Jesus. How we ought to thank God and praise Him for what he has provided for us. We will thank him for the endless ages to come. Why not start now?
Arnold Martin is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Teetersville. He can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com