New Birth and a Living Hope!
Scripture reading for November 9th: 1 Peter 1
Peter, along with James and John, was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus Christ. Peter also denied His Lord three times during Jesus’ trial before the crucifixion. Peter wept bitterly and was later restored by the Lord after the resurrection. As recorded by John, Peter was told by Jesus that he would eventually die for his faith. (John 21:18-19)
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:3-7)
Peter understood the ‘new birth’ because of his own experience! Jesus Christ had breathed on him and sent him to preach the good news of forgiveness of sins. (John 20:22) He had seen Jesus Christ in His resurrection body and knew Him as the ‘Living Hope’ for his own life and all who would believe! (2nd Peter 1:16) He knew that at Jesus’ return, he and the Church would enjoy the full salvation promised by Christ–a resurrected body–like His glorious body! He also knew that only genuine faith would result in joy at Christ’s return! Are you resting totally Christ’s sacrifice for you? Only those who have experienced new birth in Christ will enjoy full salvation!