Imperishable Inheritance: 1 Peter 1:1-12

Hello, friend! I hope you are doing well. I know the coronavirus is probably causing a lot of frustration, struggle, and fear, but I hope that this article will bring you what we all need: good news.

Today we are beginning our discussion of 1 Peter. You can read the first chapter here; we will be discussing parts of the first 12 verses. This book is very fitting for this time, and in a moment you will see why.

Target Audience

1 Peter is written by the apostle Peter, who was a disciple of Jesus Christ while He walked on the earth. 1 Peter is a letter to the persecuted Christians, “…in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

No, I’m not going to make you go find those places on the map today, I just want you to realize they were in a foreign, hostile land. They were being persecuted there because of their faith, and Peter’s letter was meant for encouragement in staying strong in their faith despite that.

We aren’t being persecuted, but we are definitely struggling during this time and need to trust God more than ever. 

Verses To Think About

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

1 Peter 1:3-4

In these verses, Peter throws a lot at us, so let’s break it down.

1. Born Again

Being “born again” as Peter says is to have a fresh start, a new life. Jesus talks about this same concept to Nicodemus the Pharisee in John 3. Nicodemus is confused by Jesus’s use of the word “born” and asks how a man could possibly go back into his mother’s womb. Jesus answers, 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 3:5-6

What Jesus is speaking about is a spiritual rebirth, not physical rebirth. Being born again is putting our trust in Jesus and what He did for us: His death and resurrection so that our sins could be washed away. With our sins washed away, we are born again with a clean slate.

2. Living Hope

Now that we know what being born again means, what about the “to a living hope” part? Let’s start with hope. 

Before Jesus died for us, eternity with God was far off. The people in the Old Testament had animal sacrifices for their sins, but that was never meant to be a permanent arrangement.

Jesus came and became the Ultimate Sacrifice. He died for us so that we could be born again, and in doing so He became our hope. Without him, we were lost in the darkness, with almost no way to be with God, and Jesus gave us hope.

Not only that, but Jesus rose again, He is alive! That’s where “living” comes in. Jesus isn’t only our hope, but He’s our living hope!

3. Our Inheritance

To inherit something is to have something passed on to you. In verse 4, Peter talks about inheriting salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul talks about something similar in Romans 8:

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs– heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Romans 8:16-17

Not only do we inherit this great gift, but the inheritance is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It cannot die, it cannot be spoiled, and it cannot fade over time. 

We shouldn’t expect this inheritance on earth; just because there is mention of greater things to come doesn’t mean it comes here and now. We will struggle and suffer, and not everything will be easy.

Current Struggles

Though we struggle, we always have God with us.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith– more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire– may be found to result in praise and glory and revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:6-7

This doesn’t mean God is trying to hurt us and make us fall away, but if someone genuinely trusts God, they stand with Him through these trials. 

These struggles also won’t last forever, as Paul says in Romans 8:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Romans 8:18

We can get through these current times, but only if we trust in God to help us. And of course, remember:

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live, or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Romans 14:8

Final Thoughts

Thank you for joining me today! I hope that this article has helped to encourage you. There is so much more I want to say about 1 Peter, which is what we’ll be talking about for the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Have a blessed day,

~Caroline

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