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1 Peter 1:3-9

3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Believers are cleansed from their sins by the death of Christ but made new creations through the resurrection of Christ. Because of the resurrection we are given new natures that are completely compatible with God (see 2 Peter 1:3-4). If the resurrection is not central in our theology, then we will only have half of the Gospel. We will understand that Christ died for our sins, but we will not understand that we are saved by the life of Christ. Our inherent regeneration happens because of Christ’s resurrection. 

Obtain an inheritance which is imperishable: The Christian cannot lose their salvation because it is inherently imperishable. Christ’s work was so perfect that nothing we do can make it void. Furthermore, Christians have a new heart that inherently believes in Jesus (see also Romans 6:17). As a result, our salvation is reserved in Heaven.

Protected by the power of God: God protects His children though not always physically. While we face trials and tribulations during life on earth, persecution that may even lead to our deaths, our spirits are kept safe and will be preserved into the afterlife. 

In this you greatly rejoice: Joy is the natural outcome of understanding God’s grace in Christ. If our beliefs are not producing joy, then we are misunderstanding the Gospel, or forgetting our cleansing from sin (see 2 Peter 1:9).

Distressed by various trials: Christians are not immune to the negative impacts of the world. Christ did not die and rise again to somehow obtain earthly victory for His children. Instead, Christ gives us a salvation which is forever untouched by persecution and other worldly trials. As we focus on this, we will find joy coming into our lives during the most distressful times. Peter is giving us a place to go to in faith that allows us to process life emotionally in light of the truth. 

More precious than gold: The evidence and outcome of true faith is priceless. It may not amount to much in this life but has eternal value and will result in praise, glory, and honor at Christ’s return. This is especially pertinent to Peter’s context. The church was experiencing a great deal of persecution, some of which resulted in death. In fact, Peter was likely killed under this persecution from Nero. Therefore, the Christians were to keep a heavenly perspective in the midst of earthly turmoil, and find joy in the truths of the Gospel which are forever untouched by the ways of the world. 

You love Him: Notice that Peter is not telling these believers to love God. He is recognizing that they have an inherent and natural love for God. This is the result of Christ’s resurrection and our new righteous natures. So, Christians do not need to love God more- we already love God from the cores of our beings. This is the beauty of the New Covenant. The people were not faithful to God under the Old Covenant, so God fixed the problem.  

Joy inexpressible: The joy produced by the Gospel is inexpressible because human words fail to express the amazing truths of God. Even the Bible, God’s written word, is written in human languages. Therefore, we need power from the Holy Spirit to grasp the grand nature of God’s love in Christ. 

The salvation of our souls: The salvation of our souls is the outcome of our personal faith. This is the plan God had before the foundations of the earth. He has elected the world to hear the Gospel. Our place is to respond and obtain salvation.

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