Tuesday, April 7, 2009

1 Peter (4)

By his great mercy he has given us a new birth...

A new birth signifies a new life. Jesus told Nicodemus "No one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above" (Jn 3:3). Does Peter have this dialogue in his mind when he pens his letter? Maybe so.

Later in his letter, Peter defines what he means by "new birth". You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God (1:23)

Peter states this birth is into a living hope (1:4) Have you ever observed someone without hope? The Apostle Paul mentions non-believers as having no hope (Eph 2:12). Peter could have begun his letter in many ways. However, one of the first things he offers is hope. The Christian must understand what Christ has done for them - even in the midst of persecution.

One other thing, when it comes to new birth, John writes, "...for whoever is born of God conquers the world, our faith" (1 Jn 5:4). That's the hope Peter is speaking of.

During this Easter season, we remember what Christ Jesus has done for us. We remember the thirty-nine lashes, the mocking, the sin placed upon Him, the gruesome death, and the burial. And then we remember the tomb being empty, Jesus appearing to his followers, the restoration of Peter (among others), and the hope He gives. That's the hope Peter speaks of. That's the hope that we must continue to attempt to understand.

Any thoughts?


preacherman said...

Wonderful post.
One of the things I think we as believers and clergy do is color coat the cross. We don't really show the agony of the death of Christ. We wear the crosses around our next without even givening thought to what he went though. It is sad. It is my prayer and hope that this easter that we will remember the pain and agony that he went through. I think when we understand the agony the resurrection is that much more meaningful to us as believers. Thank you for this post brother. It is so important during this week. I hope you and your family have a great Easter!

Anonymous said...

The cross as symbol is very powerful. It not only reminds us of our Lord Jesus suffering on our behalf, it reminds us of our own sinful nature. We need to understand the horror of that sinful nature before we can begin to understand the wonder of redemption. Both can come from the crucifixtion. Such wonder from such horror. We have certainly remembered.

Yet through all the suffering He still redeems us. He removes our suffering and allows us contact with Him. Not only that He eliminates the separation from the Father! He provides what we cannot and conquers our earthly nature. I have faith that He suffered, died and returned for me and that gives Hope!

So says Mike

Cheryl Russell said...

AMEN! Great reflections this week. HOPE indeed!

Ted M. Gossard said...

I love the term "living hope". It is alive, not dependent on us, but on God, and the reality of Christ's resurrection for us and the world.

Blessings on you and yours. The Lord is risen indeed!

Anonymous said...

had to look this up...

O.E. hopian "wish, expect, look forward (to something)," of unknown origin, a general Low Ger. word (cf. O.Fris. hopia, M.L.G., M.Du. hopen; M.H.G. hoffen "to hope" was borrowed from Low Ger. Some suggest a connection with hop (v.) on the notion of "leaping in expectation."

c.1325, from O.Fr. desperer "lose hope, despair," from L. desperare "to despair," from de- "without" + sperare "to hope," from spes "hope" (see speed). Noun replaced native wanhope

Mike said...

Life. That simple word seems to have got missed from so many Christain lives.