Thursday, January 29, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Two

"Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ, who

has blessed us with every spiritual blessing

in the heavenly places in Christ."

Ephesians 1:3


1 Peter

Good morning! Let's begin our time together with prayer...

"Yes, Father, You are blessed. You alone are worthy of our adoration and praise. We thank You for all that You have done for us. Praise be Your matchless name.

We seek the forgiveness of our sins, Lord, because we know that our iniquities separate us from You and we do not want to be without You, Lord.

Speak to us this day through Your words. Teach us new and exciting things in this wonderful book by Peter. Walk with us today and show us Your love.

In Jesus' name...amen."


Redemption in Christ

1 Peter 1:3

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Today we will look into the main idea that Peter is trying to convey throughout this entire book:

Hope through our salvation

"...according to His abundant mercy..."

Here we read that our salvation wasn't based on good works that we do. It wasn't based on anything that God needed to do. Our salvation was and always will be based on His abundant mercy. Peter reminds us of this in verse three.

Please read:

Gal 6:16

Now that we are able to walk according to this rule, we will be partakers of this mercy of the Lord. His love was what initiated our salvation....our redemption. We must never forget that.

"...has begotten us to a living hope..."

I recently was able to substitute teach a class about Hinduism and Buddhism in their history class. As we read about these two religions, we came to the conclusion that both have reincarnation in common. In reincarnation, the soul of a living person lives on in the form of another living thing whether it is animal or human.

As I was explaining this, I told the students how this differs from what we learn from Christianity. I told them that our souls have only 2 destinations: heaven or hell. One Indian girl, who is a Hindu, told me that in Hinduism they have the concept of heaven and hell as well. We then went on to discuss how it is that a person can enter into their heaven or hell and she said it was by Karma.

Good Karma= heaven

Bad Karma= hell

I couldn't go further into the Gospel message due to time issues, but in my mind I thought that this concept leaves the person with no amount of hope since they will not know at death where their soul is headed. They believe it can just keep reincarnating forever. Since the human "essence" isn't passed on from living form to living form, there is no evidence of that person's past existence. How sad. There is no way for a person to know what to do in order to reincarnate "up" or know how to do things correct in order not to reincarnate "down". Buddhism requires that one follow the teachings of Siddhartha, the first Buddha, in order to reach the final stage: Enlightenment.

Nirvana is the Buddhist's heaven, but it is essentially ceasing to exist and becoming "one" with the universe. Where is the hope in that? The universe changes constantly. Why would I want to be a part of something that changes constantly? I already have that here on earth. I have moved 13 times in my life and hate it. To finally be settled somewhere is what all people desire.

I want to be with the One who never changes. He is consistently the same. Forever. To me, being with God represents peace and rest.


We believers in Christ were given a living hope when Jesus conquered the cross for us.

"..through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..."

He gave us that living hope that yes we will be with Him in paradise as He told the thief on the cross.

John 1:12 & 13

John 3:3-8

Titus 3:5

James 1:18

God has begotten us again to that living hope through the resurrection of Jesus as our Lord and savior. That theme of hope through our salvation will reverberate throughout this book. Look for it and treasure it deep within your heart. Peter is talking to you and about you since you belong to Jesus.

We have that hope that other religions do not possess. We do not rely on our good deeds nor fear our bad deeds regarding our eternal salvation. We have been saved from that hopeless path that leads to nowhere. Our truth lies in what Christ did for us once and for all. Take time today to really think about that and praise His glorious name. He alone is worthy.


Next time we will look at 1 Peter 1:4-5



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