Monday, December 26, 2011

A Wide and A Strong River

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 and 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. 

By God's  mercy He caused us to be born again!  Did we choose Him or did He choose us?  A discussion for anther time perhaps but today we look at the benefits.  What is the living hope that comes with this being born again?  God calls it an inheritance.  It is something that someone else earned that we receive!  The text says that it is imperishable, undefiled and will not fade away.  Unlike other inheritances we may receive in our lifetimes this one will never run out! Beyond the promise that it will not run out it is also guaranteed by heaven itself.

The last portion of this sentence is the primary point to discuss here.  The born again are "protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed".

God has caused our rebirth, has secured our inheritance, has guaranteed it and preserves and protects us to get from here to there.

Peter goes on:

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 is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and 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. 

"In this you greatly rejoice" Really?  It seems to me that the last thought that the general population would have about Christians is "rejoicing".

From the beginning of time God's people and even the angels in heaven have longed to see what we experience every day.  Unfortunately, most Christians today miss this entirely.  How could anyone understanding this great wealth given to us not rejoice?

  As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 

God used the thousands, no the hundreds of thousands of people that we read about in what we now call the old testament. to display His magnificent grace to us.  They never saw the end of the story like we now see.  All of the laws, all of the sacrifices, all of the legal priesthood, all of the battles and the victories are all wrapped up and completed in Jesus!

Most Christians stand on the banks of the great river of grace that runs through eternity.  We see it clearly as it begins in our world within the Garden of Eden and flows powerfully through the events recorded in the old testament.  The river continues through the life of Jesus and through the beginning of the church.  We can also look into the future and see in the Book of Revelation it continuing flow.  

Heer we stand, the river flowing strong and wide and we stand thirsty and waiting on banks of the river!

Jump in!  It only takes a small step of faith.  He will do the rest!
(Scripture in from 1 Peter chapter 1) 

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