A living hope because of a living Savior

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A. Peter is the author of this letter – What comes to mind when you think of Peter?

1. Guy who seemed to always put his foot in his mouth, who denied Jesus, etc….

2. Guy who said “you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” and let 3,000 people to

Christ on the day of Pentecost

3. His life would changed dramatically after he was restored by Jesus and then baptized by the HS

4. He was not a perfect man after that, but was a man that God used greatly

5. Before Jesus changed Peter’s name to Peter, his name was Simon

a. It is thought by some that Simon meant “shifting sand”

b. From scripture it seems that Peter was very unsure of his self

c. Peter means rock

• “a detached but large fragment of rock,”

• It would come to describe a man who became firm and stable in his faith

B. Why did Peter write this letter?

1. As we have seen in many of the letters we have studied, trials and tribulation were plenty

2. Things were already tough for these believers, but things were going get much worse

3. Peter wrote this letter shortly before or shortly after the beginning of one of the greatest

periods of persecution in church history under Caesar Nero

4. It would be very easy for these believers to loose hope

5. Both of Peter’s letters are about the hope we have as believers

6. This is why Peter is commonly referred to as the apostle of hope

7. Where as Paul is referred to as the apostle of faith and John is the apostle of love

C. Who was Peter writing to?

 Read verses 1-2

1. Pilgrims of the Dispersion

a. The term “pilgrims” can also be translated – “sojourners, strangers, aliens,

temporary residents”

b. These believers were citizens of another kingdom – kingdom of God

c. Our time here on earth is temporary, we are just passing through

d. This can be encouraging in a couple ways

• Our trials and tribulations will not last forever

• This is not the sum total of life, but preparation for the life to come

e. We need to live as though we are temporary residents not permanent

Colossians 3:1-2 (NIV)

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Hebrews 11:9-10 (NKJV)

By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God

a. Elect has the idea of choosing - “to select out of a number”

b. What is the basis for God choosing?

• That it is totally the choice of God and man has no part in it whatsoever

• Others say God only chooses the “elect” because they would choose Him

• Somewhere in the middle lies the truth

c. We are told here that we are elect according to His foreknowledge

• Foreknowledge is to know something in advance – God knew the choices we would make

• Foreknowledge also conveys to know something in a personal way – God knew you through a personal relationship even before you were even created

d. God created man with a free will - evident by the choice Adam and Eve made

e. If you choose to reject God’s gift of salvation, then you are not one of the “elect”,

but it was your choice

f. If you choose to receive God’s gift of salvation, you did not initiate it, you only

responded to the working of the Holy Spirit as He wooed you

g. Some believe that man exercising free will takes away from God’s sovereignty

3. Sanctified by the Spirit and covered by the blood

a. In each of these we see the work of the trinity in salvation

b. Warren Wiersbe said

• As far as God the Father is concerned, I was saved when He chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world. As far as the Son is concerned, I was saved when He died for me on the cross. But as far as the Spirit is concerned, I was saved one night in May 1945 when I heard the Gospel and received Christ. Then it all came together, but it took all three Persons of the Godhead to bring me to salvation. If we separate these ministries, we will either deny divine sovereignty or human responsibility; and that would lead to heresy.

c. Living hope is something that is experienced by those who are elected by the father,

sanctified by the Spirit, covered by the Son’s blood and now are pilgrims in this world

 Living hope reminds us of what awaits us in the future, gives us strength for the present and is something to be shared with others

I. Living hope reminds of what awaits us in the future (vs. 3-5)

 Read verses 3-5

A. What is hope?

1. Vines Dictionary

a. favorable and confident expectation

b. Hope describes the happy anticipation of good

2. Dictionary

a. to desire with expectation of obtainment

b. to expect with confidence

3. You have confidence that something good will happen, therefore you expect it to


4. How we tend to use the word hope

a. I hope I get that job

b. I hope I get that promotion

5. Hope is only as strong as what you put your hope in

a. The believer’s hope is strong, because it resides in the person of Jesus

b. We can have confidence in what He did, what He has spoken

John 11:25-26 (NIV)

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

You can have that confident expectation that Jesus will come again

B. Why do we call it living Hope?

1. Because Jesus is alive – He is the one our hope is in

• Read Luke 24:15-27

2. Only those who have been born-again experience this living hope

3. Only because of God’s mercy can we experience living hope

a. Justice is where a person gets what they deserve from God

• because all fall short of God’s glory, all people deserve condemnation and eternal separation from God.

b. Mercy is not getting what one deserves.

• Though humankind deserves to be condemned, in Christ God has provided a way to avoid that condemnation.

c. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve.

• We certainly don’t deserve to have Jesus die on the cross in our place

• we certainly don’t deserve to be saved.

• we certainly don’t deserved to have God bless us as well as save us.

• Grace goes beyond justice and mercy and gives us what we don’t deserve.

C. Living hope reminds us of what awaits us in heaven

1. What awaits us is our inheritance

a. Inheritance speaks of the portion or heritage that one receives by virtue of

his birth

Romans 8:16-17 (NKJV)

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

b. This inheritance is not earned, but given to you when you are born-again into

the family of God

2. Our inheritance cannot be destroyed – it will last for all eternity

3. Our inheritance cannot be defile by sin – it is pure, because it comes from God

4. The beauty of our inheritance will never fade

5. Our inheritance can never be stolen – it is guarded by God

D. What are you living for?

1. Are you just living to make ends meet?

2. Are you working yourself tired just so that you can have a nice chunk of change?

3. Are just you living for today?

4. As believers, we are to live for the life to come in Christ Jesus

1 Corinthians 15:19 (NIV)

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

E. We are on a journey who’s finally destination is eternity with Jesus

1. Peter tells us in verse 5 that God’s power will guard us to the end

2. This does not mean we will not have trials and troubles

a. It does mean the God’s power will enable us to overcome and continue on

b. This is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead

3. Faith is what enables us to realize God’s power in our lives

 Read verses 6-9

II. Living hope

gives us strength for the present (vs. 6-9)

A. By showing us a brighter tomorrow in light of today

1. “In this you greatly rejoice” (vs. 6)

a. Kenneth Wuest

• “Rejoice” is from a Greek word speaking of extreme joy expressing itself externally in an exuberant triumph of joy.

b. We rejoice because our salvation will be completed

c. We rejoice because we will receive our glorified bodies at the rapture

d. We rejoice because of the inheritance we will receive

2. Even though we have a wonderful tomorrow to look to, we live in today which

brings us trials

a. Every believer goes through trials

b. Trials are life events that put us to the test in order to reveal things

• You want to remember that not all trials are of God

• Some come to us because of the choices we make

c. God allows trials because they are necessary for our lives

1) God will at times use trials to discipline us if need be

2) God will use trials to further our spiritual growth

d. The trials of life will be varied in the types and difficulty

1) Simply means that all trials are not the same

2) Every trial is intended to accomplish a different purpose

3) God matches the trial to our strength and needs

e. The trials of life are difficult

• The Greek word for “grieved” means to experience grief or pain

f. Trials are only for a time

1) They may seem like an eternity, but they are not

2) They may last your entire lifetime, but they will eventually end

3) Warren Wiersbe said

• When God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. If we rebel, He may have to reset the clock; but if we submit, He will not permit us to suffer one minute too long.

• Living hope

gives us strength for the present

B. By the testing of our faith (vs. 7)

1. That is the main reason for trials

2. Peter compares our faith to gold – both are valuable – but faith is of far greater


• Thing about gold is that the purer it is, the more valuable it is

3. understanding faith

a. Biblical faith is complete trust and confidence in who God is and in what He


b. It is confident obedience to God’s Word, regardless of our

circumstances & consequences.

c. It is complete trust that God will do what He says He will do despite what

things are happening around us

d. J. Oswald Sanders “Faith enables the believing soul to treat the future as the

present and the invisible as seen”

4. God wants to purify and strengthen our faith

a. gold before it is refined is mixed with impurities like our faith is

b. God wants to refine our faith – like gold is refined in fire

• Faith is refined by the fires of trials

• When gold is put to the fire, impurities rise to the surface

• When our faith is put to the fire, those things that make our faith impure likewise rise to the surface that God may remove them

5. Only through the fires of trials can we know what kind of faith we have

a. Kenneth Wuest

• The picture here is of an ancient gold-smith who puts his crude gold ore in a crucible, subjects it to intense heat, and thus liquifies the mass. The impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off. When the metal-worker is able to see the reflection of his face clearly mirrored in the surface of the liquid, he takes it off the fire, for he knows that the contents are pure gold. So it is with God and His child, He puts us in the crucible of Christian suffering, in which process sin is gradually put out of our lives, our faith is purified from the slag of unbelief that somehow mingles with it so often, and the result is the reflection of the face of Jesus Christ in the character of the Christian. This, above all, God the Father desires to see. Christlikeness is God’s ideal for His child. Christian suffering is one of the most potent means to that end.

b. As more and more of the impurities are removed, the more clearly Jesus will be

seen in our lives

c. Living hope says – “I know He cares for me, because He died for me”

d. Living hope

gives us strength for the present

C. By deepening our love for Jesus in the midst of our trials (vs. 8-9)

1. Peter shows a clear link between the readers love for Jesus and the trials they were


2. None of us here this morning has seen Jesus, yet we love Him – Why?

3. Because we have come to experience His love for us through a personal relationship

4. Trials should cause us to turn to Jesus, thus deepening our love for Him

• Warren Wiersbe - When you find yourself in some trial, and you hurt, immediately lift your heart to Christ in true love and worship. Why? Because this will take the poison out of the experience and replace it with healing medicine.

5. Living Hope says – “I know Jesus loves me” – How do I know? – He died for me

a. He shows it by allowing those things into my life that will help me, not hurt me

b. Love and faith go together: when you love someone, you trust him.

c. Faith and love together help to strengthen hope;

d. Faith and love together are important, because where you find them, you will

find confidence for the future.

e. Living hope

gives us strength for the present

D. By helping us to rejoice in the midst of our trials (vs. 8-9)

1. You may not rejoice over your trial, but you can rejoice through your trial

2. You can rejoice because of what Jesus wants to do with your trial and because he is

there with you

• Can you imagine how exciting it must have been for shadrech, Meshech and Abendigo in the fiery furnace to have Jesus there with you

3. Through each trial, you are able to come away with having learned a little more

about Jesus and having become a little more like Jesus

4. All of this will culminate at the end of your journey receiving the completion of your

salvation when Jesus comes for you

 Read verses 10-12

III. Living hope is something to be shared with others

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