January 19 - Message Update

A Secure Hope – 1 Peter 1:13-25 – Pastor Eric


We live in a world full of insecurities, uncertainties, and hurt. The world can’t guarantee us comfort or security and this can leave us feeling unsure, uneasy, and uncertain about life and maybe even at moments unsure about God. The early Christians had similar feelings. They had a good reason to doubt God, to feel insecure, and to be anxious, because they were living in persecution. But they had a firm and secure hope in Christ. This leads us to wonder, what is a good Christian to do in a world full of insecurity? What are we to do when the world around us seems like it is falling part?  What are we to do when things don’t go the way that we hoped or planned them to?


The first essential truth is a secure hope lives to do the right thing. A hope found in Christ is able to move forward in doing what is right in God’s eyes. A hope grounded in the gospel seeks to live a holy and upright life even when things seem like they are going in the wrong direction. (1 Peter 1:13-16)


Peter centers our focus on the hope of Christ and gospel by having a sharp and prepared mind, to not be drunk on the world, and to fix our sights on God’s grace. Hope then, is our motivation to live out our life and our faith, so that we do not conform to the passions of sin and of the world. So, we don’t go backwards in our faith especially when times get tough.


Peter is so wise to point this out, because when things are tough, our sinful nature has a tendency to pull us backdown. Peter warns us against this lie of the former life, and he encourages us to seek to do good and to be holy for God is holy. We can be holy, because God is a perfect and righteous God. As we fix our hope on Christ, the Holy One, then we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a holy lifestyle.


The second essential truth is a secure hope reveres God and enjoys His grace. A firm hope fears the Lord and savors God’s mercy, grace, and love. A hopeful Christian has a healthy view of God’s holiness as well as a healthy view of God’s grace. A hope grounded in the gospel must understand both the judgment of God and the mercy of God. (1 Peter 1:17-21)


Peter moves from the call of holy living to the call of a holy fear. Peter brings to light that there will come a time when God will judge each of us for both our good deeds and our bad deeds. Therefore, we ought to humble ourselves before the Mighty Hand of God, because He will judge us. But this fear is not to cripple us or scare us into obedience, but to respect God and be in awe of Him. So that we are held accountable by His divine nature of holiness and righteousness in order that we may more clearly see the beauty of His grace.


Peter makes a major shift in the text from verse 17 to verse 18 from having a healthy fear of God to having a healthy understanding of His grace. In verse 18, Peter points to the grace of salvation. Peter is truthful about our sin nature that we were born sinners. We never had a chance as sons of Adam or daughters of Eve, and we were dead in our transgressions. But God ransomed us out of sin. We were saved from our corrupted heritage and our corrupted sinful nature.


In verses 18 and 19, Peter compares gold and silver to Jesus’ blood. He calls gold and silver, which are the most valued elements in the world, perishable goods. The very things that the world finds security and comfort are nothing compared to Christ’s blood, because His blood cleanses us from sin.


In verse 20, the beauty of the gospel is that God planned to sacrifice His very own Son for you from the very beginning of time. God calculated His own Son’s death for your sake.


Finally, we see God raised Christ from the dead, and God gave Him a crown of glory. Without the resurrection, we truly don’t have anything to believe in or hope for. But with the resurrection of Christ, God has triumphed over death, and He has given us an eternal hope from a world full of insecurities.


And if God ransomed us out of Hell, then He can give us a secure hope beyond any hellish moment in life. And if God gifted us with His own precious blood that is more valuable than gold, then He can give us a secure hope more precious than anything on earth.


And if God ordained salvation before the creation of the world, then He can offer us a secure hope beyond any circumstance in this world. And if God rose from the dead, then He can give us a secure hope beyond any loss in life.


Christian author, Nancy Guthrie, sums it up this way, “The power of the gospel still brings life where there is death, hope where there is despair, beauty where there is brokenness.”


The final essential truth is a secure hope endures with an everlasting love. A hopeful Christian goes beyond hurt and pain in order to extend grace and love. A hope grounded in the gospel is able to persevere and display the radical love of God. (1 Peter 1:22-25)


We love, because we have been loved by God. This purifying love happens, because we have been purified by God and born again by the Spirit. Therefore, our genuine and sincere love toward one another is a reflection of the love that we have already been given by Christ. Not only is this love anchored in the gospel, but it is anchored in the Word of God.  For God’s love comes not out of the power of man or any power of the world, but from power of His Word.


When we find our security, our hope, and our assurance is not in any person, but in the person of Christ, then God will empower us to love others even those who might have hurt us. God will strengthen us with a secure hope to love others beyond human reason, and God will enable us to radically love just like He loved us.


It is this sure hope in Christ that empowers us all to live and to love a world full of insecurities.  So then let us fix our eyes on Jesus to powerfully do the next right thing and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God. So that we might see God break down walls of insecurity in us and in our world today.


Praise Songs: Praise to the Lord the Almighty/Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, Jesus is Better, Living Hope, The Solid Rock, Doxology