TEXT:I Peter 1:3-9 THEME:Through Christ's resurrection we have received a new birth, a living hope,
an inheritance and a shield for this world so
that we may grow in thatnew life and do His will as
TITLE:"Empowered, and Gifted For What?"
Second Sunday of Easter
Our Savior Lutheran Church
Springs, Colorado April
THROUGH THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF CHRIST, WE ARE GIVEN NEW LIFE.
We receive a "NEW
We are reborn as
Christians when eternal life in Christ is implanted into our souls by
God's Word changes lives
in a dramatic way.
Faith came to many of us
in our infancy through God's action in our baptism.
implies that we are now engaged in a new life.
The old life is gone and
something new and vastly better has begun!
New birth means that we
were formerly quite dead...otherwise a new life
would be unnecessary!
When the Father of Life
begets children, he showers His gifts on them.
We receive a "LIVING
This is the opposite of a
empty, false, deceptive hope.
All other hope for a life
after death is such a vain hope.
This is the cruelest of
all hope...a hope that has no chance of fulfillment.
In what is this hope
anchored?...in the resurrection of Christ!
This is why the world
around us tries so incredibly hard to refute the
reality of Christ's resurrection.
Satan's fondest ambition
is to destroy our hope and without the resurrection,
there is NO hope!
If you wish to hold your
hope in the resurrection, be ready to be called,
"uninformed", "over zealous", "a religious fanatic
clinging to disproven
ancient traditions", etc.
We receive an
Since we are God's
newborn children, then we are heirs of our Father's kingdom.
ILLUS:Prince Charles of England is certainly the heir of the throne. He knows that
it is his possession...a certain hope that will be fulfilled.Likewise, our heavenly inheritance is already ours.While
we await its fullness in heaven, it is still our joy now!
It could not be any more
certain if a written will were publicly posted and
registered in the county courthouse...God's Word is sure!
Listen to the description
Peter uses to describe this inheritance:
It can never
perish!...Earthly inheritances can become worthless.
It can never
spoil!...Without the least stain from sin...a perfect gift.
It can never fade!...It
will never become less from any earthly force.
OUR NEW LIFE IS A CAUSE FOR EXAULATION, EVEN IN OUR TRIALS.
Yes, in this life there
will be hard times.
"Now, for a little
while, you may...have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials."
God does not promise us
an easy life.
Since we are in Christ,
we automatically are at odds with the world.
Consider the lifestyles
of the apostles and many suffering believers.
But even in these
circumstances, we have reason to rejoice:
They are there to test
the strength of our faith.
Not in the sense to see
if faith is there.
Rather, in the sense
that if the strength of our faith is to increase,
it but be pitted against obstacles.
ILLUS:A weightlifter will not be able to progress to a higher weight if he does not
pit his strength against a weight greater than he has formerly
tried to bear...Why?To increase
This process of refining
demonstrates our value in God's eyes.
We are more precious than
A refiner doesn't work
hard on something he doesn't want to keep!
Our struggles result in the praise, glory and honor going to God.
When God gives us the
strength to stand up in times of trial, the glory is His.
This is also true of
life's blessings...the credit goes to God.
The whole of the
Christian life is one continuous opportunity to express
gratitude to our gracious Father in heaven.
They will be seen as the
glorious things they are when Christ is revealed!
The good works of the
saints will shine like stars when Christ comes in His
glory...the truth will be seen.
motivations behind good works done by unbeliever will also be seen for what they were
and there couldn't be a more stark
HAVING RECEIVED SUCH PRECIOUS GIFTS THROUGH FAITH, OUR LIVES NOW AREDEDICATED TO SERVE THE LORD.
Faith leads inevitably to
love and love leads inevitably to obedience.
We can no more love
Christ and refuse to express that love in our lives than a
homemaker can say that she loves her children but fail to feed them.
Such a love is not love
at all...it is a charade of love.
Love always takes action
to express itself.
We do not love God out of
obligation, but out of gratitude!
Genuine faith does not demand proof according to human standards...that
Love demands trust,
respect and confidence without "scientific proof".
questioning the historical accuracy about Christ are opposite
of what love produces.
"Though you have not
seen him, you love him, and even though you do not
see him now, you believe in him..." Peter responds!
joy" does doubt produce?...What hope?...What inheritance?...What
strength in time of trouble?
We are receiving the goal of faith...the salvation of our souls!
This is the final rescue
when the soul enters heaven.
It is for this reason
that Christ came...lived...died...and rose again.
New life is ours now...ours
forever!We have received the New
Birth, the Living Hope, the Inheritance, the protectiveshield of God's strengthening
in times of trouble.Now His love
compels us to respond.To live for
Him, to see Him even it the world refuses to acknowledge His reality.To act on His behalf.Love
would do nothing less!In Jesus'