1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Who are the “us” being spoken of here? Generally speaking we are all those who are the elect of God, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ (see vv. 1-2). We are all those who, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, have been crucified and buried with Christ in death to sin, and who have been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer living as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness (see Romans 6:1-23; 1 Peter 2:24).
God the Father, in his great mercy, sent Jesus Christ (the only begotten Son of God) to the earth to be born as a baby to a human mother, but conceived of the Holy Spirit so that God the Father was Jesus’ birth Father. So, when Jesus lived on the earth, he was fully God and he was fully man, yet he did not sin (he was without sin). And God the Father sent his only begotten Son to the earth primarily so that he would be our sacrifice for our sins. So when Jesus died on that cross he put our sins to death with him.
Now, by God-given faith in Jesus Christ, via dying with Christ to sin and being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, we are born again of God. For the first time we are born, it is in flesh bodies, so it is a physical birth. But when we are born again, this is a spiritual birth, being born of the Spirit of God to new lives in Christ Jesus, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. So our old self dies with Jesus so that we can now live new lives in Christ to the honor and praise of God.
For, going back to the first two verses, we are God’s elect (his chosen ones) in the sanctification of the Spirit. And to be sanctified is to be made holy, and to be holy is to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are now being conformed to the likeness of the character of Jesus Christ. And God called us to obedience to him, so we are no longer to be conformed to the passions of our sinful flesh, but we are to be holy in all our conduct (see vv. 1-2 and vv. 13-19).
So, when this tells us that God’s mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for us, this promise is not for everyone who professes the name of Jesus as Savior and Lord. For Jesus said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one DOING the will of God the Father who is in heaven (see Matthew 7:21-23).
This promise is not for everyone who makes a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ and then assumes that heaven is now guaranteed them when they die, but regardless of how they live. For we are God’s elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ. So if we do not obey our Lord, in practice, but sin is what we practice, instead, then we do not have the hope of eternal life with God (1 John 1:5-10; 1 John 2:3-6; 1 John 3:4-10; Romans 6:1-23).
Now, this is a wonderful promise from God, but it isn’t for everyone, not even for everyone who professes faith in Jesus Christ. For a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and actual faith, lived out in action, can be two different things. And “faith” is not of our own doing, but it is a gift from God. So if it comes from God, it is going to align with God and with his will and purpose for our lives, and with his godly character. So faith is thus defined by God and by his Word and not by us.
And faith is also divine persuasion, so we can’t even believe in Jesus until God the Father persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness, and of our sinfulness, and of our need to repent of (turn away from) our sins to follow Jesus in obedience to his commands under the New Covenant. And the Scriptures go on to talk about faith, that it is obedience, and it is surrender to Christ, and it is walks of holiness and righteousness, and it must continue, steadfast until the very end.
[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Acts 5:32; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Eph 4:17-32; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15,21; Matt 7:21-23]
And please pay attention to what it says here in verse 5 about our inheritance: “Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” And it says it this way because our salvation is progressive, just like our faith. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present active), and we will be saved (future) when Jesus returns and he takes his bride to be with him for eternity. But this is provided that we continue in those walks of obedience to our Lord, in holy living, and not in sin, steadfast until the very end.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Praise the “I AM!”
An Original Work / February 24, 2012
Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!
I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!
He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”