“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,”
1 Peter 1:3
I sin every day. That’s my confession and I shouldn’t think it is shocking, especially to anyone who knows me well. I don’t get up in the morning planning on sinning, in fact, I get up early and pray that Iwon’t sin. However, my sin reminds me of my need for my Savior and my deep gratitude for God’s mercy.
Let me just be crystal clear about this though, I don’t practice sin (remember “do not get up in the morning planning to sin”)… I practice righteousness; that is, I rely on the Holy Spirit to teach me how to be holy as God is holy. Kind of like a piano teacher teaches his student how to play Tchaikovsky. There is nothing in me that naturally knows how to be good, so I need a teacher, and God sent His teacher to us in the form of the Holy Spirit. (“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26 ESV)
As Peter begins the body of his letter here in verse 3 it is full to the brim with magnification of the role of GOD’S MERCY in our salvation. Sinners would destroy the world if it weren’t for God’s mercy. In His loving kindness and patient suffering He mercifully brings good to the world. The earth is sustained by his mercy and therefore it is wisdom to surrender to the Lordship of His Son Jesus Christ and foolishness to resist Him.
“All the evil in the world is from man’s sin, but all the good in it is from God’s mercy.” ~Matthew Henry
Salvation comes through God’s Mercy
God’s mercy is a mysterious wonder. We have done EVERYTHING wrong from the beginning. There has NEVER been any good in us. We have ALWAYS rejected him. Even giving your life to Jesus, or accepting him, or surrendering to him, or whatever it shall be called is not of your own doing or it would be to your good credit for making such an excellent and worthy choice. But Titus 3:5 rings the bell of truth.
“he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,”
(Titus 3:5 ESV)
It was ACCORDING to His MERCY that we have been saved. In unreasonable mercy he causes some to be saved and be born again. There is nothing we have done or could do to that would ever entitle us to the riches of God’s salvation. So where does that leave us?…….. with a living hope.
Any hope outside of Jesus is a perishing one. It will fade and die with the one who trusts in it. But hope in Jesus will sustain us for eternity.
Whatever we go through in life a Christian’s hope in their resurrected Savior will bring strength, perseverance, energy, and vigor. And that is because it is a living hope, it is a hope that brings life. It is not a hope that depends on my feelings or emotions, or that wavers on my capability or determination. It hinges entirely on the death and defeat of death that Christ secured on the cross and in rising from the tomb three days later.
As the old hymn goes,
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!“
We have no promise of tomorrow. People of all ages die of all different causes, some expected, some not. Don’t wait until tomorrow to call out to God. There is hope in nothing else but God’s great mercy, as Peter describes it in this verse. Your hope will not fail you. If you belong to Jesus then don’t despair, he’s got you. If you don’t know if you belong to Jesus then don’t wait, the Bible says that TODAY is the day of salvation. He will apply His great mercy to you if you cry out to Him.
“I waited patiently for the LORD;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.
Blessed is the man who makes
the LORD his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O LORD my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
yet they are more than can be told.”
(Psalm 40:1-5 ESV)
Preparing the Way,