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Archive for the ‘Petrine Studies’ Category

“…until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5)

Often times it seems the church thinks of what is yet to come using terms such as ascending and descending.  Yet, Peter uses the word “revealed.”  The picture is that of the curtain being drawn, and the final Act playing before our eyes.  Or it seems similar to when the scales fell off of Paul’s eyes and he could once clearly again.  Could this be behind Paul saying that right now we look through a glass darkly (1 Cor. 13:12)?  And what does this say about Heaven?  Could it be that Heaven isn’t some place “way up there?”  Could it be that day, when the trump is blown, our eyes will see the “spiritual” realities that prior were held from our sinful eyes?  We too might see the mighty hosts all around, having the scales fall from our eyes; we would see that our communal worship on a Sunday morning is a participation in the “heavenly” worship that is happening beyond the scope of our seeing now.  In fact, we would see that our work for the Kingdom right now is a participation with “spiritual” work that is being done, that is putting down all of God’s enemies. 

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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” (1 Peter 1:3-4)

Here the Apostle Peter reminds the early church that in the midst of their sufferings their hope is not in things perishable, but in God who put on display His mighty power and mercy through the resurrection of the Son, Jesus Christ.  Note, Peter does not despise the physical or material as some try to do.  What he does, is locate hope, which is not material, in the imperishable, eternal nature which is shown in resurrection of  Jesus, which is before the Christian in the inheritance of the Kingdom, particularly the New Heaven and New Earth.  Further, this hope does not rest on what we can do or the things we can surmount or who we are; it lies fully in who God is and what He has done on account of His great mercy in Jesus the Christ.  Hope cannot be stolen or taken away; it is fixed in the permanent, unchanging nature of God, His acts, and the surety of His promises.  Thus, it is a living hope, not one that is dead, and it propels us in faith toward our inheritance, that we might say in the midst of our present condition – as Peter says, “Praise the LORD!”

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John Calvin writes:

 “The design of Peter in this Epistle is to exhort the faithful to a denial of the world and a contempt of it, so that being freed from carnal affections and all earthly hindrances, they might with their whole soul aspire after the celestial kingdom of Christ, that being elevated by hope, supported by patience, and fortified by courage and perseverance, they might overcome all kinds of temptations, and pursue this course and practice throughout life.”

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