|Volume 24 Number 2 February 2022
Gary C. Hampton
Peter said God is praised (“blessed”) because of His great mercy, displayed in Christians being allowed to be born again (1 Peter 1:3; John 3:1-8; Romans 6:1-11; James 1:18). We are born into a life of hope because Jesus was raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:16-20; Ephesians 2:12-13). Our hope is alive because Christ is alive from the grave, showing God can also make us alive (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14).
Peter further described the Christian’s living hope as an inheritance, which is for children born into a family (1 Peter 1:4; Acts 20:32; Romans 8:13-17). Earthly inheritances are temporary and perishable (Matthew 6:19-20). The Christian’s inheritance is permanent, lasting and “undefiled” because no sin or impurity will be allowed in Heaven (Revelation 21:27). The apostle used the word amarantos to describe the unending nature of Heaven. “The amaranth was a fabled flower whose bloom was perpetual, and whose loveliness never failed” (Woods 27). “Reserved” depicts a military guard keeping watch over the inheritance which is in Heaven.
The Christian is guarded by God as surely as is his inheritance (1 Peter 1:5; Romans 8:28; Philippians 4:7). God guards the Christian through his faith. It is essential to realize, as Peter did, that one’s faith can fail. Each should do all within his power to avoid such failing (Luke 22:31-32; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; Hebrews 3:12). We should desire to keep that faith constant until the last time, or day of judgment, when final, complete salvation will be revealed.
Praise God for the mercy displayed at Calvary. Praise God for the inheritance that belongs to each Christian. Praise God by remaining faithful until we go to our heavenly home!
You Are Precious to God
Every life is precious before God, as He is the Creator of all that is, and through Christ He sustains His creation. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word (Hebrews 1:3). Our purpose is found in Him, not in what is only of the flesh. Solomon examined life “under the sun” – life lived only for the here and now. His conclusion of such a focus in life was that it’s vanity or futility. “Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NKJV). Nothing in the flesh is lasting, not even human life. All our accomplishments, everything in which one may take pride for himself, will pass into history as another generation comes. “Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
So, what really matters in life? Well, all of life counts before God, as life does continue beyond the grave. What makes life count eternally is living in the flesh from the perspective or the dynamic of the spiritual. Without Christ, life is meaningless, because eternal life without Him is impossible. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6). With Christ, there is a difference in life, for today and for eternity. Jesus offers us an abundant life (John 10:10), life as it is truly meant to be lived. We have every good gift, given in every good way, from the Father (James 1:17). We have all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1:3) so that we have everything for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). As Peter went on to say, “By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4).
Every life is precious to God, as He sent His Son to shed His blood that redemption could be provided and that the hope of eternal life would be real. It is tragic that so many deny the role of the spiritual in life, have nothing for which to hope beyond today. Ezekiel penned, “‘Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?’ says the Lord God, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’” (Ezekiel 18:23). We must always factor in God’s will for us, that glory lies beyond today. We must use our influence to set a godly example and share the good news of Jesus Christ so that others can have the opportunity for life everlasting.
God knows the heart or the mind of man, and He will render His judgment perfectly. We must never lose sight of the purpose for which we live and let nothing today deter us from living for that goal. With Paul, may our anthem be, “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day” (2 Timothy 1:12).