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PGA Chaplain Bible Studies

Weekly Bible Study - Series In 1 Peter
Study 2 -
1 Peter Ch 1: verses 3 to 5

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 
(1 Peter Ch 1: verses 3 to 5 New Revised Standard Version).

New Birth and a Living Hope

There is a great deal of uncertainty about life that we face every day. It comes in the form of our health, our job, finances, our performance of the golf course and in natural disasters that are being reported on a regular basis. This uncertainty is expressed in our reading by the words like perishable, defiled and fading that are used to describe life as we experience it.

This uncertainty is part of life. Our reading this week however speaks of a new birth, a living hope that is contrasted to the uncertainty of our present experience. This new birth or life is based on Jesus rising from the dead. As Paul states openly in his letter to the Church at Corinth if Christ has not been raised then people should take pity on us for believing in a lie.

However if Jesus did rise from the dead and the truth of this is confirmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, then we have an inheritance, a life, a living hope that has a certainty about it by virtue of Jesus who has won this for us. Peter speaks of this new birth coming out of grace, that means it is undeserved and a gift to be received by faith.

This new birth, or living hope is future orientated and belongs to another place called heaven that is yet to be revealed. However the seeds of this life are sown in all the hearts of those who turn to Jesus, who believe in his death and resurrection and follow him. It is not foolish to have a certainty about something yet to be revealed. This comes to those believe in and follow Jesus. This only comes about through faith and not by any human capacity.

Some see this kind of faith as airy fairy and belonging to the primitive times of the ancient world, however just because some in our world have become agnostics and very individualistic in their thinking, the question of God, life after death and meaning to life is ever present.

This is what we celebrate every day and every week, that Jesus has won the fight for life. He has overcome the nasty things that we and life produces and he offers us a new and living hope. There is so much to learn and enjoy about this new life that we will in 1 Peter. However for his audience their faith was met with opposition that we will address next week.

I hope that we never forget the many followers of Jesus throughout the world who have no freedom to practice their faith in oppressive countries and that we support them in prayer and in monetary ways to encourage them. One organisation I support is called Bible League International who once a year have a prayer and support program.

Gracious God, Thank you for new life in Jesus and we pray for and think of those followers of Jesus who have no freedom in their country to follow Jesus. Amen.



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