The Lively Hope
First Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
1. The Spirit of Blessing
2. The Abundant Mercy
3. The Begotten Event
1. The Spirit of Blessing
This is a sign of a true Christian: when he, or she, has a spirit of blessing about them.
A true believer will bless friend, or foe.
It does not matter to them if the object of their blessing hates or despises them.
There is just something about the believer in Jesus Christ [something inside them], that they will seek the highest good for others. “And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:” [1 Corinthians 4:12].
The command, located in the book of Romans chapter twelve, verse fourteen, is written into their heart by the Holy Ghost.
“Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.” [Romans 12:14]
This command [for the believer] is not an onerous command to the believer, nor is it hard on them … who are truly born again by the Spirit.
For what does the Scripture say in First John chapter five, verse three?
It says this: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” [1 John 5:3] Amen!
Now, the most important object of blessing in the Christian’s life is God, HIMSELF.
Now, let us go to the book of the Psalms, and we will see how we are to BLESS the God of the Bible.
• [Psalm 34:1] “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
We should bless at all times!
• [Psalm 66:8] “O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard”.
Praise and blessing are interconnected!
• [Psalm 100:4] “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Thankfulness is tied into the blessing and praise!
We learn here:
• To bless … is to PRAISE God.
• To bless … is to THANK God.
• To bless … is to TESTIFY of God [to BRAG on God].
Look with me at what the BOOK says in Revelation chapter five, verse twelve: “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, honour, and glory, and blessing.” [Revelation 5:12]
2. The Abundant Mercy
Oh, for the mercy of GOD [which is revealed to us in the King James Bible] to be made known to us personally. We need this! We need the ABUNDANT mercy of God.
In Psalm eighty-five, we see the marriage between the MERCY of God and the TRUTH of God. “Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” [Psalm 85:7-10]
Mercy is given by God to all those who will come to the throne of grace. This is shown in the book of Hebrews chapter four, verse sixteen: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” [Hebrews 4:16]
There is something else we need to see while we are here. Grace and mercy are very tightly related together. Look with me at these following verses:
• [1 Timothy 1:2] “Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Look at it, grace and mercy and peace!
• [2 Timothy 1:2] “To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Look at it, it is grace and mercy and peace again!
• [Titus 1:4] “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.”
Look at it, it is grace and mercy and peace three times!
• [2 John 1:3] “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”
Look at it, it is grace and mercy and peace four times!
Do see all that grace and mercy and peace in these verses?
God [The Father’s] and God [The Son’s], by grace, gives both mercy and peace to the sinner who receives the SON.
3. The Begotten Event
Begetting is a man thing! Do you understand that? Throughout the Bible, it is shown that that the father begets the son, or the daughter.
Now, children are born of the mother, but children are begotten of the father. In America, the father is minimized in his importance … to our own hurt. Par for the course! Contra wise, God maximizes the importance of the father. God has a different opinion than man.
Friend, [if we are wise] it will behoove us to take God’s opinion … as our own opinion … every time, all the time.
Genesis chapter five, verse four, shows us where the children come from: “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:” [Genesis 5:4]
Now, I have given all this for this one reason, so that I may be able to stress the importance of the masculine gender. Jesus Christ was “begotten of the Father” according to John one, fourteen: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14]
And in the book of Acts, chapter thirteen, verse thirty-three, we see again clearly, this father and son relationship. [Acts 13:33] “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
The believer in Jesus Christ is begotten of God … he is born of God.
In like manner, the sinner that comes to Jesus Christ is “begotten” of God according to the Bible.
Proof text? Read it with me in First John chapter five, verse one: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.” [1 John 5:1], and then verse eighteen: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” [1 John 5:18]
Now, notice again, our verse [in our text in First Peter chapter one]: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” [1 Peter 1:3].
Do you see that being “begotten” [and born of God] gives us “a lively hope” by the power of God [“the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”].
Now, do you want to know something? We are saved by HOPE.
Something else! This HOPE is a SOLID HOPE.
This HOPE is so much more solid than any concrete made by man.
It is a hope that can be counted on for our very LIFE. We see this truth in Romans chapter eight, verses twenty-four and five: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” [Romans 8:24-25]
We are quickened [or made spiritually alive], and thus we are … as the lively stones of First Peter chapter two, verse five: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 2:5]