“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. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:3-9
We look forward to many things in life including vacations, birthdays, graduations and visits with family and friends. These are all great things to anticipate but in 1 Peter 1:9 we see that, as Christians, we also have the best gift imaginable to look forward to: “…the salvation of your souls”. This is something that we can be sure of because as Jesus says in John 5:24: “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” The Christian who remains committed to following Christ will never lose their salvation.
We can celebrate this gift now even though it has not come yet because as Peter says: “it can never perish, spoil or fade.” (1:4). We know that this inheritance is being kept in heaven for us (1:4) and we are being shielded by the gift of our faith (1:5) until that sweet day comes. Peter says that our gift is ready to be revealed in the “last time” (1:5).
We can see in this section that our faith is a gift from God that shields us as we wait for Jesus return. For this reason, we all need to remain committed to developing and strengthening our faith through worship, prayer, service and reading of the Word in order to stay strong. These are all gifts from God to shield us from the arrows of the enemy.
Hebrews 1:1-2 says: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe”. We are living in the time when God has spoken to us through His Son which we can read in the bible. Hebrews 1:2 refers to these times as the “last days”. If you’re anything like me you can get too comfortable in life at times thinking that heaven is a long time away when the reality is that we are living in the last days and Jesus return could be at any moment. Lets remain committed today to living for God in these end times and strengthening our faith so it “may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:7)
Written by Myles MacMillan, Minister, Central Church of Christ