Saturday, December 5, 2015

1Peter 1:3-5 comments: a lively hope

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, 4  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Peter extols and exalts God the Father, who by the resurrection of Christ has given us a second birth into a strong and living (lively) hope [see Exodus 1:19; Psalm 38:19; 1Peter 2:5 for definitions of lively]. Jesus told Nicodemus that to enter the kingdom of God one had to be born again.

John 3:1 ¶  There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2  The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Notice the context of these verses in John. Born of water has to do with being born from a natural process, from a mother’s womb, or born of the flesh. It has absolutely nothing to do with water baptism. There is an old, old heresy that says that one must not only be born again spiritually but must be baptized, based in part on this passage. This heresy shows a distinct disability in reading comprehension. For instance, famed American Congregationalist theologian of the 1700’s, Samuel Hopkins, believed that one had to be baptized as per this particular passage when the passage clearly says nothing about baptism and he mistook born of water with baptism rather than its correct connection with natural childbirth.(3)

(3) Samuel Hopkins,  The System of Doctrines Contained in Divine Revelation: Volume II (Boston: Thomas & Andrews, 1793), 300.

The way to salvation, being born again, is by believing that Christ rose from the dead.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Believing what Christ said about Himself.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me….9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Knowing what awaits those who reject Him.

John 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Baptists in the 1600’s followed the distinctives listed in Hebrews 6, in a passage about moving beyond and not trying to constantly become saved over and over again.(4) The very first step in the doctrine of Christ was to repent or turn away from what you thought justified you before Christ; perhaps your goodness, your charitable activity, your not being as bad as others, your church organization, nationality, or any other thing, which are called dead works.

Hebrews 6:1 ¶  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

(4) Leon McBeth, Baptist Heritage: Four Centuries of Baptist Witness (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press, 1987) Kindle ed., chap. 16.

In heaven, we have an inheritance that cannot deteriorate or die waiting for us, a body fully resurrected and redeemed. This is a physical, not merely a spiritual, resurrection.

Romans 8:23  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Peter says that we are kept by the power of God through faith, secure in our salvation. The power of God is given to us and exercised through our faith. We first believe, then we are given faith.

Believe and be saved;

Luke 8:12  Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

Romans 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Galatians 3:22  But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

Romans 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Be given faith;

Ephesians 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

We will see the fruits of this faith in the end times but God has given us a deposit, earnest money so to speak, by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. This is the Spirit of God, of Christ, and the Holy Ghost in His operation.

Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

2Corinthians 1:22  Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

2Corinthians 5:5  Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 4:30  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

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