Sunday, March 16, 2014

Priceless Inheritance


Less than a decade before the Apostle Peter was imprisoned at Rome and subsequently executed by order of Nero, Peter was believed by many to have visited the ancient city of Babylon on the Euphrates. This is the city where great kings had ruled the world and where men and women of faith had lived and trusted their lives to God centuries before Messiah was born in Bethlehem. (2 Kings 24; Daniel 2:49)

Believed to be written from this city between AD60 and AD63 by the hand of Peter to those Christians living throughout the provinces of Asia Minor, the book of First Peter continues to serve as a standard to all who have faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world.

This mature Apostle who had walked on earth as a close friend and chosen disciple of Messiah hungered for others to know the love of Christ and the joy and peace available through faith in Him. Peter had witnessed the hardships this world could offer and had at one point bowed to the temptations of the devil and had denied ever knowing Jesus of Nazareth.

Now, late in the season of his life this pillar of the Church is found busy spreading the Gospel of Jesus both in his travels to foreign countries and by way of letters to those in far reaching places where he might never go. This letter which we will read from this morning was written with a special purpose in mind. For near 2000 years now, Peter has continued spreading the Word and Will of God around the world. Today, these words will speak directly to us with the same purpose they’ve carried for centuries.

What is the purpose of his message? Let’s turn to 1 Peter 1 and begin.

1 Peter 1   (NLT)
1  This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
2  God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace.
3  All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation,
4  and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
5  And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

1.  God chose you before the foundation of the world.
2.  When you say “Yes” to Him, you are eternally cleansed.
3.  Only then can a person live with great expectation.
4.  There is a priceless inheritance beyond the reach of change or decay.
5.  Through faith God’s children are protected until their inheritance is revealed for everyone to see.

God has a family. Some live on earth and some have already gone to heaven. Life is not always easy on earth, even for the family of God. Nonetheless God’s children have a priceless inheritance, an inheritance which is kept in heaven beyond the reach of change or decay.

We are Saved ~ We are being Saved ~ We will be Saved.

You, your children and your children’s children can know the grace and the peace and the eternal provision which God gives His to every member of His family. Are you living with a great expectation of that priceless inheritance?

Have you figured out the purpose of this letter yet? It is found in:

1 Peter 5:12 … My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace.