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1 Peter 1 3-9

1 Peter 1 3-9

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Published by: Rev. Christopher D. White on May 04, 2011
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Easter 2 Sermon #V0132R1 Peter 1:3-9 Rev. Christopher D. White
The joy of inheritance in ChristII.
The joy of victory in temptationIII.
The joy of eternal glory in heaven
Did you ever see those commercials on television a couple of years ago that hadthe slogan, “A diamond is forever”? Those were the commercials where the husbandwould buy his wife a new diamond ring or a stunning diamond necklace, and the wifewas so stunned by the beauty of the jewelry that she couldn’t help but throw her armsaround her husband and plant a giant kiss on him, as if to say, “Now, everything isperfect!”Lots of people saw those commercials and bought into the overall philosophy thatthey could save their marriages or make everything in their marriages and lives perfectsimply by purchasing the affection of their spouse, by buying and presenting their spousewith a sparkled charm that they could wear as a token of love and appreciation. But isthat reality? Does that really happen? Can anyone make their marriages perfect simplythrough some article of jewelry, no matter how expensive? The reality is that the joy thatcomes from receiving a stunning piece of jewelry is a joy that fades very quickly intonon-existence after one big fight. How many of us have received gifts like that and thena year later looked at that gift and said, “Yup, everything is still perfect!”The kind of joy that the media portrays in commercials and dramas is really atemporary and transitory kind of joy that fades away when trouble rears its ugly head.But today, on the heels of our glorious celebration of the resurrection, God is going to tellus about genuine joy, the kind of joy that won’t fade, but instead lasts to eternity, the joythat has its foundation in Jesus Christ and the wonderful Easter message of hisresurrection. Today, you and I are encouraged to know the
Genuine Joy of Easter:
The joy of having an inheritance in Jesus Christ, the joy of victory in the face of temptation,and the joy of eternal glory in heaven.
The joy of inheritance in Christ
Our section begins with a promise, that through the resurrection of Jesus, we aregiven a living hope of an eternal inheritance. Peter writes in verses 3 and 4,
Praise beto the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us newbirth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and intoan inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade
kept in heaven for you...
 For those of you who are married, take a look at your wedding rings. Are they asshiny as they were when you received them on your wedding day? Are the diamonds orthe gold as brilliant as the first time you saw them? Even if you were to have your ringscleaned by a professional, could they get them to shine as brightly as the time when theywere in the jewelry case? Of course not.
But here in verse 4 of the first chapter of 1 Peter, we have described for us aninheritance that can never fade, it will never lose its value, it will never lose its luster,unlike our earthly possessions that do lose their value, like our cars get old and rusty, orour food that spoils, or our jewelry that fades and loses its brilliance. The genuine andlasting joy that comes from recognizing Jesus as Savior and his glorious resurrection byfaith is a joy that will last forever, because all who trust in Jesus as the atoning sacrificefor their sins have a living hope knowing that Jesus conquered death, an enduring hope, asure hope of receiving an inheritance that is being guarded and held kept safe until it isreceived.That is an interesting way to thing about heaven, isn’t it? As an inheritance? Thatdescription of heaven underscores the Biblical teaching of salvation by grace alone.Heaven is not something that we can earn for ourselves. It is not something that we canaccomplish by purging the evil around us and abstaining from this or that, like the self-righteous moralists that you might see or hear. When you are an heir, you receivesomething for nothing. Because your family member died, you receive some wealth thatthey acquired in their life. You don
t do anything to get it, it’s just a gift. So it is with theinheritance that our Lord Jesus gives to us through his death and resurrection, it’s a gift!Ephesians 2:8,9,
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith
and this not  from yourselves, it is the gift of God 
not by works, so that no one can boast.
 As heirs of the promise, we receive something for nothing. As our brother in theflesh, Jesus earned perfection. When he died, he gave to us what he earned in his life.We have done absolutely nothing to receive that inheritance. God has given the crown of life to us as a free gift, free of the obligation of the law, because Christ already earnedthat wealth for us. And that crown will never lose it
s brilliance. It will never lose it
sluster. It will always shine with the brightness of perfection that no earthly article canmatch.
The joy of victory in temptation
But we don’t have to wait until eternity in order to have genuine joy, because theresurrection of Jesus, which grants us an eternal inheritance, also gives us daily victories intemptation, victory over suffering, grief and despair.
Peter writes in verses 5 through 7,
...who through faith are shielded by God 
s power until the coming of the salvation that isready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a littlewhile you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your  faith
of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire
may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
 If you were to look at your rings once again, perhaps there are some of you whowould be able to tell what the size of the stone is in your ring, the type of gold or silver orplatinum in your ring, whether it is 10 karat or 14 karat or something like that. But doyou know how jewelry is tested to be genuine? Nowadays, jewelers have microscopesand different procedures where we can find out. But in Biblical times, silver and goldwere proven genuine by a specific test – the test of fire.Peter here tells us that the Christian’s faith, much like silver or gold, is also testedby fire, by
“all kinds of trials.”
As Christians, we shine with the brilliance of ourresurrected Lord, to whom we are connected through faith. We shine gloriously. But I’llbet that you don
t feel that way all the time. I bet that you don
t feel like you
re shining in
the eyes of God every minute of your lives. I bet you don
t feel brilliant when youinspect your spiritual life. I bet you don’t feel brilliant when, in the heat of moment,facing all kinds of adversity, you curse the name of God rather than ask his blessing andguidance. In fact, if we’re being honest, we don’t have to dig into our lives very far at allto be reminded how weak and selfish and troubled we really are, not only because of ourown sins against God, but because of the evil that surrounds us that causes us dailypainful suffering.But the Lord comes to us in his Word and shares a message of comfort andconcern when he says,
and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and youwill honor me.
On the days and in the moments when our faith is challenged the most,when the message of the resurrection is so far from our thoughts, when Easter’s victoryseems to have lost its luster and shine in our lives, we are directed by our God to turn tohim in prayer and ask him for help, and ask him for guidance and strength.Whether our trial by fire is familial, financial, physical, whatever it may be, weknow by faith that our God will use all things, even the most challenging battles for ourbenefit, to refine us in our faith, and to cause us to lean all of our troubles on him, so thatin the end, when it is time to receive our inheritance which our Lord won for us, our faith,which guarantees the reception of that inheritance, will be proven genuine. James 1:3says
...you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.
When we, asbelievers are tested by fire, God uses that fire to drive us back to himself through prayerand meditation on his Word in order to bless us with genuine joy, even in the face of suffering...the joy that is ours through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The joy of glory in heaven
And that’s where Peter leaves us today, with the lasting and genuine joy of theresurrection, the joy of eternal glory in heaven.
Though you have not seen him, youlove him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled withan inexpressible and glorious joy,
 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, thesalvation of your souls.”
 In these last verses of our text, Peter sets up a cause and effect relationshipbetween faith and salvation. What joy do we have in the resurrection of Jesus throughoutthe year? Even though we haven’t seen the resurrected Lord, we know that he isrisen…by faith. Even though we do not see him with our eyes right now, we know thathe is with us, blessing us with his abiding presence and loving care, and we know that byfaith. And even though our lives may be plagued with all kinds of suffering, that doesnot mean that God has forgotten about us or doesn’t care about us, because, by faith, wehold on to the promise of a brighter future, a future of eternal brilliance with Jesus.In essence, Peter is explaining the purpose of faith – joy! And it’s not the kind of transitory and temporary joy that one might get from receiving an expensive gift – it isthe kind of joy that we can come back to again and again, the joy of Easter, the joy of theempty tomb, a solid declaration of victory that sustains us through life’s most difficultdays as we look forward to a joy that is unbroken and undiminished in heaven.It’s funny whenever I hear the old commercial slogan, “A diamond is forever.”It’s funny because whenever I look at my own wedding ring, given to me 7 ½ years ago,it certainly doesn’t shine like it used to, it doesn’t have the same kind of luster and

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