Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4 ESV
Moses, in the book of Deuteronomy, reminds the people of everything they experienced in the wilderness and reiterates all that is required in the law as instructed by God. As I read the book, it was overwhelming trying to remember the details of the law, and then thinking about living by the letter of the law in order to be holy and acceptable before God. The scriptures teach, without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) Living holy should be the desire of every Christian, and it is our calling to do so. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV When the people to whom Moses was speaking didn’t keep the law, a sacrifice had to be offered before God as an act of atonement and repentance. This emphasizes the seriousness of sin, and, without exception, will always have a consequence. God will not have fellowship with sin, and this leaves a void in the life He would otherwise occupy. The requirement for the consequence of sin… sacrifice…. has not changed, but God Himself sent his only Son, Jesus, to meet the requirement of sacrifice for us. Jesus is our HOPE of assurance that we can be made right before God. God, in his mercy, fulfilled once and for all the requirement of the law concerning sin. Jesus, the perfect lamb of God without blemish or the flaw of sin, became the ultimate sacrifice for sin to anyone who would call upon His name. Let us look to 1 Peter 1: 3-4 as to the hope we have in Jesus, knowing how we should live, how it was made possible, and what we should expect as Christians.
LIVE BEING A BLESSING TO GOD.
Bless the Lord,O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Psalms 103:1 ESV This should be the desire for everyone who has received the benefit of his sacrifice for their sins. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4 ESV God has done more than mere words could express, by fulfilling the requirement of the law for us. How could we not want to live strong under grace, bringing him glory? By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:8 ESV We must always remember: life is not about us,but rather about He who saved us by His amazing grace.
MADE POSSIBLE BY MERCY & THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS FROM THE DEAD
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved- and raised up with him and seated us with him in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV Jesus was in the grave only three days, and then was resurrected from the dead. He walked the earth forty days, and then ascended to the Father and is seated by the right hand of God. God did all this in mercy, that we might receive forgiveness of sin and be alive in Christ.
EXPECTING THE INHERITANCE OF HEAVEN
Our inheritance is a life eternal in heaven with God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As the people, Israel, in Deuteronomy were to take possession of the promise land so will Christians receive the promise of heaven. They would take possession as promised by God, and by his provisional hand making it possible. The lands had armies that were greater than the army of Israel, but not greater than God, who fought for them. So it is with the church today. By ourselves we are no match for Satan and his demons, but as stated in 1 John 4: “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (ESV) We can expect heaven not because we made it on our own, but because of grace. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is a gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one man boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV
I thank God for His mercy and grace which make salvation and heaven possible. Let me close with the verse of a hymn I can so relate to. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.” This make Jesus, and rightly so ….. my only hope.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David