1 Peter – Filled with Hope While Persevering in Faith
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Aim: to understand the glory of salvation that was foretold by the prophets, revealed by the Spirit, and of interest to angels and its product of hope that is founded in grace, based in holiness, and resulting in fear of the Lord
Introduction/Context: All of humanity is pictured as nothing more than stuffed men, leaning together, filled with straw, like a scarecrow: hollow and without life or hope or any connection to a source of blessing. This was a picture of the readers of Peter’s letter before they came to belief in Christ. However, with that belief, they exchanged Eliot’s words for those of another poet, Isaiah, quoted in 1 Peter 1:23: “23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for ‘All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.’”
These words remind us that it is the Lord who makes all the difference in this world of hollow men. The rising tide of persecution and day-to-day suffering had obscured these believers’ lives with difficulties. Trials had been their lot, and some were despairing without hope, without joy, and without peace. This is why Peter began his encouragement to them with a statement of their future reward (as we saw in v. 3-5), then a description of their present adversity (v. 6-9), and now directed attention to the past. In that past, they would see reasons for gratitude toward God in their salvation.
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