“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1Peter 1:3-4)
Hello Chosen Saints,
Have you noticed in this life that we seem to be working for all these material possessions. We can’t avoid it no matter how frugal and non-materialistic we think we are. We have stuff…lots of it! We have food in our fridge and cupboards that spoils if it is not eaten by a certain date. We have cars in our driveways that rust, and will one day become undrivable if we don’t continue the care and upkeep required; and even then, with all the oil we can apply to preserve them, that little rust bubble appears out of nowhere. So, we trade it in and replace it with another product that will decay and deteriorate over time. This is true of every product on the market. Everything is either fading away, perishing or being defiled. Even our planet, our bodies and the very grass we walk on are in the process of decay, subject to the curse upon humanity brought on at the Fall; subject to the effects of sin. This reality prompted Jesus to say, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you (John 6:27). Jesus recognized that all of the stuff on planet Earth is perishing. It is a vain and useless thing to be chasing the things of the world: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal (Matt. 6:19-20). The follower of Jesus is to fix the mind and heart on the eternal, not the earthly. Listen to Paul’s very clear instruction, “if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2) In today’s reading, Peter exhorts his readers to be heavenly minded; to set their thoughts on things above. Why? Because life on Earth is hard, especially as a follower of Jesus. Here’s the good news!
If you have been born again, you have been born into a living hope, which we saw last week. If you have been born again, a new creation in Christ, you have been born into an inheritance, that lasts forever. We are heirs simply for being a child of God – a daughter or son of the Father (Rom. 8:17; Gal. 4:7). This inheritance is “reserved” (kept, guarded) in heaven for you; for you because you are a family member to whom the inheritance has been and will be passed on. You didn’t earn it or deserve it; it is merely yours because you are a family member. Isn’t that amazing! That keeps you going, persevering through the trials – at the end of the road, the difficult journey called “the Christian life”, there is laid up for us a reward, a treasure, an inheritance.
Before we see what our inheritance is, let us look at these incredible 3 words Peter uses to describe it. Our inheritance is first and foremost “imperishable”, meaning it will never perish 😊 like all the stuff we own. This word is used of God in the sense of “immortal” (Rom. 1:23; 1Tim. 1:17) and of us at our resurrection (1Cor. 15:52). Peter likes this word since he uses it three times in this letter (1Peter 1:4, 23; 3:4). Our inheritance is secondly “undefiled”, meaning it is pure, free from contamination and pollution. In a world that is madly trying to “save the planet” and the climate, and the whales, but pollutes our minds and hearts with sex, drugs, violence, corruption, etc. it is comforting to know that our eternal destination will have none of this. Lastly, it will not fade away like a gold crown that never tarnishes (1Pet. 5:4) and a flower that never loses its color (Isa. 40:8). In other words, our inheritance will not be affected by the natural decay, decomposition of this world. It will be eternal!
So, just what is this inheritance. Well, it is many things according to the New Testament. First, it is salvation itself (Heb. 1:14), and all that it entails: forgiveness of sins; deliverance from darkness; healing of the body, mind, soul and spirit; freedom from the penalty of death and hell; sanctification, just to name a few (Acts 26:18; Eph. 1:14, 18). Our inheritance is a reward for faithfulness and obedience (Col. 3:24). It is eternal life (Mark 10:17; Titus 3:5-7). It is the Kingdom of God (Matt. 25:34). All of this has a fulfillment in the present as we apprehend Christ by faith, but ultimately will be fully realized when we are ushered into the presence of the Lord at the resurrection of the saints. For me the greatest part of the inheritance is being joined to Christ, and receiving my inheritance because I am in the same family as He. My goal is not to get a crown (1Pet. 5:4) or a kingdom (James 2:5), but to inherit God Himself (Psa. 16:5-6). I cannot wait to see Father and Jesus face to face, to bask in their glory, to worship them in unhindered spirit and truth, to stand in the beauty of their holiness, and to praise them for the salvation given to me. God you are my inheritance, and you are beautiful to me!
“The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The measuring lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; Indeed, my inheritance is beautiful to me.” (Psalm 16:5-6)