Things That Are Kept By The Power Of God

July 18, 2015

       Things That Are Kept By The Power Of God

I Peter 1:5-9

This is a continuation of our commentary on I Peter 1:1-5 under the title of “Our Inheritance.” There we learned that all born again believers have an inheritance reserved in heaven for them. Peter says it will be revealed “in the last time.” It is uncertain what is meant by the last time. When believers die and go to heaven it is certain that they will be introduced to splendor they have never known on earth. That however is not the full revelation of our inheritance.

Bible prophecy speaks of things God has planned for the distant future. At the time of the rapture the dead will be raised. We read about that in I Thessalonians 4:16-17. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” That will be the end of the church age

No doubt at the rapture we will be given our glorified bodies that we read about in            I Corinthians chapter 15. In Revelation chapter 21 we read about a new heaven and a new earth. That won’t become a reality until after the thousand year reign of Christ. We are also told about the celestial city, called the “New Jerusalem.” It is a glorious city where the saints will dwell.

It is not just our inheritance that is kept by the power of God. Verse five says that we too are kept by his power.   That gives us assurance that we will be united with our inheritance. That is called “eternal security.” It is a doctrine that is debated by theologians, but Romans 8:30 says, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” That gives us faith and assurance that we shall all someday enter into our inheritance.

Verse 6 says that we greatly rejoice in the expectation of what God has reserved for us. Meanwhile, in this life, we are called upon to endure “heaviness through manifold temptations.” The word “heaviness” speaks of things that are hard to bear. The word “temptations” could better be translated “trials.” Jesus told us in John 16:33 that we should expect to have tribulation. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Peter also warned us, in I Peter 4:12-13, about trials. “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.”

Our faith in the promises of glory to come sustains us in times of tribulation. Peter says, in verse 7, that our faith is more precious than gold. It is thrilling to read of saints in the past, who endured   persecution, but their faith wasn’t shaken. There are believers who are doing the same today. The book “Foxe’s Book Of Martyrs” tells about numerous saints of God who endured persecution in the time of the inquisition.

Our great expectation, verse 8, is the appearing of Jesus Christ. Now we look forward to his appearing in the rapture that we read about in I Thessalonians 4:16-17. We don’t see him now, but by faith we “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

We have much reason for loving Christ in spite of the fact that we haven’t seen him. To know him is to love him. The better we know him, the more we love him. When he was here on earth great multitudes were attracted to him. The fact that great multitudes followed him was what got him in trouble. The religious leaders hated him because he revealed their hypocrisy. The political leaders feared him because some talked of making him king.

We also love Christ because he loved us first. I John 4:19 says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” He loved us and died to save us even when we were his enemies. Romans 5:10 says, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” We didn’t yet have an earthly existence. Ephesians 1:4 tells us that. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” We owe much to the love of Christ. All we are and will be in the future we owe to him. I’m speaking, of course, of those of us who have placed our faith in the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins. If you haven’t done that, then you aren’t included.

Christ gives us reason for living. It is a joy that is better experienced than expressed. We find it hard to put into words the joy we experience because of our relationship with Christ. Part of that joy comes from knowing that our sins are forgiven and that we have a glorious future waiting for is in heaven. It is being kept for us by the power of God.

Verse 9 says the time will come when we will receive all we anticipate by faith. It will be the full measure of all that is included in the word “salvation.” Those of us who are saved go on realizing more and more of what is included in our salvation. There are great things included in it that we will never know until we get to heaven. We go on, expecting by faith, the things God has prepared for those who have trusted in him.

Peter speaks of the “end of our faith.” In one sense, that means the reason for our faith. Will there be a time when we will no longer need faith? Sometime, in the far distant future, we will have all that God has planned for us. Perhaps then we will have no more need of faith. We have assurance that all this will come to pass because it will be done by the power of God. If it depended on us, we would have no assurance.

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