An eternal Inheritance - Rev Walter Abetz
Reading 1 Pet 1:3-9
In the “new normal” of the corona virus, Katherine and I as pensioners still have an income, and we are content. Others have serious financial issues facing them. To be jobless is difficult.
The Apostle Peter wrote to Christians being persecuted – with the threat of their property being confiscated, or worse, imprisonment or even death for refusing to worship the Emperor. The Apostle Peter asks his readers to be focussed on eternal things in times of such troubles.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth
into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4
NB a living Hope, not just a future hope!
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
That is future. - “Inheritance” ? Bending the word a little: We receive it through Christ’s death, in spite of his resurrection!
This inheritance is kept in heaven for us, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
What is this coming of salvation? “Pie in the sky when you die” - a future hope/inheritance? It is definitely that, but it is more. Salvation is being ‘re-purposed’ to God, because we were created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Have you ever repaired or restored a piece of machinery, or mended a garment, so it functions again properly? There is joy in seeing things working as they were intended – That is actually the meaning of righteousness – acting according to God’s intentions. Joy in hitting the spot!
Paul put it differently in Eph 2:8-10, but it is the same principle.6
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We do not need money to do good works. We can love and help our neighbours by offering them our time, if they have to go into isolation/quarantine. Because we are saved, we are born to a new way of life which honours God’s creatures, because we honour God.
In this calling we greatly rejoice, though now for a little while we may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of our faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8
Though we have not seen him, we love him; and even though we do not see him now, we believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.
When things seem to overwhelm you, think of your eternal destiny and of your calling: to be led in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Look for this joy in right action in the power of the Spirit. It is our birth -right.