Kaleidoscope Day 10 Un-Annoyed: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What is “living hope” and how can someone acquire it? (verse 3)

2) How is our inheritance kept in heaven for us? (verse 4)

3) What does it mean that we are being guarded by God’s power? (verse 5)

1 Peter 1:3-5

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

Original Intent

1) What is “living hope” and how can someone acquire it? (verse 3)
Peter, often referred to by Bible commentators as “the apostle of hope”, had more reason than anyone to write about the subject. Thinking he could never be disloyal to his Master and friend, Jesus the Christ, Peter became so afraid of the consequences of his confession that he denied ever knowing Jesus. Possibly his worst day ever, Peter needed hope. (Luke 22:54-62) Now, after the resurrection and the reassurance from Jesus, he is writing to Christians who were suffering persecution in Asia Minor. In this verse, Peter connects “a living hope” with their present salvation and future assurance of Heaven. In the Greek, “hope” refers to “an eager, confident expectation.” Knowing the history of Peter, I think if he were typing this today, he might have put these words in bold type: A living hope. It is a secured reality because of Jesus’ resurrection (Matthew 28:6-8). After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter if he really loved Him. Then Jesus told Peter to care for the sheep. (John 21:17) Peter responded to Jesus’ instruction with obedience. His letter is evidence of how he cared for the believers in Asia Minor. He wanted them to understand that because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, they had acquired a glorious future.

2) How is our inheritance kept in heaven for us? (verse 4)
The word “inheritance” (Greek: klēronomian) originally referred to “the portion which one received by lot.” In this New Testament context, it denotes a possession that was already received or was expected (www.preceptaustin.org ) Although this same word is used in other contexts, here in verse 4 Peter clearly means to communicate that the inheritance was an expected possession. The apostle Paul uses this same term in his letter to the Colossians (Colossians 3:23-24). It signifies our citizenship in the heavenly kingdom that will be fully established when Christ returns (Philippians 3:20-21).
As members of the family of God through our salvation, we are fully heirs in the here and now. But the complete and total possession of our inheritance is stillto come (Romans 8:15-17). Just as sure as the Israelites entered the land promised to them by God’s providence (Deuteronomy 31:6-8 ), those in Christ will enter the land of inheritance “that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading” (verse 4), safely kept in the heavenly places “where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)

3) What does it mean that we are being guarded by God’s power? (verse 5)
In this context, the Greek word translated “being guarded” (phroureo) means “to provide security, guard, protect, or keep.” It highlights God’s power that is available through the Holy Spirit to strengthen us in our struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. As we await the day our inheritance will become a final and eternal reality, we are presently and constantly guarded by an all-powerful God Who guarantees He’ll hold us until our ultimate victory over death and sin.  Peter emphasizes this as the foundation of our “living hope”. He stresses to the readers that even though they may not see it now, on the day of Christ’s return, all the suffering will seem minimal and short-lived. (verses 6-7) How long can we expect God to guard the believer? The apostle John tells us “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:28-29)

Everyday Application

1) What is “living hope” and how can someone acquire it? (verse 3)
The “living hope” we possess as believers in Christ (those trusting in His death and resurrection as means to our salvation) empowers us to live with a proper perspective toward our present and future. This hope provides us with the assurance that, though our suffering may seem hard and long, we need not give up (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). The wonderful truth is that it’s God’s mercy that is the source of our salvation. The same mercy that saves us, keeps us secure. Reformer John Calvin stated that Peter begins his letter by rehearsing the believer’s imperishable, ever-living hope so that we may “enjoy the invaluable treasure of a future life; and also that we may not be broken down by present troubles, but patiently endure them, being satisfied with eternal happiness.” Because of our hope, we are able to press on with joy in our encounters through difficult circumstances and with difficult people.

2) How is our inheritance kept in heaven for us? (verse 4)
Our spiritual inheritance is unlike an earthly inheritance that could be depleted, stolen or contested. It is kept by the God of the universe who is completely capable and all-powerful. Tomorrow, we may look in the pantry only to find the can of food we were about to use has expired. Or maybe we are anticipating those leftovers we have saved, but when we open the Tupperware container, we discover the food covered in mold. And there’s that favorite chair that sits in the sunlight day after day beginning to fade and lose the beautiful hues of its original fabric. Theologian Charles Spurgeon said, “The substance of everything earthly passes away by degrees. Even solid granite will rot and crumble. It is a paradox that the substance of things seen is devoid of substance. Empires, dynasties, and thrones have tottered by internal corruption. But the inheritance of the saints of God has nothing within it that can make it perish.” What an amazing thought for the believer! When we maintain a zoomed-out perspective regarding our inheritance, our attitude isn’t dependent on what this life gives us.

3) What does it mean that we are being guarded by God’s power? (verse 5)
One of my all-time favorite hymns contains these words that so powerfully communicate the truth of this concept that we are “guarded by God’s power.”

When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast;
when the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast.
I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path;
for my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.

Those He saves are His delight, Christ will hold me fast;
precious in his holy sight, He will hold me fast.
He’ll not let my soul be lost; His promises shall last;
bought by Him at such a cost, He will hold me fast.

For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast;
justice has been satisfied; He will hold me fast.
Raised with Him to endless life, He will hold me fast;
‘til our faith is turned to sight, when He comes at last.

He will hold me fast, He will hold me fast;
for my Savior loves me so,
He will hold me fast.
(He Will Hold Me Fast: Ada Habershon / Matt Merker)

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use www.studylight.org, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (www.esvbible.org)
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and www.studylight.org is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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