Lesson 2 - I Peter 1: 3-5

Lesson 2 - Chapter 1 Verses 3-5

Lesson for January 20, 2013

The Book of I Peter

Chapter 1

Verse 3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is the Greek word “eulogetos” for blessed.  This is a word that is applied only to God and it means that God alone is blessed in the sense of worthy to receive praise.  Believers are blessed by God as a result of their union with Jesus Christ which makes them worthy to be blessed.  Remember that when we refer to God as the Father, God as the Son and God as the Holy Spirit we are using language of accommodation to help our finite minds understand the function of each member of the Godhead.  All three members of the Trinity are coequal and coeternal.

According to is the Greek word “kata,” which is a preposition of norm or standard and God’s norm and God’s standard is compatible with God’s character.  The norm and standard of God is great mercy.  The Greek word for great is “polus,” which refers to greatness in quality.  Mercy is the Greek word “eleos,” which when used of God means grace in action toward us. The word mercy is God the Father providing something for us in time.  Because God is perfect He can provide only something which is perfect in time.  But since He is dealing with time, time must have a starting place. When it comes to God’s mercy or God’s grace in action the entire human race is the beneficiary. For the believer, whatever inequalities exist in physical birth they are removed by this particular phrase for the believer “has caused us to be born again.”  Born again is the Greek word “anagenno,” which means to be born a second time from above.  The multiplication of God’s grace has to start at a point where inequality is removed by having a new birth (salvation).  Entrance into His plan removes all inequalities.  This new birth from above is called regeneration.  (Titus 3:5)

The Greek word for living is “zao,” which means constantly living.  Hope is the Greek word “elpis,” which the word for confidence.  This refers to a constantly living confidence which is the fact that we will receive a resurrection from the dead.  Now resurrection of the dead is meaningless unless the Lord Jesus Christ was raised first.  So Jesus Christ is the basis for our confidence.  He is the only one Who has risen at this point and the fact that He is risen and is seated at the right hand of the Father is the basis for our confidence.  What we have in this phrase is a personal sense of destiny.  Since Christ was raised from the dead, we too will be raised from the dead where we will receive a glorified body. (1 Corinthians 15:20,23; Romans 1:14; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 John 3:1,2; John 14:1-3)            

We are the beneficiaries of God’s grace in time and His grace extends to the physical resurrection of the body and also to the fact that we are the heirs of God through resurrection.  Just as Christ rose from the dead and is the heir of God we are going to share in this resurrection of the Lord Jesus in our glorified bodies in the future and, as a result, we are going to have an eternal inheritance.

Verse 4

What is the living hope that believers have?  Verse four gives the answer to the question.  We are already heirs but without the full reality of our inheritance. The Greek word for inheritance is “kleronomia,” which means something that is passed on to relatives in the future. We are heirs of God through Christ (Royal Family of God) from the point of salvation.  In the future we are going to realize the full meaning of what we have inherited.

Our inheritance is described for us in verse four.  The inheritance that we receive as a result of faith in Christ is imperishable.  The Greek word for imperishable is “aphthartos,” which means that it cannot be corrupted, does not decay, it is enduring.  In other words, our inheritance is not destroyed by our death.  It is also said to be undefiled, which is the Greek word “amiantos,” meaning free from contamination.  Nothing can defile the eternal inheritance that God gives a believer at salvation.

Our imperishable, undefiled inheritance will not fade away.  This means that once our inheritance is given to us it is perpetual.  No one, man or angel, can remove it from us.  Why?  The reason it cannot be taken from us is that it has been reserved by almighty, sovereign God.  Reserved is the Greek word “tereo” meaning permanently guarded and to preserve something. We belong to God; He preserves us. The perfect tense of “tereo” means that He has preserved us since the day we accepted Christ and we have that preservation forever. The passive voice tells us that we receive it; we don’t earn it; we don’t deserve it. The participle indicates that it is a divine law which can never be changed.  The area of our permanent preservation will be in Heaven. That is where our inheritance is preserved forever. The Church Age believer is always identified with Heaven as far as eternity is concerned. (John 14:1-6)

The Doctrine of Eternal Security

There are at least ten different approaches to the doctrine.

  1. The positional approach — Romans 8:38-39. This says that the believer is in Christ and he never gets out of Christ, and there is no way he can.
  2. The logical approach — Romans 8:32, “much more”. The principle is that if God did the most for us while we were His enemies, what will He do for us now that we are His children? The answer is: “much more.” This “much more” is found is found five times in Romans 5.
  3. The anthropomorphic approach — Psalm 37:24; John 10:28, we are in His hands; we can never get out of His hands.
  4. The experiential approach — 2 Timothy 2:12-13. In that passage we have the fact that believers can turn around and deny the Lord but they cannot lose their salvation by such denial.
  5. The family approach. We are born into the family of God and we can never change it - John 1:12; Galatians 3:26.
  6. The inheritance approach — 1 Peter 1:4-5.
  7. The approach from the standpoint of the sovereignty of God. In 2 Peter 3:9 He is not willing that any should perish. Therefore, Jude 24-25 — once you believe in Him He is able to keep you from falling.
  8. The body approach — 1 Corinthians 12:21; Colossians 1:18. The head cannot say to any member of the body, “I do not need you”.
  9. The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit — 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30.
  10. The approach of the Greek tense. In this context we have the perfect tense of “tere” — once guarded, always guarded — and we have in Ephesians 2:8 the perfect tense of “sozo” which is the word to save — the perfect tense, saved in the past with the result that we keep on being saved forever.

Verse 5

Who are protected by by the power of God means that as believers on this earth we are guarded by the power of God.  Here is another word for guarding, protected but it is a different word from “tereo” in verse four. The Greek word for protected is “phroureo” meaning to guard in a garrison.  It was used of someone who guarded by a military garrison.  It referred to the ability of the garrison to block up every way of escape thus providing protection from the enemy.  The Greek word for power is  “dunamis,” which is the word from which we get dynamite in English. It’s a word referring to God’s sovereign ability to guard and protect us.

Through faith is a reference to the faithful walk of the believer.  Faith is the reality of the unseen according to Hebrews 11:1. What is unseen is our inheritance, but we know it exists and is waiting for us in Heaven.  Therefore, we use our faith to claim it as reality and therefore live our lives with a personal sense of destiny guiding us into eternity where we will experience to the fullest the inheritance that awaits us.

For a salvation means there will be a permanent, eternal deliverance for all believers.   The word ready means to be prepared. And it doesn’t mean we are prepared, it means God prepared us at salvation to be revealed in a resurrection body.  At salvation the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the body of every believer, which guarantees an inheritance from God.  His indwelling is the “down payment” for our future inheritance.  Since we are guaranteed this eternal inheritance by God, it contains and expresses within it the doctrine of eternal security.  As our teacher and guide, it is the Holy Spirit Who reveals not only the fact of but also the nature of this inheritance to each of us as we study the doctrines of the Word of God.  (Ephesians 1:14; Galatians 4:6; I Peter 1:4-5)

To be revealed is the Greek word “apokalupto,” which means to uncover or to be unveiled.  What is being unveiled is the full extent of our salvation.  We have only a glimpse of what our eternal inheritance will be like. “Eye has not seen nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the mind of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.” (Isaiah 64:4; I Corinthians 2:9)  However, all will be revealed to us in eternity as we experience all that being a joint-heir with Jesus Christ entails.   In the last time is a reference to when Christ returns to reveal to us the enormity of the inheritance that is ours in Christ.