The amazing good news of Easter is that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead has altered life both in the present and the future. Those of us who trust in Jesus become a people who are living a life of hope and abundance before death, and are called to point others to the hope that is available to them right now through Jesus. Through Jesus, we can have hope for ourselves and our families, for our immediate church community, for our city and region, and even hope for the entire globe. And we can be that hope, too. For the next seven weeks we'll be working through the book of 1 Peter in a teaching series called “Living in Hope,” exploring how the resurrection of Jesus ushers us into a life of hope for the here and now, and how Jesus calls us to be a community of hope for the world.
Through the power of the Spirit, we can even have hope in the midst of the difficulties that seem to pervade the modern world: suffering, injustice, confusion and anxiety. Are our hopes that big right now? Is hope something you are experiencing as a promise fulfilled, or as a kind of spiritual "consolation prize" in tough circumstances? What are you hoping for right now, today? You can share some of those hopes anonymously with the Third community HERE.
As we come to this new series and season of renewal, let's pray that we will experience more and more of the hope of Jesus’ resurrection, and that God would use us to make known this hope to others!
Click the below image to access a reflection guide on this week's sermon:
1 Peter 1:1-12
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance. 3 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 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 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.
6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to
suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your 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 you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.