1 Peter: Inexpressible and Glorious Joy

September 5, 2009

1Peter 1:8-9 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, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

What a difference it would make if Christians really understood what they have been given through the grace of our merciful God! We don’t deserve the salvation we have been given. We would have no grounds for complaint against God if instead he decided to punish us according to our deeds. Yet God granted us an immeasurably great favor.

1) He has given us a new birth, a fresh start with a clean slate, forgiven of all of our sins, through the resurrection of Jesus. (1 Peter 1:3)

2) He has given us an unimaginably wonderful inheritance, safely reserved for us in heaven. (1 Peter 1:4)

3) He protects us as we wait to receive the inheritance. (1 Peter 1:5)

However that does not mean we are without challenges. We face trials which test the genuineness of our faith. But if we have genuine faith, there is nothing to fear. Genuine faith will stand up under fire. Even as gold is proven pure by fire, so our faith will be proven genuine by our trials. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

As a result, we love God and are filled with “an inexpressible and glorious joy” (“joy unspeakable and full of glory” as the KJV phrases it.) Or, at least, we could be so filled, if only we fully recognised what we have been given.

Too many Christians wonder whether they actually do possess these blessings. We may doubt our salvation because we see our own sinfulness too clearly. When we aren’t sure we’ve received the blessings, we don’t experience the joy. Many things can block that joy, such as: loving this present world; failure to repent and to make Jesus Lord; loving the things of the world; becoming entangled in worldly pursuits; false doctrines about works salvation; false doctrines about the nature of God; a lack of faith.

But it is clear that God intends for Christians to be filled with joy. God wants us to receive the inheritance, and he knows what we are made of. So he has promised to protect us as we wait for our inheritance (1 Peter 1:5.) We are responsible to remain in the vine (John 15). When we do so, God will produce fruit in us, to make us into what we need to become. So we can have great security in our salvation. And with that security, we can experience the inexpressible and glorious joy of our salvation.

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