16 APRIL (PREACHED EASTER DAY, 15 APRIL 1770)
A living hope
‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.’ 1 Peter 1:3
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: John 4:15–31
The knowledge and appearance: a lively or a living hope, or enlivening. They are heirs, but at present under age and therefore under restraint, but they know what they are born to. A king’s son while very young has but faint thoughts of his state and rank, but as he grows up, and the nearer he comes to possession, his views enlarge. So believers grow in hope. From the first there is a pleasure to know what they are born into. This hope is lively, the object great, the ground sure, being the promise of God and the resurrection of Christ, who has said, Because I live, ye shall live also [John 14:19]. It is living hope because it springs from a living faith—and it is enlivening, comforting and supporting them under all the griefs and troubles of life (1 Corinthians 15:19). What could we do without it?
(i) incorruptible, cannot waste or come to nothing. The soul is immortal and must be miserable except its portion was enduring.
(ii) undefiled, uncrossed with trouble, disappointment, temptation and sin.
(iii) unfading. A flower is the emblem of all worldly good—if it looks fair it is but for a season, and soon withers. Such are our pleasures. They always end in weariness and if not plucked from us fade of themselves. But not so hereafter. O for a manifestation of the Spirit, that we may receive an impression of this glory that shall be revealed.
FOR MEDITATION: The frame of mind to which these thoughts should raise us:
(i) Praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; to us the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and thus he is our God and Father. This is the language of faith, love, trust and joy.
(ii) Praise to Jesus by whom we have access to God. We had continued strangers if he had not brought us nigh.
SERMON: 1 PETER 1:3 [2/2]