1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
I know a fellow who is quite wealthy. He is a hard-working fellow and quite smart about business, but most of his money came not from his own success, but through an inheritance. He got it simply by being born to the right folks, no skill involved, no deep business acumen, just born. I do not begrudge him this wealth. I have my own inheritance from my own parents. But I think about him when I hear what Peter says here. We are born again through Christ’s resurrection to an imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance.
I received many things from my parents, not the least was my Christian faith, my genetics, my sense of humor, and also some money. Some of the things our parents pass along to us are good and others are not so good. My acquaintance inherited a serious heart condition from one of his parents. God is the very definition of life. He doesn’t just have life he is life. Our life, that thing that makes us alive and not a corpse, has always been a gift from him, a gift which Sin would take away. But God, having forgiven sin, gives us the inheritance of life itself.
Peter notes that this is not always easy to see. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that everything goes well for us all the time. But even when things are rough and we are “grieved by various trials,” we too can rejoice. Our enemy cannot take this life which is ours in Christ. It is our eternal, unfading, and imperishable inheritance. Christ has risen from the dead – the inheritance is ours.