“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy birthed us from above into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, into an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, being kept in the heavens into us who by the power of God are being guarded through faith, into a deliverance to be uncovered in the last time.” (personal translation)1 Peter 1:3-5
Our English translations do pretty well with this passage, but I have chosen to translate it for this post so I can bring out some interesting things that might easily be missed.
The word used for “Blessed” is the normal one used for that word. In essence it means “to speak well of” and we get our word “eulogy” from it. Many translations use “praise” here instead, and although that carries the idea, I think to understand that when I bless my Father, I am speaking well of Him in every way. Indeed it is praise, and then some. It is a verbal pronouncement of His goodness and love in every dimension. So Peter begins with what is burning in his heart by allowing the blessing of the Father be to the Father. Such things begin to fill us to overflowing in gratitude and love as we ponder who He is to us and for us.
The next phrase, “who in His great mercy,” is again another form of blessing. (Have you noticed that as you bless Him you feel it both directions? I bless Him, but that is in reference to how He has and is blessing me – so the circle of fellowship in the word is complete). This is the heart of the matter. This entire passage (which we will study for a bit of time) is really all about fellowship in Him, with Him and through Him. He is relational – everything here is about fellowship in Him. His great mercy, expressed through our Lord Jesus Christ is awesome. Mercy is an entire concept that we so often just read over.
Our Father’s great mercy is Jesus Christ – In Him He has given us everything Jesus Is. None of it based on us, except for the fact that He loves us. All of it is based on the love action of provision from our Father that we would have fellowship with Him. And not just fellowship, but a recognition that we originate in Him. We have been “born again,” or better put, “born from above.” The actual Greek word means “regenerated.” So now through Christ Jesus, we are sons and daughters of the Most High God through birth.
Think of the awesomeness of that – we come from Him. Ephesians 1:4 tells us that He chose us before the foundation of the world. He is now my beginning – and He has no such thing – so we have no such thing either. He has no end, neither do we. Being born from above means we are also as He is – eternal.
That is awesome to contemplate – especially when one is my age. However, age really has nothing to do with anything. This is not a “time” belonging (although a close examination of “time” in Revelation will reveal that it does not end – eternity is endless time), but an eternal belonging, fellowship, inclusion. WOW! Just preached myself happy!