Love your Savior

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:6-13

The “praise and honor” that the believer will find in the future inheritance is inseparable from the “revelation of Jesus Christ” (7).  That is because what ultimately makes the inheritance imperishable and undefiled and unfading, or secures the reality that “no longer will there be anything accursed,” is due to the fact that “the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.  They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  And night will be no more.  They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 22:3-5, ESV).  Christ is the sun whose light makes everything beautiful in heaven.  To want the inheritance without Christ is like wanting the sea without water, bread without flour, or the morning without the sun. 

This is why, though Peter says that they rejoiced in their inheritance, he says something stronger when he comes to their delight in the Lord: “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (8).  You don’t have to know Greek to see the difference.  Their rejoicing in the inheritance is a step down from their rejoicing in Jesus because their possession of the inheritance is only meaningful in light of their possession of Christ.  Like Paul, they believed that to depart and be with Christ was far better than any blessing that could be experienced in the here and now (Phil. 1:23). 

We often judge the worthiness of something by how other worthy people view it.  If a well-known artist admires a piece of art, well then, it must be worthy of admiration.  If a talented musician praises a concerto, then we might try to enjoy it ourselves.  If a successful writer of fiction whose works we’ve enjoyed tells us that he has modeled his writing after someone, then we will probably try to find the works of his inspiration.  Well, apply this to Christ, and the only thing to conclude is that he is worthy of your worship.  For who has admired him?  Peter tells us that the great men of the Old Testament, the men anointed by the Holy Spirit himself to write Scripture “searched and inquired carefully” what the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating about the future coming of the Messiah (10).  Peter ends this paragraph by saying that these are “which things the angels desire to look into” (12).  Prophets and angels strain every nerve to know more about Christ.  Angelic beings who minds are not afflicted with infirmity or darkened by iniquity want to know nothing more than the person and work of Jesus our Lord.  Shall we not then take their example to heart?  Something is wrong with us if we are blind to the glory of which the wisest of men and purest of angels delight to see.

If you want to be the kind of person who sets his or her hope fully on the grace that is to be brought to you, then you must do these three things: know your identity, rejoice in your inheritance, and love your Savior.  Know that you are strangers and pilgrims in this world.  Know that your inheritance does not belong to the here and now, and yet is infinitely better and desirable than any earthly portion.  And know that Christ is worthy of your strongest admiration, your strictest attention, and your supreme affection.

By: Jeremiah Bass