Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
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Verse 3. The Gospel transforms us into a new birth of living hope. At new birth our life path changes significantly from death toward life. The irony of life is that everything living is moving toward Birth certified by the Empty tomb and eagerly anticipates the New Home.
Verse 4. The Gospel is the initiation of receiving permanent inheritance. Israel's inheritance, The Promised Land of Canaan, had become spoiled, faded, and tarnished by the sin of generations of conquering peoples: Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, and Romans. Our future inheritance kept in heaven for us has no sin residue.
Verse 5. The Gospel invokes God's powerful protection. Our salvation from beginning to end is protected by God himself. Salvation is given in mercy, kept in heaven, shielded by God's power. Salvation is something that God gives, keeps, and protects.
Verse 6. The Gospel is reason enough for rejoicing. This passage shifts from an understanding of our future salvation to our emotion of our present lives. Our living hope helps us look beyond the grief of our present trials. Paradox of the Christian faith is that suffereing and trials GROW our faith.
James 1:2-4. "Consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be perfect not lacking in anything."
Romans 5:3-5. "... but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
Verse 7. The Gospel is more valuable than gold. Gold has represented material security and genuiness throughout civilization. Trials make our faith more valuable which is the reason the Gospel is always greater than our present trials. Your guaranteed future outweighs your current trials. Trials from outside ourselves cannot diminish the deep-rooted joy of our living hope that Christ dwells within us.
Verse 8. The Gospel anchors our love, faith and joy. Peter was in awe of the believers' faith and love in Christ despirte their lack of first hand personl experience with him.
Verse 9. The Gospel is never something we grow past but something we grow deeper into until completely changed by it. The goal of our salvation is new birth in the past, shielded by God in the present, and incomparable inheritance in the future. The goal of our salvation is accomplished when we see Jesus at his return or at our death.
Verse 10. The Gospel was the sought-after yet unattained experience of the Prophets. The prophets had a message for their original audience but they knew the fullfillment of their message was for a future audience, us.
Verse 11. The Gospel is fascinating to angels. The word translated "long to look" gives the poetic picture of angels learning out over heaven tryhing to see what his salvation of grace is all about.