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, an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5)
I’ve never rented a safe deposit box at a bank, but perhaps you have one. Perhaps it’s where you keep valuable possessions like jewelry, rare coins, or legal papers which you entrust to someone else to guard for you. Your eternal inheritance is like that, except its value is infinite, and it is kept safe by God himself.
Some people look to a material inheritance they expect to receive from a family member. Every Christian, however, looks forward to something better. We look to the spiritual birthright gifted to us, by virtue of our union with Jesus Christ, the moment the Spirit of God “caused us to be born again to a living hope.”
Yesterday, you learned how Abraham looked toward his descendants’ future inheritance in the Promised Land. This fueled his faith, and brought hope in his time of sorrow. Today, I want you to see how being mindful of your future inheritance in heaven is an exercise of faith, which encourages you in times of suffering.
The first readers of Peter’s letter were persecuted believers scattered throughout Asia Minor. Therefore, the apostle writes to encourage them. He tells them how precious their faith is to God. But he also reminds them of the powerful working of God in the past, when the gospel saved them, and the Holy Spirit brought them new life. This should encourage you, too.
As a result of the new birth, believers receive an inheritance which is described in three ways. First, it’s “imperishable.” It is incorruptible; it cannot decay or ever pass away. Second, this inheritance is “undefiled;” that is, unstained by evil. The location of your inheritance—heaven—will contain nothing harmful or unclean (Revelation 21:27). Third, it is “unfading.” It is permanent and unchangeable. Time does not impair its beauty. The kingdom you will inherit will never tarnish with age.
This inheritance is “kept in heaven for you who by God’s power are being guarded.” Guarded is a military term. As an adopted child of God through faith in Jesus Christ you are under his constant, protective surveillance. However, not only are you being guarded by God, but so is your future inheritance. This assurance is yours in Jesus Christ.
Your inheritance already exists, but is appropriated daily “through faith.” Are you looking to your eternal inheritance with eyes of faith?