March 3, 2024 | Doug Sauder
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“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”—1 Peter 1:8–9 (NIV)
I want you to think about pregnancy for a second. When a woman is pregnant, there’s a beautiful joy that accompanies her presence and her loved ones. Everyone is filled with excitement and anticipation for the life growing inside of her. Although they haven’t seen the child yet, they love them. Although they don’t see the child with their own eyes, they believe the child is real and alive in the woman. Sound familiar?
That’s the same kind of language used in today’s Scripture! In the same way we joyfully anticipate the birth of a baby, we can joyfully anticipate the promise of our salvation in Jesus Christ. In today’s passage, Peter is writing to believers throughout various Roman provinces which he lists in the opening verses. They are most likely Gentile Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. These two verses are in the first part of the letter known as the thanksgiving. He blesses God for the living hope they have in Christ’s resurrection and the inheritance kept securely in heaven for all believers. He encourages them that even through the trials they are suffering, their faith is being refined and the result will glorify God. This leads into verses 8 and 9.
What is Peter doing here? He’s reminding them of the reason they can withstand such persecution. He’s giving them hope for a future without pain and suffering. As he points them to the future, he also uses present tense verbs to remind them that they’re actively experiencing the fruit of their salvation too. He says, “You . . . are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith” (1 Peter 1:8–9 NIV, emphasis added). This offered them a beautiful hope for the future alongside a secure foundation and sweet gift for today. That’s exactly what we get to walk in today as well!
When we put our faith in Christ, we’re justified by His blood and forgiveness (Romans 5). Having been justified, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and sanctify us making us more like Christ and less vulnerable to our sinful flesh (Romans 6). Nonetheless, we’re still imperfect human beings that will struggle with our flesh. That’s why the Holy Spirit is so important and another gracious gift of God to His children. He helps us fight the good fight and continue worshiping God with our lives (Romans 7–8).
This is what our salvation is. It’s Christ’s justification of us through His blood shed on the cross on our behalf, and it’s His sanctification of us as we commit to following Him for the rest of our lives. Lastly, but certainly not least, our salvation will culminate and be completed on the day we experience glorification. This is the part of our salvation that we eagerly await and hope for. As Paul writes in Romans 8:25 (NIV), “But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4 NIV).
This is where our joy truly stems from—our salvation right now as we stand and walk in it and the guarantee of its completion one day when we’re finally united with Christ forever!
Pause: Have you considered where your joy comes from? Ask yourself today to think about the hope we have in Christ and in our salvation. Allow your contemplation of those things to fill you with joy that only comes from God’s grace.
Practice: Take time to write down what each of those three aspects of salvation mean: justification, sanctification, and glorification. They seem like big words but are not as scary as they seem. Think and write about how you have experienced and view them.
Pray: Gracious and joyful God, You are full of both grace and joy! I desperately need Your grace and joy. If I don’t root myself in You and allow the Holy Spirit to direct me daily in Your truth, then my flesh and the enemy will easily trip me up. I want to take heart in the difficulties surrounding me, so I commit to leaning on Your Spirit and Your truth for grace and joy! Thank You for Your salvation and every aspect of it. You prove Your faithfulness to me time and time again! I love you. Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.