Monday, January 9

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3

Through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, those who believe in Him are born again, and through His resurrection we have the hope of being resurrected ourselves, and living forever with Him in Heaven.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

But this gift is not something that we can earn for ourselves; God gives it to us freely.  We are all sinners, and nothing we do or say will ever change that; we will never deserve forgiveness or salvation.  Sin is as much a part of us as our blood and bones; it is in our blood, passed down from generation to generation by Adam and Eve after they fell.  And, as the verse from Romans says, the consequences of our sin is death.

But our Lord Jesus Christ, in His infinite love and mercy, took the penalty of sin from our shoulders and bore it Himself on the cross.  He has paid our debt.  If we accept His sacrifice, if we place our faith in Him, God gives us the gift of everlasting life.  Our sins are washed away; we become whiter than snow.  As Jesus died and rose again, so do we die to sin and rise again to a new life in Christ; we will also rise again physically at the Second Coming of Christ (assuming that we die before the Second Coming takes place), and live with Him for all eternity.

This is the “living hope” that Peter speaks of, the hope that we must fix our eyes on and be ever pressing toward, despite the trials and temptations that will come our way.  “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

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