A Lively Hope


Elder Mark D. Rowell


A Lively Hope - Introduction

Like the other Apostolic letters, Peter introduces himself based on his calling to his apostleship by Jesus Christ. This qualification is important to the readers as the Apostles were given miraculous powers in a limited age so that the establishment of the church in areas where the Lord would have it could take place. Peter was one of the eleven who physically saw the risen Saviour and witnessed His ascension as recorded in Acts 1:9, Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51. This was an expression of authority given by Jesus Christ and qualifies Peter as an Apostle.


Some of the specifics of Peter’s writings, though, also come from deep, personal experiences he had during the time Jesus walked on the earth. The letter should also be read with that in mind. He declares his audience to be strangers. While it could be that the “strangers” were Jews in a Gentile region (which, undoubtedly there were), I believe the strangers to which he wrote were strangers in this world. Paul uses the same word for strangers in Hebrews 11:13-14… “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.”

So, it’s safe to say that the strangers were those whose home was not of this world, but an heavenly. Peter further establishes this premise as he concludes his introduction in verse 2:

Elect: those to whom he speaks are the chosen of God  According to the foreknowledge…: the elect of God were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world! (Romans 8:29 - “for whom he did foreknow…”

Through sanctification…: the elect of God are both set apart in covenant before the world began, and are vitally (in a living way) set apart in this life through the work of the Spirit (Romans 8:30 - “them he also called”)

Unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood…: the elect of God are so called because of the work of Jesus Christ on Calvary (legal work) when He shed His blood and then became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Note: neither the rules of grammar nor the principles truth will allow the word “obedience” to be attributed to anyone but Jesus Christ)

While we are strangers to and in this world, we are NOT strangers to God, but are His people by the work of His hand!

A Lively Hope - Peter’s Personal Testimony

Peter now goes into a wonderful description of what God has done for us. You see, God, even the Father of our Saviour and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory, has bestowed the greatest compassion imaginable to us, His Elect, by bringing us again unto a living hope, a hope that is alive within us, truly the “Christ in you, the hope of glory” when He brought again the Lord Jesus from the dead on that great morning three days after His death!

Peter relates a personal experience here but includes the readers in it as well. This is not unlike how Paul writes in Romans 7, Philippians 3, and other places where Paul leverages his personal experience to teach his readers. As for Peter’s personal experience, remember what Peter said to the Lord in Luke 22:33? Remember what the Lord said to him in vs 34?   “And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shall thrice deny that thou knowest me.”

Peter believed what he said, but the Lord knew the reality of it. And the reality of it caused Peter to go out and weep bitterly. Think about it though: when the rooster crowed early that morning, that was the last time Peter saw Christ before the Lord gave up the ghost on Calvary. That was Peter’s last experience with the Lord until after His resurrection.

And hope died. Peter’s hope died.
All was lost. “But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel” (said by the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus - Luke 24:21)
But like the sun piercing the clouds after a storm, giving hope to the struggling sailor, the SON raised from the grave three days after His resurrection, reviving hope in the power of the resurrection!

He told the women to go tell His disciples, “and Peter” that He had risen. So the women run, and find the disciples, and proclaim the best news ever…and then turn to Peter…and said, “And he mentioned you by name, Peter.”

So, Peter and John take off in a race to the tomb! John stops outside, but Peter runs right in. “Could it be?” Something stirs in his chest. What is that? It’s hope. Hope, that Peter thought was dead, is now rhythmically beating just like his heart.

Then Peter sees him. Then he hears him. Then he handles him. Then he spends 40 days with him. Then he watches him ascend into the heavens. Peter, with eyes cast upward, realizes that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is where all hope is pinned. Peter’s hope is alive and well, thanks to Christ being raised from the dead.

A Lively Hope - Which Hope We Have

But Peter uses the plural pronoun “us” in verse 3 so there’s good news for all! The resurrection of Christ brings a lively hope to those who believe!

Are we apostles? No. Were we alive and present at the Lord’s resurrection? No. But even Paul conveys this thought of a living hope in Galatians 2:20, and describes it as a life lived “...by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me”

Paul also describes in Hebrews 6 as the hope that WE have as “...an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and entereth into that within the veil…” Do you know what’s beyond the veil? THE RISEN SAVIOUR!!! And that’s where our hope is anchored and that’s who our hope is anchored in, so how could it now be anything but a lively hope!

And not only are we brought again unto a lively hope, but Peter continues the joyous news:


To an incorruptible inheritance: it will not perish or be lost.
To an undefiled inheritance: it will not tarnish, grow old, or diminish.
To an inheritance that fadeth not away: it will endure in eternity.
To an inheritance reserved in heaven for you: it will not be taken away…ever.


Furthermore, just like the inheritance is secured, so are we!

We are kept (meaning: to keep in a state of settlement or security) by the power of God!
We are preserved in the blood of the Lamb!
We are upheld by the faithfulness of the Father and the Son!
And the salvation we have now, being the earnest of that inheritance, will be brightly shone to the family of God as each day brings us closer to THE day, when the resurrected Saviour returns and raises OUR vile bodies to be fashioned like unto His glorious body!

This is what a lively hope is all about.