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A Living Hope

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.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Corinth was a city characterized by sexual immorality and many other forms of ungodliness. (1 Cor. 6:9-11) Believers there had once been like their fellow citizens—filled with greed, envy, wickedness, deceit, anger, and malice. But now they were new creations in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and adopted into the family of God. The Corinthian lifestyle no longer matched who they’d become in Jesus.

In that passage from 1 Corinthians, Paul reminded the believers not to be influenced by their culture or old patterns of thinking. The apostle was not warning them that they might miss out on the kingdom. Instead, he was encouraging them to abandon their old ways and bring their behavior in line with who they really were—children of God.

We, too, should know salvation is permanent and faith should positively affect conduct. What’s more, understanding the basis for our salvation—Jesus’ finished work on the cross—banishes fear and fills us with hope.

We could never earn our way into God’s family, nor could we pay our own sin debt. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ willingly paid the penalty on our behalf, satisfying divine justice and the Law’s demands (Rom. 3:25-26). To show the sacrifice was accepted, God raised Jesus to life and brought Him to heaven, where He reigns at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19).

What God has accomplished—pardoning our sins, giving us a new nature, and adopting us into His family—no one can undo. That gives us a living hope to sustain and uplift us all our days.

Charles Stanley

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