FOUNDATIONS: The Saving Power of Jesus – No One Left Behind, He Will Not Lose Even One – 1 Peter 1:3-5
Hello and welcome to Foundations where with each video I’ll go through one verse from the Bible that you can memorize which teaches key foundational principles about God. Memorizing Scripture is one of the best ways to stay centered in God’s Word and solidify what God’s Word teaches.
Today’s foundation verse is possibly the strongest verse in the Bible about the assurance of our salvation. It’s actually 3 verses that fit together as one, 1 Peter 1:3-5:
“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 NASB95)
This is one of the most powerful passages you should put to memory on the assurance of salvation. From it, we can see 7 foundation principles about our salvation. Peter lays this foundation in chapter 1 and then, in the rest of the book, uses this foundation to talk about two types of obedience: the type of obedience needed to get saved, which he calls obeying the gospel, and then daily obedience that a Christian should exhibit after being saved. We’ll talk about that, but first, let’s go through the 7 foundation principles from this passage:
First, this passage shows that salvation is from the Father and is accomplished through the resurrection of Jesus. It is the Father Who, because of His perfect holiness, said that all have sinned and that the wages of sin is death, an eternal separation from God in a place called hell.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23 NASB95)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 NASB95)
Because of the perfect holiness of the Father, our sin has a severe penalty. But because of His perfect love, the Father provided one and only one way out of that penalty, and that is through His Son Jesus.
Second, salvation is based on God’s mercy and grace. It says, “according to His mercy.” Peter cites God’s mercy as the cause of our salvation, but in Ephesians 2:8-9, we also see that God’s grace was involved.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NASB95)
God’s mercy and grace are two different things:
Mercy = God not giving us what we deserve because of our sin
(death, judgment, eternal separation, hell)
Grace = God freely giving us what we don’t deserve
(forgiveness, eternal life, blessings, relationship with Him,
adoption into His family)
Both mercy and grace work together. Through God’s mercy, we escape the punishment we deserver because of our sin. Through God’s grace, we then inherit eternal blessings that we don’t deserve. Our salvation is a result of both God’s mercy and grace.
Third, to be saved you must be born again. It says we are “born again to a living hope.” We also see this in John chapter 3, where Jesus said:
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3 NASB95)
Being born again is required for salvation. If you are not born again, you are not saved. Born again means to be born spiritually where God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside you. Just as there was a moment in time where you were born physically, there is a moment in time when you are born spiritually and that moment comes when we place our faith in Jesus. At that very moment, our sins are forgiven and God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside us, making us spiritually alive to God, making us born again spiritually, just like when we were born physically.
Those who have been born again know that they are born again. We become aware of God’s Holy Spirit inside of us that was not there before we placed our faith in Jesus. There is a change that occurs when you place your faith in Jesus. You were spiritually dead up until that point and then you become born again, where you are now spiritually alive. If you think you are a Christian but nothing’s changed and you haven’t sensed God’s Holy Spirit now inside you, you should seriously question whether you are saved. Being born again is required and it changes you.
Fourth, from that point forward, our salvation is unalterable, reserved in heaven for us, when means guaranteed. Peter describes our salvation as “an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
From this, we learn 4 facts about:
The Nature of Our Salvation
- Imperishable – The word “imperishable” is the Greed word aphthartos (af’-thar-tos) and it means “Incorruptible, that which cannot be corrupted, not liable to corruption or decay, will never perish or, in the case of the risen dead, immortal.” Why did the Apostle Peter, led by the Hold Spirit, use this word imperishable? What did people in that day and even up to our day fear that could corrupt our salvation? Sin, that if we sin enough and do not confess our sin, that our unconfessed sin could corrupt our salvation and we would lose it. One of the major attacks of Satan is to get you to doubt your salvation, that you can lose it or may have already lost it because of your willful sin. But Peter says no. Our salvation is incorruptible, imperishable and cannot be lost.
- Undefiled – This is the Greek word, “amiantos” (am-ee’-an-tos) and it means “pure, unsoiled and free from anything that could cause it to be deformed or debased, or cause its force or vigor to be impaired.” This word that Peter uses to describe our salvation is the same word used to describe Jesus as our High Priest in Hebrews 7. Our salvation, just like Jesus, is undefiled, pure. Even in the midst of our struggles with daily sin, we remain in God’s eyes as being pure, undefiled, not because of our obedience or how good we are but because of the perfect sacrifice of Christ, Whose blood has washed all of our sins away.
- Will Not Fade Away – This is one word in the Greek, “amarantos” (am-ar’-an-tos) which means “unfading, perpetual, everlasting.” This means nothing, including our sin or any force of Satan, can cause our salvation to fade away. We have a salvation that will never end. And then:
- Reserved in Heaven – This is the Greek word “tēreō” (tay-reh’-o) which means “kept, held fast.” God is holding fast our reserved spot in heaven until we get there. This is such an important fact: We are not the ones holding our salvation secure through our own obedience. God is holding our reservation secure by His power. This is a reservation that cannot be canceled.
These four characteristics describe the nature of our salvation.
And then, getting back to our foundation principles, number five, our salvation is protected by God – Peter said we are “protected by the power of God through faith.” Protected from what? Not from physical death or sickness. Plenty of Christians have been martyred and died. What else could we be protected from? The topic of this paragraph is our inheritance, our salvation. We are protected by God from losing our salvation. The word for protected in the Greek is the word “phroureō” (froo-reh’-o) which means “to protect by military guard, to guard with a garrison, typically to prevent a hostile invasion.” It is a military term. Satan is out to destroy you and would destroy your salvation if he could. At the very least, he wants to destroy your confidence in your salvation so you will be fearful and ineffective for God. But the truth is that God has placed a military guard around you to keep your salvation safe and secure.
“The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.” (Psalm 34:7 NASB95)
And it says this protection, this deliverance, is operated by faith, meaning we can call on God, expecting and trusting in faith that our Father Who is forever faithful will hear us and lovingly act on our behalf.
And then sixth, Peter said our salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time. We are at the very end of this present age before the return of Christ. The Bible says He will return with salvation for those who are saved and wrath for those who are not. We are in those days. It could happen at any moment. But what does it mean when it says salvation is ready to be revealed? To those who believe in Jesus, salvation has already begun, Jesus said:
“”Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24 NASB95)
According to this verse, the one who believes in Jesus for salvation has already passed from death to life. Eternal salvation has already started for those who believe in Jesus. So what does Peter mean when he says salvation is ready to be revealed? What hasn’t been revealed? Our eternal bodies.
“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit (the Holy Spirit living inside us), even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:22-23 NASB95)
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2-3 KJV)
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21 NASB95)
Our eternal bodies will reflect and emanate the very glory of God. That part of our salvation, our eternal bodies, we have not yet seen and is ready to be revealed. Jesus, I believe, is coming back in our generation. It could happen at any moment.
And then to conclude the message:
Seventh, our salvation should affect how we are to live. Peter says we are “born again to a living hope.” We are to live with expectant hope that Christ will return at any moment. In these verses, Peter lays this foundation of the nature of our salvation, the assurance of our salvation to speak in the rest of his letter about how we are to live and he speaks a lot about obedience.
If you go through the entire letter of 1 Peter, you will find that there are two types of obedience that he refers to.
- Obedience that leads to salvation – Peter uses the term “obedience to the gospel”
“what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 NASB95)
The words “not obey” in the Greek is the word “apeitheō” (ap-i-theh’-o) and it means “to believe not, to be disobedient by not believing, to not allow yourself to be persuaded, to willfully and perversely disbelieve.”
Then what does it mean to obey the gospel? Simply, to believe the gospel, which can best be summarized by John 3:16:“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NASB95)
As we obediently submit ourselves to the belief that Jesus died on the cross to save us, that His blood pays for all of our sins and that His resurrection means eternal life for us, this belief is what saves us by the mercy and grace of God.
Then, throughout the letter, Peter speaks about a second type of obedience:
- Obedience that follows salvation.
“As obedient children…be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;” (1 Peter 1:14-15 NASB95)Our salvation and the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in us should change our behavior. We should more and more walk holy as God is holy. But this obedience is not for the purpose of keeping our salvation, which is indestructible, undefiled and reserved for us. No, we walk in obedience as a freewill offering to please God, Who loves us.
We see these two types of obedience come together in chapter 1, verse 22:
“Since you have in obedience to the truth (obedience that leads to salvation – belief in the gospel) purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another (obedience that follows salvation) from the heart (our motivation)…” (1 Peter 1:22 NASB95)
We can see from this verse that our motivation to live obediently after we are saved is not out of fear that we might lose our salvation, which Peter says is imperishable. Instead, we are obedient to God “from the heart,” reflecting our sincere love for God and thanksgiving for all that He has done to save us.
So in conclusion, where are you in all this? Maybe you know you are saved and are walking in obedience to God out of sincere love and devotion for what He has done for you. Or maybe you fall short of that. Maybe you know you are saved but you haven’t been obediently following Him. Or worse yet, maybe you haven’t been obedient to the gospel and believed in the blood of Jesus to pay for your sins, that you are not even sure if God showed up today that He would save you. If you find yourself in these latter categories, isn’t it time to fix that and turn to God? Time is almost up. Jesus is coming. Pretty soon, it’ll be too late.
Turning to God is as easy as ABC.
Just between you and God in prayer:
ADMIT to God that you have sinned and fallen short of His holiness.
BELIEVE that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son, Jesus, to die on a cross in your place to pay for your sin with His precious blood, and that Jesus rose from the dead to show you the eternal life, a much better life, that He offers you.
And then CALL. Call upon the Lord to save you and strengthen you, trusting in Him to forgive you and abundantly pardon you. Romans 10:9 says:
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus [as] Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” (Romans 10:9 NASB95)
and then in Romans 10:13:
“for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”” (Romans 10:13 NASB95)
When you place your faith in Jesus to save you, you will find compassion, forgiveness, eternal life and a love from God that never fades away. God’s Holy Spirit will come to live inside you, making you “born again” and enabling you to do what you could never to before, which is turn from sin, have a changed life and walk as a child of God.
I encourage you to memorize these foundation verses to lock them into your soul. The devil will do his utmost to rob you of every point Peter makes in these verses. Don’t let him. Memorize this and let it sink in. Be sure of your salvation. Whatever sin is in your life, get rid of it, and instead walk in obedient thankfulness for what God has done.