1 Peter 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…
I. THE DIFFERENT EFFECTS PRODUCED UPON THE MINDS OF MANY, WHO HAVE ONLY AN OUTWARD BELIEF OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE GRAVE. Of all the wonderful events which marked the Saviour's abode upon earth, there does not appear one for which so much was done to make it clearly proved by its evidence as His resurrection. It was proved by the angels, by the confession of the Roman soldiers who guarded the sepulchre. It was proved by the single testimony of some of the apostles. It was proved by the testimony of the eye, the ear, and the hand (1 John 1:1). The consequence has been, that all who profess to believe Christianity believe the fact of Christ's resurrection. But with many it goes no further than to convince their reason. It brings no personal conviction of the deep interest which the soul now has, and the soul and body hereafter shall have, in this great truth. Then, again, many believe the resurrection of Christ, not only as an established fact, but as a certain pledge of the general resurrection in the last day. But here they also stop. The belief of their own resurrection has no effect upon their will. They cannot look forward with the certain hope of holy Job (Job 19:25-27). How different a view does St. Paul give us of what the belief of the resurrection of Christ, as the pledge of our own, ought to produce upon the soul (Romans 6:4). St. Paul shows that there must be a conformity of the soul to Christ while it is in the fleshly body, if we would be partakers of the glorified body "at the resurrection of the just" (Colossians 3:1). I will name one other class of persons, who, in a certain way, believe in the resurrection of Christ. Many believe it because it stands as an article in the creed. But here they also stop. The fact of the resurrection of our Lord produces no soul-stirring feelings of wonder, gratitude, and love towards this triumphant Conqueror of Satan, sin, and death; neither does it beget in them any holy desires to be conformed to His image in the converting power of the Holy Ghost. Beware of this deadening view of any of the great doctrines of the gospel of our salvation.
II. THE ONLY RIGHT VIEW OF THIS GREAT AND MOST IMPORTANT FACT OF THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FROM THE GRAVE. The text shows us what effect true faith in this great fact had produced upon the first Christians: by it they were "begotten again unto a lively hope." It was in them a practical truth — it touched their hearts. Through the power of it, in the presence and influence of the Holy Ghost, they were anew created, new born unto God. It was a hope which was embodied in their whole character, gave strength and substance to all they did, and was to them that "hope which" was "laid up for them in heaven" (Colossians 1:5). Hence we see that a real and justifying belief of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ acts immediately upon the will and the affections.
Parallel VersesKJV: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,