At least a decade has passed since a sharp rebuke by Paul. By this time the ex-fisherman from 1stcentury Palestine has been on the road a lot. On non-fishing boats a lot as well. In his life he had had moments of walking completely according to his calling and some moments of not so much. Peter has had a life of stepping forward and backward. He had preached fully and also been beaten for his faith.
But what stays constant? In his first papal encyclical he starts off with what works as a north star for those who call themselves believers in Jesus. He names three north stars so to speak.
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, 7 so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Living hope—Is a loaded term from what we know from biology and what it means to Peter. From biology we are taught to ask of something suspected to be life three things: is it growing? Is it eating? Is it reproducing? When one understands that the Christian life is rooted and filled with continual meaning through the gospel we see the effects to be all three. With continual meaning be carried in our hearts as a living hope, the life grows in us from Him because was partake of Him and then our fruit is of the fragrance of Him.
But there is a difference about Christ living from mere nature living. We can tame nature or at least imprison it. You can’t take the person of Jesus and tame him or control him. He is the most objective force in the universe as well as a person. He is “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Think otherwise and the influence of Satan in your life can be sharply addressed. Peter had a Ph.d in that. “Get thee behind me Satan” came right after Peter said “Your are the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
Inherit more fruit than you can consume before it rots? Flawed.
Inherit a house where a murder took place? Creepy.
Inherit a bright color jacket with colors that easily run? That was a nice five minutes.
But what was have as children of God is something that is above the fray of what corrupts, defiles or diminishes. We have standing with God in a home that is ours in Him but we have not set foot in according to our understanding. But the mystery is “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” (Ephesians 1:3). This may be why I have been calling myself a student for over a year in the faith. Scratch that. Beginner. To know the blessings of God for our hearts is a deep wellspring.
salvation ready to be revealed in the last time
for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Is this a contradiction? Not at all when you realize that being made whole by God is something that we can only apprehend in this life but comprehend in the next. I apprehend enough about my car to drive it. If I stepped into a new realm with mechanic trainings I would understand it with full comprehension.
In the meantime, we continue to engage in divine life, if we choose, and see that engrafted message of God’s love grow in us life one plant being spliced into another.
In the mindset of God, He does not want to be just a fireman that pulls you out of a fire. He wants to be your doctor and administer love with holiness by His life. It is a new one for all who will receive it. Sozo is a Greek word that means whole and not fireman salvation as we limit it. In the most true sense we cannot be whole in this life. But in how it was used in a day to day context, it was for when someone repented and when someone was healed.
Going on a year now as a Catholic, I take from the scriptures and the mass, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. But only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Now is a good time to ask. What have we got to lose?