3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:3-5
There is a term used around church and many of us may have heard it, but not fully understand its meaning or how it relates to us. The word is “doxology”
Do you know what the word Doxology is?
A doxology is a hymn of praise. The word comes from the Greek word “doxa”, which refers to glory that is attributed to God. The concept of glory in the Bible refers to the weightiness of God and the depth of His character.
Do you have some examples where a doxology has been used or what you have experienced?
Most Christians exposure to the word “doxology” is when they look up a song name they like, and it is called Doxology. Singing praise to God is the central significance of worship; the primary dimension of godly worship is not the offering of our money, time or body but the sacrifice of praise. Doxology is at the the very heart of true worship, and this is how Peter begins…
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope – 1 Peter 1:3
Paul frequently praises God the trinity in multiple letters;
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort – 2 Corinthians 1:3
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
They don’t have to be only in greetings and opening statements. They can be used frequently to bring us back to the reality of our God and relationship with him.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. – Romans 11:36
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:21
Now churches have developed doxologies over the years to give honor and praise to God. One of the more famous ones, composed by Thomas KenA in 1674, and you may have even sung it a time or two.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow
Praise Him, all creatures here below
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
Then another famous doxology comes from Paul in 1 Timothy:
Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. – 1 Timothy 3:16
Regeneration to Faith
We cannot just push into Peter’s encouragement of persevering though trails without acknowledging the spiritual reference to regeneration or rebirth. Our culture has distorted this whole concept of the biblical definition of faith, being reborn and election. Many people believe that we have to have faith in order to be reborn, but the sovereign God, from all eternity, decrees those to whom He will give the gift of faith, which is the fruit of regeneration, not the cause of it. Society tends to get these basics backwards by thinking that our faith is what causes us to be reborn.
Unless we are born of the Spirit, as Jesus said to Nicodemus, we cannot see the kingdom of God.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. – John 3:5
Have you personally struggled or have you had someone you know that attempted to be saved? I mean they go to church, they come to bible study, they read the same verses, sing the same songs, but the results are dramatically different? I want to point us once again back to the Order of Salvation that we have outlined for us.
The Order of Salvation
- Election (God’s choice of people to be saved)
- The gospel call (proclaiming the message of the gospel)
- Regeneration (being born again)
- Conversion (faith and repentance)
- Justification (right legal standing)
- Adoption (membership in God’s family)
- Sanctification (right conduct of life)
- Perseverance (remaining a Christian)
- Death (going to be with the Lord)
- Glorification (receiving a resurrection body)
Note that number 3 happens before number 4. Many times we rush into the whole idea that all someone has to do is throw down the bag or bottle, repent and they will have that instant relationship with Jesus. This is poor doctrine and is very unhealthy for us. We put big pressure on ourselves and big demands on others. We know from our own experience that no one was going to change us but God. Regardless of how many bibles and crosses they gave us. No matter how many times we heard the good news (the Gospel), until God awakens our soul we are just going through works. That is why we must continue to pray for lost souls that can be awakened by the God (number 1) and to receive the seed of salvation (number 2) and be on the road…
What is your definition of hope?
Hope is not a wish. It is not an uncertainty. In our American culture today we randomly throw the term “hope” around as a desire, nice to have. Sort of like a fan hoping their team will go undefeated this next season. If it happens, hallelujah, if not, oh well. That is not the context of the word hope in this case. The living hope Peter is referring to is a concrete definition of history to come. Peter is preeminently the apostle of hope, as Paul is the apostle of faith and John of love. As believers, we have a “living hope” because we trust a living Christ; our God is not dead! This hope enables us to keep our minds under control and “hope to the end” (1 Peter 1:13) when Jesus shall return. We must not be ashamed of our hope but be ready to explain and defend it, which we will learn more about in chapter three.
Remember; your hope is not wishful. “I will be a Christian so when I die I go to heaven, I hope”. It is a firm foundation, an inspiration!
We must realize again that this letter is a lot more personal than we give it credit. Remember, Peter saw the empty tomb. When he states “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” in verse 3, there is no wishful thinking. He knew that he knew, that he knew that Christ has been risen from the dead.
We all long for the idea of getting great blessings handed down to us. Some of us might have been given great opportunities or blessings, but they are in no comparison to the inheritance we receive when we are adopted into God’s family. Our inheritance with God is not like an insurance policy or gift given when someone dies. Our typical thought is that when someone dies, what they have worked for or received will be given to us, which is true, but we cannot cash in our inheritance like the Prodigal son did. You cannot say, God, give me my inheritance now, I don’t want to wait. The inheritance Peter has in mind is part of the living hope “reserved in heaven for you”. If we have been born in the power of the Spirit, we have been reborn to a living hope and to an inheritance that is reserved for us. It is the inheritance that first belonged only to Christ, but now we are joint heirs.
In the past ten years we have really heard the word corrupt used frequently. When we are exposed to the word corruption these days it is about dishonest actions. Having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly. You may have even heard the term related to your computer “the file is corrupt”, meaning the file is unreliable by errors or alterations. We need to be confident that our inheritance granted by God cannot be corrupted or ruined. It is an honest inheritance, not a trick or false hope.
Most people now days don’t use the term defiled or undefiled and in that we lose the context and magnitude of this statement. In the early twentieth century when there were notorious gangsters running around many things were defiled. It was dishonest money, gang money, not earned. Our inheritance laid up for us is not dirty money. It has not be laid up and reserved as a result of criminal activity but has been won through perfect purity and is so protected by God in heaven that nothing ever can spoil or defile it.
We live in a life that is fading, from our blue jeans, t-shirts, to the color of our cars. Our society loves the bling and glitter. Shiny cars, shiny teeth, the sparkle catches our eye, but in all these things our adoration of these things dwindles. All of us have had something that was fabulous at first, but then we just go used to it. It lost that zing.
Can you share about something that was fabulous and how it faded over time?
We can give flowers that are fresh and about to bloom as a special gift to that special someone. The buds are ready to explode and present the perfect display, but then from that moment on they are fading. The bloom opens more and more, the stem begins to droop. The luster of the bouquet begins to fade. As one flower dies you pull it out to not detract from what was left, then another, then another.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. – Isaiah 40:3
The basic teachings that we have learned over time has been that when we give our lives to Christ, we are reborn and we are then considered children of God. This does not lower the definition of Jesus. He is the only Son of God. This is sometimes referred to as monogenes or monogenesis. Many people today believe in a universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of man. In biblical perspective, God is the Father of One. He is the Father of the Son, the only begotten Son, Jesus. Christ is the Son of God by nature. Scripture tells us that by nature we are children of wrath, children of Satan, so we must never take for granted the privilege of speaking of God as “Father”. He is our adoptive father.
A Thomas Ken, 1674. The lyrics are actually the last verse of a longer hymn, “Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun”
1-2 Peter (St. Andrew’s Expositional Commentary) – RC Sproul
Be Hopeful – Warren Weirsbe