Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
Pastor John’s Notes:
Think about how strange our religion must appear to people who have never heard of it before. We believe that a man who lived 2000 years ago was, in fact, the Son of God. We believe his death on the cross somehow justifies the human race and provides forgiveness of sins to anyone who believes in him. We believe that he rose from the dead and is alive today. We believe that he is returning to establish a kingdom that will endure throughout all eternity. We also believe that we will share in this kingdom through the eternal life he offers us. And more than this, we love him, even though we have never physically met him.
All of this sounds so unbelievable, doesn’t it? Yet for the past 2000 years people of every race and nation across the globe, when they have heard this message, have responded by giving their lives to Jesus Christ. The kingdom of God continues to this day to expand throughout all the nations, just as Jesus said it would.
How can we love him when we have never seen him? The answer is simple to us, yet may not be easily believed by others. We love him because his Spirit has taken up residence within us. We are sharing our life with him in real-time. Likewise, we are even now experiencing the salvation of our souls. Christ, who is alive within us, is accomplishing an incredible work within, and we are filled with joy at his work. Words like “inexpressible” and “glorious” fit perfectly in Peter’s description of our salvation. The beauty of the saving work of Christ is more than words, music, or art can ever express.
Heavenly Father, fill me with the inexpressible joy of the children of God. Help me to know that through Jesus Christ you are working out the salvation of my soul. Let this salvation be the goal of my life, and let nothing distract me from its pursuit. Let me know that even now, my soul is being saved. Let me live the rest of my life in the assurance of your unfailing love.