1 Peter 1:3-4 In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade… NIV
Three times in the first chapter of Peter’s first letter, he speaks of things that are either perishable or imperishable. It would seem that he is trying to make a point of emphasis to his readers.
In the above verse, Peter tells us that we have an inheritance that cannot perish. An inheritance that cannot be spoiled and will not fade. In fact, he says that it is “kept in heaven” for us.
It makes sense that it is not something kept on earth. Just by observation, we can see that earthly things perish. In verse 7, Peter uses gold as an example. Even though gold, especially after it has been refined by the fire, can last a long time, eventually it perishes. It is not eternal.
In verse 18, he includes silver as another example of things that perish. Why does he use these precious metals as an example? I believe it is because we think of them as precious or valuable. But even though we may consider them as very valuable, they do not last forever.
I think most of us would agree, that there is something even more valuable than any precious metal. Life, especially human life is as precious as it gets. But Peter will point out that life too is perishable. In fact, he says in verse 24 that men are like grass, their glory is like the flowers of the field. Both will fade and both will fall.
What is the point of all this? Why is this important? One word, perspective. Peter wants us to have a proper perspective concerning the things of this life, perishable things, as compared to eternal things.
We tend to get caught up in things that seem important, but ultimately have no value in eternity. We get so concerned about what clothes we will wear, what car we will drive, what house we will live in, but those things will only last a short time.
When Peter wrote this letter, Christians, were going through a great time of persecution and suffering yet Peter says that in spite of this, they greatly rejoiced in their eternal inheritance, salvation!
He encouraged them to continue to live holy lives (vv 13-15) and to set their hope fully on the grace given by Jesus Christ. That message is given to us as well. No matter what we are going through, no matter what our current circumstances are, one thing is certain. We, who are in Christ, have an eternal inheritance. Our salvation guarantees us life eternal in the presence of our Lord. It is an inheritance that will never fade; it will never perish!
The question is, are you setting your mind fully on Jesus today? Are you rejoicing in your eternal, imperishable inheritance or are you getting caught up in the day to day trials of this life? Jesus said this, Matt 6:31-34 "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' 32 "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 "So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. NASU
In verse 7 of our chapter, Peter reminds us that the trials we face have a purpose. They test our faith. They refine us in the same way that gold is refined. They reveal to us whether our faith is genuine or not. If we have genuine faith, then we can rejoice in the fact that our trials here are only temporary, they will pass. When we lay hold of that fact and remember that we have an imperishable inheritance to look forward to, then we, will experience the same “inexpressible and glorious joy,” that those early believers did.
God bless you