A doxology has been defined as an “ascription of praise offered to God in Christian worship.” In 1 Peter 1:3-5 there are no explicit commands or exhortations. It is filled with words of praise. It is a doxology. Peter writes this doxology to readers who are facing the challenge of sustained suffering for their faith in a hostile Greco-Roman context. This kind of suffering calls for a courageous Christianity.
How will Peter encourage them to press on in faith filled obedience? Peter intends the hardships they are facing to be cast in the shadow and begin to lose their intensity under the brilliance of their new life in Christ. The same can be true for suffering Christians today.
Praise God for causing new birth.
God caused Peter’s readers to have new birth (1 Peter 1:3). The same is true for every Christian. New birth gives new spiritual parentage. God is now their Father. They are surrounded by a host of spiritual brothers and sisters. Ultimately it is God’s mercy that is the reason to praise God. God, in his mercy caused new birth in those who believed in his Son. This merciful new birth is accomplished through the great saving acts of God culminated in the resurrection of Jesus from the grave.
New life comes from a living Hero.
A dead king can save no one. A dead savior is no savior. Heroes of this earthly realm may extend or prolong the life of another by sacrificing themselves. But a hero cannot give new life – eternal life. Only on Hero does that and his name is Jesus. Jesus forever secured the Christian’s living hope by ultimately conquering death when he rose from the grave. A new birth is possible because of the resurrection of Jesus.
Live a life of praise to God.
Christian, remember your divine parentage. Let the fact that God mercifully caused new life in you be a reason to live a life of praise to God. The new life you God caused to spring to life in you came at great cost.
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