by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 1 February 1, 2009 Lincolnton, N.C.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1901 ASV Translation:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
I. Peter's Opening Words of Praise.
A. Are focused upon "the God and Father of our Lord".
1. The issue of "blessedness".
a. The origin of the word indicates a desire to speak well of someone/some thing.
b. The use of the word is instructive.
1) The Jews, in ironic hypocrisy, called "God", in regard to His Messianic commitments, "The Blessed" (Mark 14:61). Honor from the lips while the heart was far distant from Him (Matthew 15:8 from Isaiah 29:13).
2) Zacharias, as soon as he could speak once again, burst out, by the Holy Spirit, in praise because of God's provision of "redemption" for His people (Luke 1:68).
3) Paul, in direct contrast with, and contradiction of, the wicked, declared that the "Creator" is "blessed forever and should never, therefore, have ever been so subjected to the perversion of His Truth (Romans 1:25).
4) Paul, again in contrast with the Jews, honestly expresses his deep appreciation for what God has done in Romans 9:5 by saying that He is "blessed forever".
5) In 2 Corinthians 1:3 it is "the Father of Mercies" and "God of all comfort" Who is to be regarded as "blessed" and in 2 Corinthians 11:31 He is "blessed" as "the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ".
6) Ephesians 1:3 may be the most illuminating reference in that He is "blessed" Who "has blessed us" with "all spiritual blessings".
7) Summary: the outburst of praise, when not hypocritical, is rooted in both a recognition of, and an appreciation for, actions that God has taken for the eternal benefit of those whose outburst it is. Thus, to "bless" God is to embrace the reality of His Love evenwhen the complications of that Love have resulted in terrible, temporary, consequences for some of those He loves. It is a fact of reality that, when there are multiple objects of love in a Sin-infected situation, some "win" and some "lose". But, as Jesus said, "some that are first shall be last and those last shall be first" in that those who, out of love, are willing to "lose" for the sake of those less loving, will, ultimately, be exalted (made "first") while the less loving will be humbled (made "last").
2. The issue of the "identity" of God as both "God" and "Father" of "our Lord Jesus Christ".
a. The "God" terminology inevitably runs backwards to the exercise of power. In the final sense of all things "done", power is the bottom line. All else is of secondary significance because, without power, there isnosignificance. If one cannot "do", one does not exist.
b. The "Father" terminology is more a matter of "Master Template" than of any warm and fuzzy notions of "Daddy". Though "warm fuzzies" are emotional issues of motivation, what the object of the motivation is trumps. Motivation is a means to an end; the end is more than the means. Those who own God as "Father" are declaring Him to be the one they would most like to "copy".
c. The multiple descriptive terms of God's "Fatherhood" in respect to His "Son" indicate that He is complex with alternative opposites in His being.
1) "Lord" indicates authority ("Why call ye Me, Lord, and do not do what I say?").
2) Jesus indicates "the mercy of salvation".
3) Christ indicates "the glory of the future Kingdom".
B. Are rooted in His "great mercy" as demonstrated by His commitment to bring us to His salvation.