Yesterday, as we gathered for worship on Resurrection Sunday—I preached from 1 Peter 1:3-9 on the subject of living hope. All true Christians have a living hope because Jesus is alive. After being brutally murdered on a Roman cross and then resurrected from the dead on the third day proving his claims of deity and pointing to our eternal hope.
Many people search for meaning and purpose in life only to spend their entire lives on temporal and superficial joy. Most people around the world never know what it’s like to possess a living hope resulting in eternal joy. In order for a person to have true joy, the person must first be born again. This is only possible because of the resurrection of Jesus which validates his claims of deity and his points to his authority to forgive sinners (Matt. 9:6; Matt. 26:28).
Because we are all full of sin and depraved from birth—in the deadness of our sin, we can’t save ourselves. We can’t effect the new birth and make it happen. That’s why Peter communicated these grand truths to these suffering Christians who were scattered out and enduring persecution. They needed to be reminded that their true joy was not in this world, but just as Abraham once set his gaze on the city whose maker and builder is God—Peter was directing them to do the same.
In the midst of their suffering, they needed to know that no matter how bad it would get and how much they would suffer—it was a temporal suffering and their joy was eternal. No matter the hardship—they could not lose their inheritance. It was being kept and guarded by God himself. So much of what is passed off in preaching today as grace is nothing more than cheap grace. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote the following:
Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ. 
The suffering believers in Peter’s day needed to be encouraged. They needed to be reminded of these truths. Peter reminded them and pointed them to the core of the gospel. It was there that he reminded them that their inheritance was “imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you “(1 Pet. 1:4).
Salvation and true joy go together. Do you possess a living hope or is your hope dead? Mohammad is dead. Joseph Smith is dead. Mary Baker Eddy is dead. All other religious leaders lived and died—and their followers are to this day without hope. Their hope is dead. The only way to have true and lasting hope is in Jesus Christ.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship (trans. R.H. Fuller and I/ Booth; London: SCM Press, 1959), 36.