By, Through, For
1 Peter 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…

We have in this verse and the preceding one a grand picture of the double operation of the Divine power on the two sides of the veil. God works amidst the unseen realities, preserving the inheritance for us; and God works here, keeping us for the inheritance. It were vain to prepare the house unless He prepared its occupants. It were vain to nourish in human hearts desires and fitnesses for that supernal bliss, unless He were preparing the fruition of our desires. These two processes go on side by side, and at last the results of the two shall fit together like the two halves of a tally, and neither shall the saints be wanting for the inheritance, nor the inheritance for the saints.

I. What are we kept BY? The Divine strength is as a fortress, protecting our weakness, and we lie safe in the hollow of that great sphere like some weaponless creature in its shell. We are imbedded, surrounded, over-arched above, and under-propped, and guarded on either side, and therefore we lie secure. The weakest of us can get behind that great shelter of the power of God. The fortress defends us, if we abide in it, from sin that would wreck our souls, but it does not shelter us, though we abide in it, from sorrows and all the ills and wearinesses and toils that flesh has to encounter, not because it is flesh, but because God is good. We are kept from the evil that is in the evil. The very exposure to the one often becomes the defence from the other. Then let us remember, too, that this power in which we are kept is a power which keeps us by itself being in us. So Paul speaks about being strengthened within with "a Divine might." We are kept in God when God is kept in us.

II. What are we kept THROUGH? Faith is the condition, but it is no more than the condition. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it," and is safe. And so one of the Hebrew words which expresses "trust" or "faith," literally rendered, means to flee to a refuge. That figure sets forth picturesquely the nature and effects of faith. We are in the shelter of the enclosing walls, when by faith we enter into them. When we "trust in the Lord" we "have a strong city," and "salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks." Faith is conscious need. Faith is humble dependence. Faith is brave confidence. And if we go into our daily conflicts with the world and the flesh and the devil, wanting either of these three things, we want an indispensable link between our weakness and God's strength, and therefore want a necessary condition for the influx of His power which brings the victory.

III. What are we kept rob? It is salvation in its rudimentary state here, it is salvation in its loftiest development yonder. All the crystals of one mineral have precisely the same angles and the same facets and planes, whether they be so small that it takes a strong microscope to see them, or large as basalt pillars of a Giant's Causeway. The little salvation here and the giant salvation of the heavens are one and the same thing, and the difference is wholly one of degree.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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,

WEB: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy became our father again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Benedictus Deus
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