1 Peter 1:21
Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
In admonishing his readers to holiness and obedience, Peter supported his injunctions by appeals to the highest motives. He placed his reliance upon especially Christian principles. He brought before the minds of his brethren the preciousness and the power of the Savior's resurrection.
I. MAN'S NEED OF FAITH AND HOPE IS IMPLIED. If man have a higher than a merely animal life, he requires higher principles by which the higher life may be sustained. He must be related to the unseen in the present and in the future. Faith must have an object, and hope a ground and aim. If we were without these we should be left sinful, ignorant, and helpless; without a Divine law for life, without a Divine assurance of pardon, without a Divine prospect of immortality. The unseen present and the eternal future being alike unknown, self-indulgence or brutal apathy would take the place of a spiritual life. But in fact we have a nature capable of infinite aspiration, and the Creator has not set us narrow limits or appointed for us inevitable poverty of spirit.
II. GOD'S RAISING OF CHRIST FROM THE DEAD IS DECLARED. There is in this statement of Peter, that God raised his Son from the dead, nothing opposed to Christ's declaration, "I take it [i.e. 'my life'] again;" and nothing inconsistent with the assertion that Christ was "quickened by the Spirit." The New Testament is one continuous witness to our Lord's resurrection. The Gospels circumstantially record it; the Book of the Acts represents it as the chief theme of apostolic preaching; the Epistles base upon it the whole of Christian doctrine and life. If Christ was not raised, the New Testament is full of misstatements, our Lord's own predictions were unfulfilled, the apostles' witness was deceptive, the Lord's Day and Easter-tide had no historical origin, and Christianity itself remains unaccounted for. Further, God, who raised Jesus from the dead, gave him glory. It was in obedience to the Father that Christ endured pain, humiliation, and death. But it was also by the will of the Father that Christ partook of glory. This glory was partly external and palpable, yet chiefly spiritual.
III. THE MEANS OF FAITH AND HOPE ARE BY THIS RISEN SAVIOR THUS ASSURED TO MEN. It is not asserted that, before and apart from Christianity, faith and hope were unknown on earth; but that Christianity imparts to humanity a firmer confidence in God and a livelier anticipation of heaven.
1. More especially, a risen Christ encourages and justifies faith in a personal God, a righteous Ruler, a gracious and forgiving Father. They who believe that God raised Jesus from the dead have faith in the supreme Lord as interested in us, as caring for us, as sending and commissioning his own Son to make himself known and to bring himself near to us. They have faith in the just moral government of the world, and they do not doubt this even when they see the good oppressed and in some cases persecuted and slain. They have faith in the fatherly affection of the Eternal, and are assured that "all things are theirs."
2. A risen Christ awakens and sustains hope. For themselves, Christians have hope of individual salvation; for the world, they have hope of the victory of the good; for the Church, of final, reciprocal, and immortal communion. - J.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.