1 Peter 1:8-9
Though You Have Not Seen Him
We left off yesterday with the promise of our Lord’s return—“the revelation of Jesus Christ”—and the hope with which that truth fills us. In other words, though our redemption will be consummated in the future, it has present benefits which fill us with all good things. Let us see.
Peter writes: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” It is one of the most blessed treasures of the Christian faith that even now we taste the heavenly gift, share in the Holy Spirit, taste the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come (Hebrews 6:4-5). This is what the indwelling of the Holy Spirit does for us by granting us a foretaste of glory divine through faith. And though we sometimes contrast faith with sight, faith sees well enough the Lord crucified and risen for the believer. And for this, the believer loves him—because the Lord loved him first, of course (1 John 4:19).
It is one of the most amazing things that a person can believe that someone born two-thousand years ago did what the Bible says he did, and because he did, that person can be forgiven of his sins and be saved from death, hell, and destruction. And yet billions have done just that over the centuries. This is the miracle of faith proving that faith is of divine origin. It is not wishful thinking but a sure conviction of things unseen (Hebrews 11:1). Faith grasps the unseen blessings of heaven as if they were present realities—because they are. And so we love him and believe him in the here and now knowing that though he tarry, our homecoming is certain.
And this knowledge fills the Christian with joy inexpressible and indescribable. It’s not just happiness but as the old theologians used to say, “complacency,” by which they meant contentment, fullness, and the need for nothing else. It was sometimes simply called, “felicity.” This kind of happiness is filled with glory and as such “obtains the outcome of [our] faith,” which is but “the salvation of [our] souls.” The Christian lives with the reality of his salvation now. Oh, such salvation awaits a much greater fulfillment, but how can such a future bounteous and abundant salvation not fill us with all joy in the here and now when we know it shall not disappoint. Yes, even Christians are subject to depression and melancholy from time to time. But what does the Scripture say: “Lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees” (Hebrews 12:12). Our redemption draws near.