Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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What inheritance does 1 Peter 1:3-5 exactly refer to? "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." Will this inheritance be in Heaven forever and for all eternity?

The First Epistle of St. Peter addresses believers whom he refers to as "pilgrims".   The relevance of this epistle is for all of us sojourning through this world and all its difficulties, hostilities, and persecutions. There is a reward promised and prepared for keeping the faith. It is an  assurance to remind us, believers, of the good things to come. Our hope is not temporary or focused on the present life. Rather, we set our hopes on higher aspirations for a glorious existence with God forever in Heaven.

St. Peter encourages people to expect and endure difficult times. He stresses the genuineness of faith (I Peter 1:6-9). St. Peter refers to this genuineness of faith as "more precious than gold...and tested by fire..." Although we do not see Christ, yet believing, we ought to genuinely "rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith -- the salvation of your souls." Your faith must endure to the very end.

We are unworthy of any reward; but because of God's great mercy, He granted us salvation. The 'ways of salvation' is described below as prayed  by the priest in the Divine Liturgy:
"Was incarnate and became man, and taught us the ways of salvation. He granted us the birth from on high through water and spirit. He made us unto Himself an assembled people and sanctified us by Your Holy Spirit. He loved His own who are in the world, and gave himself up for our salvation unto death, which reigned over us, whereby we were bound and sold on account of our sins. He descended into Hades through the cross." The people who are today's "pilgrims" respond: "Amen. I believe." The priest proceeds to say, "He rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into the heavens and sat at Your right hand, O Father. He has appointed a Day for recompense, on which He will appear to judge the world in righteousness, and give each one according to his deeds." The people respond, According to your mercy, O Lord, and not according to our sins."
In I Peter 1:3-5, please note the phrase "...has begotten us, again..." From creation until salvation, God has executed a plan of redemption to take us back, "...whereby we were bound and sold..." We were once His and His alone. Through His mercy, we are granted salvation and the inheritance of which He has promised us from the beginning, to live with Him forever, in Heaven, and for all eternity, where there is no corruption of any form or any fear of losing this glorious inheritance.

As a reminder to ourselves, we pray a similar verse in the Conclusion to the Prayers of the Hours: "...who calls all to salvation for the promise of the blessings to come..."
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