1 Peter 1:3-4
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
After a brief introduction, Peter sets the table for the rest of the letter by stating who we are through our new birth in Christ. This word is only used by Peter in the New Testament, but has the same meaning of John's "born again" used in John 3:5. He mentions this idea of re-birth and regeneration in two other places in this letter. As the believers faced persecution, as we talked about yesterday, knowing who they have become and where they were going some day is of great encouragement.
Importantly this new birth is into a living hope. It is not a hope that is here one day and gone tomorrow, but living in us. Secondly, although of our possessions here on earth perish, spoil or fade, what we inherit as God's children will never fade or spoil. If have noticed the nice things we get here on earth are also subject to the wear and tear this world brings. Every time I have bought a new car (3 times now), I love the new car smell, and the perfect exterior finish with no scratches or dents. I was always anxiously awaiting when that first scratch would come. I washed it maybe a couple of times a week to preserve the new car.
Over time, soon enough, came a scratch here or there. A dent in the side door from the guy parked next to you. A spilled soda on the interior. I tried to maintain my car as much as possible but inevitably it wore down. The buyers and sellers call this depreciation. With any possession we have here, there is depreciation. Of course there are sentimental things we own that have value of their own, but that is because it is attached to a relationship, not the thing itself. But Peter wanted to let the early believers know that no matter what happens here on earth, a glorious inheritance is awaiting that will never spoil or fade away.