1 Peter Part 3
1 Peter 1:1-12
Our Stupendous Salvation
THE AUDIO FOR THIS SERMON CAN BE FOUND HERE
So far we’ve seen that Peter’s 1st means of ministering to his readers in their difficult circumstances, is to get them to remember their dual self-identity.
[SLIDE] They are both God’s ELECT, and EXILES.
These 2 states are not contradictory.
So you and I, as Believers today need to keep this duality in mind as we face the crumbling culture in which we live.
Biblical Christians in America today are more and more “strangers in a strange land”.
This in no wise renders the reality of the Christian’s being fully owned by God and uniquely His.
We must not let the darkness of our age, cause us to forget the light of who and what we are in Christ.
We are exiles NOW, for certain. But ELECT of God and chosen by Him for the glory of salvation in Christ.
Dual self-identity: Elect Exiles.
Now Peter calls upon his readers – both then and now – to remember that present circumstances do not define the future.
Life won’t always be the way it is right now.
Our situations are not eternal – but temporary.
And to take some of the crushing pressure of the present off of their shoulders, Peter reminds them that they must not forget what is yet before them because they are in Christ.
So the second tool he is going to place in their hands is a revisiting of the stupendous wonder of their salvation in Christ.
The incomparable and incomprehensible wonder of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Before we jump directly into the text, let me make an observation about it.
Vss. 3-12 are only one sentence in the original Greek.
And the words and ideas Peter uses here under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are so densely packed and full of meaning at every turn – it is very easy to let them slip by almost unnoticed.
So we will really set our attention today on each concept the text brings up in such rapid fire succession.
To do unpack it carefully, we are going to look at the passage in 4 segments.
I. v 3 – THE GOODNESS OF GOD HIMSELF in Giving us salvation.
II. vss 4-5 – THE GRANDEUR OF OUR SALVATION
III. vss 6-9 – THE GIFTS BIBLICAL FAITH GRANTS
IV. vss 10-12 – THE INSCRUTIBLE GLORY OF IT ALL
I. (v 3) THE GOODNESS OF GOD HIMSELF (In Giving us salvation) 1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1. Salvation is an act of MERCY
2. Salvation is a “caused” act. DELIBERATE
3. Salvation is not given in a vacuum, but unto an end. COMPREHENSIVE – not 1 dimensional only for here and now.
4. Salvation is living in prospect of a LIVING HOPE. FORWARD LOOKING
5. Salvation is completely tied to Jesus’ RESURRECTION. GUARANTEED
In a sovereign and deliberate act of mercy, God has given us an entirely new life of divine blessedness.
One that does not terminate here – but reaches into eternity, and is certain for us since it was accomplished in the death, burial, and especially the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Our eternal hope – is rooted in the absolute certainty of Jesus’ resurrection.
If you are Christian here today – it is not an accident – you don’t just HAPPEN to be one.
God, the Judge of all the universe has personally extended MERCY to you, made you an OBJECT of His mercy – a trophy of it.
And He did this DELIBERATELY – He caused it to come about.
You have been born again into a COMPREHENSIVE salvation – that encompasses not only your present, but your eternal future.
A future filed with the hope of being in a state of eternal bliss and glory and honor and blessing without end!
And this, purchased and guaranteed by the most astounding proof – the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Does this mean your present sufferings aren’t real? Of course not.
But it is a call for us to weigh our trials and sufferings against the wonder of what it means to be God’s child in Christ.
To see our present distress in comparison to our eternal blessedness.
II. (vss 4-5) THE GRANDEUR OF OUR SALVATION & INHERITANCE 1 Peter 1:4–5 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
1. That “hope” is called our INHERITANCE.
2. That hope is IMPERISHABLE, UNDEFILED, UNFADING.
Our being born again is not the end, but the beginning. We are born TO – a living hope. Hope beyond this life, and stretching into the full eternity of the next. He has made us into new creatures that we might be inheritors of what He has stored up for us. Things which:
Are IMPERISHABLE – Can NEVER die or end.
Are UNDEFILED – Are possessed of absolutely no corruption whatever – nothing which makes them less than absolutely perfect in every way.
UNFADING – Are perennially fresh and new. Never losing their luster and shine.
These 3 descriptions are noted as diametric opposites of any inheritance we might imagine in this present life.
In Heaven, our inheritance is imperishable. Here, everything is perishable.
In Heaven, our inheritance is pure and unmixed. Here, everything is stained by sin.
In Heaven, our inheritance remains perennially fresh and vibrant. Here, everything is in a state of decay.
What’s more, is this not the perfect picture of Christ Himself WHOM we inherit? Isn’t this why this “hope” is termed “LIVING”? It is Christ who is alive – tho He died. And HE is our great hope Himself!
He died once, but was raised imperishable (as we will be) – and is alive forever more.
He is undefiled. He was sinless in life, sinless in death, and remains sinless forever.
His glory was dimmed or veiled here – but there, His glory is unfading and perennially fresh and lovely and glorious.
And He is preserved, reserved for us in Heaven, until the day when He will be the final and complete fulfillment of all for us in His return.
3. It is kept in HEAVEN for us – we do not receive it now
4. The Believer is being preserved for that inheritance as much as it is being preserved for us.
5. That preservation is not some mechanical provision, but God’s own power exerted on our behalf.
This hope is both SECURED for us, and we are ORDAINED for it – in the established wonder of Christ’s death and resurrection!
As sure as He is resurrected – that’s how sure this hope is, and how sure our salvation is so that we might obtain this hope.
[SLIDE] III. (vss 6-9) THE GIFTS BIBLICAL FAITH GIVES 1 Peter 1:6–9 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 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, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1. THIS is why we rejoice now, even in the most troubling, confusing and adverse circumstances.
2. Not only that, but enduring or experiencing the trials themselves is a means to purify our faith so that it is rooted only in Christ, and not in anything else. We must be careful never to view these tests and trials from God as some sort of divine entrance exam. They serve a completely different purpose.
Where we most often talk about how MUCH faith someone has, Peter’s emphasis is rather upon its GENUINENESS.
3. This kind of faith is more precious than any kind of earthly wealth.
Now trials themselves are indeed grievous – even though in Christ, they yield much, rich fruit.
Christians do not live as though trials are not painful. We live authentically.
They DO grieve us.
But not like they grieve those who have no sense of the goodness of God in them and behind them.
Note that there is something that is more valuable than the purest gold imaginable. What is it? Praise and glory and honor bestowed upon us by God Himself, when Jesus returns. We can live now not mourning the loss of earthly riches when we look forward to having God Himself, praise us, honor us, and give us glory – whatever that can possibly mean. What a wonder to contemplate.
And Peter’s point here isn’t how MUCH faith you have, but rather the purity or genuineness of it. That it is faith in the right object: Jesus Christ.
So here a very great question – how do I know if my faith is genuine?
How do I know if it is saving faith?
a. Because it is faith in HIM, not in some vague hope.
Trusting His CHARACTER, and therefore trusting His PROMISES.
Not personal, subjective impressions – faith in Jesus Christ, in His person and work.
b. By virtue of its endurance through trials.
Genuine faith survives in spite of every opposition. Because genuine faith is rooted in a revelation of Jesus to the soul that is as real as anything or anybody else in all of life.
4. That faith will find an unbelievable reward in time: PRAISE, GLORY and HONOR from God!
“That at Christ’s appearing, faithful servants shall not only be commended, but gloriously rewarded.
There is not only verbal commendation, but real remuneration; glory and honour put upon them, as well as praise ascribed to them. (1.) Praise, because he shall then commend their faith before men and angels: Rev. 3:5, ‘I will confess his name before my Father and his angels.’ (2.) There will be a solemn owning and honouring of them, when all the holy angels shall be present. Oh! what a favour is it to be commended of God! 2 Cor. 10:18, ‘For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.’ When they had finished the tabernacle, all was viewed and approved by Moses: Moses blessed them. Oh! what is it to be blessed and commended by the Son of God in that great assembly of the whole world!
Here is preferment and advancement to a higher place in the family. Christ will prefer them as men do their servants: Mat. 24:47, ‘Make him ruler over all his goods.’ These expressions are taken from the greatest honours a man can do his faithful servants in the world, 1 Kings 12:20. As Jeroboam was made ruler over all the charge of the house of Joseph; so will Christ advance his servants to high dignity, sometimes expressed by ‘setting them upon thrones,’ Rev. 3:21; ‘giving them crowns,’ 1 Peter 4:13; 2 Tim. 4:8. That antithesis is to be regarded; few things, and many things. All things are few in comparison of heaven, our works, our gifts, our sufferings; the reward is far above all these: Rom. 8:18, ‘For I reckon that the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us;’ 2 Cor. 4:17, ‘For our light afflictions, that are but for a moment, work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.’ It is all little that we do or suffer; it is little that God hath done for us in this world, in comparison of what he will do for us there. Here is the earnest; that is but a small part of the whole sum.
5. That faith is rewarded AT the appearing of Christ Jesus, not before.
6. That faith puts us in a state of salvation even now.
It is not a mere future possibility, but also a present reality!
IV. (vss 10-12) THE INSCRUTIBLE GLORY OF IT ALL 1 Peter 1:10–12 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
1. These things are so astounding, the prophets of old wished they could understand it more like we can now.
2. These things are so astounding, even the angels wonder at it.
If all this is true – Then:
Endure without fear,
And trust Him to be faithful.
 Manton, Thomas. 1872. The Complete Works of Thomas Manton. . Vol. 9. London: James Nisbet & Co.