This Great Salvation 1Peter 1:10 - 16 Pt. 1
Topic: Sunday AM Passage: 1 Peter 1:10–1:16
10As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
Peter has been talking about the common denominator of all of his hearers scattered all over asia minor.
That common denominator is salvation. Each one has been chosen before the foundations of the world. Each of them has been set apart by the Holy Spirit, drawn out of Satan's rule and realm and by forgiveness of sins, placed into God's family. The covenant of forgiveness and obedience has been ratified by the sprinkling of Jesus blood for them on the cross.
They have been born again to a living hope of an inheritance waiting for them in the heavenlies. It is a living hope since the one who shed blood to purchase these riches is alive, risen from the dead.
And they are being guarded, kept, by no less than the power of God who created everything, for a salvation which will be revealed at the last time.
We are born again, regenerated, made alive together with Christ, and we rejoice in that truth with joy inexpressable and full of glory, but that's only the beginning of a salvation that Peter says is waiting for a revealing at the last time.
THAT salvation, is spoken of in vs. 5 and again in vs. 9 and then again in our passage this morning.
There is a sense that we do not completely possess all that salvation encompasses in this time, in this life. Peter keeps referring to a revealing. See it there in vs. 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. and 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. You haven't fully obtained it yet. If you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, if Jesus is alive inside your heart, you are positionally secure, but you have not yet obtained the fullness of a salvation that will be revealed on a set day in the future.
We've considered more than once the passage in Romans 8 about how the creation groans, subjected to corruption now during Satan's rule, and it waits for what? The revealing of the sons of God in light.
Beloved, there is a sense that the full glory of all that the Lord has done in calling saints out of this world system and making them alive together with Him will ultimately be revealed at what the Old Testament called, the Day of the Lord.
The second coming of Jesus Christ in all of His Glory to depose and defeat Satan and all evil rebellers will also be a day that the sons of God will be revealed in light. With Him at His second coming. We will share that Glory. And the glory that reflects off of us will all shine back on our glorious Saviour.
Look with me again at Revelation 19. A chapter we've been to before.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Beloved, that army that He speaks of, clothed in white linen, is not just these saints that Peter writes to, it is you, and me, and all of the saints for 2000 years in between.. This is the revealing of the sons of God in light.
John the apostle was the final prophet to receive direct revelation about future things. The prophecy I just read. But compare Johns predictions with the oldest known prophet. We don't have a book he wrote, like Revelation in John's case, but his words are mentioned by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit through the words of Jude in the book of Jude. His name was Enoch.
Jude 14 It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”
From the first prophet to the last, the message is identical. Over a span of 4,000 years, from the 7th generation after the first man, to 96AD, the message is intact. That's because the author who inspired the writers, is the same God.
In some sense, our salvation is revealed at that time. Every created thing will witness; Christ coming out of heaven, revealed in fiery judgement, and accompanied with myriads of His brethren, His holy ones, His saints.
1Jn. 3:2 Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.
I want to spend a few moments looking at this doctrine of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in judgement on this world.
All of the universes belong to Him and indeed, glorify Him, except this little rock we live on. Earth and it's inhabitants are in rebellion. And Jesus, having made a possible way out of certain judgement for those who belong to Him, is going to return to this earth IN judgement.
Listen to what the new testament teaches about that day.
For the Son of Man will come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will repay each one according to what he has done.
Lk. 17:29, 30 …But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30It will be just like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31On that day, let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve his possessions. Likewise, let no one in the field return for anything he has left behind.…
This is all over the Bible. Here's one from the last prophet in the old testament; Malachi chapter 4:1-3 For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up." says the Lord of hosts, "that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear my name, the Son of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings: and you shall go out and grow fat like stallfed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this," says the Lord of hosts.
You say, that sounds pretty harsh. Is God trying to scare us?? You better believe He is. A God who loves is a God who warns of judgement and provides a way to avoid it.
Will christians be safe on that day? Listen to Paul talking about this same day of the revealing of the second coming of Jesus, and how it will go down for His saints. 1 Corinthians 1:7,8
Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly await the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When He appears, we will be like Him, and we will be blameless because of His sustaining. One more.
Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
We will be glorious creatures, charging out of heaven, in fine linen, white and clean, with the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His glory. This salvation . .
So when Peter wants to talk about salvation, he isn't talking about the day you went forward at a Billy Graham crusade and signed a decision card. Not that some peoples experience didn't begin that way, but Peter is talking about something much more grand.
Peter's envisioning an army of saints charging out of heaven on white chargers wearing sparkling white raiment, fine and clean, and with Christ, deposing Satan and judging this world by fire, of all evil.
He's speaking to people who have been reduced to less than nothing by this worlds accounting, and he's telling them, you've got a salvation, guarded in heaven, waiting to be revealed in the last time.
We will be with Jesus, in shining glory, given to us, and the world will mourn. That is our inheritance. Or at least the revealing of it to a waiting creation.
I keep finding little snippets in the book of Hebrews that make me think perhaps Peter is the author. Like this from chapter 2; 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
Friends, we don't have a wimpy salvation. Or an ordinary one. We have a great salvation! And that's what Peter is impressing on his hearers, his aliens scattered all over asia. His words in this passage echo the writer of Hebrews almost exactly.
Last week a man in Scotland cooperated with all evangelical preachers by giving us a perfect illustration of salvation.
A man goes surfing in the sea and a combination of winds and tides pulls him out to sea. He is helpless to get back. And he says he knew his life was over, he would not survive the night.
He saw fishing boats a distance away, and tried to paddle to them and shouted out to them but they didn't respond. He says he resigned himself to certain death. But morning came.
Miles out at sea. Helpless. Waiting for the end. 2 mornings come and gone and into the second afternoon going towards evening. 32 hours have come and gone.
Then he hears a helicopter. He shouts and waves but the helicopter goes past. He figures that was his last chance, used up, gone. Despair sets in.
But the helicopter comes back, and he is rescued.
There's our picture. Lost at sea, helpless. A perfect picture of our state in this world without Christ. Waiting for the end. For doom. And then out of nowhere, the Lord comes and pulls us out of the water. He rescues us!
That is a picture of salvation. Jesus snatching us out of this world that is destined for fire. Bringing us to safety. Showering us with blessing and glory. Adopting us into His family. God is our father. Christ is our brother. That's no ordinary salvation. That is GREAT salvation.
Let's look at these verses quickly.
10As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
Now how did Peter know that? Is he just making stuff up? No. Jesus told him that.
For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
Many prophets. Not a few. Many. Maybe all of them except Jonah. He was a little hard headed.
Fully 25 - 30% of your Bible is prophecy about the day of the Lord. The second coming and all of the events that surround it.
Adam and Eve fell from grace, from their maker's favor because of sin and disobedience by chapter 3 of Genesis, and Satan usurped the throne that had been given to Adam. And the entire rest of the book is the story not only of redemption, but also of Jesus coming in judgement and taking back this earth from Satan's rule and authority.
Those events that surround that day are things the likes of which we can only imagine. Fiery judgement. Mountains collapsing as the earth shakes likened to a melting candle shedding it's wax. Islands melting into the sea. Cataclysmic things.
Steven Hawking is spot on about celestial bodies colliding with earth. He's predicting some of the horrific possibilities, but he has rejected the rescue attempt by a Holy God. Finding another planet for sinful men to live on is a fools errand. Sinful men are sinful men no matter where you put them.
Trust me, you want to be revealed with Christ as Sons of God in glory on that day, not begging the mountains to crush you so you don't have to look at the face of an angry God.
Those are the things described fully in the old testament that the prophets were studying, seeking, longing to know more about. When? How long Oh Lord? How long? They deeply wanted to see and understand the day that these christians in Asia had already been the partial benefactors of.
11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
Messiah suffering. Sins forgiven. A new covenant. The Holy Spirit dwelling in men. Judgement. The reign of the Son of David on David's throne in Jerusalem. The promised blessings for Israel realized. Sin erradicated. Righteousness the rule of earth. Lions laying down with lambs and babies playing with once poisonous snakes. It's all in there.
They didn't see or understand the gap which we know by 20-20 hindsight is the church age. 2000 years of grace and mercy while He gathers a people for His name. A people who will be revealed with Him in Heaven as He returns to judge Satan and all evil in this world system. This cosmos.
Not only did Jesus tell Peter that the prophets had longed deeply to see what his eyes were seeing and here what his ears were hearing, it was commanded of the prophets by God in the old testament. Study. Seek.
Is. 34:16 Seek from the book of the LORD, and read: Not one of these will be missing; None will lack its mate. For His mouth has commanded, And His Spirit has gathered them.
40:5 Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken." 2 little snippets out of 1/3 of your Bible. The prophets had much meat to read and seek and wonder about. Peter got to see first hand. We will all see the second coming in judgement, together.
And often the prophets were dazed and confused. We've studied Habakkuk together a few times. God tells Habbakuk I'm going to raise up the Assyrians and they're going to come down and spank Israel senseless. And Habakkuk says to God, have you lost your mind. Assyria is twice as wicked as we are!
And God tells Isaiah the same thing. He's going to use the Assyrians like a hammer on Israel. He's going to cause them to do it. Then He's going to punish them FOR doing it. And Isaiah is rubbing his head because it hurts trying to understand, and in 55:8,9 God tells him, don't worry about it, you can't understand it.
8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Peter will repeat the same idea again in his second letter. We can peek ahead and get the benefit of his great wisdom; twice. 2 Peter 1:19
We also have the message of the prophets, which has been confirmed beyond doubt. And you will do well to pay attention to this message, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
We're waiting for that day to dawn. The day the things we scratch our heads about become revealed. The day when we will see our Saviour. When our salvation will be revealed to all of God's enemies. Myriads of myriads of saints, all in glory, white and clean giving Glory to our God as He returns in judgement to retake this world.
Peter says, until that day dawns, pay attention to the prophets. Study this book. Like the old prophets did. Don't be discouraged about things that your brain is too small to understand. But I can tell you from experience after 47 years, little by little the puzzle pieces do fall in place. I'm not so confused and dazed as I once was. The big picture makes wonderful sense.
12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
The prophets understood, in their time, that they were receiving revelations about future events. They understood that the things they published were not going to happen next week. They were speaking of future things.
In Ephesians 3, Paul speaks of the grand mystery of God unfolding in our times. Paul says: 8 Though I am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to illuminate for everyone the stewardship of this mystery, which for ages past was hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,…
This salvation, not just for jews, but for everyone, was hidden in God through the ages past, but now is revealed. And Paul says I'm now preaching to you, the riches of Christ, hidden for all the ages, now made available to Jews and gentiles.
And Paul says, not only that, the church, the grand body of believers, set apart from this world, God has put us on display to all the forces of wickedness that have been ruling this world.
Do you see that there in Eph. 3:10 10 His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,…
God's purpose includes showing us off. Pay attention Satan and all rulers and authorities in heavenly places. Evil demons who rule over portions of this world. Take note. My church is on display. These worship Me. They no longer belong to you. I've sanctified them and taken them out of this world, though they are still in the world. These are mine. The church is on display. Part of that statement is troublesome. Because some of what we see in the church wouldn't make God proud to display us.
And then, finally, one little throw away line which is NOT a throw away line at all. things into which angels long to look.
If Peter hadn't told us that, we might not know it at all. It's a rarity. Some truths are mentioned over and over again and have solid rock foundation in multiple places. Others like this are scarcely mentioned. This is a rare look into angelology. The angels are wishing they could know what we know.
We often think that the angels must know everything that God knows. But apparently, that isn't the case. Peter says the angels wish they had the information that you have.
Men sinned, and angels sinned. God made redemption and forgiveness possible for men through the blood of His own Son. Not so for angels. Angels who departed, who fell from heaven with Satan have no such great salvation possible.
And Peter gives us this little glimpse. Angels are looking at this whole salvation thing and their angelic jaws are dropping at the unfathomable grace of God towards us. Their is no similar possibility for fallen angels.
In Daniel chapter 8 we get a glimpse into angel's asking questions. They want to know more. It's worth looking at very quickly to get a feel for this uncommon truth.
Daniel 8:13Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while the transgression causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?” 14He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.”
We won't go into what it's about, although the 2300 days is a tip off to other places this phenomenon is discussed. What we want to see is one holy one asking another holy one a question. The angels are inquisitive.
So Back to Peter. Just to sum up. The church is the hottest commodity in the universe. This salvation, the GREAT salvation is so magnificent that God is showing us off. We are His creation in Christ Jesus and we are on display in a hostile world. These are mine! He says to rulers and authorities in the unseen world.
To a people under duress, pressured, mistreated, persecuted, considered the scum, Peter says, no, you are on display. You belong to God. You are in fact the most wealthy most rich beings in all the creation, even though this world currently might spit on you.
You are God's own possession. Purchased by blood. Sanctified out of this world. Made righteous together with Christ. Inheritors of Glory, who are not only on display now, but in the future there is a grand revealing of you, with Christ, coming in judgement to set this world right.
Peter has a purpose. First he tells you who you are. The hottest commodity in all the universes. And next week, we'll get to the "Therefore". See it there in vs. 13 This is who you are. Therefore, this is how you act. Wait for it, it's coming, and it's exciting. Next week.
More in 1 & 2 Peter
May 6, 2018How Should We Then Live? 2 Peter 3:11 - 18 pt. 1
April 29, 2018Hellfire & Brimstone 2 Peter 3:8 - 10
April 22, 2018Thinking Clearly about the Most Important Thing 2Pet. 3:1-7