1 Peter 1:10-17
Stephen Caswell © 2000
Hallelujah Chorus’ Custom
On March 23, 1743, when The Messiah was first performed in London, the king was present in the great audience. It is reported that all were so deeply moved by the Hallelujah Chorus that with the impressive words, For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, the whole audience, including the king sprang to its feet, and remained standing through the entire chorus. From that time to this it has always been the custom to stand during the chorus whenever it is performed. With spontaneous joy the soul stands to salute Him who comes in the name of the Lord. He is King of kings, and Lord of lords and to Him we pledge allegiance.
Last Sunday we saw how God provided a way for us to be born into His family. God has shared His glory with us. Christians can experience some of the glory now and when life is over they receive abundantly more. In light of God's goodness to us Peter then commands believers to Live For The Glory Of God. In the first part of chapter one Peter emphasized living in hope, now he emphasizes living in holiness. In the Scriptures these two themes often run together. 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. Today Peter shares three things about our salvation.
I. Salvation Has Been Heralded
II. Salvation Commands Hope
III. Salvation Commands Holiness
Firstly Salvation Has Been Heralded
a. By The Prophets
1 Peter 1:10-12a Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering
1. They Spoke Of Christ's Salvation
The amazing thing is that this salvation we are awaiting — the return of Christ — was a part of God’s great plan for us from eternity. The Old Testament prophets prophesied about the salvation that God had revealed to them. Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden God has progressively revealed more of His wonderful plan of salvation. The prophets recognized that God was speaking through them. 2 Peter 1:20-21 says this: Knowing this first that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The prophets recognized the importance of the Word that God had given to them. This message gave them and all of mankind hope of salvation.
2. They Studied Christ's Salvation
The prophets diligently studied the Scriptures to see when the Messiah would come. They saw the sufferings of the Messiah, and also the glory that would follow; but they could not fully understand the connection between the two. In fact, in some of the prophecies, the Messiah’s sufferings and glory are blended in one verse or paragraph. Even Christ's own disciples were not clear about the need for His death on the cross. They were still inquiring about the Jewish kingdom even after His resurrection. If the disciples were not clear about God’s program, certainly the Old Testament prophets could be excused! As they studied the Scriptures, God told the prophets that they were ministering for a future generation.
The prophets didn't see the Church age that came between the two comings of Christ. The Church Age was a hidden mystery in Old Testament times. The Old Testament believers looked ahead by faith and saw, as it were, two mountain peaks: Mount Calvary, where Messiah suffered and died Isaiah 53, and Mount Olivet, where He will return in glory Zechariah 14:4. They could not see the valley in between, the present age of the church. If the Old Testament prophets searched so diligently into the truths of salvation, and yet had so little to go on, how much more ought we to search into this subject, now that we have a complete Word from God! The same Holy Spirit who taught the prophets and, through them, wrote the Word of God, can teach us the truths in it.
b. By The Gospel
1:12b the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things which angels desire to look into.
The disciples didn't understand it all at first either. The Lord had to explain it to them. He shared how He had fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. Luke 24:25-27 says this: Then He said to them, O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. After this the New Testament apostles and prophets were equipped to proclaim more clearly the work of Christ.
The Gospel is God's good news of salvation for mankind. The work of salvation has been completed. This message can now be proclaimed clearly and fully. We can understand God's plan for the ages. Something the Old Testament prophets couldn't do. Peter and Paul both preached how God is calling out a people for Himself from both Jews and Gentiles. Even the angels are interested in what God is doing in and through His church! 1 Corinthians 4:9 and Ephesians 3:10 tell us that God is instructing the angels through the church. He is revealing to them His manifold wisdom and grace.
Salvation - Only Through Jesus Christ -- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
The late venerable and godly Dr. Archibald Alexander of Princeton had been a preacher of Christ for sixty years and a professor of divinity for forty. On his deathbed he was heard to say to a friend, All my theology is reduced to this narrow compass-Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. This is the message foretold by prophets and proclaimed in the Gospel.
The prophets spoke only a portion of God's Word. They diligently studied it along with the angels. What then, should we do about it? Firstly, each of us must believe it. It's not enough to know the facts we must individually receive the Savior. Secondly we must share it with all those we can. Thirdly we must diligently study God's Word. Since we have received God's full revelation to man we should diligently study it to grasp the wonder of God's salvation.
Secondly Salvation Commands Hope
a. Rest In Christ's Return
1 Peter 1:13b And rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
We should also have an optimistic mind. Hope to the end ejlpizw means set your hope fully. This is actually a command. Peter commands believers to set their hopes completely on the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be our only motivation in life. A believer once sent a note to his friend: When the outlook is gloomy, try the uplook! Good advice, indeed! It has to be dark for the stars to appear. The result of this spiritual mind-set is that a believer experiences the grace of God in his life. To be sure, we will experience grace when we see Jesus Christ; but we can also experience grace today as we look for Him to return. We have been saved by grace and we depend moment by moment on God’s grace. Looking for Christ to return strengthens our faith and hope in difficult days, and this imparts to us more of the grace of God. This is in fact the only hope that will comfort us.
Is There Any Hope?
Hope is an indispensable quality of life. Years ago the S-4 submarine was rammed by another ship and quickly sank. The entire crew was trapped in its prison house of death. Ships rushed to the scene of disaster off the coast of Massachusetts. We don’t know what took place down in the sunken submarine, but we can be sure that the men clung bravely to life as the oxygen slowly gave out. A diver placed his helmeted ear to the side of the vessel and listened. He heard a tapping noise. Someone, he learned, was tapping out a question in the dots and dashes of the Morse Code. The question came slowly: Is … there … any … hope? This seems to be the cry of humanity: Is there any hope? Hope, indeed, is the basis of all human existence in Christ!
b. Ready For Christ's Return
1 Peter 1:13a Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,
Gird up the loins of your mind ajnaxwnnumi simply means, Pull your thoughts together! Have a disciplined mind! These exhortations to be ready and sober come under the command to rest our hope on the revelation of Jesus Christ. The image is that of a robed man, tucking his skirts under the belt, so he can be free to run. When you center your thoughts on the return of Christ, and live accordingly, you escape the many worldly things that would encumber your mind and hinder your spiritual progress.
Peter may have borrowed the idea from the Passover supper, because later in this section he identifies Christ as the Lamb. The Jews at Passover were supposed to eat the meal in haste, ready to move. Outlook determines outcome; attitude determines action. A Christian who is looking for the glory of God has a greater motivation for present obedience than a Christian who ignores the Lord’s return.
Dr. Horatius Bonar, as he drew the curtains at night and retired to rest, used to repeat to himself the words, as if in prayer, and certainly with expectancy, Perhaps tonight, Lord! In the morning, as he awoke and looked out on the dawn of a new day, he would say, looking up into the sky. Perhaps today, Lord! He expected the Lord to return at any moment. Bonar was in the Lord’s service for over 60 years. He lived in readiness for Christ's return, do you?
Not only should believers have a disciplined mind, but we should also have a sober mind. The word sober nhfw means to be calm, steady, controlled; to weigh matters. Unfortunately some people get so carried away with prophetic studies that they lose their spiritual balance. The fact that Christ is coming should encourage us to be calm and collected. Anyone whose mind becomes undisciplined, and whose life falls apart because of prophetic studies, is giving evidence that he does not really understand Bible prophecy.
Perhaps Today — Annie Lind Woodworth
Perhaps today our Lord will come
To bear us to our much-loved Home:
Before the evening shadows fall
May sound the longed-for clarion call;
Then out of sorrow, tears and strife,
We’ll rise to realms of joy and life.
Perhaps today will be the last,
And time shall be forever past.
Our light affliction will be o’er.
Then Glory! Glory! evermore!
These days of toil and pain will cease
And faithful workers rest in peace.
Perhaps today mine eyes shall see
The Lamb of God who died for me:
Oh, nothing else will matter then.
If unto Him I’ve faithful been.
Live for that day, O soul of mine,
And joy eternal shall be thine.
Peter commands us to rest our hope fully in the grace to be revealed at Christ's return. Are you completely trusting in Christ's return? Is He the only source of hope for you? Are you ready for Christ to come? Are you living for Him? Are you sober and looking for His return?
Thirdly Salvation Commands Holiness
a. God Is Our Father
Because of our new birth we have become members of God's family. It's a wonderful privilege to be God's children. But with privileges come responsibilities. Because God is our Father and we're His children we must conduct ourselves accordingly.
1. We Must Obey Him
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
Firstly God asks us to obey His laws. As head of the home the Father has the right to lay down the rules. In fact, it is the parents responsibility to set the rules in the family. This is so that the household will function smoothly. Because children have so much to learn their parents make rules to protect them from harm. The same is true of God's family. Our Heavenly Father knows that sin will harm us. The Father cannot have fellowship with His children when they sin. So the Lord gives us rules to obey for our own good. Before we were born into God's family we engaged in sinful practices. We followed the ways of our old father Adam who obeyed Satan. We were ignorant. We didn't understand the danger of this.
But believers know better. Hebrews 12:9-10 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
King’s Invitation To Be Obeyed
Sir Leonard Wood once visited the King of France and the King was so pleased with him he was invited for dinner the next day. Sir Leonard went to the palace and the King meeting him in one of the halls, said, “Why, Sir Leonard, I did not expect to see you. How is it that you are here? Did not your majesty invite me to dine with you? said the astonished guest. Yes, replied the King, but you did not answer my invitation. Then it was that Sir Leonard Wood uttered one of the choicest sentences of his life. He replied, A king’s invitation is never to be answered, but to be obeyed. Is this how you respond to God's Word?
2. We Must Be Like Him
1 Peter 1:15-16 But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, Be holy, for I am holy.
Secondly we must be like Him. The argument here is logical and simple. Children inherit the nature of their parents. God is holy; therefore we as His children, should live holy lives. God’s holiness is an essential part of His nature. God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all 1 John 1:5. So, God commands us to be holy. The word holy a&gio" means hallowed, sanctified, separate from what is common, set apart for God's use. Peter quoted from Leviticus 11:44-45 to back up this command. The book of Leviticus reveals how God's people must live holy lives if the Lord is to dwell amongst them.
2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1 emphasizes this: Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Any holiness that we have in character and conduct must be derived from God. We are partakers of the divine nature and ought to reveal that nature in godly living. Basically, to be sanctified means to be set apart for God’s exclusive use and pleasure. It involves separation from that which is unclean and complete devotion to God. We are to be holy in all manner of behavior, so that everything we do reflects the holiness of God. To a dedicated believer, there's no such thing as sacred and secular. All of life is holy when we live to glorify God. Paul says that even ordinary activities like eating and drinking can be done to glorify God. If we can't do something to the glory of God, then we can be sure it must be out of God's will.
The first step toward keeping clean in a filthy world is to ask, What does the Bible say? In the Scriptures, we will find precepts, principles, promises, and persons to guide us in today’s decisions. If we are really willing to obey God, He will show us His truth.
Dannecker’s New Desire
In his earlier life Dannecker, the sculptor, gained for himself a wonderful reputation for his statues of Ariadne and the Greek goddesses. Approaching his prime he felt he ought to devote all his strength and time to the creation of a masterpiece, so he set about to carve a figure of the Christ. Twice he failed in his purpose, but finally he carved an image of Christ so perfect, so exquisitely beautiful that when people gazed upon it, they could only love and adore. Later Napoleon sent for him. Come to Paris, he said, and make for me a statue of Venus for the Louvre. But no such offer could tempt the heart of Dannecker. His reply was simple. Sir, the hands that carved the Christ can never again carve a heathen goddess.
3. We Will Be Judged By Him
1 Peter 1:17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
Another reason why we should obey God and live holy lives is because God will examine our work one day. When the Lord returns, there will be a time of judgment called the Judgment Seat of Christ. Each of us will give an account of his works, and each will receive the appropriate reward. This is a family judgment, the Father dealing with His beloved children.
The word translated judges krinw carries the meaning to judge in order to find something good. God will search into the motives for our ministry; He will examine our hearts. He will examine what we have done with the resources He has given us. God has given every believer a spiritual gift. He has given us His Word to know how to live. We have received His Holy Spirit to empower us to obey the Word. God will examine what we have done with these resources. God assures us that the purpose this judgment is to glorify Himself in our lives and ministries. What an encouragement that is for believers! This should motivate us to live on earth with reverential fear. Judgment is a very strong motivation to godliness.
God shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. For God does not show favoritism. Years of obedience cannot purchase an hour of disobedience. If one of His children disobeys, God must chasten him. But when His child obeys and serves Him in love, He notes that and prepares the proper reward. In view of the fact that the Father lovingly disciplines His children today, and will judge their works in the future, we ought to cultivate an attitude of godly fear. It is not fear of judgment, but a fear of disappointing Him or sinning against His love. It is godly fear, a sober reverence for the Father.
Permanent Storage In Brain
Dr. Wilber Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, said in a report to the Smithsonian Institute: Your brain contains a permanent record of your past that is like a single continuous strip of movie film, complete with sound tract. This film library records your whole waking life from childhood on. You can live again those scenes from your past, one at a time, when a surgeon applies a gentle electrical current to a certain point on the temporal cortex of your brain. The report goes on to say that as you relive the scene from your past, you feel exactly the same emotions that you did during the original experience. One day God will examine our lives to find what is good and worthy of reward. What will He find in your life? What will He find in mine? Let's live in light of the judgment seat of Christ.
Peter gives believers three reasons why they should live holy lives. Firstly, since God is our Father we ought to obey Him as faithful children. Secondly, because God is holy His children must be holy too. Thirdly, God will examine our lives at the judgment seat of Christ. Are you obeying God's command to live a holy life? Are you separating yourself from the evil round about you? Are you allowing the Bible to set the standard for your life? Or does the media govern here? Will your life come through God's judgment with approval or rebuke?
Because of God's wonderful salvation we should live for God's glory. Today we have seen three things about our salvation.
Firstly Salvation Has Been Heralded - It was foretold by prophets and in the Gospel. Prophets diligently looked into it; Do you? Have you obeyed the Gospel? Do you share it?
Secondly Salvation Commands Hope - Does your hope fully rest upon Christ's return? Or are you trusting in something else? Only Jesus Christ gives real hope. Only He can save us. Are you ready for Christ's return? Are you looking for it, it could be today?
Thirdly Salvation Commands Holiness - Are you obeying your Father's commands? Are you living a holy life? Are you living in reverential fear? Are you ready for judgment?
Benediction Hebrews 13:20-21