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Notes & Transcripts

Bro. Darrel  Owens

SUBJECT: GOD'S LESSONS TO US FROM FIRST PETER

                        "Introductory Remarks"

 

Peter wrote to these Christians to encourage them, to explain to them why suffering occurs, and to remind them of their eternal reward at the end of this earthly life (Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary).

TEXT: 1 Peter 1:1-25.

INTRODUCTION:


A.                                        This is the beginning of a study in First and Second Peter.

B.                                         Of course, the apostle Peter is the author. Peter had a shaky beginning but wound up a strong and mighty warrior for Jesus. He wrote his first letter about 64 A.D. 1 Peter 5:13 indicates that he wrote it from Babylon. Some say this may have been Rome because the Jews often referred to Rome as Babylon.

1.                                          Peter had made his living as a fisherman.

2.                                          Evidently, he had no higher education than that of a common man (Acts 4:13). In his and John's speech before the Sanhedrin, people were amazed because they were unlearned men. They took knowledge of them because they had been with Jesus.

3.                                          However, having been with Jesus for over three years, and being led by the Holy Spirit, he wrote two very masterful letters.

4.                                          Peter was one of the first the Lord called in the origin of His church, and in the list of the apostles, but never does he claim to be above any of the others.

5.                                          One of the things I love about Peter is that, if the Lord could make something of him and use him, I have hope.

C.                                         Verses one and two identify the author and the ones to whom he wrote First Peter:  "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

1.                                          "Strangers" - God's people are as aliens in a foreign land. The word means, "alongside heathen." It speaks of God's people being placed alongside of the unsaved of this world.

2.                                          "Scattered" - placed, or sown. We think of scattered as something haphazard or accidental. God placed these people in this foreign land purposefully.

D.                I will be referring to a statement which Peter made in his second letter possibly every lesson. He said, "Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles" (2


E.                                         Pet. 3:1, 2). The intent of both letters is to give us reminders that stimulate us to wholesome thinking. We are going to be looking for such reminders as we study.

F.                                           

II.                                        THESE SCATTERED STRANGERS WERE THE ELECT ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE FATHER, v. 2.

A.                                        "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied" (v. 2).

B.                                         Right away we run into a passage that needs to be studied closely. We'll take it a little at a time.

C.                                         "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."

1.                                          Many Bible students wrestle with the problem of harmonizing election by God and the free will of the sinner to accept Christ. This verse should help.

2.                                          All of the saved are the elect of God. He has chosen them to salvation.

3.                                          But, He made His choice based on His own foreknowledge concerning what choice they would make.

4.                                          This doctrine is also another source of security for each believer. We are chosen in Him because we repented of our sins and trusted Jesus.

D.                                        "Through the sanctification of the Spirit."

1.                                          First, we saw the work of the Father in the believer's salvation, now we see the work of the Spirit.

2.                                          The Spirit's work is to set apart (sanctification means to set apart) the sinner through His convicting power. Without this no sinner would ever come to Jesus. When the truths of the Bible concerning the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus are proclaimed, the Spirit takes those truths and works them in the mind of the lost soul.

3.                                          The Spirit's conviction can be heeded or rejected according to the will of the person.

4.                                          The Spirit's work in sanctification only starts at salvation. He continues to sanctify the saint as He is allowed to work in that heart.

E.                                         "Unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."

1.                                          Now, we have studied the Father and the Spirit's work in the believer's salvation. What about Jesus, the Son?

2.                                          The Holy Spirit works with the sinner and brings him to a point of obedience to faith in Jesus.

3.                                          The sinner who comes to the point of placing his faith in the Lord is sprinkled by the blood of Jesus. He is cleansed from his sins. "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb. 9:22).

4.                                          The only blood that has any cleansing power is Jesus'.

5.                                                                                          I do not see baptism in this verse at all. Baptism has no real cleansing power. It is symbolic.

F.                                          "Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

1.                                          This is a typical statement of Paul, but one not to be taken lightly.

2.                                          He wanted them to have a bountiful supply of grace and peace. They had saving grace and he wanted them to live by grace also. The peace he spoke of was heart peace - that deep abiding peace that comes as one gives himself over fully to the Spirit's leadership.

G.                                        Did you notice the teaching of the Trinity in these first two verses? The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all taught clearly.

I.                                           BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, vv. 3-5.

A.                                        God is to be blessed because of the new birth.       {3} "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,"

1.                                          "Begotten us again" - the new birth, the same thing that Jesus talked with Nicodemus about in John 3.

2.                                          In this passage God the Father is credited with bringing about the new birth. Actually, all three persons of the Godhead are instrumental in it (see John 1:11, 12; 3:5-8; our text).

3.                                          The new birth is a literal, spiritual birth. It causes a radical change in the recipient - a change that one can not accomplish on his own.

4.                                          Peter taught that this new birth is "unto a lively hope."

a.                                           We are born again to an ever living hope.

b.                                          This hope is based on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Because He lives, we who believe in Him live. We will never die because He shall never die.

B.                                         God is to be blessed because of the inheritance He has for us. 4 "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,"

1.                                          Since God is our Father, we are to receive an inheritance from Him. We are "heirs of God; and joint-heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17).

2.                                          God has even given us the earnest of our inheritance, the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:14). He has assured us that we are going to receive it.

3.                                          He tells us four things about this inheritance:

a.                                           It is incorruptible - imperishable; unravaged by an invading army. Nothing can take this away.

b.                                          It is undefiled - not subject to pollution by sin.

c.                                           It will not fade away - The value of things we have in this world goes down depending on a variety of things. The value of our inheritance will never decrease.

d.                                          It is reserved in heaven for us.

4.                                          What is this inheritance? I don't know, but there are some guesses?

a.                                           The psalmist said that God Himself was his inheritance, "The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot" (16:5).

b.                                          Jeremiah had the same idea (Lamentations 3:24).

c.                                           Some think that our inheritance is the full joy of God.

d.                                          I think it is the sum total of all He will ever give to us.

C.                                         God is to be blessed because He keeps those He saves. 5 "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

1.                                          We who have been born again have the solemn promise of God that we are kept by His power. The word "kept" is present participle which indicates actions constantly going on. We are guarded by God until our salvation is complete.

2.                                          God keeps us in response to our faith that we placed in Him when we were saved (Eph. 2:8, 9).

3.                                          The salvation referred to here is the glorification of our bodies. Our souls are saved now, our bodies will be saved then. "The last time" must have reference to the time when He gives us these new bodies - the rapture.

I.                                           THE TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH, vv. 6, 7.

A.                                        Rejoicing in the midst of trials. 6 "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:"

1.                                          The English grammar rules would make us think that "wherein" refers back to salvation in verse 5. However, the Greek keeps us from making a mistake. "Wherein" is neuter in gender and must refer back to an antecedent which is also neuter. "Salvation" is feminine in gender and "time" is neuter. Thus, "wherein" refers back to "time."

2.                                          We can rejoice in anticipation of the time when we will receive our new bodies. Then, we can rejoice completely in all the glories of God because we will have no limitations.

3.                                          What a testimony it is to see Christians who can be joyful during trying times. It is then that lost people see the true nature of the saved.

4.                                          Rejoicing in Christ is possible even though we may be in heaviness because of manifold temptation.

5.                                          LESSON: You can rejoice even though you may find yourself in an unenjoyable job, school work, a trying marriage... The answer is not in escaping the situation, but in serving Christ in that situation.

B.                                         Why our faith is tried. 7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"

1.                                          Your trial is precious - more than earthly riches could measure. The outcome of your trial is of eternal worth.

2.                                          Your faith is proved to be genuine by trials.

3.                                          Your faith is tried so that it may result in praise, honor, and glory when Jesus comes.

4.                                          We are so prone to look at everything in the present tense. We want relief from our suffering now. We want a better job now. We want our marriage fixed now. We do not see the long-term effect.

5.                                          We should view things that happen now with the thought of how they will affect the glory of God in the future.

6.                                          The most important thing in the world is not that we are comfortable, or that we have things going our way, or even that we are happy. The most important thing is for God to receive the glory due Him.

I.                                           WE JOYFULLY ANTICIPATE THE APPEARING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, vv. 8, 9.

A.                                        8 "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:"

1.                                          We have not seen Him with our physical eyes but we love Him.

2.                                          We have not seen Him but we believe in Him (see John 20:29).

a.                                           The person is blessed who trusts although he has not seen.

b.                                          "Jesus, these eyes have never seen  That radiant form of thine;  The veil of sense hangs dark between  Thy blessed face and mine. I see thee not, I hear thee not, Yet thou art oft with me;  And earth hath ne'er so dear a spot  As where I meet with thee. Yet, though I have not seen, and still Must rest in faith alone, I love thee dearest Lord, and will, Unseen but not unknown. When death these mortal eyes shall seal, And still this throbbing heart,  The rending veil shall thee reveal  All glorious as thou art." (anon.)

3.                                          We rejoice with unspeakable joy and joy that is full of glory.

a.                                           Filled with an inexpressible joy.

b.                                          Filled with a glorious joy.

B.                                         When Jesus comes, we will receive the final results of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the total salvation of our souls - complete salvation with no adverse effects of sin. 9 "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

I.                                           THE OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS WONDERED ABOUT SALVATION AND THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, vv. 10-12.

A.                                        The Old Testament prophets seriously searched and studied the matter of salvation in Christ.  10 "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:"

1.                                          Verses five and nine have mentioned salvation - the new birth which comes from God.

2.                                          The prophets believed in the Lord and concerning His salvation, but so much of it they did not understand. Isaiah wrote the 53rd chapter, but most of it he did not understand. The same is true with the others.

3.                                          They prophesied of the grace that should come. That grace involved the coming of Jesus, His payment for salvation, and His return for His own.

B.                                         The prophets searched for things concerning the sufferings and glory of Jesus Christ.  11 "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow."

1.                                          First, please notice the fact that those prophets were directed by the Holy Spirit of God. They wrote under His direction and leadership.

2.                                          The Spirit of Christ led them to write concerning the sufferings of Christ. Psalm 22 is an excellent example as is Isaiah 53. It seems that they (and the Jews following) had a hard time understanding how the Messiah was to suffer.

3.                                          Further, the Spirit led them to write about the glory that would follow His sufferings. See Psalm 24, 72, and Daniel 7:14.

C.                                         The prophets found out that they were not serving themselves, but a later group of people - us. {12} "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."

1.                                          God revealed it to them that the things they were writing were primarily for another time period.

2.                                          Their prophecies were so important. They warned people to be ready for things to come. Their prophecies are assurances of the truths of those things that have come to pass. We are so sure that Jesus is the Messiah because of all the prophecies recorded and His fulfillment of them.

3.                                          All of these things are so great that the angels desire to look into them.

a.                                           Angels are interested in everything that has to do with Jesus.

b.                                          They announced His birth - they are at His beckoning call.

c.                                           They want to know about His salvation even though they are not in need of it.

I.                                           THREE NECESSARY INGREDIENTS FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING, v. 13.

A.                                        {13} "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;"

B.                                         Number one is to gird up the loins of our mind.

1.                                          The warrior of Peter's day wore a long robe that hung nearly to the ground. When he went to battle, he would "gird up." That is, he would tuck his garment hem into his belt so that it would not be in the way.

2.                                          We might say that we are going to "roll up our sleeves," or "take off our jacket," and get busy.

3.                                          Peter is telling us to get ready for some strenuous mental activity. During their time of extreme persecution, Satan was trying to work on their minds to make them unsure and unstable. They must remain settled in their thinking, or Satan would have them beaten.

4.                                          God needs people now who will be stable thinkers - not those who will be taken by every wind of doctrine.

a.                                           He has given us His Word to which we can cling.

b.                                          Through His Word, we can have the mind of Christ.

C.                                         Number two ingredient for us to please God and serve Him properly is to "be sober."

1.                                          This is not speaking of soberness from intoxicating drink although that is necessary if we are to live for Christ.

2.                                          This is speaking of soberness of thought. We are to be calm, collected and steady in our thinking.

3.                                          This soberness depends much on study and meditation on the Word of God accompanied by the filling of the Holy Spirit.

D.                                        Number three is "hope to the end."

1.                                          Remember, hope for the Christian is that expectancy of things to come based on the promises of God.

2.                                          I have heard of prisoners of war who made it through terrible circumstances because they had hope of being delivered.

3.                                          One of the most terrible things about hell is that the occupant has no hope that things will ever be better.

4.                                          However, for us as Christians, we have hope based on the fact that our Lord is alive and that He is coming back for us one day. Peter admonished us to "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed" (NIV).

I.                                           THE BELIEVER'S OBEDIENT AND HOLY WALK, vv. 14-16.

A.                                        Our walk, or way of life, as God's children is to be an obedient walk, v. 14. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:"

1.                                          Our new man, he who came into existence at the new birth, has the nature to be obedient to his Father, God.

2.                                          Just as our obedience reflects upon our earthly parents from the fleshly standpoint, even so does our obedience as children of God cast a reflection upon our heavenly Father.

3.                                          This obedience means that we do not fashion ourselves after the world - the way we were before we were saved.

a.                                           We are to act differently.

b.                                          We are to speak differently.

c.                                           We are to dress differently.

d.                                          To let Jesus live in our lives requires obedience.

4.                                          Samuel said to Saul, "to obey is better  than sacrifice and to harken than the fat of rams" (1 Sam. 15:22).

5.                                          To be able to obey means we must know what to obey.

a.                                           When in the army, we would often fail to do  the right thing because we did not know the orders.

b.                                          We have God's orders written down for us in the Bible - we have no excuse.

6.                                          True obedience, the way God wants it, comes from hearts of love and appreciation.

a.                                           Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep My words..." (John 14:23).

b.                                          The reason we are disobedient is often simply a lack of this love and appreciation.

7.                                          Christ Himself is our great example of obedience. "For I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29). "He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil. 2:8).

B.                                         The believer's walk is to be a holy walk, vv. 15, 16.   "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; {16} Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."

1.                                          What holiness is not:

a.                                           Sinless perfection.

b.                                          The doing away with the old nature.

c.                                           A second blessing.

d.                                          A cleansing from inherent sin.

e.                                           A man once said, "I haven't sinned in seventeen years." When told that he must be better than Paul and Peter, he got mad and ruined his seventeen year record.

2.                                          A misunderstanding of holiness can be disastrous. Many sincere, honest people throw their hands up in despair when they are not able to attain the above mentioned things. Some have even gone insane and lost their health because of it.

3.                                          What holiness is: the word means separate, thus the believer's manner of life, or behavior, is to be separate from the world and separate unto God. This is the same as sanctification.

a.                                           We are set apart from the world to service for the Lord Jesus Christ.

b.                                          Jesus is our example - we are to follow Him by faith and do as He did.

4.                                          Holiness only comes as we yield ourselves completely to the Holy Spirit for Him to use as He pleases.

5.                                          We are to be holy "because it is written."

a.                                           What better reason could we seek?

b.                                          God said it, that settles it!!! (Lev. 11:44, 45; 19:2; 20:26).

I.                                           CONDUCTING OUR LIVES IN A STRANGE LAND, vv. 17-19.

A.                                        {17} "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"

B.                                         The main clause in this verse is "(You) pass the time of your sojourning here in fear."

1.                                          "You" is the understood subject.

2.                                          "Pass" means to conduct.

3.                                          Back in verse one we established that we are strangers placed in specific places.

4.                                          Thus, we are conducting our lives in a strange land. Let's learn some things about how we are to do this.

C.                                         We are to conduct our lives here in fear.

1.                                          "Fear" means fear of self, or self-distrust.

a.                                           Even though we are saved, we cannot trust the wants and tendencies of our flesh.

b.                                          Paul wrote, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Cor. 9:27).

c.                                           Listen to what John said in 2 John 8, "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." Literally, "ever keeping a watchful eye upon yourselves..."

d.                                          Paul wrote, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth" (Col. 3:5). We must deaden, or render useless, our bodies as far as this world is concerned.

2.                                          "Fear" as used in our text also means vigilance against temptation.

a.                                           We can look for temptation because it is coming.

b.                                          When it does come, we must be ready to stand against it in God's power. James said, "Resist the devil and he will flee from you."

3.                                          "Fear" further means humility. We are to conduct our lives in this strange land with reverential awe toward the wonderful God of heaven.

D.                                        We are to conduct our lives in this strange land, constantly calling upon our Father, v. 17. Peter wrote, "And if (since) ye call on the Father." (Parentheses mine).

1.                                          Good Christian workers often get so busy in the work that they forget to pray.

2.                                          Our Father wants us to call on Him as we like for our children to call on us.

3.                                          Since we live in a strange and foreign land, we have a special need to call on Him often.

4.                                          Further, we should call on our Father in regard to each other. Samuel said, "Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way" (1 Sam. 12:23).

E.                                         We are to conduct our lives in this strange land with the knowledge that our works are going to be judged, v. 17. "...the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work..."

1.                                          Our Father will judge us all impartially (1 Cor. 3:13-15).

2.                                          Each man's works will be judged separately. He will not lump us all together. We cannot get lost in the crowd.

3.                                          Knowing all of this should cause us to live carefully.

F.                                          We are to conduct our lives in this strange land aware of the awesome price that was paid for us, vv. 18, 19.

1.                                          {18} "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"

2.                                          We were not bought back (redeemed) like the slaves of old were. Our redemption was much more costly.

3.                                          We were redeemed by the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST.

a.                                           Precious in that it was costly. It cost Jesus His life. It cost the Father His Son.

b.                                          Precious in that His blood was highly esteemed or held in honor. "...the church of the living God which He hath purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). Not just anyone's blood, HIS blood.

c.                                           "As a lamb without blemish and without spot." No sin was in Him - He was pure and sinless.

4.                                          If knowing what Jesus did in our redemption will not cause us to want to serve Him faithfully, nothing will!!!

5.                                          Seeing what Jesus did for us ought to make us want to proclaim with the apostle John, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 John 3:1).

I.                                           JESUS, OUR ACTIVE SAVIOR, vv. 20, 21.

A.                                        {20} "Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, {21} Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."

B.                                         Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world.

1.                                          "Foreordain" means to designate beforehand.

2.                                          Jesus stood as our sacrifice before we ever needed one. "...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Rev. 13:8). What love and grace!

3.                                          Christ's offering Himself before the foundation of the world made salvation free for all mankind, Adam and you.

a.                                           He in no way forced man to sin.

b.                                          He did have a way of escape ready because He knew man was going to sin.

C.                                         He was manifest for us, v. 20b.

1.                                          Manifest means to make or become visible.

2.                                          An invisible God became visible through the Son, Jesus.

3.                                          He assumed human body and human limitations.

4.                                          He is God's means of communication with us (John 1:1, 14)

5.                                          He was manifest FOR US. "...but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb. 9:26).

a.                                           If it were not for us He would have had to die.

b.                                          Each individual should see that it was he who caused Jesus to die. I SHOULD HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED.

D.                                        He was manifest for us who believe in God, v. 21. "Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God."

1.                                          He came for all - whosoever will.

2.                                          His manifestation was especially for those who believe.

E.                                         God raised up Jesus our from among the dead, v. 21.

1.                                          This is the most precious truth I can think of. HE IS NOT DEAD! HE IS ALIVE!

2.                                          All of our faith depends on this one fact (1 Cor. 15).

a.                                           All is vain without it (v. 14).

b.                                          We are all liars without it (v. 15).

c.                                           We are lost without it (17b).

d.                                          The past dead are lost without it (v. 18).

e.                                           We are miserable without it (v. 19).

3.                                          Since He did rise, we live. We live in Him.

F.                                          God gave glory to Christ who died and suffered shame.

1.                                          Man exposed Him to open shame, even to death.

2.                                          God would not suffer His holy One to see corruption.

3.                                          He gave Him glory (Phil. 2:9-11).

4.                                          He will never again suffer humiliation. He is King.

G.                                        Our faith and hope should be in God, v. 21b.

1.                                          Our faith looks back to Calvary and the resurrection.

2.                                          Our hope looks forward to glory.

3.                                          This world will get no better until Jesus comes and cleans things up.

I.                                           TWO KINDS OF CHRISTIAN LOVE, v. 22.

A.                                        Before looking at these two kinds of love, let's examine the first part of this verse. {22} "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit..."

1.                                          This speaks of their salvation, action past from the time of their conversion.

2.                                          Their part in purifying their souls was obedience to the truth of the gospel. Repentance toward God and faith in the resurrected Lord results in salvation.

3.                                          The Holy Spirit is the agent through which the new birth took place.

4.                                          Now, let's look at these two kinds of Christian love.

B.                                         "...unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:"

1.                                          The first "love" here is "unfeigned love of the brethren."

a.                                           This love is from the Greek word, "phile," similar to our word, "like."

b.                                          It is an affection of fondness. It is a purely human attachment and perfectly legitimate.

c.                                           When a person is saved, he should show this "like" for the brethren. "Birds of a feather flock together."

d.                                          There was a time when those people in Peter's day showed partiality, even as Christians.

(1)                                       It was hard for the different classes to show equal love.

(2)                                       Now, they were showing love without hypocrisy (unfeigned).

2.                                          The other love he speaks of is quite a bit deeper. "...see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently."

a.                                           This love is from the Greek word, "agape." It is the kind of love God displayed when He loved the world enough to give Jesus (John 3:16).

b.                                          This love is to be with a pure heart.

c.                                           This love is to be done fervently.

d.                                          We are to love one another:

(1)                                       Because the other person is precious to God.

(2)                                       With a willingness to sacrifice for him.

(3)                                       With a love that is long-suffering.

(4)                                       With a love that is kind.

(5)                                       With a love that causes rejoicing in the other's good fortune.

(6)                                       With a love that keeps one from acting unbecomingly.

(7)                                       With a love free of jealousy.

(8)                                       With a love that shows God's attributes.

I.                                           WE CAN LOVE BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN BORN AGAIN, vv. 23-25.

A.                                        {23} "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. {24} For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: {25} But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

B.                                         This is the second time Peter has referred to the new birth (see verse 3). There he spoke of being begotten of the Father; here by the Word of God.

C.                                         To me, "the Word," as used here must speak of Jesus (see John 1:14). The Bible has the words of life, but it is not alive. The Bible cannot save, although its words tell everyone how to be saved.

D.                                        Peter emphasizes the fact that we are born of incorruptible seed (1 John 3:9). He then suggests that this is an eternal birth by saying that the Word is eternal.

E.                                         God is eternal. Jesus is eternal. And, whether you speak of the living Word (Jesus), or the written word (the Bible), each is eternal.

F.                                         Jesus is preached to the unsaved by the gospel. There is no other way to be saved.

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