(1 Pet 1:5)
INTRO: Precious things are placed in secure, guarded places. There is comfort of mind in knowing that ones valuables are secure from corruption, damage or theft. And Peter, who has spoken reassuringly of an inheritance reserved for children of God, adds to his reassuring message to Christians by telling them they are guarded by God unto their ultimate salvation. Now, thats real security. God, who holds the universe in His powerful hand, is guarding me!
I. NOW, PETER IS NOT TEACHING:
A. Impossibility of a Christians being lost
1. some grasp this verse for that assurance
2. but he speaks of the role of our faith here
3. and he writes of being entangled again in the condition of loss 2 Peter 2:20-22
B. Freedom from trouble
1. indeed, he speaks of troubles about to come (1:6,7)
2. but he does propose that God will enable us to encounter, bear and overcome those troubles ... and help us to go onward
3. note 2 Cor 12:7-9
II. THE POWER WHICH GUARDS US?
A. The word kept (KJV) is a military term
1. it refers to being guarded by a garrison
2. I picture the sentries at a military installation
B. But our guard is called the power of God
1.2 Ki 6:16,17 and Mt 26:51-53
2. we are caused to wonder about the security of our country ... could our armed forces really protect us?
3. but we know that the mighty God can! (Deut 7:21)
4. yes, God will do His part!
III. THE ROLE OF FAITH ... AS A POWER?
A. The power of belief
1. with my belief in Christ, I cannot but remain loyal
2. a similar idea is present in Gen 39:9
3. Acts 11:21 beliefs power led to the turn (Acts 19:18,19)
4. if we truly believe in Christ, our course is charted!
B. The power of commitment
1. in belief I made a commitment and must keep it
2. Titus 3:8 a commitment not to be neglected
3. a decided weakness in erring saints is an absence of a sense of commitment growing out of faith (Heb 4:14)
4. 1 Tim 6:12a fight the good fight of faith - commitment
C. The power of a walk of life
1. my commitment dictates that I live in this way
2. Rom 1:17 with 2 Cor 5:7
3. Christians simply know (or should) how they must live
4. for Christians there should be many more certainties far fewer doubts than for others ... knowing how to live is half the battle won toward our eternal salvation
D. The power of a trust
1. I just believe that God will see me through this
2. to have lived with God at the center of life and love and
activity is to hold quiet confidence that the outcome is well and truly secure
3. Heb 11:33-35 they endured in trust that they might obtain a better resurrection (without seeing it!)
4. Gods power and the power of our faith will indeed keep us secure!
CLOSE: Of course, the end in view is salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. There is a sense in which we are already saved. But the thing anticipated here is the ultimate joy of our heavenly inheritance, our eternal salvation. But let me remind you that Gods power here is in effect while we remain in a relationship of faith with Him.
Cecil A. Hutson
04 February 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)