1 Pet 1:10-12
INTRO: For a suffering church there is no more happy, pleasant prospect than salvation. And Peter leaves no stone unturned in his emphasizing our ultimate salvation. Anything we must endure as Christians would be such a small consequence in comparison to that marvelous heavenly inheritance. In the midst of all of this Peter turns an eye to the past to say of the present, What great advantages we have! Note 1 Peter 1:10-12.
I. CONSIDER THE PROPHETS
A. They prophesied by Christs Spirit (v.11a)
1. we must not confine th Spirit only to the church
2. in this regard they were privileged - 2 Pet 1:21
B. They prophesied of wonderful things
1. of salvation - Gen 12:3b
2. of grace - especially a message of hope to Gentiles - Isa 42:6 & 49:22
3. of Jesus crucifixion - Isa 53:6,12 (atonement)
4. of Jesus resurrection - Ps 16:8-11 & Isa 53:11a
C. They prophesied for us (v.12a)
1. indeed, New Testament often points to the Old Testament
2. how many are the Old Testament references - so rich
3. Rom 15:4 written for our learning
4. 1 Cor 10:11 let us respect the prophets
D. But they did not understand what it was all about !
1. note Dan 7:15,16 a special privilege for Daniel
2. would not the Ethiopians words represent the consternation of the prophets? Acts 8:32-34
3. what tremendous advantage we have - Jno 1:14!
4. and note Mt 11:11 ... had you ever considered how very privileged you are in the Kingdom?
II. CONSIDER THE ANGELS
A. We think of them as so privileged
1. there is so much we do not know about them
2. they are in Gods presence - Rev 3:5
3. they must be obedient - 2 Pet 2:4
B. But your privileges are more extensive (v.12b)
1. though God used them in very special ways relative to humanity, they apparently do not comprehend His life, concern for humanity
2. and it may also be true that not plan of redemption is available to the fallen angels (note Heb 2:16 A.S. V.)
3. in our knowledge and reception of the gospel we have far greater advantages than angels!
III. DO WE DESPISE OUR ADVANTAGES?
A. By taking them for granted?
1. prophets and angels would have rejoiced in our advantages
2. have our advantages in Christ, in the church become common in our thinking?
3. 2 Pet 1:1 like precious faith ... we need to truly consider our attitude toward precious things
4. are we considering our blessings truly precious?
B. By turning away from them?
1. 2 Pet 2:20 and Heb 6:4-6 here are descriptions of some sadly typical Christians
2. can you picture an Elijah, an Isaiah, a Moses saying, Im tired of being Christian ... the world for me!
3. no, these were men of deep, devoted faith
4. if our faith has not grown as it should, all kinds of problems can arise to turn us away ... Heb 3:14
CLOSE: The truth is, we just have so many advantages over the people of old. What a tragedy when we dont appreciate those advantages as we should. Let us hold fast to our precious faith.
Cecil A. Hutson
25 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)