1 Pet 2:10
INTRO: Before Christ came into the world, Gentiles were in a hopeless condition before God. To find God fearing gentiles would be a rare find, indeed. Certainly Cornelius would be such a rare exception. The Jews were Gods nation, and they considered Gentiles little better than dogs. And it is true that Gentile people were in the main a pagan, immoral people. Often in the New Testament reference is made to the Gentiles as synonymous with unholy living. But Christs coming and His glorious gospel brought a new day to the Gentile world. Thats what this verse is all about!
I. PEOPLE WHO WERE NOTHING
A. Now, note, this was in time past
1. often, in the letters, this comparison is drawn
2. it reflects dramatic life changes in the people who are now the people of God
3. Col 3:9,10
B. They were not a people
1. now, certainly, they were people, human beings
2. but they were a scattered people without cohesive identity different languages, nations, governments, customs
3. even had different gods, religionsand many behaved as if they were little more than animals
4. only common thing...they were humans
C. How God viewed them?
1. Eph 2:11,12 a people without eternal hope
2. they lived; they conducted human affairs; they died...as do human beings
3. but it was all so fruitless, meaningless, hopeless; because they were without Christ!
4. the waste of an unChristian life
II. PEOPLE WHO BECAME SOMETHING!
A. But are now...there is the present tense
1. Christians shouldnt live in the past! yes, there are things in our pasts we regret, etc.
2. but we must be present & future tense people
B. We are the people of God
1. no matter what we have been! (cf. 1 Cor 6:11)
2. through obedience to the gospel is gained a common interest, obligation, government and king
3. wasted lives suddenly have worth, meaning because the past is truly past...and now Gods molding word controls
4. note I thank Christ Jesus in 1 Tim 1:12,13
C. Just think a moment:
1. God who made the worlds, who owns it all...
2. He has chosen to have me be one of His
3. yes, I had to choose Him, to take His offer
4. as Joshua put it Choose you... (Josh 24:15) but God made the choice available to me
III. THE PAST? NO MERCY!
A. And thats not surprising
1. they had lived to themselvesa law to themselves
2. they had excluded God from thinking, lives and plans
3. indeed, had seemed to want no part of God!
B. God will not extend mercy while we keep on sinning
1. He has never offered to save anyone in his sins
2. surely that explains why repentance comes before the receiving of pardon (Lk 24:47 comment)
3. note Eph 4:17-20...the constant need to remember we are not the people of our past! a past with no mercy
IV. AND NOW? MERCY IS MINE!
A. The form of the words here is very significant
1. word form in original means it was obtained in a single and definite time
2. at what one definite universal time does the N.T. say god grants us mercy relative to our sin?
3. Acts 2:38 explains it so simply...there is the repentance which is essential in the break with the pastand there is baptism which is the time, place (well defined) where Gods mercy deals with our sin (Peter unquestionably refers to this here and explicitly in 1 Pet 3:21)
B. Note Lam 3:22,23
1. how sweet is Gods mercy!
2. and you with these people whom Peter wrote - can secure that mercy
CLOSE:Has Gods new day dawned in your life?
Cecil A. Hutson
24 June 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)