1 Pet 5:13,14
INTRO: A preacher friend once told me that he was preaching a series of sermons based on benedictions, or final words in the various New Testament letters. Certainly, those brief statements are too often overlooked as materialof value for a sermon study. But if youll take the time to read them, you will find a wealth of love, of truth, of sentiment. So, we come now to the concluding words of Peters first letter. And we do find in these concluding words some thoughts worthy of our attention. There is certainly no wasted ink in First Peter!
I. FROM WHOM? WHERE?
A. Who joins Peter in this salutation?
1. with certainty, Mark companion of Paul, Barnabas; author of second gospel; close relation to Peter (my son)
2. the church or she ... that is in Babylon?
a. most commentators favor K.J.V. here the church
b. however, original here could just as easily favor a specific female saint ... Peters wife? (1 Cor 9:5) she may well have been very well known by many churches
c. I tend toward the church though not dogmatically
B. From whence came these greetings? Babylon
1. three Babylons are possible!
2. an Egyptian Babylon - military camp near Cairo
3. Babylon of the East with which Jews had been so much associated large, important colony of Jews there
4. Babylon that was Rome (Revelation 17 and 18)
5. which is the place? either of the two latter choices is possible ... and no certainty attached to either the important point is there was a church there!
6. (quite honestly, Im inclined to favor Rome with no fear this supports view that Peter was first pope)
II. UNITY OF THE FAITH IS STRESSED - 1 Pet 5:13
A. Elected together with you
1. the key word is together
2. diverse nations, tongues, customs, circumstances mettogether in Christ Col 3:10,11
3. across miles there was concern, love, feeling!
B. For all there was/is only one faith, one body
1. Eph 4:4,5 note one hope of your calling
2. saints in Babylon had the same gospel as those in Jerusalem it produced just Christians ... the elect
3. differences were in tongue or custom ... not in moral or spiritual expressions!
III. FELLOWSHIP OF LOVE IS STRESSED - 1 Pet 5:14a
A. The kiss was a common greeting custom
1. referred to in Rom 16:16; 1 Cor 16:20, etc.
2. but Peter removes this greeting from realm of formality, ritual ... it is a kiss of love
B. Church always should be fellowship of affection, good will
1. but we can develop a sterile, who cares attitude
2. church is a family when the love of which Peter speaks is missing, church is in dire trouble (Col 3:14)
IV. TRUE, LASTING PEACE IS EMPHASIZED 1 Pet 5:145b
A. Peace may have seemed a strange word in persecution
1. to the world it might have seemed an empty, foolish or sarcastic benediction
2. yet, to Peter it was needed word of teaching for we can, should possess this peace in all circumstances
B. But the peace is only found in Christ Jesus
1. note Jno 14:27 and 16:33
2. this peace which truly passes understanding comes only to those in proper relationship to Christ ... in Christ
CLOSE: Unity - love - peace ... three great New Testament themes are these. Working from the last of these, however, I am led to ask, Are you in this right relationship with Christ? How does one come into Christ? Gal 3:27.
Cecil A. Hutson
31 March 2002
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)