Concerning This Salvation
Transcript of the first sermon from the series in 1st Peter. The sermon is titled “Concerning This Salvation,” and comes from 1 Peter 1:1-12.
This series includes a Family Worship Guide. Find it here.
So this week I purchased an old car. Older than me. It’s a 1988 Jeep Wagoneer. And I absolutely love it.
My wife hates it. But she’s gracious and let me get it. I love it. And there’s times I’ll just walk to my window or my door to catch a little glimpse of it, because I like it so much. It’s black with the fake wood paneling. The paint is peeling and it’s got a few issues. But it’s so legit.
It gives me joy because of its manliness and practicality and rugged good looks and because I got a stupid good deal on it.
But ultimately it’s just an SUV. It’s just a car. It’s really not a very nice car. And someday it will break or break down and be undrivable. There will be a day when it’s worthless and won’t bring me or anyone else any type of joy.
So this thing with temporary worth makes me rejoice.
Today I want us to all rejoice in something better. Much better.
Today I want you to Rejoice in your precious salvation.
That’s really the one thing – if you forget everything else I say today – that’s what I want you to take away:
Rejoice in your precious salvation.
We’re beginning a walk through the book of Peter today.
So, walking through First Peter. Why does 1st Peter exist? What is it? Who wrote it? When? And to whom?
It’s a letter to the church. And like most good letters, 1st Peter starts with a greeting. In this greeting, we find a lot of the answers to the question of context.
Let’s look together at verses 1 and 2.
1 Peter 1:1-2
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
First, we find out that Peter wrote the letter. You may or may not recognize Peter as one of the 12 disciples. He was the one that saw Jesus walking on water and asked to join Him. He’s the one that cut off an ear of one of the guards that came to arrest Jesus. He’s the one that denied Jesus three times in the night before His crucifixion. Peter’s also the one that Jesus told to feed His sheep. He followed Jesus well. Peter took the Gospel to the Gentiles. And in the end, Peter was also crucified for following Jesus.
It was his position as an apostle of Christ that Peter has authority to write this letter to the church. We believe that even more, it is the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that provides the authority to include this letter in our New Testament. Verse 2 provides more about his authority.
Peter says he’s writing 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, – which is to say that he’s writing as a part of God’s plan for His people… in the sanctification of the Spirit – which is to say that he’s writing as a part of the Holy Spirit’s work to help people grow closer to Christ… for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood – which is to say that he’s writing to help people follow Jesus. The phrase sprinkling with His blood is an interesting one but even that points us to our hope of salvation. Peter wants us to be obedient to Christ, but he’s recognizing that our salvation and our joy is in Jesus’ blood.
Verse 2 really provides us with grounds for his authority to write a letter and his purpose for writing the letter.
But who’s he writing to? Look back at verse 1 – he’s writing to the elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.
This is the Christian Church that has been persecuted to the point of becoming dispersed across Europe and Asia. These aren’t just men and women who felt like it was a good idea to claim Christianity for themselves. These are people who gave up everything to follow Jesus.
Understanding the context through the greeting is some grunt work that will benefit us as we study every other week that we’re in 1st Peter.
He ends the greeting by giving a blessing: May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
And continues into verse 3:
1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Birth and Its Inheritance (3-5)
Man these are crazy verses! The first sentence of verse 3 is jubilation. It’s praise to God out of a heart of joy! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
But why? Where’s that coming from? It’s coming from His great mercy. Peter is considering his salvation and he’s giving credit where it’s due. Blessed be God the Father! – He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. That’s the birth. The re-birth. We’re born again. 2 Corinthians says it this way: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
We are born again. A new creation. Born to a living hope. Our hope is in the God that rose from the dead. Our hope is in and through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Peter was clear about it and we should be too. Our only hope for salvation is Jesus Christ. God is perfect. And He created everything to be perfect with Him. But we chose sin. We chose to rebel. And our sin deserves a consequence/ a punishment. That punishment is death. But Jesus came for us. God Himself came for us while we were still sinners. He died for us. Took our place. He took our punishment. Died and He rose again. And He is coming again.
God’s Word says that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Be saved today. Believe that Jesus alone can save you from your sins and follow Him. Be born again.
Be born again to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
In our salvation God gives us an inheritance. He adopts us into His family and then gives us the future of a child of God. Our inheritance is to be restored in our relationship with God. It is is joy in Him forever. Our inheritance is Christ.
And that is an inheritance that wont perish. It wont be defiled. It wont fade. It’s kept in heaven.
Jesus said as much in his sermon on the mount 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
1 Peter 1:5 says, “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
God’s power gives and guards are faith, which will show its fruit in the last time. It is by faith we are saved and it is God’s power that provides and that guards that faith. That should be a great confidence to us! Our faith is from God. Not ourselves.
Not only confidence but that should give us joy. It did for Peter.
1 Peter 1:6-9
6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Faith and Its Outcome (6-9)
Verse 6 reminds those in the church that trials today can’t compare to the joy that’s coming. The trials now can’t compare to the joy we currently have in our salvation. We have this faith that is more precious than gold. And there, Peter continues to juxtapose the lasting worth of faith vs. the perishing nature of this world.
What is the result of genuine faith? Praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The result of faith is the object of faith. Christ is the object and result of our faith. Being with Him and praising and honoring and glorifying Him.
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 1 Peter 1:8-9 is a perfect example of faith
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
We’re so assured of the things that we hope for but can’t see that we rejoice with joy that is inexpressible. There’s no doubt in that kind of joy. A joy beyond words filled with glory.
It’s the faith that produces the joy. Genuine, unshakeable, persevering faith leads to this joy.
So faith leads to joy because the outcome of that faith is the salvation of our souls. Isn’t that what Thomas experienced when he saw the nail pierced hands and feet? For him it took seeing. He recognized with his eyes that Jesus rose from the grave. That Jesus had done what it took to defeat death and save mankind. And Jesus said to Thomas: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
That’s us. Blessed are we! We are blessed because we did not see the risen Savior with our own eyes but we trust Him for our salvation and that is called faith. Not because we’ve worked for it, but because Christ has. Our faith is not action or work on our part, but a recognition of our dependance on Christ’s work and His action. So we have inexpressible joy because His work obtains the salvation of our souls!!
Peter keeps going in verse 10:
1 Peter 1:10-12
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Prophecy and Its Fulfillment (10-12)
Concerning this salvation: the Old Testament prophecies span thousands of years and here Peter is making sure the church understands that those prophecies weren’t just penned by men, but were inspired by the Holy Spirit. In the 39 books of the OT, there are over 100 Messianic prophecies. And Jesus fulfilled all of them.
Peter almost leads us to feel sad for these prophets because they saw the grace we would enjoy. They lived under the law, but they got a glimpse of the joyful future. In faithfully telling what they were being shown of Jesus’ suffering and His Glory, they were serving the future church.
For the early church that initially received this letter and to us now that continue to receive this letter, the confidence of our faith is firm in the truth that Jesus was foretold for thousands of years in many ways and He fulfilled those prophecies.
We do not have a faith without reason. Having faith means not seeing, it doesn’t mean not thinking. Our faith is a thoughtful, reasonable, true faith. And the Old Testament adds to our certainty. Even the prophets were preaching the Gospel.
Look finally at verse 12 again…the Gospel has been “announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.”
This is an amazing truth and reason to celebrate. The gift of our salvation by Jesus Christ is something that even the angels long to look into. The angels wish they could understand the grace and mercy and love and faith of our salvation.
Church we have reason to rejoice and celebrate! Jesus Christ loved us enough to lay His life down for us. The angels can’t say that. They long for that.
That’s not to say we are great and deserving of salvation, but that our salvation and our Savior are amazing and unique in all the universe.
Are you able to celebrate in that spirit of redemption?