Sunday October 31 2021

THIS GRACIOUS SALVATION

1 Peter 1:10-25 (NLT)

“This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this good news has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.”

Last week we learned from the first 9 verses of 1 Peter 1, that Father God knew from the very beginning of the world those who would accept His offer of salvation acquired for them through the sacrifice of His Son and by His shed blood, and so secure for them the remission of their sins.

And we also learned that for those who would accept Jesus as their propitiation of sin, that Father God predestined such future believers to be conformed to the image of His Son.

Father God knew before hand, who would be saved, by their own choice, with no coercing nor manipulation on His part.

For these He foreknew, He did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son and therefore He would work to arrange that all things within each of these believer’s lives would work to come together for their good since they each have been called into His good pleasure.

Peter now goes on to discuss this gracious salvation.

He reminds us that the very prophets who prophesied about this salvation did not fully understand the implications of their words. They desired to know more about this “gracious salvation.”

Also, the very angels are eagerly looking into all things pertaining to this salvation.

We believers are “working out what God has worked in,” and the angels are watching in fascination and wonder. And, although it doesn’t say so here, these angels have been assigned tasks to help believers along their way.

Peter continues with verses 13 to 16 as follows.

“So think clearly and exercise self control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy.”

We are encouraged to “think clearly” or as Romans 12:2 reminds us:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may demonstrate what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

When Peter tells us to think clearly he is referring to Paul’s statement requiring us to have our minds renewed.

And later, Paul tells us in Philippians 2:5 to “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Part of the process of sanctification.)

Now, “Be not conformed to this world,” Why? because you no longer belong to this world – you belong to Jesus. And, belonging to Jesus results in your being transformed to His image.

And, this transforming is accomplished by the “renewing of your mind.”

As you become more and more transformed – sanctified – you become better able to demonstrate” what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

When Father God chose you to become holy – the very action of sanctification – He envisioned us much as the holy items of the tabernacle and later the temple.

These items were “set aside” unto a holy purpose. This is what sanctification means – to be set aside for a holy purpose.”

And, just as the items used in temple worship were holy and set apart for a holy purpose, so too are the believers.

“Think clearly and exercise self control.” The exercise of self control. I am reminded of a term that originated in the 1980s and made famous by the First Lady Nancy Reagan in 1982 – “Just say no.”

A young girl amid the gathering of listeners had asked the question as to how one is to resist the urging of peers to sample drugs. And the First Lady responded, “Just say no.” This is an example of “exercising self control.”

We are to look forward to the “gracious salvation” that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

This speaks of Christ’s second coming – His appearing – “so that every eye will see Him.” 1

This “salvation” is the third aspect of the believer’s salvation – the glorification – our receiving of our new heavenly resurrected bodies.

Without repeating in detail the topic of our three-fold-salvation which I have covered on many occasions let me simply remind us that we have first been Justified – saved; now we are being Sanctified – transforming to His image; and soon we will be glorified – that which is spoken of here.

Now, Jesus Christ is revealed only to the believer! He is revealed to the believer through the Bible, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, and through His voice that whispers to us daily. “My sheep know my voice.” 2

So, get your mind right; exercise your self control!

Exercise implies doing something, something strenuous. It is going to take effort to adjust your will to His.

Peter reminds us that soon Jesus Christ will be revealed to the world – the entire world. “Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye will see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all the kindreds of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1:7 KJV)

At present, He is only revealed to the believer, but at some moment in the future He will be revealed to every eye.

This, in fact, is the meaning of the word Revelation as used in the book bearing this name. The Revelation – the book of – means “the unveiling” as in the unveiling of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Revelation (notice it is in the singular – no “s”) concerns this unveiling of Jesus Christ to the world. The veil is lifted and enlightenment results.

When Christ was crucified the veil of the temple was removed resulting in enlightenment, and so too here, the veil over the eyes of all Israel will be lifted, as will the veil hiding His glory from the world in general will too be lifted.

This is the point of His being revealed and it is at this moment that our glory is revealed as well.

Do you recall our last teaching on Zechariah where His feet touch down on Mount Olivet and Israel “looks upon me whom they pierced . . . and mourn”?3

Here, Revelation refers to that same instant.  @

Returning to 1st Peter he tells us we are to “live as obedient children.”

He says, “Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires.”

We have been purchased by Christ from off the slave docket, and we now belong to Him.

We have been born anew by the Living Spirit and not by the flesh.

We are new creations empowered by the Spirit and not by our flesh.

Our will has been renewed so that it is now tuned to His Spirit living in us.

Our flesh has been crucified with Him and our “old man” has been buried!

We are resurrected with Him in newness of life – a “new man.”

There is no point, and certainly no advantage, in “slipping back into our old ways.”

Our old ways have been buried with our old man – we are to leave both buried!

Paul spoke often of the “putting off, putting on.”  In fact, Paul himself struggled with the daily process as much as we. 4

Then, Peter adds the phrase, “You didn’t know any better then.” This is interesting and deserves some investigation.

Listen to Pau as he speaks in Romans 7:5 & 9 NLT.

“When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, that resulted in death.

“At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died.”

So we were once controlled by our “old nature” – the old man – and this sinful nature worked in us to produce evil desires and a harvest of sinful deeds resulting in death.

But now the old man – our old nature – has been crucified and we now live in newness of life aided by the living Spirit.

But there is another aspect here that deserves consideration.

“At one time I lived without understanding the law. But when I learned the command not to covet, for instance, the power of sin came to life, and I died.”

There is ignorant sin and there is known or defiant sin. Paul is saying here that there was a time when he sinned ignorantly – not being aware of the “law.” But now, he knows what is right but can still sin – sin knowingly.

It is interesting that there was a provision for both classifications of sin given in Leviticus. Consider Leviticus 4:23 & 28.

“His sin wherein he has sinned comes to his knowledge, he shall bring an offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish.”

This is part of the peace offering for known sin.  BUT

“If anyone sin through ignorance . . .he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish.”

Numbers 15:27 adds the following:

“And if any soul sin through ignorance, he will bring a she goat of the first year for a sin offering.”

For sins that were committed knowingly the peace offering was an he-goat.

For sins that were committed unknowingly or in ignorance the peace offering was a she-goat!

As Numbers 15:29 states, “You shall have one law for him who sins through ignorance. . . “

Now, let’s journey back to the garden. There were two people and two different sins.

Eve was deceived and sinned through ignorance whereas Adam’s sin was one of knowing he was sinning.

So the sacrifice for ignorant sin initiated by the woman was a she-goat.

The sacrifice for knowingly sinning initiated by the man was a he-goat.

Interesting? You be the judge.

There is a more sobering caution for we of the church today. And it applies to church leadership.

If a church leader sins there is a process in place in most Protestant churches, to deal with this. If repentance is offered and a turning away from the sin is demonstrated along with a humbleness to be under inspection, then reinstatement can be granted.

If however, there is a continual stubbornness to continue in a habitual sin, with no contrition, then something else must happen. Listen to Numbers 15:30-32 NLT.

“But those who brazenly violate the Lord’s will . . .must be cut off from the community. Since they have treated the LORD’s word with contempt and deliberately disobeyed his command, they must be completely cut off and suffer the punishment of their guilt.”

This is the foundation from the Old Testament for the similar teachings in the New Testament. We will not go into more detail concerning this at this time.

Returning once again to 1st Peter 1, we are instructed in verse 16 to be holy for God is holy. You see, when we were of the world, of the flesh of the world, we assumed that identity with the world.

But now, since we are no longer of the world but His, we are to assume His character. Where are our roots? If in the world our fruit bears the characteristics of the world; if in Christ our fruit bears His characteristics.

If we are of the world – born of the flesh – born of the will of man – then we adopt those character traits.

However, since we are no longer of the world, but rather of Him – by the new birth – then it is His character traits that we are inheriting! And holiness is one of these.

And remember to Whom you belong; and remember at what price.

“For as much as you know, you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as with a lamb without blemish and without spot:”

With such a cost we can only conclude that Father GOD truly loves us fervently!

The foundation of our commitment to Father God must be His love of us.

Once we settle that, everything else comes naturally or rather supernaturally!

1 Peter 1:20 takes the reader back to the concept of foreordainment.

“Who, verily, was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

Again, GOD’s plan of salvation was put in place before the world was. That Jesus would become our sin-bearer and through His death and resurrection we would become “sons of GOD.

And He who was hidden in the bosom of the Father has now been revealed in each of us who believe.

And some future day He will be unveiled before the eyes of all earth-dwellers.

So Peter continues to encourage each of us to purify our souls – our will, our emotions, and our mind – and thereby love one another, expressing this another character trait of the Father – love.

And like the Father we are to love fervently!

Peter concludes chapter one with a final comparison. The world is as the grass, which grows up bearing aloft bright fragile flowers.

The grass with its colourful flowers is as our flesh which withers O so quickly, and dies.  But the word of the LORD endures forever.

We can be rooted in this world, in this flesh, and appear to prosper yet only for a season, or we can become rooted in His word, in His promises, and in His family, and receive the eternal glory promised us at His coming.

May His Word abide in each of you richly, and spring up into life eternal. Amen.

1  Revelation 1:7                              3  Zechariah 12:10

2 John 10:27                                     4  Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10

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