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1 Peter 1:1-3 (KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
One day Peter’s brother Andrew (a follower of John the Baptist) interupted him while he was fishing. “Peter …
… We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. (John 1:41)
This intrigued Peter. Every Jew knew that God had promised to one day send a Savior to His people, a “Messiah” or “Anointed One”. The Messiah would be the Servant of God, filled with God’s Spirit.
Isaiah 42:1 (KJV)1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Isaiah 61:1-2 (KJV)1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
The Messiah would save Israel – and Peter knew (along with all others who were Jews) that they needed saving. Rome had conquered Israel. The King placed over Israel was an Idumean named Herod. So Peter went to see Jesus – and that day was given the name Cephas (John 1:42) meaning “The Stone”. Though Peter went back to his fishing boat it wasn’t long before Jesus saw him again. Calling out:
“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men”
Peter and Andrew immediately left their nets and began to follow Jesus. That is the mark of the Christian – that we follow Jesus. Abraham our Father left family, country, everything in order to follow the Lord. We are to follow Him and Him alone. We are to go where He goes, do as He does, and obey His Word as it were the Word of God – for it is!
It took Peter some time to fully understand what salvation is. Called to Christ’s side Peter thought at first that Jesus was going to bring in a new kingdom on the earth. When Jesus told Peter that He had to go to the Cross:
Matthew 16:21 (KJV) … how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
Peter would hear none of this. Kill Jesus? Absolutely not! Peter declared:
Matthew 16:22 (KJV) … Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.
Jesus rebuked Peter. Matthew 16:23 (KJV) … Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
At first Peter didn’t understand why Jesus had to die. Jesus had to die because we are ALL SINNERS. Sin has separated us from God. Sin has blinded us, bound us, beaten us, and be-damns us. When the Messiah came the Old Testament spoke of His death and suffering. Isaiah particularly wrote of the Suffering Savior. Peter could not understand why Jesus had to die, and many today do not understand the death of Christ as a very real necessity.
He had to die because …
ALL HAVE SINNED &
ALL HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.
Jesus Christ is the Anointed One. By His death He has Anointed Us who believe in Him with His Blood. This Anointed from the Anointed changes us.
This change is called Salvation.
Salvation Is God’s PLAN For Whosoever Will
1 Peter 1:1 (KJV) Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia ….
You may not understand where these places are in the Holy Land, but I want you to notice two things about this text. First, though Peter is the Chief Apostle, the Leader of the early Church, he does not emphasize himself when he speaks of salvation. He emphasizes Jesus Christ. He is …
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ
The immature believer pushes himself forward. The immature believer in Peter was always seeking attention. But now that he is maturing in Christ he is not Peter THE CHIEF APOSTLE, but he is Peter AN apostle. He is a representative of Jesus Christ. Notice also how he addresses the Church:
to the strangers scattered
The word “STRANGER” means “A traveler, a foreigner, someone just passing through another country (parepídēmos)”. We who are saved by faith in Christ are just passing through this world. We are told in:
Philippians 3:20-21 (KJV) For our conversation (políteuma, citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
We who are saved by faith in Christ are part of the plan of God. The Lord saved us by His sacrifice. We are saved by faith. But we are left on this earth as sojourners, travelers for the Kingdom of God. While here we represent our Lord Jesus. But we never forget that:
This world is not my home I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore
Just like Israel wandered the earth till they reached the Promised Land, we are wanderers. We belong to Christ our Lord. We live to honor Him and Him only. He calls whosoever will to be saved, and then calls the saved into His Church.
1 Peter 1:2 (KJV) Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father ….
The Church is God’s “Elect”. He chose Israel in the Old Testament to represent Him, and chooses the Church to represent Him in the New Testament. In the Church we discover later in Peter that …
1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV) But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
It was God’s plan to call the Church to represent Him. If you are saved, you are part of that plan. We are told in …
Ephesians 1:4-7 (KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
As Christ’s Church you represent Him on this earth. As His people you magnify Him by your lives. Christ hath said “by this shall all men know you are My disciples, that you have love one toward another” (John 13:35).
Saved by His Grace, we magnify Him. We are saved:
1 Peter 1:2
through sanctification of the Spirit
and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ
We live on this earth according to His Plan. We are saved by faith in Him THROUGH the Spirit TO obey BECAUSE OF His Blood. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! We are strangers on this earth …
Salvation Promises A PERMANENT Home In Heaven
1 Peter 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
It is by mercy that we are saved. Yes, we answered the whosoever will call, but there is no more merit in that than a drowning man grasping a life preserver thrown his way! I was drowning in my sin when I first heard the whosoever will call. The Spirit of God whispered my name. I heard His love. I reached out and, grasping Christ and Christ alone, on that day I was saved.
The Lord left me, as He has left you, on this present earth. Yet this earth is not my home. I have an inheritance incorruptible that is beautiful!
Our Inheritance is undefiled (it cannot be perverted)
Cannot fade away (it is persistent)
Reserved for the saved (it is PERSONAL)
Jesus told us when He was on this earth:
John 14:1-3 (KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
While on this earth I am a stranger to it, but I am no stranger to Heaven. If you are Christ’s then Heaven is your home. You are …
3 begotten … again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible
Jesus Christ died on the Cross, then He rose again and ascended unto the Father. We have a lively or a living Hope in Christ. He has promised us Heaven. He rose again from this earth and ascended unto Heaven. And He has promised:
John 12:25-26 (KJV) He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
We serve Christ. We were born again to serve Christ. We are strangers on this world, but children of the Living God. We live to honor Him, and one day we shall be with Him all eternity.
Salvation Is PRECIOUS So It Is Tried
1 Peter 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
If I an saved by faith in Christ, a stranger to this world …. then why do I still suffer in this world? How can a loving God let me suffer? Because, dear one, suffering proves your salvation. Suffering reminds us that this world is but temporary. The Apostle said:
James 1:9-12 (KJV)9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
In this fallen world we all have trials. But trials are not without purpose. Trials can draw us to Christ, or trials can prove we are in Christ. Adrian Rogers once rightly said:
An untried faith is an unproven faith
Peter told the Church to REJOICE when tried by this world, for it is all part of the plan of God’s salvation. If you are Christ’s the trial of your faith will be found:
found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ
A genuine faith can endure the trials of this life. A genuine faith revels in the trials. Jesus told us “If any man will come after Me …
…let him take up his RECLINER and follow Me!”
Is that right? No! Jesus said:
Matthew 16:24-27 (KJV) … If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
We will be tried in this world. But trials just test our faith to see if it is of God or not. If we are Christ’s He will will hold to us as we hold onto Him. Our faith is precious, and trials prove our faith. In the trials we draw closer to Jesus:
1 Peter 1:8-9 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
The saved love the Lord, and show that love even in the midst of trials.
The Salvation We Now Enjoy Was
Prophesied And Promised
1 Peter 1:10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
From the very fall of Adam God promised a Redeemer would come, a Messiah who would save us. That Messiah is Christ. The Bible declares:
Acts 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
As Hurricane Florence was moving toward the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia I read with interest how millions of people evacuated to farther inland. Those who did not evacuate prepared for the worst. I read of one lady who was having trouble finding water. Bottled water, bread, canned goods, electrical generators, blankets, all types of emergency items were grabbed off of grocery store shelves. Most stores were empty of all but little items by Friday morning. Meteorologists who are well trained and with good equipment predicted the storm damage, and people rushed the stores to be prepared for what is coming.
And yet, few people even pay attention to the God of this universe and His call to salvation. The Bible tells us that:
Hebrews 9:27-28 (KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
We will all stand before God one day and be judged. If we are in God’s Plan of Salvation then our works will be judged for reward or loss. If we are not in God’s Plan of salvation our works will be judged for Heaven. The Bible tells us that every work shall fall short of God’s standard. It is but the work of Christ that will save.
Have you believed in Him?
Have you received Him as Lord and Savior?
Be prepared, for death is coming.
Be prepared, for life is short.
May God touch your hearts with His Word.