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We Should Be Thankful
I Peter 1:3-7
We Should be Thankful
I Peter 1:3-7
Intro: Man's glory never lasts; some longer than others, but they all fade away, but God's glory is eternal, His purposes are eternal, His word is eternal and His promises. As we study the teachings of Scripture we see over and over God's love for us. Peter points out that His love is shown in the fact that He freely decided to share His glory with us! Peter in the opening verses points his readers back to the Old Testament covenant with Israel. He is highlighting the fact that the old covenant was a shadow of the new covenant, and illustration of what was coming. What we see is election, obedience, the sprinkling of blood, sanctification by the Spirit, the unchanging word of God, a living temple, a new priesthood, a holy nation, the people of God-all of these point to the elements of the covenant theology of the Old Testament. The prophetic Scriptures of the Old Testament spoke of the coming Messiah, Jesus. It is interesting that Peter points out that the Spirit working with Christ was the same Spirit who was with the prophets as the Spirit of Christ (1:10-12) The Old Testament people were involved with a blood sacrifices commanded by God, but now it is no longer animal sacrifices but the precious blood of Jesus. What Peter is pointing out here is the fact that when the hearers placed their faith in Jesus, they were not abandoning the God of Israel but embracing Him. This opening section of I Peter is a summary of how the old covenant has been transformed into the new covenant by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It presents the new life in Christ into which Peter's readers have been born again. In this first section of his letter, Peter shares with his readers four important facts. All of which should move us to praise and worship of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Understanding what God has done for us should produce an attitude of doxology (praise) in our daily walk (3-5). Knowing that we are in a 6 battle and this battle will produce suffering and trials (6-7) we can still rejoice because we have a guaranteed salvation which is the ultimate plan of God for each of us who have trusted Jesus as our Savior. Our faith in Christ has produced a new birth and the promise of an inheritance that will be ours at the final revelation of Jesus. Until that time comes, we will be opposed to a world system in revolt to the things of God and the people of God, which will produce conflict and trials for every believer. The world loves its own and the fact that we are hated by the world is evidence of our salvation. T. S. In order to strengthen the readers Peter identifies four areas that will comfort and encourage his readers. 1 Peter 1:3 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, I. A Special Inheritance 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 1. Incorruptible-a condition associated with glory and honor and life, including perhaps a moral significance. This inheritance cannot be damaged, diluted, changed, or modified in any way. 2. Undefiled-Free from contamination, is used of Christ and pure religion and in this case the eternal inheritance of believers. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -- verse 27 3. Fades not- no gradual diminishing of quality, no changes Repenting means revising one's judgment and changing one's plan of action. God never does this; he never needs to, for his plans are made on the basis of a complete knowledge and control which extends to all things past, present, and future, so that there can be no sudden 6 emergencies or unlooked-for developments to take him by surprise. "The counsel of the Lord stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations" (Ps. 33:11). What he does in time, he planned from eternity. And all that he planned in eternity, he carries out in time. And all that he has in his Word committed himself to do, will infallibly be done. Thus we read of the "unchangeable character of his purpose" to bring believers into full enjoyment of their promised inheritance, and of the immutable oath by which he confirmed his counsel to Abraham, the archetypal believer, both for Abraham's own assurance and also for others (Heb. 6:17-19). So it is with all God's announced intentions. They do not change. No part of his eternal plan changes. 4. Reserved in heaven- rewards identified as yours, no one can touch it, take it, remove it, or change it. II. Kept by the Power of God 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1. Through our faith-complete trust and confidence and reliance. 2. Unto Salvation-Deliverance from judgment and penalty of our sin. 3. Revealed in the last time-When Christ returns, we will be with Him as evidence of His fulfilled promise to keep us by His power-this power can be seen in the following: We haveAn acceptance that can never be questioned. (Ephesians 1:6). An inheritance that can never be lost (I Peter 1:3-5). A deliverance that can never be excelled (2 Corinthians l:10). A grace that can never be limited (2 Corinthians 12:9). A hope that can never be disappointed. (Hebrews 6:18, 19). A bounty that can never be withdrawn. (I Colossians 3:21-23). A joy that need never be diminished (John 15:11). A nearness to God that can never be reversed (Ephesians 2:13). 6 A peace that can never be disturbed (John 14:27). A righteousness that can never be tarnished (2 Corinthians 5:21). A salvation that can never be canceled (Hebrews 5:9). F.E. Marsh T.S. All of which should produce continued rejoicing. III. Rejoicing 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 1. Present distress is temporary and will soon pass. The trials will one day be done never to be repeated. 2. Due to temptations we struggle to be what we want to be, should be, can be in Christ. Christians rejoice because they know that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Tertullian, that tenacious lawyer and apologist had this to say about the church "it is the one thing in the world that always rejoices." T.S. Trials are not a negative, but actually a good thing. IV. Trial of Our Faith 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. 1. More precious than gold that perishes-Peter's point is that Gold, even though it has been smelted through a refining fire that burns up all that is not pure, will still perish in the final fiery judgment. 6 2. Tired with fire-Because the believers have been chosen they are at the same time alienated from the unbelieving world around them, which will produce conflict and suffering. We must not be upset by the trials because they will ultimately be to our praise. 3. Produces praise honor and glory-The very experiences that cause us distress as Christians should also cause us joy because we are Christians. Trials are not to our detriment but add to our growth. For example, consider the kite flyer. He must take in hand the string of his kite and run until the kite lifts up into the heavens. But he will not reach his goal of a flying kite if there is no wind. Every kite flyer knows that wind is necessary for flying kites. But understand that kites do not rise with the wind but rise against it. So it is with trials. The Christian will not ascend to patience and maturity unless he ascends against trials. Do trials make you soar above, or just plain sore? 4. All will be fulfilled at the appearing of Jesus. Conclusion: Peter has a heart for his readers and wants to encourage them as they face trials. He reminds them of the key reasons we should be thankful. We need to guard against an unthankful spirit Two worshipers rose early and set out for their appointed place of worship. One rising hummed a hymn, as he made ready for church. On the way he said to himself, "This is the day of the Lord, and I will be glad in it." He noted a cardinal in the trees and praised God for its beauty. He saw icicles dripping from the drain and was conscious of their beauty. He entered church warmly greeting all he saw. He entered the sanctuary and bowed in prayer rejoicing in the music, the beauty of church architecture and found help in the sermon. His heart was full and he went out rejoicing. The second worshiper rose with reluctance saying, "I would rather stay in bed." He journeyed to church with resentment against others who did not attend, He was angered by the busy noises of people greeting each other and hurried to his pew which was already taken. Finding 6 another seat, he critically analyzed the music, the sermon and his neighbors. He went out dissatisfied and weary wishing he had stayed in bed. It was the same church, It was the same music. It was the same sermon and the worshipers returned to the same home, but there was a world of difference! Jesus answered them saying, "Therefore speak I to them in parables; because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive." The trials of our faith are like God’s ironing. When the heat of trials are applied to our lives the wrinkles of spiritual immaturity begin to be smoothed out. It is always good to attend church or Bible study and sit and soak up the truth of God’s Word like a sponge. But we must realize that sponges work best when they are squeezed.
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