Sunday, January 27, 2013

1 Peter 1:6-25

First, I give you  my apology for the faulty video on the last study. I did not get it downloaded properly and it does not work. I have a link in this study to John Piper sermons on 1 Peter 1. I highly recommend reading/listening to these sermons. They provide sound biblical instruction, guidance on the wonderful doctrines given to us by the Holy Spirit in 1 Peter.

The fact that we are tested by God is clearly established in the whole of Scripture and specifically here at 1 Peter 1:7. Our faith is tested. If it is not genuine it will not endure the flames of God's testing fire, if it is genuine faith, the testing may be like the testing that the persecuted Church was experiencing in Asia Minor (the Christians that Peter was writing to). It can take any form. Everything that comes into our lives is ultimately from the hand of God. If God does not allow for something to happen it will not happen, it cannot happen. God is in absolute complete control of every aspect of His creation, every last molecule. This is sometimes hard for us to wrap our minds around, but studying the Word of God will bring us to that conclusion for it is what the very Word of God teaches us. There are many Scriptures that attest to Divine Sovereignty but lets just look at one: Daniel 4:34-36 - these are words recorded as coming from Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of the Babylonian Empire, the most powerful man alive at that time, he says: "... and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored Him who lives forever, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or "say to Him. "What have You done?" Christians can be assured that God permits things into our life with the purpose of strengthening our faith. It may not fill like it is doing us any good sometimes, but, we don't understand fully the scope of the destructiveness of the remaining sin in our life, nor the holiness of this All-Powerful  God who is in control. It is to humble us, to rid us of our pride bowing our knee to the God who has decided not to allow us to continue in spiritual death and too physically die and meet Him as Judge with His Just Wrath. Something that we cannot endure something that we can not appease. Peter tells us that when we endure the testing of our faith, we will be receive the goal which is glorification, where we will behold Christ. Peter says that although we do not see Christ, and never have yet we believe in Him and we should rejoice with expressible joy. Peter had seen Jesus Christ, both before His death, and at His transfiguration and after His resurrection and he says in 2 Peter that we who have not seen Jesus have a more sure proof of Christ existence which is the prophetic Word. Illustrating the importance of presenting ourselves to the Word of God in study, of praying to God for the assistance of His Spirit in our comprehension of His Word.

Verse 10 - 12 tells us that the prophet who wrote down the prophecies about Christ would wonder who they were written these prophecies for, in what time frame, and it was shown that it was not for them in the sense of the time of their fulfillment (in Christ) but for us (those Christians after the completed work of Christ). This should remind of of what we studying in Genesis when it spoke about the Fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dying but not receiving the fulfillment of the promised land, in fact the only land they had was the land Abraham had bought to bury Sarah in. Our goal is heaven dear Christian, all that we gain in this life will not measure up to the first glimpse of Jesus Christ. We long for that city made without hands.

Peter tells those Christians that are experiencing trials to prepare their minds for action - the reformation study Bible says that Peter is exhorting them to prepare for vigorous and sustained spiritual exertion. Peter tells us we are to be obedient children and not to be conformed any longer to the passions of our former way of living. For we have been called to be holy because the One who has called us to this new life in Christ is holy. Peter tells us that if we call on Him as Father, the One who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. Christians have been forgiven of all their sins, we will not be judged for them, because Christ has already paid the price for them, for God to punish us for them also is a miscarriage of justice and that is that God. We will be judged for our deeds and as Christians we will be rewarded accordingly. We should also realize that the deeds that we do accomplish are because of the gift God has given us, so in a sense it is God crowning His own gifts. Peter also speaks about fear he means that as Christians we must approach God with humble reverence and awe. Although the people that Peter originally wrote this letter to were exiles from Jerusalem, the exile he is speaking of here is the Christians exile from heaven, our true country, where we hold citizenship, thanks to God adopting us into His family and therefore into His household. Glory to God!!

Peter tells us that we were ransomed with the precious blood of Christ. We were freed from the dominion of sin. If you have ever been addicted to anything you have some sense of the power of sin over our lives, that addiction can not be broken because unlike cigarettes, drugs, sin is a spiritual addiction - and human beings have no power in the spiritual realm, don't be deceived by Hollywood, Madison Avenue, or Satan - you have no power against spiritual forces in high places, you have no power against demons set on taking as many to hell as they can, only the blood of Jesus Christ can free us from the spiritual addiction to sin. That is the truest freedom we can experience on this side of glory. The freedom from sin, that Christ provides for us. We still have a sin nature - but it is not in absolute control as it was before we were saved. We have been indwelled by the Holy Spirit and listen to what Jesus says in John 14:15-16 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever," Do you see that we have received the Holy Spirit and HE WILL BE WITH US FOREVER!! Jesus asked the and the Father said yes, and we have the Holy Spirit. To ensure our freedom the Bible says that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us all the time. This is where we are to get our confidence, this is where we are to get our assurance that we are indeed, children of God. The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are children of God. Thank God for His Holy Spirit and let us strive with sustained exertion to live holy as our Father is holy.

Peter closes chapter one with an a powerful statement that we have been born again through the living and abiding word of God, he says that the Word of the Lord remains forever.

Father, Thank you for you care for us. Help us by your Spirit to love your Word, to love other Christians, Lord always bring us to repentance and be with us in our trails, strengthen our faith Father, and place in our heart in increasing measure a longing for that city made without hands, so that we may dwell in your presence forever. In Christ name. Amen.

This is the link to sermons on 1 Peter by John Piper. 

Next study: 1 Peter 2


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