I PETER 1:10-19
The Bible says in I Peter 1:10-12, Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 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. 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.
The previous verses in I Peter chapter one taught us about some very important truths connected with our salvation: the abundant mercy of God, the unity of the believers, the inheritance that awaits us in heaven, and perhaps one of the most important concepts for us to understand, the trial of our faith.
When we study human history; past, present, and future, it often seems uncertain, chaotic, and dark. But when we look at human history in light of the Bible, or from Gods eyes, we can easily see that the course of human history is a river that flows from one hand of God to the other. God has a definite plan, and purpose. And every little detail, from the greatest world war to the smallest little ant building himself a nest, is immediately and intensely guided by the supervision of God the Almighty.
The most important work, the most important purpose that God has concerning man and his destiny is the salvation of sinners and the spreading of the knowledge of God. The way in which God has dealt with man can be divided into different ages. First there was Adam and Eve. God placed them in the Garden of Eden and He gave them the command in Genesis 1:28, Be fruitful and multiply. But he also gave them another command in Genesis 2:17 ..the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Man failed at this command. There was also the age of the law in which God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and many other detailed moral and symbolic laws. But man failed miserably at these too. Yet, even though you and I have been disobeying God from the beginning, Gods great grace has always been waiting, waiting to be revealed to us. As we look through the timeline of human history we can see how God has revealed His knowledge further and further to man with each new dispensation of His grace. First there was Genesis 3:15 which says, And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.
And in Abrahams day God said in Genesis Chapter 12:2-3, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. And then in the age of the law God sent His prophets to prophesy of the Christ who should come and suffer and die for our sins. Isaiah 53:5-6 says, speaking of Jesus, But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. And then finally God gave the greatest revelations of His truth through His own Son, Jesus Christ. In John 3:16 Jesus said, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. As we read I Peter chapter 1:10-12 we see that God has, over the millennia, sent His messengers and even His own Son to give us the truth about Himself and how we can walk and talk with Him forever.
What a blessing it is to live in the time period of the age of grace. Though we live in a time of great technological advancement and great physical comfort, all such things are dull and vain compared to the truths of Gods Word and especially the specific teachings about salvation. These great and wonderful words of life and light that we call the New Testament were not given to the humans of previous ages, not even those prophets of God who were called and walked so closely with Him and sought diligently with all of their hearts to glimpse into these truths. We are blessed indeed.
There is nothing in the world more precious than your faith in God. Faith is based on the promises of God. Therefore, there is nothing in the world more precious than the Word of God. When you pick up the Holy Scriptures and you accept by faith what you cannot understand, when you let the Holy Spirit guide you into all truth, and when you chant over and over in your mind the promises of God as you face the challenges of life each day, then and only then will you come to understand and appreciate how precious the Word of God is. Apparently the prophets of old understood because they inquired and searched diligently. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Verse 12 says that the prophets of old preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost.
If, as a believer in Jesus, you truly desire to do the work of Christ and to be a pillar in the eternal temple of God, then you must ask God what He would have you do to learn and then to teach His Word in the way that He has enabled you to do, based upon what spiritual gifts God has given you. Most importantly you should notice that verse 12 says that these prophets of old did the work of God by means of the Holy Ghost. Jesus lived His life lead by and empowered by the Spirit of God. You will only accomplish the work of God when you allow the Spirit of God to fill your life with the fruits of righteousness. And you will only accomplish the work of God when you are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Isaiah chapter 66:1-2 says, Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is My throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto Me? And where is the place of My rest? For all those things hath Mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at My Word. If you look at the world around you, you will find that most in the world live their lives foolishly, not even aware of the opportunities and possibilities of each day. To accomplish what God would have you accomplish in this life it is very important that you understand and appreciate the opportunities and the blessing of God. Is there a greater opportunity and blessing than to live in an age where the truth of God has been revealed so greatly and abounds so abundantly? Jesus said blessed are the poor in Spirit. Who among us is of a contrite spirit, and who among us trembleth at the Word of God? Who among us has a soul that is athirst in this desert of sin we call the world? Its not easy to be spiritual. In fact, we cant do it. But Jesus did. Jesus said that man should not live by bread alone but by every Word of God. And Jesus also said to pray without ceasing. If you train yourself to study and meditate on the Word of God daily, and if you do your best to continue instant in prayer about everything and for everyone, then and only then will you find yourself connected to God and filled with the Spirit of God in a way that will enable you to accomplish great things for the glory of God. Psalm 1:2 says, concerning a righteous man that his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night
I Timothy 4:7 says, Exercise thyself unto godliness. Once we have come to understand and appreciate the opportunity, the blessing, and the importance of the Word of God and once we have prepared ourselves to fight the good fight of faith, then we must fight the good fight of faith. I Peter 1:13 says, Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Life is a spiritual warfare, an intense spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:13 says, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
I Peter 1:13 says to gird up the loins of your mind. How do we gird up the loins of our mind? Every day we need to remind ourselves to focus on the task at hand. Jesus said I must work while it is day for the night cometh when no man can work. To live the Christian life, we must live it one day at a time. And we must, daily, remind ourselves that life is a spiritual contest. Everyday there will be temptations and trials. Every day we will have our sin nature to struggle against. We must be on our guard because the devil walketh about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And it does not take a big hole to sink a mighty ship. The Bible says in II Timothy 2:3-4, Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Paul said all things are lawful for me but not expedient. There is no greater challenge than the Christian life. But you will only be as dedicated as you want to be, and you will only be as successful as you want to be. God is an equal opportunity employer. Jesus said the harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few. If you want to serve God successfully then you should expect suffering, and sacrifice, temptations, and trails of your faith. If you place your peace, your joy, your hopes and expectations in your fellowship with God and His Word and not the physical things of this life, then you will never be disappointed. No man that warreth entangleth himself... There will always be plenty of things in this world to distract us from our service for Christ. And there will always be plenty of people that are interested in the things of the world. There will always be a sport, a luxury, or a hobby of some kind that you can spend your time on instead of studying the Word of God and praying for the people in the world around you. But Paul identified himself and he said that he was separated unto the Gospel of Jesus Christ. If you do not live for Jesus then you are not living. And if you do not give all to Jesus, then you have not given Him anything at all. The world has yet to see what God can do with one man that gives himself completely to God. Jesus did it, and look at what Jesus accomplished.
The Bible goes on to say in I Peter 1:14-16 says, As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. One thing is for certain; if you are saved, and you receive the right amount of spiritual bread in your life daily, and you respond to the Word of God with an open and a submissive heart, it should have an obvious effect on your manner of life. If it does not, then you either are not saved, or your heart is hardened to the Word of God.
I Peter 1:14 says, As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:.. The word fashioning is translated conforming in Romans 12:2 which says, And be not conformed to this world: But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. When the Bible says as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance, it is talking about spiritual warfare. If you are saved, and if you have grown at all in Christ, then there are previous lusts, desires, worldly and carnal attitudes and habits that you have overcome by the precious blood of the Lamb and His testimony. But be warned. Because, unless you continue as a faithful child daily saying not my will but Thine, Lord, and unless you continue daily in the scriptures, because man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word of God, and unless you continue instant in prayer you will surely find yourself conforming to the former lusts in your ignorance again.
That is why verses 15-16 goes on to say, But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, be ye holy; for I am holy. The word conversation means, manner of life. God is holy and He wants us to be holy because He loves us. There are very negative and terrible consequences to sin. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Jesus paid it all. He suffered, and bled and died. He walked the lonely road of shame to the cross where He became your sins and mine. He bought us the victory. And because of the great grace and love of God we have the precious blood of Christ flowing through our spiritual veins to cleanse us and make us pure. Therefore, we need never fear the wrath or the judgment of God. But God does command and warn us to be holy, because of the terrible consequences of sin. True, some people smoke and drink and drive and live to be 90 years old. While others may drink once and only drive that one time and die from drinking and driving. Some people go out and commit adultery and fornication 100 times and by the mercy of God they dont die of any sexual disease. And others commit fornication once and get some terrible disease like aides and die. He that sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but ultimately, God will determine what you reap. And some of us live our lives and never learn to be truly thankful for all the wonderful blessings of God such as His Word, which He provides for us everyday, and especially the forgiveness of sins that we have in Jesus Christ alone. Be ye holy for I am holy, saith the Lord. It is only through the power of the Spirit and the power of the Word of God that we can be holy, and not through our own efforts. Jesus said in John 17:17 to sanctify them through Thy Word, Thy Word is truth. Sanctification is spiritual change, and it only comes through the Word of God.
When we take a moment to look at the world around us, we will see that lion, the devil, is just devouring human souls by the millions. In their ignorance they are conformed to the image of the world instead of the image of Jesus Christ. They walk about stumbling at they know not what, because the devil has blinded them from the truth. They do not understand or appreciate the great blessing that God has given us in His Word. The Word of God is an eternal opportunity. First and foremost it is the opportunity for Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. It is an opportunity to know Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. It is the opportunity to become strong through faith to be able to face any challenge this crazy world can bring. It is the opportunity to walk hand in hand with God, through His Spirit, just like Enoch walked with God. And it is the opportunity to be holy just as God the Father is Holy.
Daniel 12:3 says, And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. The Bible goes on to say in I Peter 1:17, And if ye call on the Father who without respect of persons judgeth according to everymans work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: It should be obvious in this passage that God is speaking specifically to believers and not unbelievers. The primary emphasis of this passage is the last phrase which says to pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. When the Bible says to pass the time of our sojourning here in fear it is not talking about going through life worrying about the uncertainties of tomorrow or doubting that all things work together for good to them that love God. It is talking about our attitude towards God and the spiritual battles that are occurring everyday of our lives. God said in I Timothy 6:19 that we should, lay hold on eternal life. To pass the time of our sojourning here in fear means to take life seriously, or to be sober minded, to fight the good fight of faith.
Once upon a time there was a soldier who was commanded by His captain to keep watch at the gate while the army went off to war. He was told to keep watch day and night because at any given hour his fellow soldiers might come seeking refuge and safety from the enemy. But apparently this soldier did not realize how important the task was his commander had given him. After watching at the gate a few days, and knowing the war would not be over soon, the soldier wandered off to town to have fun because he was bored sitting at his post all of those hours. When he returned to his post at the gate a few days later he was struck with horror upon seeing the bodies of his fellow brethren mutilated and strewn across the plains in front of the gate. What this soldier did not know is that while he was gone thousands of his fellow soldiers, wounded in battle, had come to the gate seeking refuge. But there was no one there to open the gate and the enemy fell upon them killing them all.
In Matthew 16:19 Jesus speaking to Peter said, And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. We are Christian soldiers. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Captain of the hosts of God almighty is our captain. And He has made us watchers and gatekeepers. We, the children of God, stand on the spiritual battle field called the earth and it is our job to guard the gate to heaven and to open that gate to all the lost and wounded souls who would seek eternal refuge from this war against the tide of spiritual darkness. Like Peter we too have been given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Those keys are the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. With the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to be used of the Spirit of God to open the gates of heaven so that all those who seek refuge may find it eternally in Jesus Christ. The first part of verse 17 tells us how we can successfully pass our sojourning here in fear.
When this verse speaks of calling on the Father its talking about prayer. The word call is also used in Romans 10:13 which says, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. And Jesus said that when we pray we should say, our Father which art in Heaven hallowed be Thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Anytime that we call on the Lord it should be done just like we called upon Him when we were saved. We should come, knowing that we are weak and have needs, and knowing that we are sinners. And we should be able to always say not my will but Thine be done, Lord. And of course we should have faith that God will hear and answer our call. Prayer is important.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ began with a prayer, the sinners salvation prayer, therefore prayer must be very important. And when we call on the Father, we should remember that God is not a respecter of persons. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. In this life, humans are equally sinners and humans can be equally related to God by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness of Jesus Christ can bring you just as close to God as Enoch was when he walked with God and was not, because all are saved by faith. Enoch was saved by faith. He walked by faith, and the righteousness of God can bring me just as close to God as you or Enoch. God is not pleased with people based on their works, or the things that it appears a man may have accomplished. Hebrews 11:6 says, But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. Faith pleases God, not works. Understanding the grace of God and believing in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins is what will bring you closest to God possible in this life, just like Enoch was close to God.
And because God is not a respecter of persons but judges according to every mans works, we should remember that it is appointed unto man once to die but after this the judgment. Remember Jesus said in John 6:29 that the work of God is to believe on Him whom He hath sent, Jesus Christ the Son of God. When you stand before the judgment seat of Christ you will be judged according to your faith. Verse 17 is speaking to believers and therefore believers will not be judged for their sins, because Christ already was judged for our sins. But we will be judged according to our works, or what we have done with the opportunities that God has given us each day to live for Him. There are crowns, and rewards, glory and honour, and eternal opportunities that will be given out at the judgment seat of Christ. Therefore we should pass the time of our sojourning here with fear. When you waste and when you throw away the opportunities of God in this life what you really are throwing away, is the opportunities and rewards of the next life. When you fail to pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, you are trampling upon and spitting upon the lost souls of the world, that could be saved because of your testimony.
I Peter 1 verses 18-19 goes on to say, Forasmuch as ye know that ye 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 of a lamb without blemish and without spot: To be redeemed means to be bought out of the market place. Salvation is a free gift. But it also costs greatly. It costs us our own wills surrendered to God. And for us to have the free gift of eternal life it cost God His only begotten Son. Christ is the Lamb of God. Innocent and humbled in fashion as a man, and obedient to the will of the Father even unto the shameful and painful death of the cross. He perfectly fulfilled the law, and was found without spot or blemish, but became sin for us. With each stripe of the Roman whip our sins were laid upon Jesus. Salvation does cost: the price is Jesus Christ.
The souls of men lay chained in darkness to the slave market of sin. Their souls have been sold to the devil, to false religion, and to the power and leprosy of sin which is hidden behind the attractions of the world. But just as in the beginning God spoke and there was light, God has spoken with His Word and there is spiritual light. And when we speak forth the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, and when we speak forth the whole counsel of God, the light of the Word of God will spread out across the earth, like the sun rising in the morning, to give eternal life, and love, and peace to souls once empty and twisted by hate and by the devil. The Word of God is an eternal opportunity. Thousands have given their lives so that we might have a copy of these sacred scriptures. God is so powerful that not only did His very Words create the universe in which we live, but His Word can change us into the image of His glory, from glory to glory. Yet, sadly, most in the world will die without ever even glimpsing into the power of this glorious good news. Christ offers us forgiveness for our sins. And the Word of God is the opportunity to understand and appreciate that forgiveness.
Copyright; 2002 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved