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April 17, 2016

"THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL"

TEXT: 1 Peter 1: 1-9
READING:
 Ephesians 1: 1-14

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SUBJ: The message of salvation and assurance considered as continuing and fresh good news to true believers in that we see it as begun in eternity and extending evermore.

AIM: That we might take a renewed hold on that which is given us in Christ Jesus and that we might know that this is truly the aim of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

INTR: Peter and John are both reminders to us that there is excitement to be had in reference to the Gospel regardless of the passage of time and experience and that it was their aim to communicate this to others.
1. Peter takes to himself the name given him by our Lord from the beginning as a sign of his enlistment and the Apostleship to which he was called. Though now aged he is still Peter.
2. There is a tenderness exhibited throughout the writings of Peter that betrays his desire that others should know and experience what he knew.
3. How easily we settle into the routine of being a Christian and like the Ephesians to leave our “first love” or ability to love with the intensity that we once knew. Are the mercies of God new every morning to we who lay claim to faith in Christ Jesus our Lord?

THESIS: Truly the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to all believers in coming to Christ. The Gospel remains the Gospel in assuring us of a past deliverance, a present strength and help and a future secured in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I. Salvation and the Purpose of God (vv. 1-2)
1. Peter’s characterization of those to whom he wrote may have been either he didn’t know them or the manner in which they lived in this present world
1) There was no doubt that they were scattered Jewish believers as a result of persecution.
2) But, He would address them as such in a special way: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 1 Peter 2:11
3) Paul also reminds us similarly: For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Philippians 3:20.
4) What is precious is that they had an eternal identity with the Lord.
2. We note a Trinitarian operation in bringing them to this relationship:
1) Elected (chosen) by the Father
i. Incorporated here is confidence in the will and purpose of the Father
ii. The foreknowledge of God is connected with His foreordination – not a prediction rather a knowledge of what He would do and to whom (See Romans 8:29)
2) Sanctified by the Holy Spirit and
i. Thus set apart with the full capability of being what we must be in Christ
ii. A sovereign and mysterious work of grace that defies our understanding.
3) Sprinkled by the blood of Christ.
i. Here we see the over view of the merits of the blood of Christ in salvation initially obtained and
ii. We see that effect of the blood (sprinkling) whereby we are cleansed continually: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
iii. Along with the verifying obedience of faith.
3. Grace and peace is to be had now and forever in in abundance!!

II. A present reality (v. 3)
1. Blessedness is always to be accorded to the Father (Hallowed be thy Name!) of our Lord
2. Begotten – again and again we declare “Ye must be born again!”
1) It is a matter of Great mercy that such should be visited upon such rebels as we are
2) A lively or living hope – Consider “Christ in you” is interactive with you and so the various operations of the Spirit – else we might just do everything once and forget it!
3) It is given us in and by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
i. More than bodily resurrection
ii. We are to alive and responsive to the Godhead or there is no assurance of salvation.

III. A doubly secured inheritance (vv. 4-9)
1. It doesn’t stop here. We are coheirs with Christ and thus we have all in Him assured
1) Incorruptible – not subject to decay as are all things here
2) Undefiled – completely pure in the manner of Christ and all that is acceptable with God.
i. Not touched by the unclean
ii. Not containing impurities of any kind
iii. Completely fit for divine acceptance
3) Fadeth not away – One word from which we get the word “amaranthine” which means eternally beautiful and as the word says unfading.
4) It is a particular inheritance – reserved for you in that it meets you needs, desires, brings joy and features an ever increasing view and enjoyment of the Lord.
2. The you (or us) is “who are kept…”
1) It is by the power (dunamis) of God thus declaring that He is actively engaged in keeping us: 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
2) It is through faith and so we understand that it is participatory.
3) Unto salvation yet to be completed
3. An abundant cause for rejoicing in spite of heaviness and trial
4. Faith and its value is proven in trial
5. Christ is believed and faith brings us to see the unseen and “Joy Unspeakable.”
6. We are even now in the process of receiving salvation!!