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November 27, 2016

"THE END OF FAITH"

TEXT: 1 Peter 1: 9-16 (Read vv 1-16)
READING:
 Isaiah 64: 1-12

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SUBJ: Salvation in Christ as the quest of the prophets and all the Old Testament and the subject of the Gospel delivered to the Apostles and confirmed in us was we hear them in the word verifying that such has always been the purpose of God.

AIM: That we might never take lightly the greatness of this salvation which has the stamp and seal of our eternal God upon it; that we should proclaim it without hesitation.

INTR: There is much we know of the suffering of these people and of the determination of Peter to honor the Lord in feeding them as His sheep. Peter saw it essential that they see this salvation as purpose from the beginning and manifested even now in the preaching of the Gospel.
1. It was out of tenderness and concern that Peter reminded them of the fact that their salvation and the gift of faith had come as the result of a divine decree (v. 2).
2. Thus, he would assure them of the keeping power of the Lord in seeing His purpose through.
3. He would have them rejoice even in the face of persecution as they contemplated Christ and the love they had for Him.

THESIS: This salvation we preach today has ever been the determination of our sovereign Lord and Savior has attracted the attention of all with whom He has had to do, including the prophets and the angels. How shall we escape if we neglect.

I. A celebrated salvation (v. 9)
1. We note that the rejoicing of the preceding verses was presently occurring and that so was the process of receiving this salvation.
1) With many, salvation is something for which they wait, while true faith immediately embraces the life that is in Christ our Lord.
2) We would carefully observe that it is the person of Christ that is the apparent cause of their joy “Whom having not seen, ye love…”
2. Salvation is not a static condition, it is a continuous revealing and an experience unfolding.
1) How easily people claim a relationship with the Lord and are unchanged in word and deed.
2) The earnest of our inheritance is not a mere token; it is the seal of the Spirit and a very present participation in the life from above.
3. This world would devalue the soul of man; the bible terms it worth the world and more!

II. A prophesied salvation (vv. 10-12)
1. We may physically count the words in the Bible (many have); we may never plumb the spiritual depth, height, and breadth of it.
1) And, we must be impressed with the fact that it is centered on the person and work of Christ.
2) And in that Christ is the center of it, salvation is the grand scheme of it and not to be neglected.
2. Peter is careful to point out that the salvation we receive and know in Christ is the same salvation of which the prophets wrote.
1) Moses was quite specific that the greatest of prophets was to come
2) Isaiah wrote of that which was separate from the symbolic and typical religion of his day.
3) Jeremiah longingly identified Him as the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
4) The Lord even referred to Jonah and the sign that was given him in the deep!
3. Their activity, which no doubt included much study and prayer, was intense.
1) They not only knew of His coming, but knew Him and longed for more
2) Their prophesy was of grace to be known and experienced and was to come to us! (I often experience a sense of history in visiting sites, but to visit the prophets and understand that they were writing of the things that have so gloriously come to me is awe inspiring).
4. The Old Testament (much larger than the New Testament) was Christ centered as well
1) It was the Spirit of Christ that was in them searching “what, or what manner of time…”
2) Even as Christ told His disciples of the necessity of His sufferings, the prophets understood it to a degree and so the New Testament reveals that the necessity of that suffering which was to come.
3) But, that same Spirit revealed to them the glory that was to follow and such glory we have only begun to behold – we see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, we catch a glimpse of it on the Mount, and we await a time of seeing it face to face and being identified with Him in a manifested Kingdom they so gloriously described!
5. They realized that the things with which they were dealing were for a time to come and so it did with the coming of Christ into the world and,
1) This is the same Lord and the same Gospel with the same Holy Spirit empowering its delivery unto us and to you in this little insignificant place.
2) As we open the Word of God, we stand on the same “Holy Ground” on which Moses stood and we are advised to reverence it in the same manner.
3) As I have often stood in Jamestown and been touched with a sense of history, I open the Word of God, see and hear the Gospel, and am touched with the sense of eternity.
6. It is the quest of Heaven to know the glorious things concerning Christ – the Angels rejoice at all that He is and has done in redeeming His people.

III. A manifested salvation (vv. 13-16)
1. The last few verses of our text encourage attention to the things of the Gospel as a reason to pull our thoughts together and focus on the hope that is coming in Christ.
1) We are to be as obedient children
2) Separating from the influence that would slow us in the race – “gird up the loins of our minds.”
2. It is imperative that we be reminded often that He which has called us is Holy and
1) That it behooves us to strive to be as He is in all our manner of life and
2) To know, as a matter of fact, experience and desire because He who is Holy above all commands it!
3. Those figures from our historical past are memories, He from our Spiritual past lives with us and in us!