Summary: we are Gods pilgrims...chosen by Him and on the journey we will meet trying times but we must remember what He has promised
1 Peter 1 Gods Pilgrims Jan 05
Thesis: Christians are only pilgrims in this world which is not our home.
Introduction: Someone said the word Bible can be written out, using each letter, B-i-b-l-e, to mean Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. 1 Peter is a guide for Christian pilgrims. This epistle or letter was written about 65 AD just two years before Peter was executed upside down on a cross by the Roman Emperor Nero. As Peter writes to those believers that he calls the Diaspora (meaning dispersed), He greets them as Gods pilgrims scattered around what is today modern Turkey.
Perhaps Peter could see on the horizon the distant clouds of a storm of persecution gathering for these believers. It is no different for us. Jesus warns us in the book of Matthew that as the day nearer for the judgment of God to be unleashed on this world, that evil will intensify. Just last evening someone remarked that all of the things we see happening today may be Biblical signs of the approaching end of the age. We are not certain of that, but one thing that we can be sure of is that as we live in this world, we will endure difficult seasons and days in our lives. Just like those ancient Christians scattered around Asia, we are also only pilgrims passing through this world of woe. So Peter writes and tells us….
I. We Are The Pilgrims of God (1-2)
This epistle was written to at Christians in at least 5 different areas of the ancient world. Peter calls these Christians ‘pilgrims’ or ‘sojourners’ or ‘strangers’. I believe Peter addresses these believers in this manner, not because they are not living in their own native land, but because they, like you and I, are not yet home. In chapter two Peter again addresses these believers by saying, ‘beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lust which war against your soul.
You and I are also, in the language of the Bible, sojourners and pilgrims. We are not yet home. We must be careful of thinking of this present world in which we live as all there is. We are either living for this world or living for the next. What world are you living for? You need to know that this world is going to go down in flames someday. James strongly speaks to those who love this present age more than God. In James 4:4 the Bible says, ‘Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.’ To love this age, this world above God is to be unfaithful to God.
The pilgrims that Peter speaks to are not just any pilgrims on just any journey. They are a special lot. They are Gods elect pilgrims. What does it to be elect? It means to be chosen by God. It means simply that in eternity past God, knowing all things, choose for His own those whom He foreknew would trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. He knew who His elect would be, but He also know the circumstances of our lives and where we live and He sends us comfort and encouragement.
Who are these elect? You are, if you are a child a God. You belong to Him. You are His chosen. 1 Peter 2:9 says ‘But you are a special people, a holy nation, priests and kings, a people given up completely to God, so that you may make clear the virtues of him who took you out of the dark into the light of heaven.’
Three things are true about Gods elect pilgrims.
1. God the Father is at work in your life. He is the one who foresaw you and your need of a Savior. In the mind of God in eternity past God planned to provide your redeemer.
2. The Spirit of God is at work in our lives as the elect pilgrims of God. The Holy Spirit of God is at work in our lives sanctifying or making us holy. There are two things you need to know about sanctification. One you were sanctified when you were saved and two you are still being sanctified. In other words at the moment you were saved, God set you apart for His glory, and then day by day the Holy Spirit of God is at work in your life shaping you into the believer God wants you to be. No matter how old or young you are as a believer, He is at work in your life.
3. The Son of God is at work in your life. It is through His blood that you have been saved and washed from the guilt of your sin. The phrase ‘sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ’ refers back to the OT practice of sprinkling a leprous person. Leprosy was a terrible, disfiguring disease that left a person not only physically sick but also a social outcast. Whenever a person would be identified as a leper, he or she would have to shout ‘unclean’ ‘unclean’ anytime anyone approached them. The only social contact they had was with other diseased lepers. It was if the leper was for all intents and purposes dead to the world. When a leper was cleansed from his disease, the priest would sprinkle the blood of a sacrifice over him in order to symbolize his purification.