Summary: When suffering, look to your salvation.
Longing for Salvation
Rev. Brian Bill
October 4-5, 2014
On Thursday night my dad and I drove up to Green Bay to watch the Packers dismantle the Vikings. The last Packer game I had attended was 40 years ago…with my dad. Thanks to the generous gift of my daughters I was able to finally return the favor. I must admit this has been a great week because within the span of 5 days, the Packers beat the Bears and manhandled Minnesota. It was a thrill to be there, knowing that many legends have played at Lambeau. It’s like the ultimate pilgrimage for a Packer fan.
Even though my experience was incredible it pales in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ. No stadium can compete with salvation. Victory over the Vikings is nothing like victory over sin. Friend, whatever you think is the ultimate experience it cannot compare or compete with your conversion. And whatever trial or challenge or struggle you are going through right now, there’s nothing that your salvation can’t get you through.
Last week we learned that trials are meant to fortify our faith if we remember that they are temporary, timely, terrible and transforming. Peter starts his letter with a reminder that we are strangers on the earth and then he establishes what is ours in heaven and then talks about trials and now he’s back to the theme of salvation.
It’s easy to lose perspective when going through problems so Peter gets our eyes back on eternal matters in 1 Peter 1:10-12. Salvation was predicted by the prophets, proclaimed by the apostles and prized by angels. Let’s stand and read this passage together: “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.”
1. Predicted by the prophets. We see at least five things that the prophets are given props for.
• They diligently studied salvation. Look at verse 10: “Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully…” Drop down to the first part of verse 11: “searching.” These words imply intensity and were used of a miner digging for gold or of a dog sniffing out something with his nose. The prophets pondered and diligently explored, investigating carefully in order to understand everything they and other prophets predicted. Probably the clearest example of this is in Daniel 9:2 when Daniel studied what Jeremiah had written to determine how long the exile would last: “I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.”
If the prophets studied salvation, then so should we. Hebrews 11:6 says: “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
• Their prophecies dealt with coming grace. Look at the last part of verse 10: “Who prophesied of the grace that would come to you.” The prophets knew that there was no profit in rule-keeping or trying to earn one’s way to heaven. Salvation is by grace, not works. It comes from God’s mercy, not our merit. By the way, the word “grace” is found some 10 times in 1 Peter.
• They tried to figure out who the Christ was and when He would come. The prophets, from Moses to Malachi, knew that God was going to send the Savior, but they didn’t know who He would be and when He would be coming. Check out verse 11: “Searching what or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating…”
Numbers 24:17 shows that the prophecies spoke of a coming person in the future but they didn’t contain a specific timeline: “I see him, but not here and now. I perceive him, but far in the distant future. A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel.”
Are you aware that there are over 300 specific predictions about the coming of Christ in the Old Testament? Here’s a short list of 10.
That he would be born of a virgin—Isaiah 7:14
That he would be born in Bethlehem—Micah 5:2
That he would enter Jerusalem on a donkey—Zechariah 9:9
That he would be sold for 30 pieces of silver—Zechariah 11:12
That he would be wounded and bruised—Isaiah 53:5