Summary: Sermon 3 in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
“As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.”
As we saw in closing last time, Peter has acknowledged the inexpressible and glorious joy that the persecuted Christians in Roman-controlled regions have in response to the spiritual truths that have been revealed to them pertaining to their security and their promised inheritance in Christ.
He notes that although they did not see Jesus in His incarnation and have not seen Him, yet they love Him and believe in Him and the result of that belief is their own salvation.
Their living hope and the surety of their salvation is the main theme of this chapter. He has talked about the source of salvation and he has talked about the future benefits of salvation and he has talked about the glorious joy that comes with salvation, so now he will talk about the greatness of our salvation.
In Isaiah 43:11 through the prophet the Lord declares, “I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no savior besides Me.”
‘Salvation’ is a wonderful word. Salvation is a wonderful thing. Even on a purely human level, anyone who has ever been rescued from danger and imminent loss of their life or limb, when they think back to that time, will remember the great sense of relief and just pure joy of being alive that swelled over them after the danger had passed.
But when God, through Isaiah, declares that there is no savior besides Himself, He is speaking of the sort of salvation that all mankind needs because of the common predicament that all of mankind is in.
All are lost, all are dead in sin, all are helpless and by nature enemies of God and children of wrath.
Firemen can pull you out of a burning building, occasionally police find themselves in a position to save someone from being a victim of violent crime. Doctors can operate and remove a malignancy and a good counselor can help you get through potentially destructive emotional imbalance.
But only the Lord God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, who calls Himself compassionate and gracious (Ex 34:6), can save anyone from eternal destruction.
The very first thing that makes our salvation great therefore is the fact that it only comes from one Source and Provider.
Like a precious jewel or a perfume that only comes from a certain, hard to acquire flower or a dye that can only be processed from a rare sea urchin found in deep places of the ocean, what makes our salvation so precious, so great, is the cost at which it was purchased and its unique source. “I, even I, am the Lord; and there is no savior besides Me”.
PURSUED BY THE PROPHETS
The salvation that comes from God is the supreme theme of the entire Bible.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul reminded the young pastor that he had “…known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim 3:15)
Of course Paul would have been referring to the Old Testament scriptures, but he knew that they were predicting the coming of the Lord’s Messiah which was fulfilled in Jesus and said as much there to Timothy.
Jesus, Himself, when He came out of the wilderness to His hometown of Nazareth, stood and read from Isaiah,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed, 19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
And when He was finished reading He declared Himself to be the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Now the Old Testament prophets didn’t have a name or a face to put to their prophecies, they could not fully comprehend all that would be involved in Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
What they were focused on, according to Peter, was the grace that was to come to us. They were passionately concerned with the promised salvation.
It was, as I said, the primary theme from the very beginning.
In the Garden of Eden after man fell into sin and death, God promised salvation (Gen 3:15), and from that moment on His revelation to mankind, given as Hebrews 1:1 says, in many portions and many ways has pointed to that promise.