Summary: An exposition of 1 Peter 1:10-12
September 5, 2004
First Church of the Brethren
H. Kevin Derr
“Prophets and the Gospel”
10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
As I have mentioned before there were no clear distinctions between where the synagogue ended and where the church began. The only distinction that marked the difference was Jesus. The church, be they Jewish or Gentile named Jesus as the Christ, their savior and understood that God had raised him from the dead and as a result the believer knew forgiveness, and new birth, and a living hope. The synagogue did not make this confession of faith. Yet, they worship the same God, read the same scriptures, and in many cases sang the same songs and worshiped in a similar style.
The prophets quoted in the Synagogue were the same prophets quoted in the Church. There was only one difference, the Church understood that many of the prophecies spoke of Jesus of Nazareth who is the Messiah. In this passage, Peter reminds the church that the information about Jesus is not new, but was spoken of long ago. These prophets inquired diligently, they did their best to understand what was to happen and how it was to come to be that a savior would come. They did not do this on their own, they did not investigate just under their own volition, their own intellect and their own ability. They were guided, aided and enabled by the Spirit of the Christ who was pointing them to the realities of a suffering savior.
This friends was a major stumbling block, not only for Jews then, but also for Muslims, and many secular people now. Some have called Jesus’ death on the cross the worst example of child abuse, still others will argue that Jesus was a prophet and man of God, and God would never allow one of his prophets to suffer such humiliation. Yet, many of God’s prophets have suffered death and humiliation, many of God’s children have known pain, suffering and death, they have been martyred on many occasions. Yet, the image of a suffering savior is not one that much of humanity is comfortable with, for a variety of reasons. No matter how hard it is for us to address the notion of a suffering savior we are faced with it time and time again in the scriptures. And Peter points us to it one more time, and so we must come face to face with the death of an innocent that we might have life.
I. In the last portion of 1 Peter we looked at the new birth, the living hope, our salvation known
with inexpressible and glorious joy. Today we will continue to examine that salvation. Peter
will help us to realize just what a gift we have received.
A. Peter writes, 10Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that
was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
1. Our salvation, the grace that has come to us as Peter said, was not just
something that was taken lightly. It was of great interest to prophets who came
before the Christ.
A. Some will argue that these prophets were Christian prophets who were
active in the congregations that Peter was writing to in Asia Minor.
B. It seems that this is not likely. While it does remain a possibility, there
is no sense that the people receiving the letter know the prophets,
except through reputation.
2. These prophets not included in the grace that came to the church, the wanted to
know about it, they wanted to understand it, they searched intently and with
great diligence, but they themselves did not know the salvation we have
3. What Peter is telling the church is that this which we have received, our
salvation is not something to be taken highly, the prophets of long ago, look to
know this salvation, to understand, but they did not experience as we have.
B. You know how it is, when you have something, after the novelty wears off, after the
newness is gone, we begin to just assume it is like that for everyone.
1. There is a statistic that suggests that after 10 years of being a believer the