Summary: Foreigners in a Foreign Land Putting Amazing Back into Grace, part 4
Foreigners in a Foreign Land
Putting Amazing Back into Grace, part 4
Our current series, “Foreigners in a Foreign Land,” from 1 Peter, Peter describes us as strangers, who are in a place that is not quite our home. Today we look at how Peter describes the grace that Christ predicted through the prophets in the OT. The prophets searched and inquired carefully about the time and manner of Christ's sufferings and subsequent glories. Not only that angels long to see the work of redemption played out.
Big idea – Salvation by grace is so amazing that the prophets longed to know about it's coming and angels long so see it played out.
His point is that this salvation is amazing, it never grows old; it should wow us. When I was outlining this series, I was planning to skip these verse as not pertinent/helpful. But as I studied it, I realized how I was belittling something that the Spirit inspired Peter to include it, and I realized that I was planning to ignore something the Spirit did not.
Grace is Amazing because Prophets Longed For It
When I think of the prophets longing for the Messiah, the coming redeemer I think of Simeon in Luke 2:25-30,
Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation (Luke 2:25).
The Old Testament prophets prophesied about this salvation (3-5). So lets review what Peter tells us about our salvation in this letter. We can categorize what he says as what we have been saved from and what we have been saved for. First tells us that we need to be saved from our sins. Sin is seen as a terminal disease and the cross heals that disease (2:24). Then he says that salvation brings us to God (3:18). We are also saved from God's judgement (4:17). And we are saved from the devil (5:8). Paul describes us as in bondage to the devil, at his whim (Eph 2:2). Not only have we been saved from a terrible situation, we have been saved for something. We have been brought home to a loving Shepherd and overseer of our souls (2:25). We have also been saved for an unfading crown of glory (5:4). We have been saved to share in the glory of Christ (5:10). And last, we have been saved for everlasting joy (4:13). This is what the prophets longed to know and understand. It amazed them and should amaze us. We did not come to this grace; it came to us. If we are not amazed we should be concerned that our hearts are cold (Mat 24:12-13) and/or lukewarm (Rev 3:17). The prophets longed for it, they searched it out, trying to figure out what exactly their prophecies meant. When the prophets prophesied, they were serving us. That should amaze us. But ultimately it was Christ declaring it. That leads us to our second point.
Grace is Amazing Because Christ Predicted It
The Spirit of Christ predicted His sufferings and subsequent glories. Listen, Christ has been contemplating his suffering and death and resurrection and ascension for centuries. As far back as you can go in eternity, he has been reflecting on and thinking about giving himself for our sins. He has been thinking about dying for you, personally, for all eternity. That is amazing. God did not have you in mind just for a bloody moment of history. You have been loved for endless ages in the eternal plan of God (Eph 1:10; 3:8-11) when he chose to set his affections on you. It has always been the plan of God the Father and the Son to save sinners who trust him. Christ predicted this in Jer 31:31-34,
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."