Summary: The theme of 1 peter is "stand fast in the true grace of God".So how does one begin?
Text: I Peter 1:1-2
Title: Stand fast in the true grace of God
For the next several Sundays we are going to look together at the book of 1Peter.
1Peter was written to encourage the Christians of that day to endure the persecution that was prevalent in the area and to prepare the readers for the difficult times ahead.
The theme of 1Peter is found in 1Peter 5:12 where Peter writes, “with the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.”
The entire message of the book of 1Peter therefore can be summarized in this one sentence “Stand fast in the true grace of God.”
Now how many of us know from personal experience that this is easier said than done?
When we often have so many things coming against us there are times when it’s not easy to stand fast in the true grace of God.
I’m reminded of the story about the husband who got a call on his cell phone one day while driving home from work. It was from his wife warning him to drive carefully because she had just heard on the news that there was a car driving the wrong way on RT. 695 going east. To which he replied “it’s not one car but hundreds.”
Even the Apostle Peter years before he wrote this letter could not stand fast in the true grace of God.
“Even if all fall away, I will not”
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, ”today-yes, tonight- before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.’
But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.”
But isn’t it great that we can all learn from our mistakes and change?
And isn’t it just like God to take someone’s major weakness and turn it into their greatest strength?
So for the next few Sundays we are going to get some help from the apostle Peter on how we can stand fast in the true grace of God even when it seems like all the traffic is coming against us.
The best way to start this series on standing fast in the true grace of God is by making sure that we are in fact in the true grace of God.
After all how can I ever stand fast in the true grace of God if I’m not first sure that I’m even in the true grace of God.
So lets first look together at 1Peter 1:1-2
“Peter, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, (which were five Roman provinces in Asia Minor, which is modern day Turkey) who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance”
Let me point out an observation that should be clear from these first two verses in 1Peter chapter 1
From these two verses
1. A person can know for sure how to receive the true grace of God
2. A person can therefore know for certain if they have or have not received the true grace of God.
A person can know for sure how to receive the true grace of God if they could only see it as a work done for us by God.
In verse 2 the Apostle Peter shows us how all the Trinity plays a part in allowing us to receive the true grace of God.
For if we look at verse two we see mention of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and how they work together to bring about the true Grace of God.
We are selected by the Father, sanctified by the Spirit and saved by the Son.
Here is another way of looking at it.
1. God the Father thought up the true grace of God
“Who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”
When did God the Father think up the true grace of God?
Was it after the fall?
Was it after the Old Testament but before the New Testament?
The answer is none of these. God the Father thought up the true grace of God before the foundation of the world.
“For he (God the Father) chose us in him (God the Son) before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. (Ephesians 1:4)
God thought about how he was going to save us long before we even thought about committing our first sin.