Summary: Being a New Testament believer is an incredible blessing! We have received such wonderful revelation, we know much more about God. But with these blessings come expectations as well
Passage: I Peter 1:10-12
Intro: We live in a world that requires constant change, continual upgrades in order to keep our attention.
1. don’t know about you, but I get physically tired from the constant onslaught of new technology.
Il) email ad this week offering me a whole host of things that I had never heard of.
2. we get bored if there isn’t something new just around the corner.
3. this tendency of our human nature can do what might seem to be impossible.
4. it may cause us to become somewhat ho-hum about the gospel.
5. how many times can we hear about Jesus dying for our sins, rising from the dead, until we are ready to move on to something fresh?
6. the truth of the matter is this: the gospel of Jesus Christ is a body of truth so infinitely deep that it only gets old to the person who is content to stay on the surface.
7. Peter didn’t want that kind of shallowness for the recipients of this letter, especially in light of their suffering.
8. the shallow answers don’t work for a person in pain, for the persecuted believer wondering if God has left him.
9. as believers, we are part of a plan so grand, so massive in scope, so infinite in purpose, that it is sometimes very difficult to find our place in it.
10. but clearly Peter believed that if we could get a glimpse of the grand design we have been blessed to be included in, it could change our whole perspective on life in general and the Christian life in particular.
11. to be a believer, in this time and this place, is a blessed privilege beyond anything we could imagine. Here’s why.
I. We Experience the Faithfulness of God
1. the difference between being an OT saint and a NT saint is huge.
2. perhaps we envy them the physical manifestation of God in fire and smoke, thunder and lightning.
3. the temple, the ark, the sacrifices.
4. but it’s important to recognize that those who lived in that time and were the most attuned to God would have given anything to be where we are
5. v10, “the prophets”, men to whom God spoke, through whom He transmitted His truth, His word.
6. they wrote hundreds of prophecies that they didn’t quite understand
7. imagine being the prophet Micah, and writing this prophecy.
PP Micah 5:2
8. and then wondering when, and what would his name be, and who would the parents be, and etc.
9. imagine being Isaiah, and writing about the suffering of God’s servant to pay for our sins
PP Isaiah 53:5
10. and wondering if it would happen in his lifetime
11. but they knew, as Peter points out, that they were writing about what later generations would see.
PP Joel 2:32
12. and these people suffered!
13. the desire of many thousands of people, people who suffered for a faith in a person’s name they never knew, has been made known to us.
14. we are the recipients of promises kept, of prophecies fulfilled, of faithfulness manifested.
15. the complete forgiveness of sins that Isaiah could only dream about is ours through the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
16. the OT sacrifices were only the shadow of the reality that we know by promise kept and by experience.
17. to us has been given the greatest of all gifts, to be reconciled to God through the sacrificial death of God’s one and only Son.
18. and that gift has opened up others.
II. We Know the Heart of God
1. as much as God revealed Himself as gracious and forgiving in the OT, people had a hard time believing
PP Exodus 34:5-6a
2. because the people of Israel sinned constantly, they continually knew the judgment of God
3. their prophets, God’s spokesmen, pointed century after century to the coming of One who would heal their wounds, pay for their sins permanently, reconcile them to God.
4. but look at v11! We know the name of the one who was to come, we know the exact nature of His sufferings and precisely what those sufferings accomplished.
5. and when we look at the person of Jesus Christ and His powerful death and resurrection, the very heart of God is revealed to us as clearly as a sunrise on a clear Arizona morning.
6. He is revealed as a God of perfect righteousness, of unspeakable love, of limitless grace, of infinite mercy.
7. in the OT, God was one who needed to be propitiated, to have His wrath deflected by countless sacrifices.
8. but now we know something about God; that His love is so vast and His justice so pure that He has propitiated Himself, has paid the price our sin required by the sacrifice of His own Son!