Bible Baptist Church

Bible Baptist Church

Serving Christ in North Hudson, WI

Safe and Secure

Safe and Secure

September 11, 2016 ()

Bible Text: 1 Peter 1:1-2 |

Series:

Do you ever feel like you don’t belong here?

Ill. When we lived in Monroe, I took a course at a tech school for house wiring.  I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that course, finishing off the parsonage basement; later building a 3 car garage & outfitting it with 220 service; finishing off the basement in the house we have in Beloit; and then rewiring a rental house we own; and finally, rewiring one of my son’s houses.

But when I took the class I was the “odd duck.”  The instructor began with us all introducing ourselves.  One-by-one the students gave their names and declared they were electrician’s helpers, some were working on their journeyman’s license, and some were maintenance workers in factories.  They got to me—“I’m a pastor. I’m just here to learn something.”

It’s one thing to be the “odd duck” in a class, but it’s another to feel like you don’t belong to this world!  It’s true, though.  We don’t.

Song: This World Is Not My Home

This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

Oh lord you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

(If you have loved ones, like us you can sing…)

I have a loving [father] just over in glory land
And I don't expect to stop until I shake [his] hand
[He's] waiting now for me in heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

Oh lord you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home Then Lord what will I do

The angels beckon me From heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home In this world anymore

Just over in glory land, We'll live eternally
The saints on every hand are shouting victory

Their songs of sweetest praise
Drift back from heaven's shore
And I can't feel at home In this world anymore

Oh lord, you know I have no friend like you
If heaven's not my home Then Lord what will I do

The angels beckon me From heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home In this world anymore

App. Peter sets the pace for the theme of this letter, right at the outset when he calls the recipients “strangers scattered” about.  They are strangers because they don’t belong here.  But they are here and they are living in a world that is sometimes hostile to them.

Overall Theme: We call our study in 1 Peter, “Admonitions For Adversity” as Peter repeatedly reminds them of adversity (suffering they are/will experience).  Forms of the word “suffer” are used about 15 times in the letter.  But it is not all about suffering.  Rather, it is about how to live in suffering.  Thus we have Admonitions—counsel, advice, cautions, and even reproofs.  The believer is called to Live For Christ even while enduring suffering.

Theme: Tonight we will back up and consider Peter’s Greeting.  In it, he reminds us that even though we are strangers, we are safe and secure in the Lord.

The outline we’re following tonight is divided briefly between:

The Author

The Recipients

The Salutation

The Author

A few weeks ago we spoke about Peter to introduce this study.  We looked at his call and ministry under Christ.  Here I would like to note a few things about Peter as the Writer.

  • His Appellation (Name)

“Peter”  - we have lots of people named “Peter” today and in history but he may have been the first one so named.  His name was given to him by Christ on his first meeting with the Lord.

One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.  (Joh 1:40)  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.  (Joh 1:41)

And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.  (Joh 1:42)

We see here that Jesus spoke in Aramaic, but the Gk translation of the Aramaic “Cephas” is “Petros” (stone).

Why did Jesus call him this?  First, it describes Peter somewhat.  He is a born leader, charging into situations and conversations.  But it is also what Jesus wanted Peter to become.  (Some have even noted in the Gospels that Jesus called Peter, “Simon” at his times of failure and “Peter” when he showed strength.)

What does Peter call himself?  “Peter”, the nickname Christ gave him.  He wanted to be what Christ wanted him to be.

  • His Apostleship

While there were many “apostles” (sent ones) there were 12 designated among Jesus’ disciples to carry forth the work He trained them to do.  Peter was one of them.  There are promises by Christ given only to these men, including the recording or assisting the recording of Christ’s words (John 14:26).

Peter was especially blessed by being given the “Keys” to the Kingdom.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  (Mat 16:18)  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  (Mat 16:19)

There are disputes as to what this means, but we see Peter being the first to preach on the Day of Pentecost.  We see him also the first to preach to the Gentiles at Cornelius’ house.

We need to be reminded that Peter was not the Pope.  Note that his apostolic authority was in “Jesus Christ.”  He was not Christ.  He was his servant.

  • His Address

Peter’s style of writing shows Peter as well.  His style is described as:

Vigorous rather than elegant

Strong & sometimes rough

The work of a plain, practical man

The writing of an observer rather than a reasoner

A man with a fervid spirit

Rather than styled with logic as Paul would write, Peter writes using lots more graphic images.  This partly results in 119 words found in 1 & 2 Peter that are not found anywhere else in the NT (hopoxlogonoma).  Examples of these word pictures are:

“Gird up the loins of your mind” – 1 Pet 1:13

Satan as the “roaring lion” – 1 Pet 5:8

“Arm yourselves” – 1 Pet 4:1

“Put to silence” = lit. “muzzle” – 1 Pet 2:15

APP. We can take heart.  If God can take a rough stone like Peter and place him into His Kingdom as a Polished Gem to display God’s glory, He can do the same with you and me.

Trans: In this introduction, we see not only the Author but also…

The Recipients    

The KJV, as do most English translations,  splits the two words up, “Elect” and “Strangers” and separates them by a lot of words. The original reads: “to the elect strangers”.  His whole description of these believers includes:

  • Select (“elect”) = chosen & “sanctified (set apart).  This is a word used many times of believers.  It says nothing about “how” the believer is chosen, only that he is.

He gives a quick summary of what it means to be saved.  There is a combination of God’s plan & man’s response in these words.  The saved are:

  • Chosen “According to the foreknowledge of God” which reminds us of Eph 1:3-4:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:  (Eph 1:3)  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  (Eph 1:4)

Some people are afraid of this word.  I heard of one man recently who said he didn’t like the word, “elect” even though it’s the word God uses in the Bible to describe the saved.

Eg.  We have no problem thinking of Israel as “God’s Chosen People,” but have difficulty with believers being called His Chosen Ones.

Eg. We also don’t seem to have a problem with Paul being called God’s “chosen” (Acts 9:15) and even directly calling Paul to Himself.

App.  It’s a fact that lends to our security.  God chose me.  I didn’t choose Him.  If He chooses me, then, He knows what He chose and will keep me.

Where the debates & problems come in, is trying to figure out HOW did God choose?

(Hang on. Peter will counter this in a moment.)

  • “Through the sanctification of the Spirit” – It is through the Spirit we are made alive (quickened).  The Spirit calls the sinner through the Word of God.  “Faith comes by hearing.”  Salvation is something initiated by the Lord.

Once saved, the Spirit continues His sanctifying (setting apart) work.

  • “unto obedience” – This is another way of saying “believing.”  God calls us through the Word of God by the Spirit’s working.  But we must OBEY in faith.  (Note v.22)

So, salvation includes God’s choosing & “whosoever will” of man’s believing.  (Let’s be neither Calvinist nor Arminian.  Let’s center right in the middle with salvation being a work of God but requiring faith.)

  • and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ”

Sprinkling of His blood – the actual forgiveness received.  The word-picture is of sacrifices that were brought to the Temple and the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled on the altar or on the people. Forgiveness was granted based on this action of faith.

  • Note that he includes the work of all three Persons of the Trinity.

The Father’s Foreknowledge

The Spirit’s Sanctifying

The Son’s Atoning

APP. He reminds the believer of what he has in Christ.  He is secure in salvation.  We addressed this in the morning as we looked at the surety of our hope in the next verses.  Here we are reminded of it again.

Trans: We also see the word …

  • Strangers – (parepidemois) the combining of these two terms is interesting.  They are “chosen” yet “outsiders”.  “Strangers” means “foreigners”.    They are the “elect foreigners”.

The idea is that they’re not from here.  That’s the way it is for the believer.  (Anderson’s talking about their neighbor – Grace is now James.)

This is something true of believers of all ages….

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.  (Heb 11:13)

For our conversation (citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:  (Phi 3:20)

App. The believer is viewed as a “resident alien.”  We have a home not in this world.

  • Scattered – This term is used of the Jews as in James 1:1 – they are called “the scattered 12 Tribes” or the Diaspora.  These are Jews that never came back from being dispersed in the OT times.  There was also a dispersion from Rome by emperor Claudius (Acts 18:2).   But Peter is not referring to Jews, though, as the letter later indicates.  He addresses Christians in general who are scattered throughout the regions he names.  We know of this region as Turkey today.  The names he gives presents a circular route this letter first must have been carried around in.

App. Let’s observe something here.  In Acts 16, Paul and his company planned to go up further into this region.  But the Holy Spirit “forbid” him and through a vision called him to Macedonia instead.   It seems God had other plans for others to be sent to these places.  Where God “scatters” us, let us do His work.

Trans: Select, Strangers, Scattered, and…

  • Suffering – Peter doesn’t mention that in these verses but this is a recurring theme.  (1:22; 2:19, 20, 21, 23; 3:14, 17, 18,; 4:1, 13, 115, 16, 19; 5:1, 10).   It was not a severe persecution, but if we’re right on the dating of this letter, it was soon to come in the Roman Empire.  Perhaps it was like what can be experienced here: ostracism, pressure, & ridicule.

APP. Suffering is the calling of believers.  It should not cause us to think somehow we have lost God’s loving care.

Trans: So we have the Author, the Recipients, and now…

The Salutation – Grace & peace be multiplied

  • Grace – theologically, it is undeserved favor.  It also means in general, God’s blessing.  God blesses us far more than we deserve with pardoning, healing, assisting, & saving.  Peter’s desire is that they may know God’s blessings.
  • Peace – There all sorts of peace. Peace with God comes with salvation.  Peace within ourselves comes when we know God has saved us & when our conscience is clear.  Peace with others happens when we let the Spirit of Christ reign in our relationships—domestic, civil, & in fellowship with others.
  • Be Multiplied – In the context of suffering, there are times when we need more.  It’s a blessing to know “he giveth more grace” (James 4:6).  There’s a requirement there, though.  We must humble ourselves.

Conclusion

No matter what the trials might be the believer should be able to cling to the promises and hope we have in Christ.  These blessings should enable us to be godly people even in the midst of our problems.  It will be worth it all in the end.

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