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The Wisdom of an Aged Peter

1 Peter 1:1-9

 

Peter is probably very old when writing this and is certainly near his martyrdom.

            The impetuous Peter is only a memory

            Now the Apostle is grown in his faith and in his wisdom

And so Peter speaks:

            He talks of his faith.

            He talks of the Lord.

 

I.                      The Blessings of God.  V1,2

1.           First, that we are even here to praise and honor His name.

a.            What comes first?  Praise or Salvation?

b.           Peter’s words come from the heart of one who is saved.

c.            The world speaks of praise and worship of God

d.           But without knowing of Christ on the cross, people do not know the One whom they claim to praise.

 

2.           Second, that by His mercy He helps us.

a.            God is not able to lower Himself to friendship with the world

b.           Our sins have come between Him and us.

c.            We are aliens to heaven

d.           We cannot ever deserve his forgiveness.

e.            We must receive His mercy.

 

3.           Third, that only His plan can save us.

a.            He sent His only begotten Son – the incomparable Lamb.

b.           To die on Calvary’s hill – the incomparable sacrifice.

c.            To be buried in a borrowed tomb – the incomparable payment.

d.           To arise from the grave the third day – the incomparable victory.

e.            To offer salvation to all who will believe – the incomparable gift.

 

II.                   A Living Hope, v3

A.              In the world’s expression, “hope” refers to an uncertain good,

1.           For all worldly hopes are in doubt;

a.            Their castles are built upon sand with floods on the way,

b.           People hope for success, careers, family, and friends.

c.            But when they are made to think about heaven, they just hope for the best.

2.           What hopes they have of heaven are built upon false religion, lying prophets, and the tricks of the Devil.

 

B.               But the hope of the children of the living God is a living hope;

1.           It comes from the author of LIFE.

a.            He could not be killed – He laid down His life for us.

b.           Death could not hold Him – He broke the chains and burst forth to LIFE everlasting.

c.            But not only as to its object, but as to its effect also.

 

2.           It enlivens and comforts in all distresses, enables to meet and get over all difficulties.

 

3.           Mercy is the spring of all this; yea, great mercy and manifold mercy.

 

4.           And this well-grounded hope of salvation is an active and living principle of obedience in the soul of the believer.

 

III.                The Joy of the Christian, is in remembering the inheritance laid up for him.  V6

 

A.              Consider the inheritance of the believer

1.           It is incorruptible, it cannot come to nothing, it is an estate that cannot be spent.

2.           It is undefiled; this signifies its purity and perfection.

3.           And it fadeth not away; is not sometimes more or less pleasant, but ever the same, still like itself.

 

B.               The value of this inheritance is difficult to realize in this life

1.           Here, all possessions are stained with defects and troubles:

a.            Fair houses have sad cares flying about the spacious rooms;

b.           Soft beds are often filled with sick bodies

c.            And full tables with uneasy stomachs.

 

2.           All possessions are stained with sin, either in getting or in using them.

a.            How ready we are to turn the things we possess into occasions of sin,

b.           And to think there is no delight in their use, without abusing them!

c.            Worldly possessions are uncertain and soon pass away, like the flowers of the field.

 

C.              But our Christian inheritance is in heaven.

1.           Happy are those whose hearts the Holy Spirit excites with this inheritance.

a.            For they will know why they serve God.

b.           They will have the endurance in seeking for it

c.            And they will rejoice at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

2.           God not only gives His people grace in offering them salvation, but also gives them service that will be rewarded in glory.

3.           Every believer has always something wherein he may greatly rejoice; it should show itself in the countenance and conduct.

 

IV.                The Trials of Faith Vv 6,7

 

A.              The Lord does not willingly afflict the believer,

1.           Yet God’s wise love often appoints sharp trials,

a.            To reveal to his children their hearts,

b.           And to help us grow.

i             There are two ways to grow in our faith

ii            One is by reading His Word

iii          The other is by His chastening hand.

c.            We will be glad for them at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

 

2.           Gold does not increase by trial in the fire, it becomes less;

a.            But faith is made firm, and multiplied, by troubles and afflictions.

b.           Gold must perish at last, and can only purchase perishing things,

c.            While the trial of faith will be found to praise, and honour, and glory.

 

B.               Let us therefore be patient in our present afflictions.

1.           They are not intended to destroy us.

2.           They only attempt to bring forth greater faith and fruit.

3.           A rare disease of the brain critically afflicted Dr. Phil Tharp.

a.            For over a year he lay completely helpless, and on the very edge of death.

b.           But slowly, improvement has come.

c.            I have since heard him preach.

d.           He no longer has the ability to jump and shout, being in a wheel chair.

e.            But my friend, he preaches with the fulness of the Spirit.

 

V.                   Seek then Vv 8,9

A.              To believe Christ’s excellence in himself, And his love to us;

1.           This will kindle such a fire in the heart as will make it rise up in a sacrifice of love to him. 

a.            1 Peter 1:8  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

 

2.           And the glory of God and our own happiness are so united,

a.            That if we sincerely seek the one now,

b.           We shall attain the other when the soul shall no more be subject to evil.

 

B.               The certainty of this hope is as if believers had already received it.

1.           1 Peter 1:9  Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls.

 

 

 

 

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