Text: 1 Peter 1:1-12
Introduction: Peter goes down in the history books for a number of things:
(1) He is known for his impulsiveness.
It is always a good policy that, before we do something, we stop and think about what we are preparing to do. Why? Because the decisions we make come with consequences.
But Peter is the kind of fellow that did things, and generally suffered the consequences later.
He is known for his impulsiveness. But also-
(2) He is known for having a large ego.
Remember when the Lord asked Peter three times, "Lovest thou me?" Peter was loaded for bear in his response to that question. He was so full of himself, he said, "…Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended." (Matthew 26:33)
The Lord Jesus did not share the confidence Peter had in himself. Peter assured the perfect Son of God, who had never made a mistake, that He had just made His first mistake. That is, He was wrong about him denying him.
He said, "…though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee…" (Matthew 26:35)
Peter is the kind of man, that if he could be bought for what he was worth, then sold for what he THOUGHT he was worth, someone could have made a fortune on him.
Someone said, "Some folks are like the rooster who thought the sun rose every morning just to hear him crow."
He is known for his IMPULSIVENESS and HIS LARGE EGO, but also-
(3) He is known for denying the Lord Jesus three times.
Yes, not one time, not two times, but this man who declared he would never deny the Lord Jesus, denied Him three times.
With these credentials, you would wonder if the Lord could use a man like this.
Peter is like a lot of us, he had more going against him it seems, than he had going for him. But Peter must have had a great love for the Lord, because God used him in a great way.
In fact, it was to Peter the Lord said, "Feed my sheep!"
In 1 & 2 Peter, he does just that. That is why we call this series, "Peter, Feed My Sheep."
Let’s look at some of the things he talked to God’s sheep about. First:
I. HE TALKED TO THEM ABOUT SALVATION
Before he talked to them about salvation, he wanted to establish who he was.
In the introduction in verses 1 & 2, he makes the claim that he is an "Apostle of Jesus Christ".
IS THIS SIGNIFICANT?
Illus: Yes, because the Catholic church claims that Peter is the first Pope of the Roman Catholic church. But notice, he makes no reference to the claim that he was the Pope of the Catholic Church.
If anyone should know if he was the first Pope, he would have known! Besides, Peter could not have been the first Pope because Peter had a wife.
HOW DO WE KNOW THAT HE HAD A WIFE? The Bible says he did!
Look at Matthew 8:14, "And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever."
Peter made no mention to support the claim of the Catholic church. He simply said that he was an Apostle of Jesus Christ.
For them to claim that he was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church is just wishful thinking on their part.
But after he tells us WHO HE IS, he tells us two things about the people he is addressing.
1. They were strangers
2. They were scattered
Look at verses 1-2, we read, "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the STRANGERS SCATTERED throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
But now he begins to carry out the Lord’s command to feed the Lord’s sheep.
HE TALKS TO THEM ABOUT THEIR SALVATION.
Look at 1 Peter 1:3, we read, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Notice, in verse 3, he talks to them about a "LIVELY HOPE".
WHAT IS A LIVELY HOPE?
The reason he can talk to them about a "LIVELY HOPE", is because Jesus, who came, died, was buried and was raised to life again, made this promise in John 14:19: "…Because I live, ye shall live also."
Before His death, Jesus told the crowds that he must die, and be raised to life again, but they simply did not believe He could do such a thing.
The reason we have a "LIVELY HOPE" is because we have a "LIVING SAVIOR!" The Lord’s resurrection is proof that He is who He said He was.
The Lord Jesus knew who He was and what He could do, but He had a difficult time getting that truth across to those He preached and taught too.
This man had some doubts about what he could do.
The Lord Jesus had no doubts whatsoever about WHO HE WAS AND WHAT HE COULD DO!
And now His resurrection provides a salvation that gives everyone a "LIVELY HOPE."
HE TALKS TO THEM ABOUT THEIR SALVATION, but also-
II. HE TALKS TO THEM ABOUT THEIR SECURITY
Look at 1 Peter 1: 4-5, "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
Look at the word "inheritance", in verse 4. We are told that we have an INHERITANCE:
WHERE IS THIS INHERITANCE? Look at verse 4 again, it is, "…reserved in heaven for you."
Someone might be saying, "That means we do not have this inheritance of eternal life until we get to heaven."
Peter knew that some might think that way, so look at verse 5, we read, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
How do we know we are going to receive the inheritance? We all know that from the moment we accept the Lord Jesus Christ, we are going to face all kinds of severe trials and temptations.
God’s Word assures us that we are going to receive our inheritance.
HOW CAN WE BE SURE?
Look in verse 5, at the word "Kept", (phrouroumenous) which means to guard, to protect. This is a military term that suggest might and power.
WHO WILL KEEP US? GOD’S POWER WILL KEEP US!
His resurrection not only gives us a "LIVELY HOPE", BUT ALSO His resurrection gives us a "LASTING HOPE".
A. HE TALKS TO THEM ABOUT THEIR SORROWS
Just because we have a "LIVELY HOPE", and a "LASTING HOPE", does not mean we will not have trials and sufferings.
Peter says that even though we suffer the trials of life, we can still have a song in the night.
Look at 1 Peter 1:6, we read, "WHEREIN YE GREATLY REJOICE, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations."
He did not just said we would rejoice, he said, "Wherein ye GREATLY REJOICE." Look at several things:
(1) He said our sufferings are only for a season.
Illus: Sometimes in the South, we have some awful hot summers. But as we go through these hot seasons, we know that fall is coming and soon things will be better.
The same is true with the Christian life. We may have to suffer for a time, but we can GREATLY REJOICE because we know that our sufferings are only for a season. But lost people cannot rejoice, they suffer in this life and they will suffer for eternity.
Peter talks to Christians about their REJOICING! The lost world does not have a "LIVELY HOPE" or a "LASTING HOPE", so they do not have a thing to rejoice about.
B. HE TALKS TO THEM ABOUT THEIR SERVICE
Look at 1 Peter 1:7, we read, "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
Illus: A young man was trying to establish himself as a peach grower. He worked hard and invested everything he had in a peach orchard. Finally it blossomed, but later came a frost and killed his chances of having a good peach crop. He did not go to church the next Sunday, nor the next, nor the next. His pastor went to try to encourage him to get back into the church services. The young fellow exclaimed: "I’m not coming back to church. Do you think I want to worship a God who cares for me so little that He will let a frost kill all my peaches?" The old minister looked at him in silence, then said kindly, "God loves you more than He does your peaches. He knows that while peaches do better without frost, it is impossible to grow the best men without frost. His object is to grow men, not peaches."
Peter is suggesting that God's people, even though they are going through fiery trials, need to learn to praise God.
The fact that many churches have very little praise in their worship services indicates they know so little about God. If they really knew Him, they would Praise Him.
Illus: The people in our churches:
· That you have to beg to sing, do not really know the Lord.
· That you have to beg to come to church, do not really know the Lord.
· That you have to beg to witness, do not really know the Lord.
· That you have to beg to give, do not really know the Lord.
The Psalmist knew him, and he said in Psalms 150, "Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. PRAISE YE THE LORD.
Peter likewise says, "Praise the Lord!"
Why? Because we have a "LIVELY HOPE", and a "LASTING HOPE" in Christ Jesus.
The lost people of this world, above all people, are to be pitied. They are only one heartbeat away from an eternal hell.
But Christians have a living hope.
We praise the Lord for providing us with a salvation that gives us, "…A lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
I. HE TALKED TO THEM ABOUT SALVATION
II. HE TALKED TO THEM ABOUT SECURITY