Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Aren’t You Glad We Did Not Stumble

Temple Baptist Church - 5-10-2017
1 Peter 2:9-10


A.  Let me once again lay the background for this little epistle. 

1.  Peter is writing to the “strangers scattered” throughout t Asia Minor.  Displaced Jews!  Saved by God’s amazing grace and persecuted by their own people.  I believe that Peter, under the inspiration of God, wrote these two epistles because of the suffering and effect that suffering has upon God’s children. 

2.  In times of trouble, it is easy to forget that our Lord came unto His own and was rejected.  Those Jews who placed their faith in the Messiah were also rejected.  I repeat often that Jesus Christ was the most hated man who ever lived!  The “another Jesus” of our days is not the “Jesus” of the Bible.  (“Why me?” syndrome.  Why not me?  The servant is not greater than his Master!  If we are not persecuted, we probably are not Christ-like.)

John 15:18  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

3.  Our Lord was crucified.  The innocent died for the guilty!  His people were put in prison and put to death.  We who are saved are hated by this world because the world hated Christ.  (“Woe is me!” syndrome.  The ultimate “pity party.”  If we are not persecuted, we probably are living a godly life.)

2 Timothy 3:10-12  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,  (11)  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.  (12)  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

1 Peter 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

B.  Now, the Jews hate them because they are Christian and the gentile nations—among whom they were dispersed—hate them because they are both Jews and saved.  They are now questioning their relationship to Israel since they are no longer accepted there.  This is the reason for the epistle was to contrast Israel—who rejected Christ—with the children of God who accepted Christ.

C.  Peter, in verses 9-10, is showing these dispersed Jews that what and who they are is far superior to what and who the lost Jews were.  As saved, we may not have the riches of this world but we are God’s children through a birth and are blessed beyond our comprehension.

1.  Israel was a “generation” but God’s people are a “chosen generation.”  A generation is a people of a certain age who existed at a particular time.  The Jews who lived in Palestine were a generation of people who stumbled at Christ, but these “strangers scattered” was special generation who chose Christ.  Chosen of God through faith in the finished work of Christ.  They could thank God that they were saved.

1 Corinthians 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

2 Thessalonians 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

2.  Israel had a priesthood but God’s people are a “royal priesthood.”  Israel’s priesthood came through the tribe of Levi but our priesthood is a royal one because it comes through Christ.  The Jews continued to be represented to God by earthly priests but we who are saved are priests and need no man to represent us.  I am glad that I do not have to confess my sin to some sinner through a little hole but can take my sin directly to my Hight Priest, Jesus Christ.  They could thank God that they could go directly to God instead of through an earthly priest.

Hebrews 4:14-16  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  (15)  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  (16)  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

3.  Israel is a blessed nation whom God loves with an everlasting love, but God’s people are a “holy nation.”  Israel, as a nation, is God’s elect but they certainly are not holy.  We that are saved are holy because of the imputed righteousness of God.  They could thank God for imputed righteousness. When God sees us, He sees us through the applied blood of Christ.  He sees us as worthy and not as we are.  He sees us holy!

2 Corinthians 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

4.  Israel is a people but God’s children are a “peculiar people.”  “That ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”  As Israel continues to walk in spiritual darkness today, God’s people walk in His marvelous light!  They could thank God for the spiritual light that comes through the Word of God.  God has delivered us from the darkness of this world and caused us to walk in His marvelous light.  We are different because we are born of God.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

John 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

5.  Israel remains lost and blinded to the gospel while God’s children are saved through mercy from the wrath to come.  “Which in time past were not a people, but arenow the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”  They could thank God, that God’s wrath would never abide upon them.  God, Who sees the end from the beginning, sees us beyond the judgement of hell—seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!

John 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Ephesians 2:6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Conclusion:  These precious believers were heavily persecuted and hated for Christ’s sake but, spiritually and eternally, they were blessed beyond measure.

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