Lesson 4


The First Epistle of Peter

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

1:10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 1:11 searching for what or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ, which was in them, pointed to, when he testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them. 1:12 To whom it was revealed, that not to themselves, but to you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven; which things angels desire to look into.


Today's Lesson 

Peter has written that we have an inheritance that is undefiled and incorruptible because it is kept in heaven for us. God has accomplished this through His own power and for His own purposes. Our inheritance does not depend on our own efforts and is not earned by merit. While God holds the final payment of our inheritance in heaven, we will undergo certain trials and persecutions here in this life. One of the purposes for this is that we may prove to ourselves that our faith is genuine. God knows if our faith is genuine or not, but many times we do not. When our faith is tested, it is like gold that has been refined by fire. God allows this process because faith is the most important thing in life. The end of faith, we are told, is the salvation of our souls.

 

Now Peter continues with his thoughts about this salvation that God is bringing about. The first thing that he has to tell us about this salvation is that the prophets spoke about these times and about this salvation. They knew when they were prophesying that the salvation that was to come would not happen in their own time but in ours. They searched and tried to understand what God was revealing to them but in most cases they only had a glimpse of what would be the final reality.

 

Peter says a wonderful thing in this passage that should not be missed. He says that the spirit of prophecy that went out from heaven in the Old Testament was really the "Spirit of Christ." It was the Spirit of God but He was revealing to the prophets the nature of Christ and so Peter calls Him the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit testified to Jesus' sufferings and to the glories that would follow them. This is the same thing that John writes about in his gospel. It is the nature of the Spirit of God to reveal to us the things of Christ. The Spirit does not speak of Himself, but He brings to us the things of the Son of God.

 

Not only did the prophets desire to understand these things, but Peter writes that even angels desire to look into them. God is revealing something completely new in the church. Never before has God revealed the extent of His mercy and His grace as He does now. Even the angels who were created before us and are beyond us in spiritual things do not completely understand what God is accomplishing. They are by nature creatures of law. Only in the church does God completely reveal His grace.

 

This is yet another reason why we should hold fast to our faith in times of trial. God is revealing something wonderful in us. We are instruments of His grace and mercy. We are allowed to participate in something glorious that reveals God to all creation. This is the purpose to which man was created. This is the fulfillment of our destiny. All of the work of God in the world has led to the creation of the church. It is our duty and our privilege for God to reveal His work in us.

 

Are you seeing what God is doing all around you? Do you hear what He is revealing to all creation in the church? Are you willing to be a part of that revelation?

 

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