1 Peter 1:8-12 The Salvation of Your Souls

1 Peter 1:8-12     The Salvation of Your Souls                      WC McCarter

Last week we began a new series in 1 Peter. I told you that I chose this book because the first chapter has the advent theme all through it. In the first sermon we saw that Peter was writing to pilgrims, that is, an apostle was writing to first century Christians. The opening lines were packed with theological significance and were filled with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were reminded that we have been born again to a living hope because of the resurrection of Christ and to an eternal inheritance. We ended last week’s text considering the second advent of Jesus Christ, that is, when He returns in glory, and we are given our inheritance and the “not yet” portion of our salvation. Christ has come, He has accomplished, He has ascended, and He will return again one day. On that day we will no longer be pilgrims!

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Love, Faith, and Joy (8-9)
Although we have not seen Christ, we love Him. Those first century Christians in Asia Minor had never physically seen the historical Jesus of Nazareth, yet they had a profound love for Him. Just think, there were people so close to the Lord Jesus in time but are in the same category as us – having never seen Him. Of course, all Christians have great love for Christ, knowing that He first loved us by laying down His life for us.

Although we do not see Christ now, like the pilgrims who received this letter, we continue to believe. Take a look with me at John 20:29. The basis of faith is not seeing with the physical eye. We will one day see Christ in all His glory with our own two eyes, but until then our faith is in the Gospel message which we have heard and received about Him.

Although we do not see Christ now, we continue to rejoice. Our joy is (1) inexpressible and (2) full of glory.

The point of verse eight is that Christians continue to love and believe in Christ even in the midst of suffering, even though they have never seen Him. Folks want to shake their fists at God when they go through trials, but if they would only know that God put on flesh and came to suffer with us . . . in our behalf . . . in the person of Jesus Christ, they would know that God is on their side.

The end of our faith is the salvation of our souls. Why do Christians continue to love and trust Christ even through hardships? We look forward to the end of our faith. There will be a culmination, a fulfillment, and end. Do not be confused by the word “souls” as if only an immaterial part of us is saved. The world “soul” refers to the whole person. Remember Jesus saying that God can destroy both body and soul in Hell. He saves both as well.

People can be saved from many things: a fireman may save you from a burning building; a policeman may save you from a robbery; an advisor may save you from financial ruin; or a doctor may save you from a disease; but there is only One who can save your soul.

Exhortation: Rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ, continue to love and trust Him. In due time you will receive the end of your faith.

The Prophets Preached Grace (10-11)
We have already seen that salvation is through faith in Christ. Now we see more about this salvation: (1) the prophets inquired about it, (2) the prophets searched carefully about it, and (3) the prophets prophesied it. Let’s discuss each of these three parts.

The Prophets Inquired about Salvation:
The prophets surely studied the Scriptures which had been written by those before them; they surely poured over the revelations that they had received; and surely they called out to God in prayer. They were consumed by the story of salvation for mankind.

The Prophets Searched Carefully about Salvation:
What or what manner of time was indicated. This is an emphatic statement. The prophets wanted to know when the salvation plan was going to take place. They wanted to know when the Messiah was coming on the scene. When was Christmas going to take place?

The Prophets Prophesied about Salvation:
How? By the Spirit of Christ in them.
When? Beforehand. (This has always been the plan of God).
What? Grace. Sufferings of Christ. Glories to Follow.

At the end of verse ten, we see the first time that Peter says the grace was going to be for us (he says, “To you”). Christmas is our salvation.

Exhortation: Be assured that your salvation is secure. The coming of Christ in the Christmas story was no accident. The sufferings of Christ were not by chance.

The Apostles Preached Gospel (12)
Apparently the prophets found answers to their inquiries and searches. Verse twelve gives the information: the prophets learned that they were not speaking for their own time, but for those who would hear the Gospel after Christ’s first advent. The prophets were ministering to us. Those godly men of old prophesied of the grace that would come to us, and it did come to us through the preaching of the apostles and the early Christians. How? By the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. What? The Gospel.

The last line of verse twelve is intriguing. The statement is made with no follow-up, no elaboration, not even another reference. Like the prophets of old who inquired and searched about salvation, we are told that the angels desire to look into these things as well. I heard one preacher say that the angels “stretch their spiritual necks” to see what this is all about. The angels in heaven have been a major part of the story of redemption, but they do not have the perspective of men and women. We are those who are saved. The angels do not fully understand why Christ had to come and die in this world, but you know. You know why Christ had to come – to save sinners like you and me. Maybe one day after the second coming of Christ – maybe one day we can sit down with some of those angels and explain to them our perspective.