Christ Will Not Disappoint Us, and Rejecters of Christ Will Be Put To Shame

HYMN

Take Time to Be Holy

REVIEW

This month we resumed our study through 1 Peter, starting with a reading and reviewing of 1 Peter 1 - 2:5.

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

Our text of focus for this month is 1 Peter 2:6-10.

Christ is precious

  • Christ is precious to God the Father, and He is precious to us as well.

God has made Christ the main issue

  • God could have let the world run its course and left it alone in its sins, but He did not do that. He sent Christ. Of all moments in history, this is the biggest watershed moment. Of course, there are other major and impactful historical events that took place, such as the worldwide flood & Noah's Ark, the Tower of Babel, and the selling of Joseph into slavery. But even compared to these moments, God sent Christ into the world, and made Him the most important person and His life and ministry the most important event that ever took place in history.

  • Verse 2:6 mentions the "corner stone," which is what was laid down at the extreme angle (sometimes used of a building's foundation or the stone that joins two walls, etc.). A good corner stone is critical for ensuring the proper construction of a building. In a similar way, Christ is critical for the Christian's building up into holiness. There is no other way for Christians to grow apart from Christ.

  • Christ is essential and crucial for us to live as God's people. Without Christ, we cannot achieve anything as Christians nor as God's children. Without Christ, Christians have no salvation. And, as 1 Peter tells us, without Christ, Christians have no growth.

Christ will not disappoint us

  • The sense is that believers will never be disappointed in Christ.

  • Believers are so fully invested in Christ, that if Christ were to be revealed to be disappointing in any way, we would be greatly ashamed.

  • Peter can say this because the Scriptures say this. Peter also saw Christ's works and knew Him firsthand. He saw the risen Christ, saw Him transfigured, and saw Him ascending back into heaven. He was an intimate witness to Christ's ministry and teachings. Peter really knew Christ firsthand, and he was certain that Christ will never disappoint us.

  • Sometimes, we can make investments with great hope - whether in finance, housing, products, vacations, or other things. But it is never guaranteed that those investments will live up to our hopes and expectations. In contrast, Christ will never put us to shame, nor will He ever disappoint us. 1 Peter 1:13 tells us to completely place our hope in Christ. The hope and future that we have in Christ is certain, and it cannot disappoint us.

  • Things can compete with our hope in Christ. For example, we can look toward money as something that can grant us future security, or temporary happiness in being able to buy the things you desire, but in reality it can never fulfill hope like Christ can. A pursuit of money can be consuming, perhaps even to the point of compromising morality.

Rejecters of Christ will be put to shame

  • Believers trust in Christ and will never be put to shame, but unbelievers will be put to shame because they rejected Christ, the most precious thing! In rejecting Christ, they have no perfect cornerstone, and thus their foundation is doomed from the start. Without a solid foundation, the building cannot stand.

Rejecters of Christ were predetermined

  • Verse 8 tells us that rejecters of Christ were appointed and predetermined - specifically, they were predetermined to stumble over Christ as the cornerstone they rejected.

  • Does this mean that rejecters of Christ are automatically predestined for hell? It is not for us to say or judge, and Peter is only guaranteeing that people will stumble, but does not go so far as to say they will never be able to repent or be saved.

  • Rejection of Christ was still going on at the time that Peter wrote this letter, and we can observe that it is still going on today.

  • Believers must persist as excellent witnesses to those who reject Christ, because there is always an opportunity for repentance and salvation - even for the staunchest rejecter (1 Peter 2:12, 1 Peter 3:1-2).

A note about "double predestination"

  • Some people think that this passage is talking about double predestination, which is to say that God has actively chosen some to believe and thus be saved, and in the same way, God has actively chosen some for damnation. They hold that God’s predestination for salvation and His predestination for damnation are symmetrical. Our church believes in an asymmetrical double predestination.

  • We hold that God's predestination in salvation is asymmetrical, in that God actively foreknew, called, justified, and glorified those whom He chose for salvation, but that Scripture does not affirm that God actively appointed unbelievers unto damnation in the same way. We can see this in Scripture where the predetermination of the elect unto salvation is described in the active voice but the predetermination of the non-elect is described in the passive voice (Rom. 9:22-23). Theologians use the term “preterition” to describe this concept. The term preterition means "to pass over," and this properly describes the active act of God in choosing the elect for salvation and the passive act of God in choosing the non-elect for damnation. We believe that preterition is an accurate reflection of Scripture that stops short of affirming an active predestination for wrath.

The Gospel & Ultimate Questions

It's difficult to share the gospel with someone who has no interest in what you have to say. Because of this, it's important to connect people to reality and grab their attention with the truth of God’s Word. Therefore, it’s important and helpful to have a good framework of the gospel prepared in your mind before you share with others.

9 Ultimate Questions:

  1. DEATH: What will happen to you when you die?

    1. This is a question that all people must face.

    2. Remember for yourself that death is real, and this will help you share more effectively with others. How is death real to you?

    3. All people will face judgment from God (Romans 2:16; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15; Acts 17:30). When you die, will you be ready to meet Him?

  2. ORIGINS: Where does the world come from?

    1. God is the Creator of all existence. He is the one who made all of us, and we will all meet Him and answer to Him.

    2. God’s invisible attributes and eternal power are evidently displayed in creation (Romans 1:20). It is absurd to believe that highly structured and organized existence all came about by chance.

  3. END: Where is the world headed?

    1. The world is headed toward Christ’s second coming (Matthew 16:24-27).

    2. Under Christ’s authority, men will be headed toward heaven or hell (Revelation 20:11-15, 21:1).

  4. CHRIST: Who is the historical figure of Jesus Christ? Why is He important? Why did He impact the course of history?

    1. Jesus is a real person; the Son of God in human flesh (John 1, 20).

    2. Christ is God’s final revelation of Himself (John 1:18; Hebrews 1:1-2).

    3. Christ died, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is returning again (Matthew 20:18-19; Acts 1:1-11).

  5. CALL: What is Jesus’ message?

    1. Repent, confess, and be free from sin (Luke 5:32, 18:13; Matthew 4:17; John 8:31-36).

    2. Listen to Christ & follow Him as a disciple (John 10:27-28; Matthew 28:19-20). Tell others of what Christ said, so they can have the opportunity to believe in His words, not ours.

  6. EVIL: Why is there evil and corruption in the world?

    1. The Fall resulted in spiritual death and physical death to ensue (Gen. 3).

    2. We live in a cursed world, and the world is given over to its sin (Romans 1:18-32).

    3. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

  7. SEPARATION: Why do we feel separated from God? Why does it seem like God is distant?

    1. Without repentance and faith in Christ and His substitutionary atonement, we ARE separated from God.

    2. God is holy, and our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 6:3, 59:2; 1 John 1:5-6; Proverbs 15:29).

  8. TRUTH: Why are there no answers to ultimate questions?

    1. Truth is in Christ, and without Christ we live in ignorance (John 8:31-32; Ephesians 4:21, 17-19).

    2. Enlightenment comes through understanding Christ’s preaching (Matthew 4:12-17).

  9. PEACE: How can I have peace with God? How can I be forgiven for my sins?

    1. Peace comes by faith through Christ’s work on the cross (Romans 5:1, 6-9)

    2. Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away sin. In His death and sacrifice, He paid the penalty for our sins in our place (John 1:29; Isaiah 53:5-6).

    3. In Christ and through His blood, we can be forgiven, washed, sanctified, and justified (Ephesians 1:5; 1 John 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Purification Is Internal, and Love Must Come from the Heart Without Hypocrisy

HYMN

#17 - “O Father, You Are Sovereign”

REVIEW

We began our workout by trying to recite 1 Peter 1:1-21 from memory and reviewing propositional statements from our past workouts.

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

1 Peter 1:22

Purification is internal.

  • All people inherently know that we need purification in our consciences and souls, and the world has various methods to try deal with these things (rituals, new age practices, etc.). But none of these things truly purify a man’s soul. True spiritual purification only comes through faith in God through Christ, who purified us in our souls at the time of our conversion when we came to obedience to the truth.

  • We were not purified just so that we could simply feel better about ourselves. God had a purpose for our purification - good works and loving service. We ought to engage in sacrificial love and care for other people.

    • Galatians 5:13-14 - fulfill the Law through love, in service to one another

    • John 13:12-, 34 - Jesus commands the apostles to love and serve one another

    • 1 John 2:10 - “the one who loves his brother abides in the light”

    • Romans 13:9 - love us summed up in this commandment: “you shall love your neighbor as yourself”

Love must be sincere and without hypocrisy.

  • The love we are called to have for other people must be sincere, or better put (and literally!), “un-hypocritical”.

    • Love can indeed be hypocritical. Some examples:

      • Corinthian church (1 Corinthians 11) - members of the church would partake in a “love feast” and celebrate communion, all while there were people starving in their midst.

      • Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5) - they brought a sacrifice in pretense to garner applause from men.

    • Love must not be hypocritical. Examples of “unhypocritical” love:

      • Jonathan’s love for David

      • The early church met each other’s needs (Acts 2)

      • Missionaries who sacrifice many things (sometimes, even life, in the case of Jim and Elizabeth Elliot) in order to bring the gospel to others

Love must come from the heart.

  • Love is not arm-twisting or coerced. True love comes from the heart, and this love comes from God, who placed His love in the hearts of those He saved.

    • Romans 5:1-5 - The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit.

    • 1 John 3:16, 4:9-11 - God loved us in sending Christ, who laid down His life as the propitiation for our sins. So then, if God loved us, we ought to love one another and lay down our lives for the brethren.

  • True believers who have received the love of God in their hearts have lots of love to give to others, because God, the source, is boundless in love.

Our Faith and Hope in God Is Through Christ

HYMN

#133- “All Glory Be to Christ”

REVIEW

We began our workout by trying to recite 1 Peter 1:1-20 from memory.

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

1 Peter 1:21

We believe in the true God through Christ.

  • Christ is essential for faith in God. We believe in God through the redeeming work of Christ. We can try to believe in God all we want, but if it is not through Christ and the ransom He paid for us, it is impossible to even approach Him.

    • John 14:6 - “… no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

    • Hebrews 4:14-16 - we cannot enter into the kingdom of God except through Christ, our High Priest.

  • God is Christ’s Resurrector. God’s identity is defined by His work in raising Christ from the dead and giving Him glory. People might miss the mark in their faith in God if they don’t have a proper Biblical understanding of who God is. For example, one might put more emphasis on their subjective experiences that they interpret as God’s power/presence/peace/etc. However, true faith in God is founded on the literal objective revelation of Scripture.

  • Christ always had glory, “even before the world was” (John 17:5). But in His earthly incarnation, it was set aside (Philippians 2:5-7). At His resurrection, He was restored to glory by God (Hebrews 1:1-4).

Faith and hope go hand in hand.

  • Hebrews 11:1 and 1:13-16 help us further understand how faith and hope are tied together (explicit in Greek grammar). In essence, faith in God includes a hope in the fulfillment of His promises and what awaits us in eternity. We are people who believe in God - not only for what He has done in the past, but also for the promises He will fulfill in the future. We must trust in God, trust in His word, and wait in anticipation and longing for the fulfillment of what He has promised.

  • What does a wise disciple of Christ do to keep stoking His faith and hope in the Lord and the future to come?

    • Be immersed in the Word. Read Scripture daily, and always be mindful of our future hope in heaven with God, which is incomparably greater than any temporal hope that can be found in this world.

    • Talk with other believers about our God’s promises. “Encourage one another day after day.”

1 Peter 1:22

Conversion obedience and purification from sin are complete.

  • Peter describes our conversion in terms of obedience. Obedience to the truth is the means of purification.

  • To be converted is to submit oneself under the authority of God in His truth. When we became converted, we became obedient to the truth, which is the Word of God as per vv. 23-25 (“the living and enduring Word of God,” “Word of the Lord,” “word which was preached to you).

    • John 14:15 - “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

    • Ezekiel 36:26, Jeremiah 31:33 - the New Covenant promises a transformation of heart for those who come to God

  • In order for anyone to be saved, they need the Word of God.

The Messianic Ransom Was Planned and Executed for Our Sake

HYMN

#213 – “My Hope Is In The Lord”

REVIEW

We recited 1 Peter 1:1-18 as a whole and reviewed propositions for each verse covered in previous weeks.

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

1 Peter 1:19

Our ransom was heavenly, not earthly.

  • Our price for redemption could not be made with anything of this world, like silver and gold. No amount of money could ever change a person's heart and redeem their souls.

  • The price of our ransom was heavenly; precisely, our ransom was purchased with the price of Christ's blood. By quality and value, it is precious.

  • God allowed animal sacrifices for sins as a foreshadow of the real sacrifice that was to come, which was human blood (Hebrews 10:1-4).

  • Humanity is in sin, and human beings are sinners. Every human being has to pay for their own sins, but no one can serve as their own ransom payment or anybody else's because their blood is not unblemished and spotless as a sacrificial lamb.

    • Romans 3:10-18 - "There is none righteous, not even one"

  • The only pure and unblemished sacrifice that can pay for man's sin is Christ's. Christ had to offer His own precious, unblemished human blood for sins, and the only way to accomplish that was through an earthly incarnation and offering made on the cross.

1 Peter 1:20

The Messianic ransom was planned.

  • Christ was predetermined and foreknown as the planned sacrifice. Christ is the fulfillment of what Reformed theology calls the "pactum salutis", or the "covenant of redemption." God had the redemption plan before the creation of the world. This means that before Genesis 1:1 and the creation of all things, God had a plan! God chose who He would redeem even before creation was created. This tells us that the whole purpose of creation is to execute God's redemption plan.

  • Christ’s first coming and His redemptive work marked the beginning of the last times, in which we are living now in hope of the future to come in eternity.

The Messianic ransom was executed for our sake.

  • Christ paid the ransom for our sake. In another sense, this was for the sake of the Father, in that He fulfilled the will of God who sent Him (John 6:38) in our redemption. Christ committed to fulfill God’s sovereign plan to be the sacrifice and payment for our sins. But as we are the ones who needed redemption, Christ’s ransom was paid and completed for the sake of us who believe, so that by faith we would receive forgiveness and redemption. So then it was for our sake and it was for the Father’s sake that Christ paid our ransom.

Our Conduct Perceives Eternity

HYMN

#198 – “Across The Lands”

REVIEW

We recited 1 Peter 1:1-17 as a whole and reviewed propositional truths that were covered in previous weeks.

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

1 Peter 1:17

Our conduct perceives eternity.

  • “During the time of your stay on earth.” This is talking about a temporary stay, similar in idea to visiting a foreign land on a trip or vacation. We are sojourners; we are not to settle down, but are merely passing through this world as non-permanent residents (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11).

  • Earth is not our permanent home. We should have a mentality that we are on “temporary missionary visa.” We are not of this world (John 15:18-19).

  • What can we do to encourage one another to keep our focus on eternity?

    • Don’t stumble others by overly focusing or praising on the temporal pleasures of this world.

    • Encourage one another with the reality of Christ’s imminent coming.

    • Comfort one another with the hope of our resurrection (1 Thessalonians 4).

    • Remind each other that this world and all it contains is passing away; nothing in this world will last forever.

    • Confess our sins to one another. We will all be judged by God, so encourage one another to “be holy, for God is holy.”

  • What is the conduct of someone who perceives eternity?

    • Evaluates every facet of life, because God sees everything.

    • Is busy about the Lord’s work.

    • Lives to worship God and praise Him.

    • Fights sin.

    • Demonstrates holiness, being set apart from this world for God.

    • Makes disciples of others unto God.

    • Utilizes skills and time for God’s glory.

1 Peter 1:18-19

We are redeemed from a futile way of life.

  • Redemption speaks of being freed from bondage to something with a payment. We should have been judged by God for our sins, but we have been redeemed through the precious blood of Christ.

  • A futile life (literally, “conduct” a. la. v. 17) is not merely pointless, but more than that, in God’s eyes it is sinful and unfruitful. Ephesians 4:17-19 paints a picture of such a futile and sinful life.

  • Examples of futile and godless philosophies of life that we can “inherit from our forefathers”:

    • “Get a good job and make a lot of money.”

    • “Make a great name for yourself and earn the respect from others.”

    • “Church is important, but don’t get too into it - these other priorities in life are more important for you at this time”

    • “Take care of yourself and your family, and don’t get too involved in others’ business.”

    • “Health is the most important thing.”

God’s Righteous Character Is Never Compromised

HYMN

#368 – “Speak, O Lord”

REVIEW

We recited 1 Peter 1:1-16 in sections, reviewing key propositions for each section.

  • Verses 1-5

  • Verses 6-9

  • Verses 10-13

  • Verses 14-16

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

1 Peter 1:17

God’s judgment is impartial.

  • In verse 16, Peter describes that we are children of God; as His children, we are to be like Him (“You shall be holy, for I am holy”).

  • In His judgment, God is objective, does not have any bias, and does not exercise favoritism.

  • The world may expect God to exercise favoritism toward people who have been perceived to have done great good in the world. On the flip side, the world expects God to exercise special judgment reserved for vicious and evil people. Also, culturally acceptable norms are not an excuse or exception to sin before an impartial and holy God.

  • Instead of judging with partiality, God judges based on “each one’s work” (Scripture shows that God judges according to “work”/”works,” and there is no need to stress the difference). There is nothing we can do in this life or any status we can achieve of our own that will allow us to escape God’s fair judgment for our sins.

  • Peter tells us to conduct ourselves in fear during our time on earth; however, merely doing so doesn’t address God’s judgment for sins, because He is still impartial. So then, the reason why we can and should live their lives in the fear of God is because our sins have been paid for in Christ. Because our sins have been dealt with through Christ, God’s character as an impartial judge remains intact and uncompromising. So, since our forgiveness having been accomplished through Christ, we ought to live the rest of their lives in the fear of God, fully acknowledging the righteous character of God.

  • God’s children have a duty to live their lives in a manner that does not contradict His righteous character. We must not betray His righteousness with ungodly and sinful conduct.

  • Has God dealt with His children in the same impartial manner as those who are not His children? Yes - God has dealt with all sin. However, the children of God have been redeemed in Christ, who bore the judgment for those who believe in Him.

Fear God.

  • Our God is a fearful God. This is a truth clearly communicated in the Old Testament, but is communicated in the New Testament as well, for God’s nature is unchanging. Some examples:

    • Matthew 10:28 - God not only has the authority to judge, but also to send people to eternity in hell.

    • Philippians 2:12 - We are to work out our salvation in fear and trembling.

    • 2 Corinthians 7:1 - We are commanded to perfect holiness in the fear of God.

Do Not Be Conformed To Former Lusts, But Imitate God In His Holiness

HYMN

#307 – “Christ Arose!”

REVIEW

  • Recited 1 Peter 1:1-13

STUDY & PROPOSITIONS

1 Peter 1:14

Christians obey the Lord.

  • True believers are children of obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.

    • John 14:15 - “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”

    • Romans 1:5 - the work of the apostles

    • 1 John 1:6-7 - we are conforming to God and walking in His light, implying obedience to the Lord

    • 1 John 2:4 - “whoever does not keep Christ’s commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

    • Matthew 7 - one who listens to Jesus’s words and act on them is like a wise man who builds on a firm foundation that can resist great tempests

    • Matthew 28 - disciples of Christ are taught to observe all that Jesus has commanded

Do not be conformed to former lusts.

  • It is entirely conceivable for a Christian to relapse into conformity to former lusts. None of us should assume that we are totally beyond their tempting allure.

  • Lusts are anything that produce a strong desire in us. We must guard against all of our former lusts that may have been present in our life before salvation.

    • Pride, achievements, accolades

    • Fear of man, reputation, respect, honor

    • Various desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)

  • When we find ourselves being tempted by former lusts, we must run to the Lord in prayer and pour out our hearts before Him. If we don’t, we may find ourselves in bondage or addiction to those lusts.

  • How is it that former lusts are manifestations of ignorance?

    • Former lusts promote and advertise promises that are ultimately grounded in things that are perishing. We can ignorantly focus so much on things and distractions that will ultimately fade away that we don’t realize we can’t take these things with us into eternity. Such a one will find that they are unprepared and unequipped for eternity.

  • Acknowledging that succumbing to former lusts is a result of ignorance to reality, to actually do so would be foolishness.

1 Peter 1:15-16

Imitate God in His holiness.

  • We are to fashion ourselves to God, not after our former lusts. More than just ridding ourselves of former lusts, we are to refill ourselves in every area of life with God and His commandments.

  • The basis for why we should be holy as God is holy? Because it is written in Scripture. This is what God wants, and it is recorded in His word. Simply put: God told us to be holy, so we must obey and be holy!

  • To be holy is to be “set apart” from the world around us. God is set apart, because He is perfectly righteous and pure. We ought to be like God, and be holy.

  • Christ is the perfect model of holiness.