Sermons Updates

Strong Faith at the Right Time (1 Peter 1:10-12) – Mark Ottaway

Guarded Christian Living: A Strong Faith at the Right Time

1 Peter 1:10-12


Turn to 1 Pet 1. What is great about expository preaching (going through a book verse-by-verse) is that it makes it easy for the preacher to form an outline of where to go. Look at Peter’s words (vs 10), concerning this salvation. What do you think we are going to talk about this AM? This salvation. Now Peter has already given us the “who” of salvation, which is the elect of God, (vs 1) those who are chosen; and Peter went on to say that: God the Father knew them, the HS was working in them, and they were the ones who were obedient to Jesus Christ.


And then last week Peter told us the result of those who are saved. I guess the simple answer is that they receive “eternal life.” But we also learned that the result of those who are saved is that they will persevere in their faith, in other words, they will be faithful to the end even through times of testing. The “who” of salvation and the “result” of salvation. Now Peter is going to follow this up with 5 more descriptions of salvation, for we will notice: the grace of salvation, the time of salvation, the cost of salvation, the glories of salvation, and the mystery of salvation.


10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, made careful searches and inquiries,

11 inquiring to know what time or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He was predicting the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been declared to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven⁠—things into which angels long to look.

1 Peter 1:10-12 – Living Standard Bible


  1. The Grace of our Salvation (vs 10)


Now we who live on the other side of the cross can be a little too conditioned to grace, as I would suggest that the view of the OT prophet would have been astounded at the tremendous grace shown through Christ. For place yourself in the shoes of the OT saint. He had the law of God which included: the 10 Commandments, the ceremonial and sacrificial laws, as well as the civil laws which had been given. A number of these laws resulted in the death of the offender or “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” And the focus was so much on Israel only to find that God had a plan for millions outside of Israel. And the OT saint had seen firsthand the result of disobedience to God.


Think of the scene at the time of Noah, even prior to the law where the entire world was destroyed except for Noah and his family. Again, before the law, think of the crossing at the Red Sea where the Egyptian army was drowned. And then of course the law was given to Israel, and what we call the “Mosaic” covenant given to His people. If you do this and this, you will be blessed; and if you do this and this, you will be cursed. Yet in all this the Lord told Jeremiah (Jer 31):

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will cut a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

32 not like the covenant which I cut with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke (the Mosaic Covenant)

33 “… I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

34 “… for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”


Think of Jeremiah living at a time when the greatness of Israel is waning and Yahweh begins to speak about redemption, obedience, and forgiveness. The reaction of the OT prophet must have been, wow! God is going to do this! Unbelievable! And though the OT prophet would not have had a complete understanding of a coming Messiah, he believed by faith in what God would someday do. And those who were saved were those who believed this message of the prophets. So the prophets as Peter tells us here had to make careful searches and inquires of this wonderful promised grace which was to come concerning this salvation. Yet as the condition of God’s people, Israel, was growing worse, the message of the prophets would have been so difficult to believe.


But listen to Isaiah as he looks to a time of grace, a time when Christ would forgive their sin (Is 53):

4 “Surely our griefs He Himself bore,

And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,

Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our peace fell upon Him,

And by His wounds we are healed.

6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to his own way;

But Yahweh has caused the iniquity of us all

To fall on Him.”


Grace, simply that someday Christ would come and save sinners from death and hell. That at one time upon the cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ would provide eternal salvation to all who would believe, the grace of our salvation. But yes, it was a grace yet to come.


  1. The Time of our Salvation (vs 11)

Notice it says in (vs 11), that it was the Spirit of Christ that was working in the heart of the OT prophet long before He came as a human, “inquiring to know what time or what kind of time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating.” Notice that what the OT prophet wrote was not his own thoughts or his personal opinion, no, he was being moved by the Spirit of Christ. And he was really asking the question which we might ask regarding something that is coming, when? Because when you and I receive a promise about something that we are hoping for, what is one of the first questions we ask, when? I mean kids, when your Mom and Dad say something like, we are going to take you to Dairy Queen or we are going to go to the beach swimming. What is one of your first questions, when? And can you imagine Isaiah writing what he did about a Messiah coming to die for the sins of mankind and that he would provide forgiveness? Isaiah may have yelled out himself, “Lord, when?”


But God never gave them any indication of the exact “when.” Imagine if they had known that Israel would not only be exiled into Assyria but later taken over by Rome and God would even go silent for 400 years. Can you imagine? You have these promises from God and you find yourself being basically a slave of Rome and God is silent. How strong would your faith be? Does this not give you and I hope today? Does this not stir our hearts this morning? To know that as Christ broke onto the scene after years of spiritual drought, to know that He could at any time, could break again into human history. And though today we too do not have a timetable, we live with His presence and we have His Word, and wherever we go, the Lord is with us. The time of our salvation


  1. The Cost of our Salvation (vs 11)


The prophets (vs 11) predicted the suffering of Christ. What did Isaiah say about Christ? “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried.” 1 Pet 1:6 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.” “[Yet He was] stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. [He was] pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities.” The King of the Universe had a lowly birth, a life of poverty. He had no place to lay His head and many who believed in Him fled, at times even His family deserted Him. He was betrayed by a friend and companion. He agonized over His ascent to Calvary. He was spit upon, whipped, and nails were driven into His hands, a sword was thrust in His side. And no one came to His rescue and even His Father forsook Him, as Christ paid the price for every sin, ever committed, by every person, who would ever believe. Yes, there was a tremendous cost for our salvation. A decision made by the Father in eternity past and a willingness on behalf of the Son to do all that the Father had determined


Just prior to the crucifixion Jesus prayed in the Garden, “My soul is deeply grieved.” And then He prayed to His Father, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will … He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Christ knew His mission, He wanted to please the Father and He loved those the Father had given to Him. Do we ever wonder why Christ would leave a heavenly mansion? Why He would have been born in a stable? Why He would roam around the countryside homeless for much of His ministry?

“It was for me he cried, for me He died

For me He shed his blood upon the tree

It was for me He came, for me His shame

For me, oh praise His name it was for me”


Verse 6 says that we are grieved by various trials, yet Isaiah tells us that Christ bore our griefs and carried our sorrows. The cost of our salvation.


  1. The Glory of our Salvation (vs 11)


Imagine the interaction between the Saviour in eternity and all those who He redeemed, as one by one someday the redeemed line up to see Him. When we get in line for something, it is often something that we are excited to see or a ride at an amusement park or entering a hockey game. But imagine being in line to see Christ, knowing then more fully the price that was paid, knowing then more fully the severity of the punishment for sin and the reality of hell. And as all the prophecies about Christ are fulfilled, the timing is now known. the grace is now realized, the suffering has been paid, and now, end of vs 11, the glories to follow.


I have always been taught well regarding heaven and eternity, so I have always realized that heaven is not about me and doing the things I enjoyed doing in life. Such things as rose gardening or playing hockey or losing in church 2-pitch (there is some great character building when you lose church baseball, therefore I have a lot of character). But admittedly, it has always been a stretch to understand what we might do for an eternity. Yet as I get older and better understand the cross, the sacrifice for sin, and the cost of what Jesus did, the easier it is to understand the need to praise and worship such a Saviour for eternity.


I wonder if there will be a great need to get close to Christ? Maybe not. Might there be a sense of being overwhelmed? Likely. As all praise from those from all history, along with the angelic hosts, even the rocks crying out. Will it will be enough to be part of the choir, part of the throng? Yes!

“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands; and they cry out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Rev 7:9-10 (LSB)


Now some of you enjoy some of that Southern gospel music and if I could have one request, it would be, Lord, can I have one of those high tenor parts in that heavenly choir, that would be awesome! And when does that song end? When does that song get tired? The song that the Lamb is worthy. As we sing and praise forever the Son for His wondrous deeds for man. The glory of our salvation.


  1. The Mystery of our Salvation (vs 12)


“It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been declared to you through those who proclaimed the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven⁠—things into which angels long to look. The angels long to look! Maybe something the angels (higher beings than us) don’t completely understand. There are certainly many myths that our culture has created regarding angels. Terms such as “guardian angels,” or that “every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings,” or when we die and go to heaven we become an angel. This is not strange, for the culture steals from Christianity all the time. Funerals, for example, are often void of true biblical truth, yet the concept of heaven is almost always expected. In other words, hell is not mentioned, sin is not mentioned, the death of Christ, forgiveness, the need in the Bible for salvation, repentance, and serving Christ as Lord is not mentioned. Yet the assumption is almost always, that if someone lived a “good” life, they are now somehow in some kind of heavenly place


And angels are another thing that the world likes to latch on to. Ah angels, they bring peace, calm, and security. They represent to people safety and care, they look after us and they do not bring with them the expectations of a supreme God. So they are welcomed by people with some Christian knowledge. I mean, who would not want an angel protecting them and blessing them, but does not demand obedience like God would? But we do need to be truthful about what exactly angels are. Admittedly, there is some mystery around angels. Heb 12:22, refers “to myriads of angels” an immeasurable amount, billions of angels? Angels are mentioned 273 times in the Bible and we know that angels exist because the Bible says they do. And angels are not what we turn into but angels are created beings by God. Angels are never referred to as eternal beings, for they have been created. And it would seem from the Bible that they were created within the 6 days of creation. Col 1:16 states that, “For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities⁠—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” This seems to indicate that angels were included with the original creation, when God created everything else.


Angels are ministering spirits to God’s children. Though the Bible never speaks of angels as “guardian angels,” in other words, there is no indication that each person has his own personalized angel. Yet we do know that angels do protect us. Ps 91 says that God will keep His angels charge over us, to care for us and protect us. There are elect angels and demons. The Bible speaks about the “elect” angels, those who have always been obedient to God, in other words, perfect beings. And the Bible also speaks about the angels who rebelled along with Satan, which are referred to as demons or what is called fallen angels. And these beings are real and they have vast powers far greater than human beings and they are an invisible part of our world, yet a “real” part of our world.

The Bible gives no indication that elect, perfect angels could still rebel today, as it seems to be a one-time event in history sometime after creation and prior to Satan tempting A/E in the Garden when they rebelled. So the elect angels, those who forever will serve God; and demons, the angels who rebelled with Satan. And though they are higher beings than mankind, yet they serve man and minister for God. And even demons have a part in the plans of God to be used by Him for His purposes.


But what is a stark difference between the angels and humans is in regards to their destiny. Angels had a beginning like you and I. But because they do not have a physical being, they do not die physically, but these spirit-beings live forever. And this is the key regarding salvation, that all human beings are sinners, unlike angels, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That “all” is referring to humans, not angels, for not all angels have sinned. And the major difference between angels and humans in regards to sin is that when an angel sins they are eternally condemned, yet when a human sins, yes, they are eternally condemned, but God has provided a way for their salvation through Christ, yet no provision has ever been made for fallen angels. Therefore, when angels consider the subject of the salvation of mankind, (vs 10) concerning this salvation, (vs 12) the angels long to look.


An old hymn states that the angels will sing praises to God forever and ever and we know that they will forever sing that the Lord is holy, holy, holy. Yet the song goes: But when [they (angels) hear] redemption’s story, they will fold their wings, For angels never felt the joy that my salvation brings. That phrase (vs 12) “things into which angels long to look” is a Greek verb “parakyptō.” It means peering over from above, maybe as a child when you used to hang over the edge of a staircase to see what was going on (after you were supposed to be in bed). So, the picture here are angels hanging over heaven’s edge and peering to see what God has done for mankind and saying, “Wow! What grace the Father has shown to men and women! Sinners, now forgiven by God, we do not know this ourselves, but truly amazing!”


We live in difficult times and the direction of our world can be discouraging and rightfully we worry about our children and grandchildren. Yet, we as Christians, also live at a very exciting time, a very blessed time. For since NT times, we live in an incredible time of grace: to every sinner, whatever depth of sin, God offers forgiveness, and whatever you have done this morning is forgivable by God. We also live at a time when God could break forth into our world. There is an excitement in knowing that the return of Christ is imminent, in other words, it could at any time. And even if the Lord chooses to delay His return, there is so much work that we can do for the kingdom, opportunities for ministry are everywhere. We also could not be any more loved. For when we consider the great love in which the Saviour must have loved us to do what he did to save us. That love is absolutely amazing. Christian, you could not be loved any more than you are loved truly by Jesus Christ. We also have a tremendous future ahead of us. We as Christians can certainly say the “best is yet to come.”  What is left for the Christian is an eternity of eternal praise and worship to our great God. Who else has this outlook except for the Christian? Finally, though there are many questions in our world, the Christian has many answers from Scripture and we even understand salvation more than the intelligence of the angels because we know the joy of forgiveness, therefore, we have much to offer the world


Some might look at what the Saviour did for us and conclude that we must have been so important for Christ to do what he did. Yet I believe this misses the truth. I believe if we asked the angels they might conclude 2 things: one, God’s love and grace are amazing; two, man’s sin was so great, it cost the Saviour dearly. Let’s pray. Lord, we have considered our own salvation this morning. May we be faithful people who spread the great news of salvation to a lost and dead world. And so may we live with hope as people who understand the joy of our salvation. And all God’s people said, amen.