THOUGH PILGRIMS, WE ARE ESPECIALLY BLESSED
Sermons 2 through 5 (One outline, Four Sunday Sermons)
By Wayne Camp
Scripture: I Peter 1:1-9
TEXT: 2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
INTRO: The people to whom this passage and this text are addressed are pilgrims who were scattered under the dispersion. There is no reason anyone should feel sorrow for themselves because we are pilgrims. God has graciously and sovereignly blessed us with an amazing array of blessings.
When I first began this study, I announced that I would touch on each of this various blessings we have as Gods pilgrims on this earth. In fact, I wrote down in my introduction these words, "In this message my purpose is to look at this entire array of blessings in one message. Then I will come back and we will go into some of them in more detail."
But, I found it nearly impossible to touch lightly on these wonderful blessings which God has bestowed on us pilgrims. So, I will be treating them in more detail than I had originally planned as we go through the chapter. The first blessing which Peter sets forth is
WE ARE PILGRIMS WHO HAVE BEEN ESPECIALLY CHOSEN ACCORDING TO THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD
The word foreknowledge has within it the idea that we were the objects of Gods electing love.
The word foreknowledge comes from a word that has in it the idea of foreordination.
- This idea is set forth in the words of Moses to the Israelites. Deuteronomy 7:7-8 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: 8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:15 Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day.
- This idea of foreknowledge is seen in the case of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
- All those whom God chose to salvation were foreknown, or regarded with special favor, and foreordained to eternal life before the foundation of the world.
- We were loved before the foundation of the world. John 17:23-24 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me . . . thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
- When we read that he loved us before we loved him we need to realize it was a long time before we loved him. 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
Because he had chosen us to salvation God set his love on us in eternity.
- Some translate it so in Acts 2:23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.
- It is translated foreordained in 1 Peter 1:20. Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.
- We will study this word further in another message but let me point out that the foreknowledge of God as we are looking at it in this message is a foreknowledge of persons, not events.
Though we are pilgrims in this world, let us never doubt that we are wonderfully blessed in Gods choosing of such weak and base persons as we to be the objects of his election and foreknowledge.THOUGH WE ARE PILGRIMS WE HAVE BEEN SANCTIFIED AND ARE BEING SANCTIFIED AND SHALL BE SANCTIFIED BY THE SPIRIT
- Paul tells us this election was a gracious election. Romans 11:4-6 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
- He also informs us that this election was made before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
- Paul further informs us that this election is unto salvation. 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.
- I should also remind you that Scripture teaches that this election is not our choice of God but his choice of us. 1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
- Jesus makes if very clear that he chose those whom he saved. John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen.
- He further removes all doubt in the matter by dealing with the matter negatively and positively in one verse. John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
- This purpose of God in election stands on the grounds of his ability to save those whom he has chosen and not on the grounds of what the chosen might do. Romans 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;).
- This gracious election and foreknowledge of God concerning the elect is wonderful to contemplate when we consider the kinds of people who are the objects of these marvelous graces. 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 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; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
- It seemed good in the sight of God to hide these wonderful things from the wise and prudent and reveal them to people who were, comparatively speaking, no wiser than a little baby. Matthew 11:25-26 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
- God has ordained strength out of the mouths of babes while rendering foolish the wise of this world. Psalm 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 1 Corinthians 1:19-21 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
- God brings low the mighty and exalts the common and poor over them in his great scheme of things. Isaiah 26:5-6 For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city, he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.
- God has a way of simply turning things upside down to what the wise of this world think things should be. Isaiah 29:14-16 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. 15 Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the LORD, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? 16 Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding? Isaiah 29:19 The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
- God can and does call men who, in the eyes of the world are ignorant and unlearned, and reveal his great wisdom. Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.
Sanctification first speaks of setting things apart for Gods use.
There is also an aspect of sanctification by the Spirit that is related to and occurs at the time of our regeneration and conversion.
- God marked out the Sabbath as a holy day for Israel under the Law. Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
- God marked out the nation of Israel as his own special people separate from all the other nations of the world. Exodus 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? is it not in that thou goest with us? so shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth.
- God marked out Jeremiah as his for his own special purpose before he was ever born. Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
The Holy Spirit also sanctifies us in a progressive sense as he reveals and applies his word to our hearts and lives. John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
- When we are in Christ experientially he is our sanctification. 1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
- This aspect of sanctification is declared to be by faith. Acts 26:17-18 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
- This aspect of sanctification is related to ones receiving the gospel of Christ. Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
- In this sense we were not sanctified before we received the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Though we are pilgrims in a world that despises the fact that we are not of this world, we can rejoice that it is Gods will for us that we are sanctified, set apart for holy use, and experientially and practically sanctified for that purpose. 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour. Though we are pilgrims and are in this world it is the will of God that we not be conformed to this world. Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Our being the objects of sovereign election and Divine foreknowledge suggests that we are to act as the elect of God. Colossians 3:12-17 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. And, God is pleased to bring us own until we have experienced the fullness of his sanctifying purpose in us which will not be accomplished fully until we are glorified with Christ at is coming. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- The Holy Spirit sanctifies through the washing of water by the word. Ephesians 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.
- This progressive and practical sanctification is one of the ends of our election. 1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
- This obedience is through the sanctification which is by the Spirit of God. 1 Peter 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.
- Election is unto good works and holy living. 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
- We were chosen in Christ that we should be holy and without blame before him. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
- God has ordained that those who are chosen in Christ, called and justified by his grace, walk in good works. Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
My dear fellow pilgrims of Pilgrims Hope Baptist Church, included in our assurance as pilgrims on this earth is the wonderful fact that we are Gods chosen, foreknown, sanctified people who shall come into his presence fully sanctified and fit for our heavenly abode and citizenship. Let no one bemoan the fact that we are pilgrims for we are Pilgrims with a blessed hope!THOUGH WE ARE PILGRIMS WE HAVE BEEN SPRINKLED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
- Gods purpose in election included our being holy and without blame before him. Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.
- We are preserved in Christ for this purpose. Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called.
- We will one day be presented before the presence of his glory faultless. Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
- Because of this sanctifying work of the Sprit of God, we who are considered scum by the world, can worship God in the very beauty of holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. Psalm 96:9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
These Jewish Christians were familiar with the practice of sprinkling blood.
The sprinkling of the blood of Christ is very significant terminology in the light of its uses in Scripture.
- When Aaron and his sons were set apart for their priestly duties a ram was killed and its blood was sprinkled around the foot of the altar before the ram was burned on the altar as a sweet savor offering to the Lord. Exodus 29:16 And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.
- A second ram was also killed and the blood was sprinkled on the altar and then taken and sprinkled upon Aaron and his sons setting them apart as priests. Exodus 29:20-21 Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 21 And thou shalt take of the blood that is upon the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it upon Aaron, and upon his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be hallowed, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.
- When an Israelite made a burnt offering of a bullock, a sheep, or a goat to the Lord, the blood of the animal was sprinkled around the altar in front of the tabernacle. Leviticus 1:5 And he shall kill the bullock before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall bring the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Leviticus 1:11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before the LORD: and the priests, Aaron's sons, shall sprinkle his blood round about upon the altar.
- The same was true of the peace offering. Leviticus 3:2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.
- When a sin offering was made, its blood was taken into the tabernacle and the priest would sprinkle that blood before the altar of sweet incense in the tabernacle in front of the veil. Leviticus 4:6 And the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD, before the vail of the sanctuary.
- When the whole congregation brought a sin offering its blood was to be sprinkled before the vail of the tabernacle. Leviticus 4:17 And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD, even before the vail.
- Paul used this same terminology when he spoke of the sprinkling of the blood of animals to the purifying of the flesh. Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh.
- The blood was also sprinkled on the door posts and lintel in the Passover sacrifice. Hebrews 11:28 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
- Paul also made reference to the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Let me speak further to you of this sprinkled blood of Jesus Christ.
- It speaks of our being set apart for holy purposes as were Aaron and his sons and is related to our sanctification which we studied last week.
- It speaks of the fact that we who are pilgrims are also priests and kings. Revelation 1:5-6 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
- It speaks of the fact that we who are pilgrims are also a chosen generation and royal priesthood. 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.
- It speaks of our redemption by the sprinkled blood of our Passover, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
- It is precious blood. 1 Peter 1:18-20 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
- It is powerful blood. 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
- It is blood that speaks of much better things than the blood of Abel. Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
- It is blood that gives us boldness to enter into the holiest of all. Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
- It is blood that brings the remission of sins. Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
- It is blood that gives eternal life. John 6:53-56 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
- It is blood that fully satisfies God. Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
- It is blood that justifies. Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
- It is blood that redeems. Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.
- It is blood that reconciles. Colossians 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
- It is blood that has obtained eternal redemption for all for whom it was shed. Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
- It is blood of such greatness that we will sing of it in heaven. Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
- It is by this blood that all his people have and will overcome Satan. Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
- It is blood which washes the robes of his elect white. Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
CONCLUSION: Though we are strangers and pilgrims, we are pilgrims who are blood washed, blood redeemed, blood bought, blood reconciled, and blood justified. We are truly blessed pilgrims. Let us rejoice greatly that we have been so wonderfully blessed.
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Friday, March 04, 2011