THOUGH PILGRIMS WE HAVE GREAT GROUNDS FOR REJOICING
Series: First Peter, Sermon #11
Scripture: I Pet. 1:1-9
TEXT: I Pet. 1:6-8
INTRO: The suffering of Christians is a recurrent theme in this book. But, there is also the fact that, though pilgrims scattered abroad, the Christian has great grounds for rejoicing. A number of those grounds have been considered in the first few verses of this first chapter of the book we are studying. In this message we will review these and then look at other reasons for Christians to rejoice in spite of the things we face in this world.
The Christians to whom this epistle is immediately addressed were enduring great hardships and severe persecution. Yet, they were rejoicing in all the blessings that were their through Christ.
A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE BLESSINGS WHICH WE HAVE ALREADY CONSIDERED IN THE STUDY OF THE FIRST FEW VERSES OF THIS EPISTLE
Peter had reminded them that they were Gods elect on whom he had set his everlasting love. 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.
Election to salvation is something for which we should be especially grateful. 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.
This election is of grace; it is not something we deserved so let us rejoice in the amazing grace of God. 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.
They had been sanctified by the Spirit of God. V-2 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.
They had been saved through the sprinkling of the blood of Christ. V-2
Grace and peace had been multiplied to them. V-2
God had begotten them unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. V-3
God had begotten them unto an inheritance that is incorruptible, undefiled, unfading, and reserved in heaven for them. V-4
God was keeping them by his own power unto salvation that us ready to be revealed. V-5
IN THIS EPISTLE PETER GIVES OTHER REASONS FOR THE REJOICING OF PILGRIMS
Through faith we should rejoice in the unseen Christ with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Faith in Christ was a cause for the Philippian jailer to rejoice. Acts 16:34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
This joy is unspeakable because it embraces things whose glory will only be revealed in eternity. 2 Corinthians 12:3-4 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
There is no way that I can explain to anyone the unspeakable joy that I have in Christ Jesus. The only way to know it is to experience it.
The marvellous thing about faith is that it causes one to rejoice even when walking through dark times. Habakkuk 3:17-18 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Peter also speaks to them of rejoicing in the sufferings of Christ. 1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
Peter could speak from experience for he and the other apostles had rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ. Acts 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
Paul and Silas sang praises to God after they had been beaten and imprisoned because of their stand for Christ. Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
THERE ARE MANY REASONS FOR THE CHRISTIAN TO REJOICE REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH THEY MAY FIND THEMSELVES
As Hannah, we can rejoice in salvation. 1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
As David we should be always rejoicing in the greatness of our God. Psalm 95:1-7 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. 5 The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. 6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.
It is evident that many saints mentioned in the Bible loved to rejoice in God as the God of their salvation. Isaiah 12:2-6 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. 5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. 6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.
Jesus taught us to rejoice in persecution. Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Jesus also taught that his people should rejoice because our names are written in heaven. Luke 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Rejoice that they are written there at all for the name of some are not written there. Revelation 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
Rejoice that they have been written there from the foundation of the world.
Let us rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Let us rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
Let us rejoice when we fall into temptations. The word here is used to speak of tribulations and troubles for the sake of the gospel. James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.
Rejoice in the fact that afflictions and troubles work for us a more exceeding weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
CONC: Doubtless, I have barely scratched the surface on this matter. There is so much for which we should be rejoicing. I rejoice that I have the blessed privilege of being a member of a Scriptural New Testament Church. I rejoice that I shall one day awake in the likeness of Christ. I rejoice that God has so graciously blessed me in calling me to preach and to pastor some great churches during these nearly forty years that I have been preaching. I rejoice that my health has been as good as it has. Yes, I am a diabetic and I have had a brain tumor and I have no hearing in my right ear. But, I do have my brain, I can control the diabetes, and you graciously bought me a hearing aid, and if you had not I can still hear with my left ear. I rejoice in my family. I was thinking Friday night while standing beside my mothers bed how blessed she is. Eight children, all professing to be saved, and whose lives, for the most part, bear evidence of that. Three preachers in the family. How blessed she is, and how blessed we are. Then, as we drove home, I thought of my wife and children and we have been blessed. I thought of the girls I dated before I started dating Ruth Ann and a couple of them are dead. Out of the several girls I dated I dont believe any would have made the preachers wife Ruth has.
Oh, I have so many things in which I can rejoice. But most of all, I want to rejoice this morning in Christ Jesus my Lord and Saviour. I want to rejoice in the amazing grace of God that saved a wretch like me. I want to rejoice in the fact that he chose me, called me, justified me and will glorify me. I want to rejoice in the prospect of the soon return of Christ when he shall change my vile body and fashion it like his glorious body. I want to rejoice in being here as pastor of this congregation. Members one of another. I rejoice in you people as my beloved congregation.
My heart is inditing a good matter this morning. I speak to you of things concerning our great God and Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. I speak of all the blessings I have in him.
Can you rejoice in the great salvation that is in Jesus Christ, and him only? Or, have you trusted your salvation to some church, some preacher or priest, or some alleged good works you have done? I must tell you, Dont rejoice in that for you have no hope unless your full and complete faith is in the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone can and will save. Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Return to Index of Sermons on First Peter
Click here to see a complete listing of all messages on this site
This page last updated Friday, March 04, 2011