PHBC March 12, 2000
Series: First Peter, Sermon #90
THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD
TEXT: 1 Peter 5:12-14 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. 13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. 14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
INTRO: The three verses I have read are Peterís closing remarks to the scattered Pilgrims to whom this epistle was addressed. It was sent to them by one of their faithful brethren, Silvanus. I will have more to say about him for I want to first simply point out several things that are in the text before focusing in on the subject of The True Grace of God.
I. SOME REMARKS ABOUT THE CONTENT OF THE VERSES COMPOSING OUR TEXT
A. The epistle was apparently sent to them by Silvanus.
1. Peter commends the seeming faithfulness of Silvanus. 1 Peter 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother unto you, as I suppose, I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand.
2. Paul mentioned this brother, or one with the same name in second epistle to the Corinthian assembly. 2 Corinthians 1:19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea.
3. Paul mentioned a Silvanus, possibly the same as the one named by Peter, in both of his epistles to the congregation in Thessalonica. 1 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. If the Silvanus mentioned by Peter and the one mentioned by Paul are one and the same, this man was faithful in his service to the Lord wherever he was; Peter specifically mentions it and Paul would not keep someone with him who was not faithful.
a. In his epistle to the Ephesian assembly Paul commended Tychicus for his being a faithful minister of God. Ephesians 6:21-22 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things. Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.
b. Paul also commended the faithfulness of Epaphras who served with him and also served the assembly at Colosse. Colossians 1:7-8 As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
c. In the epistle to the Colossians Paul also commended the faithfulness of two other ministers, one whom we have already mentioned. Colossians 4:7-9 All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: 8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here.
B. The salutation from the church in Babylon. 1 Peter 5:13 The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son.
1. It is amazing that in this city that is known for its extreme paganism, that a church of the Lord Jesus Christ was also found.
2. This city had a large population of Jews, some had remained there when Ezra took many back to Palestine, others had been dispersed there and some of those Christians who had gone other places during the persecution of Saul and others had apparently ended up in Babylon where they formed a church.
3. This church was composed of folks who had been elected together with those to whom Peterís epistle is addressed.
a. Election being eternal, all who were elected were elected together, equally and at the same eternal moment. 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.
b. All the elect were chosen from the foundation of the world. 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.
C. The salutation is also from "Marcus my son."
1. Peter may have had a son by that name for we know he was married. Matthew 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peterís house, he saw his wifeís mother laid, and sick of a fever.
2. This could also have been a young preacher upon whom Peter looked as a son. Acts 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
3. Paul looked on Timothy, who was Greek, as his son. 1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare. 1 Timothy 1:2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
D. The greeting with a kiss of charity. 1 Peter 5:14 Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1. Paul calls it a holy kiss in his closing words in the epistle to the Romans. Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
2. He calls it a holy kiss both his epistles to the Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.
3. He again calls it a holy kiss in an epistle to the Thessalonians. 1 Thessalonians 5:26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss.
4. Let me read you what John Gill said on this Christian greeting. Salute one another with an holy kiss, &c.] Christian salutation is a wishing all temporal, spiritual, and eternal happiness, to one another; and which, as it should be mutual, should be also hearty and sincere, and this is meant by the "holy kiss"; the allusion is to a common custom in most nations, used by friends at meeting or parting, to kiss each other, in token of their hearty love, and sincere affection and friendship for each other; and is called "holy", to distinguish it from an unchaste and lascivious one; and from an hypocritical and deceitful one, such an one as Joab gave to Amasa, when, inquiring of his health, he took him by the beard to kiss him, and stabbed him under the fifth rib, #2Sa 20:9,10; and as Judas, who cried, hail master, to Christ, and kissed him, and betrayed him into the hands of his enemies, #Mt 26:49. I say, it is an allusion to this custom, for it is only an allusion; the apostle did not mean that any outward action should be made use of, only that their Christian salutations should not be mere complaisance, or expressed by bare words, and outward gestures and actions, either of the hand or mouth; but that they should spring from real love and true friendship, and be without dissimulation, hearty and sincere.
II. STANDING IN THE TRUE GRACE OF GOD
A. Standing in the true grace of God requires that we look to Christ as the channel through whom we receive grace. John 1:14-17 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. 16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
B. The effects of grace are readily evident in the lives of those who are standing in the true grace of God. Acts 11:23 Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
C. When Paul and Barnabas admonished folks to continue in the grace of God they doubtless had in mind standing in the true grace of God. Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
D. The true grace of God is the way that all that have been saved have been saved regardless of when they lived. Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.
E. Those standing in the true grace of God will teach that those who have believed on Christ have believed through grace. Acts 18:27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace.
F. Those standing in the true grace of God will preach a gospel that can correctly be labeled the gospel of grace. Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
G. Those standing in the true grace of God will teach a justification that is freely of grace. Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
H. Those standing in the true grace of God know that the only sure way of salvation is by grace through faith. Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. Ephesians 2:8-9 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.
I. Those standing in the true grace of God will teach an election that is of grace. Romans 11:5-6 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.
J. Those who are standing in the true grace of God will declare that Godís call to salvation is a call that is of grace. Galatians 1:15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my motherís womb, and called me by his grace.
K. Those standing in the true grace of God do not teach a salvation that is obtained through a mixture of works and grace knowing that such teaching frustrates the grace of God. Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
L. Those who are standing in the true grace of God know that those who are seeking justification before God through works are actually standing off from grace. Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
M. Those who are standing in the true grace of God know that all spiritual blessings in Christ are ours because of the exceeding riches of Godís grace. Ephesians 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 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: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Ephesians 2:5-7 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
N. Those standing in the grace of God know and affirm that our salvation and calling thereunto are all of grace that and was given us in Christ before the foundation of the world. 2 Timothy 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.
O. Those standing in the true grace of God will seek to be good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
P. Those standing in the true grace of God will not hesitate to attribute all they are that is godly to his grace. 1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
CONC: All that we are as Christians, all that we do in the Lordís service, and all that has been done for us and in us is of grace. Our election to salvation is of grace. Our predestination to being conformed to the image of Godís Son is of grace. Our regeneration is of grace. Our calling is of grace. Our redemption by the blood of Christ is by grace. Our justification before God is of grace. Our repentance toward God is of grace. Our faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ is of grace. Our sanctification in all its aspects is of grace. The imputation of our sins to Christ is of grace. The imputation of Christís righteousness to us is of grace. Our preservation in Christ is of grace. Our perseverance in the faith is of grace. Christ propitiating for our sins is of grace. Our reconciliation to God is of grace. Our pardon and forgiveness for sin is of grace. Our adoption as sons is of grace. Our being made accepted in the beloved is of grace.
May God give us all individually and as a body of Christ the grace to stand in true grace. Let us never be guilty of frustrating grace by adding things to it that is of man. Let us never frustrate grace by mixing things with it that are of man. Let us stand in true and pure unadulterated grace as were these saints to whom Peter has written this epistle.
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