Sermon Notes & References

Cause for Joy (Part 1)

1` Peter 1:6-9

February 3, 2019


A. 6 In this you rejoice greatly, though your now being distressed by manifold trials is necessary for a short while 7 in order that the testing of your faith – faith of far greater value than gold which is passing away, even as it passes the test through fire – yes, that your faith should be discovered to pass the test, resulting in praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ; U8 whom, though not having seen, you love; surrendered unto whom, though not now seeing, you greatly rejoice with an inexpressible and magnified joy; 9 acquiring the outcome of faith, salvation of your souls. (RGH)

    1. A Long Introduction!

    2. And It Doesn’t Stop There


B. Joy Despite Trials    (v. 6)

    1. First Cause for Joy

    2. The Nature of the Trials Footnote


C. Purpose of Trials (v 7)

    1. Appraising Our Faith Footnote

    2. Bringing Praise Footnote


D. The Great Incentive (v 8)

    1. Faith, Not Sight Footnote

    2. Inexpressible Joy Footnote

E. Summing It All Up (v 9)

    1. Faith’s Acquisition

Endnote  1 Peter 1:6-9. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Cause for Joy


A. From Hope to Joy

    1. a Long Introduction

        a. we have just read these verses from the NKJV, and in your handouts I have sought to give a fairly literal rendering from the Greek – but we shall be using the NASB as we go verse by verse through the passage

            (A)    it is difficult, if not impossible, to give the full flavour of meaning in any one translation from one language to another

            (B)    another translation will often give additional insight to a passage

            (C)   regardless, the theme of these verses is clearly evident – joy

        b. Peter wrote to sojourners, pilgrims living in Asia minor; Turkey

            (A)    let us follow along with these pilgrims in our own pilgrimage

            (B)    to see how we as an alien people in the world can know joy

            (C)   today’s passage takes us on a trip from hope to joy

        c. If you attempt to outline Peter’s letter

            (A)    the greeting proper is only the first two verses

                 (1)    but that introduces some great Christian truths

                     (a)    foreknowledge of the Father

                     (b)    sanctification by the Holy Spirit

                     (c)    obedience to the Son, Jesus Christ, who brings cleansing

                 (2)    here the Triune God is providing man’s salvation

            (B)    then, verse 3-5, the letter bursts into thanksgiving for these truths

                 (1)    which in turn brings other truths to mind

                     (a)    mercy, the re-birth, hope, Christ’s resurrection,

                     (b)    our inheritance, heaven, God’s protection

                 (2)    and all the other results of our hope in Jesus Christ

        d. that brings us to where we left off last week

            (A)    Peter encouraging with hope of inheritance

            (B)    incorruptible, undefiled, fading – safely set aside in eternity for us

            (C)   but what about this past week?

            (D)   ‘That’s great, but you don’t know the week I had!’, you may say

            (E)    that’s the kind of week when you need these truths


    2. The ‘Intro’ Doesn’t Stop There

        a. Peter is writing to pilgrims, sojourners, ‘displaced persons’

            (A)    the NT Christians, Jews & Gentiles

            (B)    living in Asia Minor, residing in this world

            (C)   and as he considers their situation – which is also ours

            (D)   he exclaims more truths to help pilgrims on their way

            (E)    before letter proper begins its message until about verse 13

        b. on this stage of the journey – from hope to joy –

            (A)    he recognises that this joy lives in the midst of trials

            (B)    it is a joy that survives even in the kind of week you just had

            (C)   and far worse weeks, as saints have testified through many years


B. Joy Despite Trials                                                  verse 6

    1. ‘In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,’


    2. First Cause for Joy

        a. ‘In this’ or ‘wherein’ – pointing back to the previous verses

            (A)    all those truths which we have been discussing

            (B)    the total salvation that God has provided in His mercy

            (C)   the wondrous, the marvellous fact, that each member of the Trinity has been involved in providing that salvation

            (D)   then, the purposes of God in His doing all these things – in fact some scholars have thought the translation should be ‘in Whom’

            (E)    it is, first of all, the consideration of these truths that brings joy

            (F)    particularly God’s perfect purposes for His children

        b. the Christian destiny is part of this cause of joy

            (A)    undoubtedly, this is what is most immediately in view in this verse

            (B)    God has an end and purpose for His doing all these things

            (C)   as a sojourner, a pilgrim – homeless, so to speak

            (D)   but not really so, but assured of an eternal heavenly home

        c. ‘In this you greatly rejoice’

            (A)    this verb has the form of a commandment

                 (1)    yet, it rightly rendered as a statement by most translators

                 (2)    the implication is, ‘so if you are not, then you should be!’

                 (3)    the verb form expresses the magnitude of this rejoicing or joy

            (B)    the word greatly brings a picture the the mind

                 (1)    bursting with joy

                 (2)    bubbling over ... like a kettle boiling – despite trials


    3. The Nature of the Trials

        a. first, they are only for a season

            (A)    we have been having ‘season of seasonably cold weather’ – to which today’s warm spell is indeed welcome and a kind of promise – spring is coming!

            (B)    Greek is literally, ‘a short’ with ‘time’ here to be understood

            (C)   certainly, in a spiritual context, the time here is short

                 (1)    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.’ (Romans 8:18)

                 (2)    or as the words in C. T. Studd’s poem, ‘Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.’ Endnote

                 (3)    or the Psalm-writer’s prayer “So teach us to number our days, That we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.” (Psalms 90:12)

                 (4)    or, ‘For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison,’ (2 Corinthians 4:17)

        b. second, they are deemed necessary

            (A)    the ‘if’ – if need be – concedes that may not be for everybody

            (B)    some are blessed in going through life with few if any trials – that can be true of both believers and unbelievers

            (C)   but trials are the normal lot of mankind

            (D)   and, as seen here and in James 1:3 – ‘knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.’ – are part of God’s perfecting work in our lives

        c. third, they are very distressing

            (A)    they cannot be smiled at; they cannot be laughed away

            (B)    their heaviness is in direct adversity to any joy

            (C)   they are, it seems, Satan’s patented ‘joy-extinguisher’; moreover

        d. they come ‘fast & furious’

            (A)    that is they are ‘manifold’, or ‘various’

            (B)    it is hard to describe all that is implied in this word

            (C)   yes, of great variety: differing in degree – some short & acute; some drawn out and chronic; for some prepared, for others not

            (D)   yet each having a purpose by God working for all things for good

    4. to this we shall, D.V., return next Lord’s day, to see how we can know joy despite trials.