Sermon Notes & References

Cause for Joy (Part 2)

1 Peter 1:6-9

February 10, 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; 8 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. The Pilgrim Pathway

    1. From Hope to Joy                                            verses 3-5

        a. There are two things we need to remember as we read Peter’s Letters

            (A)    first, they were written to pilgrims, sojourning or temporary alien residents the Asia Minor (of what is now the country of Turkey)

            (B)    and second, it is written to us as pilgrims, sojourning aliens in this world, but in reality, citizens of heaven

        b. to them and to us Peter gives the encouragement of our hope of an eternal inheritance

            (A)    he tells of its its changeless & perfect nature: incorruptible, undefiled and unfading

            (B)    with its guarantee being by God Himself in His promises

        c. but, Peter’s readers, then and now, have a question

            (A)    what about my day to day trials in this foreign land?

                 (1)    this land has become foreign to me physically

                 (2)    but more than that, foreign to me spiritually

            (B)    I was looking the other day of one of my books

                 (1)    it is called ‘Disappointed with God’ and is by Philip Yancey

                 (2)    in it he relates complaints about God

                     (a)    by people at one time fervent for Christ, but who have now grown cold, and their faith shaken or gone

                     (b)    complaints that we can question theologically

                     (c)    but complaints, nevertheless, that were very real to them emotionally, practically, experientially

            (C)   that great Polish novelist was visiting his home town, Krakow just as the first world war was about to start

                 (1)    and took his eldest son to show him some of the places that he frequented as a young boy

                 (2)    and he recalls how the thoughts came back to his mind of when as a young boy in that place his father lay dying

                 (3)    he was permitted to go in each evening to bid good night

                 (4)    he relates, “I looked forward to what was coming with incredible terror. … I had also moments of revolt which stripped off me some of my simple trust in the government of the universe.”

            (D)   such problems cannot be solved with a smile and a cheery word

                 (1)    even when we know the heavenly background of a case

                 (2)    such as Job, though he was the vindicator of God’s confidence in him, we ask why did he need to suffer so much?

                 (3)    and more so, of our Lord Jesus, who cried out from the cross, ‘My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?’

                     (a)    though we know in our heads that this was necessary for out salvation

                     (b)    yet we cannot understand this pain He had to bear

        d. so Peter continues in these verses to talk about joy from the hope we have in our eternal inheritance

            (A)    not that we can solve the problem of pain & suffering

            (B)    but so that we are ready by faith to accept them

            (C)   that we can have …


    2. Joy Despite Trials                                              verse 6

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

        b. these trials that they faced, just as some that you face, are real

            (A)    consider the words describing them

                 (1)    necessary – but their, & your, natural response will be, ‘why?’

                 (2)    distressing – and how much! None but the one who is being stressed and troubled can know how severe they are

                 (3)    various – and how many? Of all sorts, and from all directions – it never rains, but it pours

            (B)    In this” this verse starts out

                 (1)    the first principle in sustaining these trials is to see God’s benign purpose (that is, our inheritance) as part of the answer

                 (2)    moreover, in contrast to the eternality of our inheritance, these trials are brief

            (C)   but these assurances don’t always solve the problems of pilgrimage

        c. so Peter has some further truths to help us

            (A)    encouragement for us to persevere, to be faithful

            (B)    he does this by disclosing more of God’s purpose in our tribulation

            (C)   these are practical truths that he himself had learned

                 (1)    in his own life experience of walking with Jesus, with God

                 (2)    in seeing Jesus’ response to His own necessary suffering

                 (3)    and by the revelation to him from God’s Holy Spirit


B. Purpose of Trials                                                    verse 7

    1. ‘that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ;’


    2. Appraising Our Faith

        a. the refining fire

            (A)    gold in crucible in furnace, melts, and all impurities are lighter than gold and so will float to the top to be skimmed off

            (B)    The Lord Jesus was this to Israel: ‘1 … And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 And He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness.’ (Malachi 3:1b-3)

            (C)   that is the picture here in 1 Peter: the trial of our faith brings all the flaws to the surface: some to burn off, some to be skimmed off – but one way or another all to be removed

        b. faith is the more precious golden possession

            (A)    if men go to this trouble in purifying gold

                 (1)    doesn’t rust, but does wear away – you may have seen a wedding ring, worn for many years (perhaps never removed) and grown so thin in danger of breaking

                 (2)    and in any case, its value is only here for time, not eternity

                 (3)    (how much value will gold have in a place where the streets are made of it? – whatever be the portent of that description)

                 (4)    yet, men go to great trouble to refine 24k gold

            (B)    how much more should our heavenly Father refine our faith

                 (1)    the faith that has brought our salvation

                 (2)    the faith that binds us to Himself in trust dependence as our heavenly Father?

                 (3)    so God goes to great trouble to give each of us the right trouble that will produce 24k faith in us; why? …


    3. It Will Bring Us Praise

        a. why?

            (A)    persevering in faith through trials will bring us a commendation

            (B)    we do not serve Jesus Christ for the rewards offered, but because

                 (1)    of what He achieved for us on the cross

                 (2)    that we have been purchased by His blood shed at Calvary

                 (3)    redeemed from slavery to sin into liberty of the gospel

            (C)   yet rewards are a legitimate incentive

                 (1)    Paul viewed it as a race: ‘I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.’ (Philippians 3:14)

                 (2)    or as other athletic events: ‘25 And everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;’ (1 Corinthians 9:25-26)

                 (3)    Jesus promised such rewardss: ‘11 Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. 12 Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’ (Matthew 5:11-12)

            (D)   but your faith will be finally appraised – that is, examined, evaluated and approved by our Lord, Jesus Christ

        b. when?

            (A)    at the revelation (‘apocalypse’) of Jesus Christ – His return

                 (1)    there are many diverse events that will surround His Coming

                 (2)    many good men have tried to sort them all out

            (B)    but the one that will bring you much joy

                 (1)    will be as you are set among the saved sheep

                 (2)    and His words sound in your ears

                 (3)    ‘Well done, good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21, 23)


C. The Great Incentive                                               verse 8

    1. ‘and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,’ (1 Peter 1:8)


    2. Faith, Not Sight

        a. this verse brings out in a very clear way one of the distinguishing marks of faith

            (A)    it does not depend upon our physical senses

                 (1)    nor, in a large degree, upon our rational senses

                 (2)    while apologetics is useful, encouraged in Scripture

                 (3)    we shall come to this later, ‘but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;’ (1 Peter 3:15)

            (B)    these are not the real basis of our faith

                 (1)    that basis is obedience to the great commandment:

                 (2)    ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:30 NKJV)

                 (3)    an obedience of response to God’s love, ‘In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.’ (1 John 4:10)

                 (4)    ‘We love him because He first loved us’, 1 John 4:19

                 (5)    faith – entrusting ourselves to God – is a love response to His

        b. there is a marriage relationship between the church and her Lord

            (A)    Paul says this is a mystery

                 (1)    mystery of human marriage illustrates this spiritual one

                 (2)    the submission or surrender of one to the love of the other

            (B)    in the handout you will see my translation:

                 (1)    ‘surrendered’ in place of what is literally ‘believed into’

                 (2)    for these words in NT times were used to describe the surrender of a slave unto a master

                 (3)    they mark of our love being surrendering to Him as our Lord


    3. Inexpressible Joy

        a. this is the road to joy

            (A)    a joy in which it is quite proper to exult or even to boast

            (B)    since it is joy fuil of glory, coming from our glorified Lord

            (C)   for it is a joy that comes not from us, but from the One unto whom we have entrusted our total being: body and soul

        b. it is a joy springing from a love for One we know but have not seen

            (A)    because of the excellence & exaltation of His character

            (B)    because we can see Him by the eye of faith

            (C)   because His words of comfort & command ring in our hearts

        c. it is joy beyond description

            (A)    because it centres on ‘God’s gift, Jesus, beyond description’ – 2 Corinthians 9:15, and, as we sang last Sunday

            (B)    ‘The love of Jesus what it is, none but His loved ones know’ Endnote


D. Summing It All Up                                                 verse 9

    1. ‘obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.’


    2. Faith’s Acquisition

        a. obtaining: there is something we are receiving; an acquisition

        b. we have already seen, in passing, some aspects of this acquisition

            (A)    that every happening in our life – good and bad – is part of the plan of God for our eternal good

                 (1)    a fact that by the Holy Spirit will carry us through trials

                 (2)    and enable us to accept them with joy by means of faith

            (B)    the realisation thereby of the value God puts on our faith in Him

                 (1)    more precious that gold

                 (2)    bringing us closer to His greeting, ‘Well done!’

        c. but here it is the outcome of faith: acquiring our soul’s salvation

            (A)    some think this should be put in the future – something to which we must look forward

            (B)    certainly there is a sense in which the fulfilment or consummation of our salvation will take place when we are glorified

            (C)   but it is in the present tense, and is taking place day by day

            (D)   salvation is not merely a fire escape, as it were, from hell

            (E)    the word, both OT & NT, conveys the idea of health, soundness, wholeness of our entire being – our soul

            (F)    little by little, God is accomplishing in each of His children – pilgrims on this earth – that which He wants us to be.

        d. and knowing that fact should cause us to rejoice in Him.