Salvation Announced - 1 Peter 1:10-12

In 1 Peter 1:3-5, Peter talks about the Christian’s future hope and inheritance. In vv. 6-9, he applies it to the Christian’s present suffering. In vv. 10-12, he explains not only that everything is going according to God’s predetermined plan, but he also helps his readers know where they are in that plan by connecting them to the past. Peter tells them that the good news of salvation through Christ that was now being preached to them is the previously prophesied grace that God’s people have been waiting for for centuries. The exiles should be encouraged and enabled to rejoice, no matter how bad their trials are, because they are obtaining God’s long-promised grace.

God’s prophets had predicted that salvation was coming, as the Holy Spirit revealed to them that the Christ would experience sufferings and then glories. As the prophets delivered this message, they conducted a careful and diligent investigation into the matter. They knew the outline, but they wanted to find out the details, so they searched intently to find out more: who is the Christ? When will He come? What circumstances will surround His coming? And while they didn’t find the answers to these questions, it was revealed to them that they would not experience the fulfillment of their prophecies. They were prophesying for future generations.

And so we can see something of a parallel between the prophets and the exiles: the prophets were often in exile or in the middle of various trials, and they were waiting for grace to come. They wanted to be delivered, and they had to live by faith, and not by sight.

But here is the great and glorious difference: the prophets were writing about things that were future to them, but since then had happened through Jesus. The sufferings and glories of the Messiah that would bring the grace of salvation to the world were the exact events that had been announced as fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!

And so Peter highlights this fulfillment by repeating each element of verses 10-11 in verse 12 in a transformed way: the prophets of verse 10 have become preachers in verse 12. The Spirit of Christ’s future prophecies in verse 11 are now good news from the Holy Spirit, who has been sent from heaven to empower those preachers, just like the Spirit had inspired the prophets. And the prophet’s diligent searching into the sufferings and glories of Christ from verses 10-11 finds a parallel in the angels’ desire to look into the sufferings and glories of Christ.

Here’s why the angels wish they were in your shoes: God is carrying out His work of salvation in your life, overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil, making you holy by means of the sufferings and glories of Jesus Christ. The angels are right there, serving and helping, but they aren’t being saved. This great salvation is not for them. It’s for you.

Just like the prophets couldn’t experience what the prophesied about because they were separated by time, the angels don’t experience salvation from the inside, only from the outside, as ministering spirits. And so Peter uses this to encourage the exiles in Asia Minor, and it still serves to encourage us today: neither prophets nor angels experienced what you are experiencing right now – being born again and living by faith.

What would really astonish the prophets and apostles is if even though this long-awaited, much sought-after salvation had been announced to you, you were still clinging to dead hopes and living joyless lives, as if the prophecies hadn’t come true, as if Jesus hadn’t come and changed everything.

Salvation was first prophesied, then it was announced, but it is yet to be finally revealed, which is what Peter keeps referring to: (v.7) “at the revelation of Jesus Christ”, (v.5) “ready to be revealed in the last time.” But since the announcement of salvation means that the past prophesies came true, then the future hope is certain.

So here’s Peter’s message to the exiles: live joyfully now on the basis of a future hope, realizing that your “now” was the future hope of previous generations. Just like the prophets were waiting for the fulfillment of prophecy that happened through Christ’s first coming, you exiles are looking forward to the revelation of Jesus Christ at His second coming. And so as verse 8 says, even though you aren’t in the trial-free future yet, it’s still the right time to rejoice, since your salvation has already been announced and is ready to be revealed.

Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 by CJ Bowen