5 'R's in 1 Peter 1:18-25

 

  INTRODUCTION

 

[*] God's plan of Salvation is indeed a glorious thing! But the vastness of the task, can sometimes blow our minds! We are perhaps tempted to think - "What difference can little me make?"

[*] I recently read about an old man, walking the beach at dawn, who noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. 'But the beach goes on for miles and miles, and there are millions of starfish,' countered the man. 'How can your effort make any difference?' The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. 'It makes a difference to this one,' he said."

IT IS A PROFOUND TRUTH THAT COUNTERS ALL THE DEVIL'S LIES!

 

[a] So often we come across basic fundamentals of our faith, for which there can be no compromise or watering down, for to do so would actually be removing the very essence of our foundations!

  [b] From our Bible reading, I want to bring out five points,   all of which conveniently begin  with  the  letter  'R',  the  first of which  is  found  in  verse  18,  and  is - REDEMPTION!

 

  

 

 

  POINT 1  VERSE 18

   [a] REDEMPTION, or the state  of  being  REDEEMED,  is  being   BOUGHT BACK from sin!

  [b] The picture is that of a slave, sold into the slavery  of   sin, with no hope  of  a  worthwhile  future,  no  chance  of  escape, and no means within themselves to buy their freedom.

  [c] Then, they are bought by a new owner at great cost -  His   Own life's blood!

  [d] Then they are set free, and can choose, whether or not to   remain voluntarily and serve their new master, or go back  to   the old slave-driver, the Devil!

  [e] We also say, how that in the modern  context,  we  could   also speak about being redeemed from the Devil's pawnshop, as   the Lord had paid the price of our redemption on Calvary.

  [f] We realise  also, how that in  the  pawn-shop,  the  time   factor is of great  importance,  in  that  if  we  are  not  redeemed within the allotted time - if  we  wait too  long,   then, like the article in the shop, we are lost!

[g] Scripture says, "Now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation."

 

 

  POINT 2   VERSE 21

  [a]  All  important  in  the  plan  of   Salvation   is   the     RESURRECTION  of Jesus, mentioned in  verse  21!  

  [b]  As  the Apostle says, "  If Christ be not raised, ye are yet  in  your sins!"   (1 Corinthians 15:17) 

  [c] Had Jesus not  been  raised from the dead, then Christianity would not have survived into the second, let alone the twentieth century - it would have  died  the  death  very early!! 

  [d] Let us remember that it is said,  'THE  BLOOD OF THE MARTYR  IS         

THE SEED OF THE CHURCH!'   

  Who in their right mind was going to be killed for proclaiming Jesus to be alive, if they knew  He was dead??? 

It wouldn't make the  slightest  sense  -  unless   Jesus WAS, AND IS ALIVE - WHICH, HALLELUJAH WE KNOW HE IS !! 

  [e]  "The grave now is empty, the stone is rolled  away!" 

[f]  We  put such importance at Easter time, that Jesus ROSE BODILY,  IN THE FLESH, and not as some kind of ghost or spirit - for such  could in no way be termed as a  RESURRECTION! 

  [g]  When  Jesus asked Thomas, to feel the nail marks in His  hands,  and  put his hand into the spear-mark in His side, it wasn't some kind of cheap conjuring trick!  IT   REALLY WAS   JESUS  -  IN  THE  FLESH!! 

  [h] After all, Jesus even cooked fish, and  ate  with them. How anyone could believe He was just  a  spirit  eludes  me!!! 

  [i] Jesus said of His body,   "DESTROY THIS    TEMPLE   AND   IN  THREE   

DAYS, I WILL RAISE IT UP!"

  We would have to  believe an awful lot of the Bible to be nonsense in order to  believe that Jesus didn't rise again!!!

 

  POINT 3   VERSE 23

  [a] Jesus told that very religious Jew, Nicodemus,    "YE  MUST

  BE BORN AGAIN!"

  [b] In verse 23, we see Peter taking up the same  theme,  and   speaking about   REGENERATION  through the INCORRUPTIBLE WORD      OF   GOD!

  [c] The Apostle Paul speaks  of  the  same  experience  -  or   perhaps I should say the same NECESSITY, when he  says  in  2 Corinthians 5:17,   "If any man be in  Christ,  He  is  a  new   creation; old things are passed away, behold all  things  are   become new!"

  [d] God uproots the  old  nature  from  our  hearts,  like  a   gardener with a weed, and He implants within us a NEW NATURE!

  A NATURE, THAT IF CARED FOR AND NOURISHED, WILL BLOSSOM  INTO  ALL KINDS OF SPIRITUAL FRUIT.

 

 

  POINT 4   ALSO VERSE 23

   [a] In this verse, we also see the REVELATION of  God  coming   to the heart of mankind. GOD REVEALS HIMSELF!

  [b] We are inclined to make the terms  of  reference  through   which the Holy Spirit can  work  in    REVELATION  to us -  much  too   narrow! John Taylor, in his book   'The Go-Between God',  gives   the following illustration;  

 

  The first missionaries to  preach  in  the  Muslim  north  of   Nigeria, were greeted by a handful of people who were already   believers in Jesus and claimed to follow Him!! They were  the   disciple of one Malam Ibrahim, a teacher of the Koran,  whose   studies had slowly convinced him that the Jesus  of  Whom  he   read in it's pages, was the Mediator through Whom all prayers

  of the faithful are offered up to  the  All-Merciful.  So  he   gathered around him a group who began to  pray  regularly  in   the Name of Isa Masih, Jesus the Messiah.  When  the  Islamic   authorities discovered this,  he  was  charged  with  heresy,   refused to recant, and was crucified  in  Kano  market  place

  thirty years before  a  Christian  preacher  arrived  in  the   country!

 

  [c] Would we say that this is unscriptural? Would we say, "Oh   no, God doesn't  work  like  that"?  But,  it  is  the   Spirit's work  to  convict  men  of  sin,  righteousness  and   Judgment to come.

  [d] Can we doubt that it was the direct intervention  of  the   Holy Spirit which brought Martin Luther into  his  experience   of God from the darkness of Rome?? 

  We do not set  the  ground rules in which God is to work!!!

We cannot limit Him!!

  [e] Did He not bring revelation directly to Saul of Tarsus on the Damascus road?? Instead of  the  murderer  of  Christians  which he was, he became the great Apostle Paul,  risking  his  own life again and again for the Gospel!!

  [f] Perhaps it is good to remember that,  because  he  wasn't   converted in the CONVENTIONAL manner, the Apostles and  early Christians had great difficulty in  accepting  him  as  being   genuinely converted!! They were afraid it was all a  ploy  to  trap them!

  [g] God the Holy Spirit works DIRECTLY, IN PERSON,  upon  the  heart of an individual!! WE MUST NOT LIMIT HIM BY SQUEEZING HIS MODE OF OPERATION INTO OUR POULTRY GUIDELINES!!

[h] We must be very careful what we reject!

The Soldier

A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I’ve a favour to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring home with me.”

“Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”

“There’s something you should know the son continued, “he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. He has no where else to go, and I want him to come live with us.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live.”

“No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.”

“Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He’ll find a way to live on his own.”

At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him. A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide. The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg.

Source unknown

 

 

 

  POINT 5     VERSE 24

   [a] In verse 24, we see something of  the    RISK   involved  in   sinful mankind, either rejecting, or simply neglecting  God's  way of Salvation!

[b] So many today, live their lives, as if life is not the fragile thing that it is!

[c] The bible tells us, that there is in Heaven a book, called the Lamb's Book of Life, and it contains the name of every person who has found Jesus as their personal Saviour! They are the only people who will be saved.

[d] Is YOUR name there? DON'T TAKE A RISK WITH YOUR SOUL!

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 [e]   Life  in this world is a very   temporary  thing!

  [f] Not one of us has any idea how long our life is going  to   last! It could be   short - it could be (as   we  measure it) long,   but one thing is sure -   "It is appointed unto  men  once  to   die!"

  [g] James says,   "Life is like a vapour!" (James 4:14)

  [h] Job says,   "Life is like an eagle swooping on it's prey!"    (Job 9:26)

   [i] Again, Job says,   "Life is like a shadow!" (Job14:2)

  [j] King David says,   "Life is like a span!"  (Psalm 39:5)

  [k] Isaiah says,   "Life is like a shepherds tent!"  (Isaiah 38:12)

  [l] How can anyone work it out that, whenever  they  have  no   idea when they will be called upon to  meet  God,  that  they   don't have to make any preparation for the occasion??

  CONCLUSION

  [a] It's a changing undependable and  unreliable  world  in   which we live - so what is there to rely on - WHAT  IS  GOING  TO LAST??

  [b] There is still one more little 'R' to squeeze out of this   passage - in verse 25!

  The   RELIABILITY  OF GOD'S WORD!!

    "The Word of the Lord endureth for ever!" 

KINGDOMS MAY RISE, KINGDOMS MAY FALL,

NATIONS REFUSE TO HEAR GOD’S CALL,

BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURETH FOR EVERMORE

  [c] It will not  fade  away!  It  will  not  dissolve!  It  is   ETERNAL!!

  [d] It is with that total reliability that I dare to bring His Word to you.

You will know in your heart, if the Lord needs a response from you.

 

 Salvation Army  Song Book

 

PRAYER CHORUS 2 All that you need is a miracle.

 

SONG(TUNE)

768(715),

707(207),

437(513)