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Worshiping God for His Gracious Work in Our Salvation 1 Peter 1:20-21

12 Dec

Occasion Lord’s Supper 8th December 2013

Introduction: I was in my senior year of university, and left with one final project in American literature.  I worked hard and was confident that my work was acceptable, but I failed the project, because it did not meet my professor’s requirements. What counts is not how hard you work, or how you feel about your labors, but that your labor meets the requirements demanded by your professor.  My surprise and disappointment does not compare to the countless religious professing Christians who will be shocked when they stand before God on the final judgment.  Notice the words of Christ:

Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?  And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!

Text: 1 Peter 1:20-21

Purpose: Peter presents the nature of our redemption, so we are left with only one object of confidence and one object of worship.

Proposition: God want me to focus my confidence and worship on His finished work alone.

Interrogative: How can I do this?  By realizing and remembering the following truths from 1 Peter.

I.  You are a privileged people 1:20 For you…Peter’s point is that God has done something for us.

That is what the gospel is all about.  It is a simple message about God reaching down to man and doing for man what man could never do.  Man was without hope, condemned and under wrath.  God demanded a perfect righteousness that man could never provide, and He provided it in Christ.  Christ lived a righteous life and died a sacrificial death providing and perfect righteousness for us that can be credited/imputed to us as a gift.

  • God determined the plan even before there was a man who would later sin: He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world…

Matthew 25:34 Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Ephesians 1:4 God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.

  • God did the work that he determined to do for us: He was manifested in these last times…

Hebrews 9:26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

II.  There is only one sure object of saving faith: 1:21 In God…Peter’s point is that God must be trusted alone.

Reformation Setting:

The established church was powerful and had lost its way.  People viewed the church not the word of God as their final authority.  They taught that salvation was received through the church, not the gospel.  Though they held an orthodox view of most Christian doctrines, the nature of salvation had become lost.  They believed that Christ needed to die and rise again, but we had to do our part.  We cooperated with God and through this cooperation; we are able to earn salvation.  We are justified when we are made righteous by a life of faithful church attendance, observing the sacraments of the church, confession of sins, penance, giving alms, and various other works.

Martin Luther a German Monk begins to study the Bible: It is through these studies that he discovered that we are not declared righteous by a cooperation with grace, but rather through an imputed righteousness.  Salvation is on ever level a work of God and not of man.  It is a gift and free to the penitent sinner who places his faith in the finished work of Christ.

Titus 3:5 It is not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.

Galatians 2:15-21  A man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.  I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.  If righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

  • Sola Scriptura: Scripture alone
  • Sola Gracia: Grace alone
  • Sola Fida: Faith alone
  • Sola Christos: Christ alone
  • Sola Deo Gloria: Only God gets the glory
  • Through Him you believe in God…
  • That your faith and hope are in God…

Illustration: Our salvation is like a mighty chain with many links.  One link is a righteousness that God accepts, another is an obedience perfectly fulfills the law, another is sinless sacrifice that purchased our redemption, another is the power of the resurrection.  Every link of that chain is without error and cannot be broken.  No human effort can be added to that chain or exchanged for one of God’s mighty links.  It cannot be broken, because it all depends on an all-powerful, perfect God.

III.  There is only One person worthy of worship: 1:21 God gave Him glory…Peter’s point is that only God is worthy of our worship.

  • Who came up with the plan? God
  • Whose work accomplished the plan? God’s work
  • Is His work incomplete or imperfect in any way? No
  • Did our work contribute to our salvation in any way? No

Conclusion:

  • Is God the one and only object of your confidence in your salvation?
  • Is God the one and only object of your worship?
  • Come let us as brothers and sisters in Christ take the bread and drink that represent His body broken for us and blood shed for us, and remember the marvelous work He has done for us.  We have life through His death.  We stand complete in Him.  We rejoice with an unshakable confidence in the security of our position in Christ.
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Posted by on December 12, 2013 in 1 Peter Sermons

 

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