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A Privilaged Generation (1 Peter 1:10-12)

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The believers of Northern Turkey have stuggled under various trials that God has allowed to afflict his Church. Peter writes to encourage them to look the blessed hope of Jesus Christ in their struggle. Peter described process of salvation in 1 Peter 1:1-2. Peter described the greater riches of our salvation in 1 Peter 1:3-5. Peter gave us the purpose of trials in 1 Peter 1:6-9. In 1 Peter 1:10-12 he reminds them that they are a privilaged generation to know the Christ. Likewise, we are privilaged because through the Gospels we know Christ.

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INTRODUCTION:
Today, many Americans feel underprivileged. This stems from a belief that they are economically restricted or even discriminated against.
Yet, if we look to the rest of the world, are really economically restricted or discriminated against?
ILLUSTRATION:
I have a friend who is serving as a missionary in a remote part of Tazania. The people that surround them are fortunate, if they are able to a bowl of rice (not 3, a bowl of rice). There homes are sometype of homemade brick and mortar, often very open air.
Not all, but part of what he is doing is providing theological education, particularly the pastors, but really anybody who desires the training. The notes that he is giving them is the only resource they have other than their bible.
In a day in which many of us own a mini-library of Christian resources. This is not to mention the blogs, online journals, and video’s that we have explaining scripture and right doctrine.
We are very privileged as Americans.
- Economically nearly all of us have well beyond what we need. Just this week Amazon had a new best seller. The number 1 book sold on Amazon is a book, which is blank on the inside. How practical is a blank book? This highlights the excesses that we as American’s often enjoy.
- The only reason we worry about discrimination in America is because we are blessed enough to worry about it. No one was claiming discrimination in the slums of the 1920s. Why? Because if you can’t put food on the table, you are not worried about marching in front of the capital.
- As American Christians, we have access to God’s word and helps to aid us in understanding far beyond other people in our own generation, and the farther you go back in the History of the church, than most Christians.
Yet, that is not the primary reason that we all are a privileged generation.
In fact, whether you are like the Christians in Tazania with only a bible, or an American with a mini-library; we all are privileged generation.
How are we all privileged?
Let’s read our text this morning and learned how blessed we are as a people of the Gospel.
1 Peter 1:10–12 ESV
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Peter makes a reference to the previous section by saying “concerning this salvation”. There is something you should know about this Gospel. The Gospel did not start with Christ’s birth and ministry. It began with ancient promise to Abraham.
Galatians 3:8 ESV
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
Ever since that promise, many promises have been declared by the prophets about who the Christ would be. As the prophets declared these promises from God, they began to search and enquire who the Christ might be.
We are a privilaged generation because in the New Testament, it is declared who the Christ is. The Ancient search for the Christ has ended and we are privilaged to know it.

Proposition: We should be thankful for the privilege of the Gospel

Transition: and this text gives us 2 reasons for why we are privileged.

1) The Prophets Diligently Sought the Christ. (1 Peter 1:10-11)

ILLUSTRATION:
When I was in Hawaii sometimes I would walk in the evening down the main road of Wakiki. Along they way there are many artist, but I only remember one.
There was a young teenager playing the violin quite well. She had a bucket for money and a sign that says she wants to go to Julia Art, the prestigious university of the arts.
To go to a place like that is much like trying to go Harvard. It is incredbily hard to get in, and also incredibly expensive.
So she had a dream, and she searched dilligently for ways to be able to get in to the college and afford to go.
For the prophets, they had a dream.
There is not time to entirely review the OT prophetic promises of the Christ, but in summary Walter Kaiser says this:

The promise-plan is God’s word of declaration, beginning with Eve and continuing on through history, especially in the patriarchs and the Davidic line, that God would continually be in his person and do in his deeds and works (in and through Israel, and later the church) his redemptive plan as his means of keeping that promised word alive for Israel, and thereby for all who subsequently believed. All in that promised seed were called to act as a light for all the nations so that all the families of the earth might come to faith and to new life in the Messiah

This was the expectation and living hope for the Prophets. Therefore, our text tells us that the prophets dilligently sought the Christ.
1 Peter 1:10 ESV
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
The Word “Search” - has the idea to look for something in order to posses it. They looked for the Christ so they could obtain the blessing of the grace of God, that is that he would redeem and bless his people despite their sins. In fact, the OT promise was that the Christ would give them new hearts in which they could actually love and obey God.
The Word “inquired” - has the idea of investigating something.
ILLUSTRATION:
We have the story about Sherlock Holmes. In the story, he was known for dilligently searching for clues that would lead him to the criminal.
The prophets, were investigating, >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>but they were dilligently searching the Scriptures for clues that would lead them to the Christ.
So an interesting fact, but what does this have to do with us being privilaged?

a) The Prophesy was about You. (1 Peter 1:10)

1 Peter 1:10 ESV
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,
I typically translate the passages with the goal of not producing a smooth and easy to understand, but to produce a translation that emphasizes the word usage and how those fit together.
PERSONAL TRANSLATION: 1 Peter 1:10 Concerning (1) (2) this salvation, the prophets searched (3) and investigated (3) about (4) the grace having prophesied with reference to (5) you,
PERSONAL TRANSLATION: 1 Peter 1:10 Concerning (1) (2) this salvation, the prophets searched (3) and investigated (3) about (4) the grace having prophesied with reference to (5) you,
The way the pronoun “you” works is to clarify, the grace being described is about you. You as in the believers in Christ.
The prophets searching for the Christ and his blessing upon you.

b) What about you were they searching for?

The word “inquiring” is expanding idea of them searching for the grace that was promised about you.
The prophets were searching for:

1) The person and Time of Christ.

Before Daniel and the book of Daniel, the prophets had no idea when the Christ would arrive.
The prophets desired to know who the Christ was and when he would arrive.
In many ways, they were looking for Christ the King, who is to restore Israel’s Kingdom, grant His people new hearts, and ultimately bless all the nations.

2) The Suffering and Glories of Christ (Ultimately)

“the subsequent glories.”
They were not just looking for who and when the Christ would arrive, but they wanted to see the incredible riches of knowing him.
What are the subsequent glories that came after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection?
This could be a very long list, but the immediate glories that Peter is describing probably is what he said in the previous paragraph.
1 Peter 1:3–9 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
So primarilly, it is salvation, which gives us a new birth, and a living hope of a future inheritance as the Son’s of God.
Understand, we have obtained what others have sought.
The prophets wanted to know who the Christ would be, and enjoy his “subseqent blessings” of salvation.
EXHORTATION:
The Churches of Northern Turkey may have been suffering, especially discrimination for worshipping Christ alone. By no means are these various trials easy to bear.
Yet, even so, Peter reminds them that they are privileged, being able to know what the prophets sought to find. What the prophets longed to look at.
We as NT Christians also are a privilaged generation. We have obtained salvation from Christ, the fulfillment of Ancient promises that the people of God sought dilligently for.
ILLUSTRATION:
We may suffer, we may be poor. The may suffer as Americans or we may suffer deeply as those in the 3rd world. But every believer in all the world is a priviliged believer to experience such unspeakable salvation.
We also are privilaged, because:

2) The Prophets Diligently Served You. (1 Peter 1:12)

ILLUSTRATION:
As American’s, why do we enjoy such blessings?
Is it because of something I have done?
In some ways, perhaps. But in the bigger picture, no.
There are many factors to American prosperity.
- Some is because of Freedom.
- Some is because of Education.
- Some is because of brilliant ingenious invention.
The Point is that we enjoy the privileges of Americans because of what others before us have done.
Likewise, did we come up with a way to save ourselves?
ILLUSTRATION:
What does our attempts to save ourselves sound like.
- I am not that bad.
- I generally do the right thing.
- I help others, I am giving person.
- I treat my kids, wife, coworkers with respect.
- I follow the rules.
I am good guy or good girl.
This is what Isaiah the prophet says in Isaiah 64:6 about our attempts at saving our selves.
Isaiah 64:6 ESV
We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
The problem with trying to come up with your own way to salvation, is that ultimately you can’t get rid of the dirty garments of your sinful heart.
ILLUSTRATION:
For many years I would go out to sea onboard a ship. You have ever spent a long time on a ship, your understand their is a certain smell to it. A mix of diesel fuel, salt, and must get’s in your clothes. After six months out to sea, it doesn’t how often or how many times you have washed those clothes, they smell like a Navy ship.
Our righteousness is like that, once the unclean stench get’s in our clothes, there is not getting it out. At least not without a Savior.
Because of this the prophets have been preparing a way for the Savior to come and redeem his people.
Notice what your text says,
1 Peter 1:12 ESV
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
To a certain degree, the prophets were serving their generation by pointing them to the future hope of the Christ.
At the same time as they were pointing Israel to the future hope, they were serving you in preparing the way for the Savior.

How did they serve you?

a) Their announcements of the Coming Christ.

The prophets collective did this by each proclaiming the coming Christ and each adding to the person, timing, and significance of the Christ.
The name of Christ or Messiah has meaning because of the prophecies of the prophets. So that by the time Christ came, Israel, and latter the church, understood what the Christ is.
Understand this, the content of their announcement is the good news being preaching to you.
The “good news” is a term which refers to the Gospel.
So are you following this, the Gospel of Jesus Christ being proclaimed to all the nations by the Holy Spirit is made up of the proclamation of the prophets. They Served us by proclaiming the coming Christ.
Why are we a privileged generation?
Because from roughly 2000 BC (the time of Abraham) to the silence of the last prophet (Malachi) in the 400 BC’s, they had proclaimed of the coming Christ. The proclaimed the riches that we would enjoy in Christ.
- Daniel, being one of them even gave us the exact time of Christ’s triumphal entry.
- Isaiah in Isaiah 53 described the Christ as the suffering savior.
- Jeremiah promised the new heart in Jeremiah 31.
We are privileged because all the prophets were serving us in the preparing the way for salvation, and we now benefit from their sacrificial work.
Just as the privileges we enjoy as Americans came at the cost of others.
The privileges of American’s was bought by the freedom, education, and inventive Spirit of those who were before us.
Even greater do we enjoy the privilege of salvation at the sacrifice of the prophets. We truly are a privileged generation.

CONCLUSION:

Antidotal comment.
Peter then adds one final point, not related to the prophets, but related to the prophecies of the Coming Christ.
1 Peter 1:12 ESV
It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
In order to emphasize the privilege of this generation, Peter tells us that this salvation which the prophets promised, was something angels ought to look forward to.
It is not so much a main point of the text, but an extra last-minute point meant to embolden his emphases the point that NT Christians are a privileged generation.
ILLUSTRATION:
We do this all the time in the course of conversation, especially if it is something we are passionate about.
Us Men do this when we talk about sports. We give our five reasons why a certain player is the best in the league, and then at the very last moment add another proof , “oh, and also”.
We do this in order to emphasize the truth of our statement.
Peter does that same thing right here.
His main point is that the prophets have searched for the Christ and served us by announcing the coming Christ. Then he adds a last minute point, closely related, but not about the prophets. This is something the “angels long to see”. The intended effect, it as sure thing that we are a privileged generation.
Now I understand, it is sometimes difficult to endure trials. You hurt, and now I am standing up here saying you are privileged.
Maybe you are standing there saying, that doesn’t go together.
How can I be privileged if I am hurting so much?
First, remember this is 3rd paragraph of the letter and we are dropping into one part of Peter’s encouragement to the churches who are facing discrimination in Turkey.
- Peter described process of salvation in 1 Peter 1:1-2.
- Peter described the greater riches of our salvation in 1 Peter 1:3-5.
- Peter gave us the purpose of trials in 1 Peter 1:6-9.
Follow the 4th line of thinking, we may be suffering as Christians, but ultimately we are a privileged generation despite that suffering.
We may not feel privileged at times because trials bring out pain, fear, and anxiety: but if we take a few moments to think about it, the truth is we are privileged.
Understand, trials and suffering is not unique to our generation or the NT. Many prophets also suffered greatly.
- Elijah had to flee to the mountains to avoid King Ahab and face down the Prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel.
- Daniel for was exiled and at one point was thrown into the line’s den.
- John the Baptist was murdered by King Herod.
The suffering of God’s people is not new to our generation. Many times God’s people have suffered because of sickness, famine, and for the faith. Yet not one of the prophets ever got the privilege of knowing the christ and in this life to experience the riches of being saved by Christ
a. We are privileged because God has fulfilled his Word, the promises made by the prophets as Spokesman for God.
b. We are privileged because we are the generation that God choose to reveal the Christ to, the one’s who the prophets had been serving for many years.
- Though suffering may be difficult, it is only a temporary struggle. (1 Peter 1:6)
- Though suffering may be difficult, it is not to much of a price to be the generation who knows the Christ. This is the point of 1 Peter 1:10-12.
Therefore,
We ought to be thankful for the privilege of the Gospel, rejoicing that we are the privileged generation who knows Christ.
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