Faithlife Sermons

Praise to God for the Divine Work

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The proper response to the Divine work of the Father through Jesus Christ should be the Praise of His Name. Because of God's great mercy we have been born again, to a living hope, accomplished by salvation, heir to a mighty inheritance. All of these reasons should cause us to praise God for his Divine work in salvation.

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INTRODUCTION:
We all have someone in our life who deserves praise for their impact.
Sometimes it is our football or baseball coach.
Sometimes it is a teacher.
Sometimes it is a boss who helped us get started in our trade.
One newspaper made this statement about teachers:
“Teachers, as a general rule, are salt of the earth individuals. Teaching is the one profession purposely influential in shaping all other professions.
You know that doctor who saved your life? She had a first grade teacher, who encouraged her and shaped her to glean her gifts and use them with appropriate and balanced judgment. Years later, she had a teacher who observed her making incisions and providing emergency care to save lives-yep, yours.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/monica-stevenskirby/in-praise-of-teachers_b_7900384.html
Everyone of us had somebody who truly had an impact on who we are today. They taught us not simply to do something, but how to live.
As a great of an impact that person may have had, does it compare to the impact God has on our lives?
Who has done more for you than God has!
First of all, God created us!
Genesis 1:1 ESV
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
God sustains us!
Colossians 1:17 ESV
And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Whether by his Power, or by the Wisdom of His Word, God sustains our world and our very souls.
Further, despite our wickedness and rebellion, God loved us.
John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
No person deserves nearly as much praise as God for who we are today.
Let’s read our text this morning and see why God deserves our praise.
1 Peter 1:3–5 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.
Our text begins with the declaration:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”
What is the meaning of Blessed? (1:3)
What is the indirect command of Peter when he says God the Father is “blessed”? (1:3)
Blessed and praise are closely related. To say something is blessed, is also to say that something is worthy of Praise.
God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is worthy of Praise.
Certainly, everyone of us who are believers in Jesus Christ believe we ought to give praise to God the Father.
But according to Peter, what makes God the Father worthy of praise?
For what does God the Father deserve praise? (1:3)
First, and foremost, it is because of His Mercy.
The text in v. 3 says our praise should be “According to his great mercy”.

We ought to Praise God because of His work in Salvation.

This text gives us 4 reasons why we should praise God.

We should Praise God because of:

1) The New Birth. (1:3)

1 Peter 1:3 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,
The first reason that God deserves praise for His divine work is that he has caused us to be born again. This is a phrase that is often floated around, but what does it mean.
Peter is referencing a teaching he learned from Jesus, as His disciple. This teaching is recorded in John 3:3-7.
John 3:3–7 ESV
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
The emphasis in this text is, “who enters the Kingdom of God”. Entering the Kingdom of God is the same thing as asking the question, Who get’s saved?
To be in the Kingdom is to receive salvation.
Jesus taught that to receive salvation, one had to be born again.
What does it mean to be born again?
What does it mean to be born again? (1:3)
Every saved person must have two births.
The first birth human being receives from their mother. It is how we receive life. This is what Jesus meant by being “born of water”. To be born by a human mother.
However, being born into this world means we carry the sin nature of this world. We are born not as innocent, good people; but as wicked sinners.
Thus, every person has a sin problem.
What do you do with the sin problem we inherit at birth?
This is why you need a second birth.
2. The second birth every human needs is to be “born of the Spirit”. Our hearts are desperately wicked, therefore we need something that will change our heart.
The prophets spoke of this in a number of places including Ezekiel 36:25-27.
Ezekiel 36:25–27 ESV
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
Scripture related to the New Birth: John 3:3-7 and Ezekiel 36:25-27.
Essentially, the new birth is related to God changing our heart in what is called regeneration. Everyone of us must have this birth in order to be saved.
New birth is God changing our hearts in what is called regeneration.
Not only understand the essential nature of this birth, but understand it’s significance.
Before we were born again, we had no ability to obey God or even treat those around us in a loving way.
ILLUSTRATION:
There are many relationships in which the average person would say it should be characterized by love. But is the generality true.
How does the new birth effect our choices?
How does the new birth effect our relationships?
How about our marriages?
Marriage apart from God is often ruled by selfishness and mutual benefit rather than united by a common goal of obeying and loving God. It certainly is not characterized by selfless Christ like love.
How about our parenting?
Again, often the parent-child relationship is pictured as precious. Yet, apart from God parenting is ruled by dictatorship. Either the dictatorship of the parent or the dictatorship of the child. It is amazing how much selfishness is displayed by parents and children in the family. It is certainly not united around the love of God or the display of Christ like love.
I remember being in the military commissary picking up some groceries. As I went about I watched a senior Air Force officer arguing with his kid.
It’s the classic 10-year old wants Ice Cream, but the Dad says no.
The kid looked at the Father, said in a forceful voice, “we are getting this ice cream”. He put it in the cart and walked off leaving the very angry father behind to follow.
A Colonel just got overruled by a 10 year old kid.
This is what a family without Christ looks like. It is self-centered fist fight.
This would be everyone of our realities, except as believers we are born again, having hearts transformed by the Gospel.
EXHORTATION: Peter makes this point, God deserves praise because he has given us new hearts through the new birth. Each one of us should praise God because by his mercy he has transformed us from wicked rebellious sinners to God-honoring believers. We ought to praise God for the divine work of the Cross.
Peter makes this point, God deserves praise because he has given us new hearts through the new birth.
Why does Peter describe God as deserving praise for our new birth?
We should Praise God because of:

2) The New Hope. (1:3)

1 Peter 1:3 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,
This new birth has created for us a living hope.
What does it mean, “a living hope”?
What are we hoping in?
How do we doubt the hope in Christ?
ILLUSTRATION:
Many times hope is underrated.

hope is pessimistically defined as the little boy did when he said: “Hope is wishing for something you know ain’t gonna happen.”

Why would a boy define hope in such hopeless way.
Because many times parents give children false hope.
- We tell them they can do something and then say no latter.
- We tell them maybe when really we mean no.
- Further, as children they watch our hopes and dreams not always come true in this lifetime. Mom and dad try to save up for a house, but life never allows it to happen.
So as children we grow up with bashed hope. We carry that on as adults holding back from life, because after all;

“Hope is wishing for something you know ain’t gonna happen.”

This hopeless view of hope drags us down. But understand, Christ has given us hope.
Hope means there is a future. This point is emphasized by Peter.

Here “living” means that the believer’s hope is sure, certain, and real, as opposed to the deceptive, empty, false hope the world offers

Admittedly people fail us. Life stops us. But that is because that hope is based on finite humans. The hope Peter is pointing us to rests in the surety and reliability of all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God.
As the God of Heaven and Earth, he is able accomplish everyone of his promises.
Therefore, every hope that is bound up in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, will come true.
We have a “living hope”.
Perhaps, you are sitting here today wondering what hope you have in some situation.
Remember, Christ promise to believers.

I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

There is no situation in which Jesus Christ will not see you through it. There is just reason to Hope in Jesus Christ.
Perhaps, you are sitting there doubting the truth of salvation and the truth of the Gospel.
Those who are believers in Jesus Christ have a living hope in God.
There is surety and reliability in the hope of God.
Understand,
We are born again into a living hope. God deserves praise because their is hope in His divine work. We ought to praise God for the hope that he has given us through Jesus Christ.
We should Praise God because of:

3) The Resurrection. (1:3)

Peter has told us that we have been:
born again.
Result: Living Hope.
But how can we be sure that we have been born again?
But how can we be sure that we have been born again?
How can we be sure that what we are hoping in is reliable?
How can we be sure that what we are hoping in is reliable?
We can be confident in the work of God because of the resurrection. Notice how we are able to be born again and how we now have hope.
We can be confident in the work of God because of the resurrection.
1 Peter 1:3 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,
Our new birth and hope are are accomplished and bound up in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There are many places in Scripture which point to the Resurrection as the single most significant reason to believe in the work of God.
In fact, Peter used the resurrection to show that Jesus was the Son of God in Acts 2:22-24.
Acts 2:22–24 ESV
“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Remember he is saying this to people who would have saw Jesus death and saw Jesus resurrection.
The reality of the resurrection demonstrates why we should believe. But there is another word in the text that should catch our eye.
Look for the word “through”
1 Peter 1:3 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,
ESV translates this word “through”, but it could also be translated “by”.
In my mind it is easier to understand Peter’s point when we say “by the resurrection”.
“By” tells us how this is accomplished.
It was not by my work.
It was not by any other person’s work, my parents, my pastor, my Sunday School teacher.
Those people might fail us.
The text declares we were born again into hope “by the resurrection of Christ”. We can be confident in the work of God because we are bound up in the life of Jesus Christ, his death and his resurrection.
ILLUSTRATION:
We all have heard the word “Martyr”, but where does the word come from?
http://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1-300/death-of-justin-martyr-11629602.html
“Justin and six of his students to the attention of the Roman prefect, Rusticus, around the year 165. When the Christian believers refused to sacrifice to the Roman gods as demanded, they were condemned, scourged, and beheaded. Standing a firm witness to Christian truth even in death, Justin gained the name "Martyr" by which he is still known.”
What made Justin Martyr so bold that he was willing to die in worshipping Christ alone?
Partly, it was confidence gained by the belief in the Resurrection.
Perhaps a related question, Why should we place our eternal souls in the Gospel?
The resurrection is a definitive proof that Christ is fully capable to of doing what he has promised.
God deserves praise for the resurrection because it is the ultimate proof for the reality of our salvation.
Why is the resurrection important for believers faith?
How is the resurrection a hope for those who are persecuted?
We should Praise God because of:

4) Our Enduring Inheritance. (1:4)

ILLUSTRATION:
Let’s say this morning you got a phone call from a lawyer, you just received a massive inheritance. You happen to be the only living relative of a Spanish oil tycoon. You unexpectedly are set for life. That would be great news and imagine a few of us would be pretty excited about it.
However, what is the true value of such an inheritance?
What is the value of a vast earthly inheritance?
You may have all the wealth you want in this lifetime, but what happens to it after you die. It gets passed to someone else. You can’t take it with you.
In contrast to the wealth of this world, Peter reminds us that we have an eternal enduring inheritance as son’s of Jesus Christ.
Look down at your text and read with me.
1 Peter 1:4–5 ESV
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.
Part of the hope that we have is a future inheritance.
Part of the hope that we have is a future inheritance.
How is our Spiritual inheritance different from our earthly inheritance?
What is the inheritance that Scripture is describing?
What is our inheritance?
There is some vagueness in Scripture regarding exactly what this is.
We know for sure that it includes freedom from death and decay (imperishable) , from uncleanness and immorality (undefiled), and freedom from the natural ravages of time (unfading).
We know it includes salvation and it’s benefits.
But understand, what an inheritance that is.
ILLUSTRATION:
Who needs a great sum of money if they have the almighty God as their Father. His store houses are always full and ready to provide for his children.
Notice the security of this inheritance.
a) Located in heaven (1:4)
Where is our inheritance stored?
What does this tell us about our inheritance?
a) Located in heaven (1:4)
1 Peter 1:4 ESV
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
It is literally in the store houses of Heaven, the place of God’s throne. A place that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.
Who guards our inheritance? What does this say about our inheritance?
This inheritance is
b) Guarded by God (1:5)
b) Guarded by God (1:5)
1 Peter 1:5 ESV
who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
ILLUSTRATION: I like to watch western’s from time to time.
In a western, how secure is your money in a bank?
It is just waiting for a bandit to rob the bank.
Even in our modern day, how good is FDIC insurance?
Only good as long as our country does not have a complete economic meltdown.
How secure is our Spiritual inheritance if it is guarded by God?
How secure is our Spiritual inheritance if it is guarded by God?
Since God is all-knowing, all-powerful, it can never be taken away from us. He will not fall asleep or be overcome by robbers. He will perceive every threat and overcome it.
We have a secure inheritance.
c) The security of our Faith based Inheritance (1:5)
c)The security of our Faith based Inheritance (1:5)
1 Peter 1:5 ESV
who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Our inheritance is directly related to our belief and salvation.
“God’s power is the source of a believer’s protection and faith is the means whereby that power works"
(Exegetical Summary Series)
Peter makes a dual emphasis here;
Salvation comes from faith or belief in the Gospel.
Yet, that belief is guarded by God himself.
Thus, even the weakest component in our inheritance, our faith, is secure with God.
Finally, notice when we will receive this inheritance.
e) Inheritance revealed at the End-Times.
e) Inheritance revealed at the End-Times.
1 Peter 1:5 ESV
who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Our inheritance will be revealed in the end-times, when Christ returns and establishes his Kingdom. At that time the reigning conqueror, Jesus Christ, will give us the full extent of salvation, our inheritance.
So how should this inheritance transform our priorities?
How should our inheritance change our priorities in this life?
ILLUSTRATION:
Many of you are familiar with the missionary story of Jim Elliot, who died trying to give the Gospel to Indians in Ecuador.
His journal entry for October 28, 1949, expresses his belief that work dedicated to Jesus was more important than his life (see Luke 9:24 in the Bible).
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
which is very close to a saying of the English nonconformist preacher Philip Henry (1631–1696) who said
"He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which he cannot lose".
We should give God praise because we are being given a vast inheritance, and that inheritance is eternally secure with God.
We should give God praise because we are being given a vast inheritance, and that inheritance is eternally secure with God.
CONCLUSION:
So back to the question, who deserves more praise than God for our lives?
So back to the question, who deserves more praise than God for our lives?
If you are a believer today, we ought to praise God because His incredible mercy.
He has given us the New Birth.
He has given us incredible Hope.
He has accomplished our Salvation through His Resurrection.
He provided a generous and vast inheritance, eternally secure with God.
There is much praise that God deserves for his work in our lives.
Peter wrote to a people who were struggling under discrimination for believing the Gospel. They had suffered because they were Christians.
Under this suffering, they did what many people do.
Forgot how great God has worked for them in Salvation.
We live over 2,000 years later in a time of peace. Peace in the sense that we are not really persecuted or discriminated for belief in the Gospel. Yet whether suffering, or in peace, we tend to forget the hope we have in Jesus Christ.
On our Facebook page and website I posted a banner.
This banner declares,
“Anchor your Hope on the Resurrected life”.
God has given us incredible hope and blessings through the Gospel.
Have you forgotten what God has done for you?
Does your life consist of praise for the person who has done more for you than anyone else?
Have you forgotten what God has done for you?
Does your life consist of praise for the person who has done more for you than anyone else?
We ought to give God the Father Praise for his incredible work in Salvation.
We ought to give God the Father Praise for his incredible work in Salvation.
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