The End of Faith Without SightBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, April 22, 2007.
THE END OF FAITH WITHOUT SIGHT (1 Peter 1:8-12) v.8. A. Believers do not now see Christ in this world. 2CO 5:7. 1. Note the verb tenses: "having not seen..." and "now ye see him not." a. These believers had never personally seen Christ. b. They would not have been of those whom Peter elsewhere described as "these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us" (ACT 1:21). c. Paul said, "And last of all he was seen of me also..." (1CO 15:8). c/w ACT 22:14; 26:16. 2. This opposes those who claim to have seen apparitions or visions of Jesus in this world. 3. This verse also opposes a fallacy in transubstantiation: if the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus, then men do see Christ. B. Though unseen, Jesus Christ was very real to these people; they believed in Him and loved Him. 1. By faith the reality of the unseen is perceived. HEB 11:1. 2. Without faith, the reality of God and the works that prove Him are not perceived. JOH 12:37; ACT 28:24-26. 3. It is blessed to believe without seeing. JOH 20:29. C. Faith and love go together. 1CO 13:7; 1TH 5:8; GAL 5:6. D. Love to Jesus Christ is expressed in obeying His words. JOH 14:23. E. These strangers (v.1) were believing IN Christ as the object of their faith. F. These strangers were positioned IN Christ by God. 1CO 1:30. G. These strangers were finding their joy IN the Lord. PHIL 4:4. H. Believing breeds joy. ROM 15:13. 1. Note that this joy is unspeakable. It cannot be expressed in words. 2. One must have this joy to know it. I. This joy is full of glory. 1. This joy produces a state of exaltation. 2. This joy is full of exulting and triumphing in the Lord. PSA 98:1. 3. This joy of faith is a foretaste of the eternal state of glory. ROM 5:2; 8:18. v.9. A. The salvation of the soul refers to the total salvation of the person. 1. The word "soul" refers here to the person as also in EXO 1:5; JOS 10:28; ACT 27:37. 2. The salvation in the context is total salvation past, present and future. B. The end of faith is the salvation of the soul. 1. Salvation is the goal of faith; that at which faith is aimed. 2. A soul hears the gospel of salvation and places his faith or trust in the Savior. EPH 1:13. 3. He thus trusts the God Who has saved him and expects future deliverances. 2CO 1:9-10. 4. Faith anticipates salvation. PSA 22:4-5; 37:39-40. 5. The believer especially has evidence that he has been saved and can confidently expect salvation in the future. JOH 5:24; 1TI 4:10; PSA 119:94. 6. There are deliverances in this world that are denied to those who do not believe. PSA 78:21-22. C. These believers were receiving the salvation of their souls. 1. Salvation is an ongoing experience. 2CO 1:10; PHIL 1:6. 2. These believers had received the new birth. v.3. 3. They were receiving salvation from overwhelming sorrow. v.6. 4. They were being kept unto future salvation and an inheritance in heaven. vs.4-5. D. The believing soul who receives salvation rejoices as did these. PSA 5:11; 13:5; 40:1-3. v.10. A. These believers were receiving the very salvation which the prophets prophesied. B. This salvation is spoken of as "the grace that should come." Grace brings salvation. TIT 2:11. C. The prophets inquired of this salvation and searched DILIGENTLY. It takes diligence to discover the things of God. HEB 11:6. D. The inspired prophets found it necessary to study their own revelations. How much more should believers today study them? ACT 17:11; PRO 15:28. v.11. A. The Spirit of Christ was in the prophets; they were but His instruments to convey His words. 2PE 1:21; 2SA 23:2; ACT 28:25. B. The prophets searched not only what would come to pass, but what the time would be like when the prophecies would be fulfilled. C. These prophets in searching salvation were searching the testimony of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that followed. 1. Salvation was secured by Christ's sufferings and consequent glory. ROM 4:25; 1PE 3:18; HEB 1:3. 2. Since salvation is by what Christ did, it is therefore by grace. 3. Hence, the salvation that the prophets searched was the grace of God that was brought by Jesus Christ who suffered and rose again to save His people. D. The prophets saw glory following the sufferings of Christ. 1. This is in contrast to the following remarks of the Scofield Reference Bible: a. "The Old Testament prophet was perplexed by seeing in one horizon, so to speak, the suffering and glory of Messiah. The New Testament shows that these are SEPARATED by the present church age,...." (from the introduction to the four gospels, emphasis mine). b. "A period of time is to intervene BETWEEN His (Christ's) sufferings and His glory. That interval is occupied with the 'mysteries of the kingdom of heaven' here described." (comment on MAT 13:17, emphasis mine). 2. Christ has NOW entered into His glory, which is His exaltation. JOH 17:5; ROM 6:4; 1TI 3:16; HEB 2:9; 1PE 1:21; PHIL 2:8-11. 3. PSA 2 and ISA 53 are two excellent examples of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that followed. v.12. A. The prophets knew that their prophecies of Christ were for a time other than their own. 2SA 7:12; JER 23:5-6; 31:31; DAN 9:24-29; MAT 13:17. B. The prophets ministered to believers in this age the very things now reported in the gospel. ACT 26:22-23; ROM 1:1-2; 1CO 15:1-4. C. The gospel is preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; where the gospel is preached, the Lord is nigh. ISA 55:6-7. D. The angels desire to look into the things of the gospel. 1. This was set forth in the design of the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat: the cherubim looked toward the blood-sprinkled mercy seat which covered the law. EXO 25:10-22 c/w LEV 16:11-16. 2. The church is set for the informing of angelic powers. EPH 3:10. 3. If angels desire to look into the things of the gospel realized in the church, how ought saints to desire to look into the things of the gospel and be in church!
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