A WOW Salvation
A Wow Salvation!
1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV)
We live in a curious society. We also live in a information age in which there has been an explosion of knowledge and the ability to acquire it during the past 25 years. It is a good thing to want to learn, and it is helpful to have access to information. However, many elements of the information that we have access to is not really very helpful. At any moment we can research who sang with which music group, the oldest or most recent sports statistics, or the biography of a tv or movie actor. While these things are not evil they are not necessarily helpful.
The most important subject that we can study is the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ! It is the most blessed story every told! It is the sweetest song every sung! It is most fascinating drama we can ever read. Sinners who have sinned against a perfect and holy God – sinners who should be put to death for their violations of His standards of perfect, holy righteousness are offered salvation because that same God sent Jesus, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity – to come to earth as a baby in cattle stall, live as a human and experience the pain, sufferings and frustrations that are common to humans. He lived a perfect life and then died a cruel death on the cross. His death satisfied the perfect, holy righteous requirements that God required. Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and is now sitting at the right hand of the Heavenly Father. Jesus is on the throne ruling and reigning. He is giving people time to repent and surrender to Him so they can be saved from the wrath of God. They can obtain mercy and experience the greatest love that anyone could ever experience!
Today’s passage tells us of two categories of beings that have looked intently into the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ! They marveled at it and still do! Let us examine how these groups pursue the gospel and be challenged to do likewise. Let us look at this WOW salvation that we have!
The Prophets’ Search (vv.10-12a)
The prophets conducted an exhaustive inquiry and search in this salvation (Weust translation). The prophets were inspired by God to do or say things extraordinary, above the reach of their own studies and abilities. (Matthew Henry) Even though they had supernatural revelation revealed to them they did not fully understand every aspect of their prophecies. They searched diligently into this glorious salvation that would be offered to Jews and Gentiles.
The words searched and inquired are strong and emphatic words. The allude to miners who dig to the bottom and break through not only the earth but also the rock and arrive at the ore. The prophets own revelation required study, mediation, and prayer, because many prophecies had a double meaning – for their time and for the future. If these godly people had to study, pray and mediate – how much more should we do so?
This grace – the particular grace destined for you [Weust]. They rejoiced in God’s grace! Old Testament salvation is the same one we have (grace), but it wasn’t as clear to them as it is to us now. They sought to find out exactly to whom these glorious promises were made and rejoiced that we would see the fulfillment of them. (v.12a) The grace that came by the gospel excels all that was before it; the gospel dispensation is more glorious, evident, intelligible, extensive, and effectual than any dispensation that ever preceded it.
The Main Point of the Gospel
The Gospel – the sufferings of Christ and His glory that followed (v.11)
The Old Testament prophets saw the cross and the kingdom (glory), but did not see the valley in between, this present age of the Church (Warren Wiersbe).
These scriptures from the Old Testament prophets are the ones that Jesus and the Apostles alluded to - the sufferings of Christ and his subsequent glories
It is no gospel to tell a man that Jesus Christ died, unless you go on to say He ‘died for our sins according to the Scriptures.’ And it is no gospel to talk about the beauty of His life, and the perfectness of His example, and the sweetness of His nature, and the depth, the wisdom, and the tenderness of His words, unless you can say this is ‘the Lamb of God,’ ‘the Word made flesh,’ ‘who bare our sorrows.’ Strike our from the gospel that you preach, ‘the sufferings of Christ’ and you have struck out the one thing that will draw men’s hearts, that will satisfy men’s needs, that will bind men to Him with chords of love. ‘I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto Me.’ So, wherever you get what they call an ethical gospel which deals with moralities, and does not impart the power that will vitalize moralities, and make them into thankful service and sacrifices, in return for the great Sacrifice; wherever you get a gospel that falters in its enunciation of the sufferings of Christ, and wherever you get a gospel that secularizes the Christian service of the Sabbath, and will rather discuss the things that the newspapers discuss, and the new books that the reviewers are talking about, and odds and ends of that sort that are thought to be popular and attractive, you get a gospel MINUS the thing that, in the Old Testament and in the New alike, stands forth in the center of all. ‘We preach Christ crucified;’ it is not enough to preach Christ. Many a man does that and might as well hold his tongue. ‘We preach Christ crucified.’ And the same august Figure which loomed before the vision of the prophets, and shines through many a weary age, stands before us of this generation; ay! And will stand till the end of the world, as the center, the pivot of human history, the Christ who has died for men. The Christ that will stand in the center of the development of humanity is the Christ that died on the Cross. If your gospel is not that, you have yet to learn the deepest secret of His power. (MacLaren)
The glories of Christ are magnificent, but we will always have a Jesus who will bear the scars in His hands. The cross is central to our message.
The Angels Look (v. 12b)
The mysteries of the gospel and the methods of salvation are so glorious that the blessed angels earnestly desire to look into them. The angels who fell with Lucifer (Satan) were never offered the option of repentance and forgiveness. The holy angels marvel at the grace we have received.
…angels have a passionate desire to stoop way down and look into [like the cherubim above the mercy seat who gazed at the sprinkled blood and wondered at its meaning. (Weust)
Our Attitude About Salvation: Wow! Or So What?
Does anyone suppose that he knows all about the gospel and does not need further hours of study, thought, and prayer? Poor miserable fool! Angels who are vastly superior to us in intelligence, desire to learn and know more. (Spurgeon)
It is a grand thing to examine how glorious our salvation is. May we never get bored with it.
The message of grace is not just for the unconverted sinner. It is necessary for the most dedicated Christian who has walked with Jesus for many years to dwell on the glorious gospel!Just as the prophets exhaustively searched and inquired and just as the angels are such deep students of the things of God, let us endeavor to do the same!