Suffering is the Path to Glory (1 Peter 1:10-12)


Sermon by Rev. Daniel L. Sonnenberg | July 31, 2011


Text:

This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.  (1 Pet. 1:10-12)

Notes:

Since this same salvation was predicted by the prophets, accomplished in Christ, confirmed in the gospels, inspired by the Spirit and looked into by angels, we can find hope knowing that like Christ, our suffering will lead to glory.

Nobody wants to suffer, but if we know that something better will come afterwards, it makes it easier to take. I’ve often said that I can do anything for a period of time as long as I know it will come to an end. For example, Beth and I have been apart for over a month now, but we comfort each other and ourselves with the thought that it will not always be this way, it will come to an end.

Jesus knew that his suffering on the cross would be painful in many ways. He asked God to remove it. “Let this cup pass from me, yet not my will, but your will be done.” Likewise Paul asked for his thorn in the flesh to be removed.  Both, however, took heart in knowing that their suffering would not last forever. Both knew that glory awaited them.

This is our hope as well. Peter is called the Apostle of hope because his letters are messages of hope. As Christians, we are a people of hope, but we are also a people who need to be reminded of our hope, especially when we’re going through persecutions, trials or temptations.

When we’re going through a tough time, there’s nothing better than having a friend who – after first listening to our pain – reminds us that we’re going to come through this, that it will not always be this way, that there is something better in store.

This passage reminds us that because Christ’s suffering was followed by glory, so our suffering will be followed by glory. This is the message of the gospel. We are in Christ, organically, united to him in his suffering, resurrection and glory. This passage calls on the testimony of some heavy-weight witnesses to assure us that this has always been the message of the gospel and therefore we can go to the bank on it.

It tells us that since this message of salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection, was predicted and searched out by the prophets, confirmed by those who preached the gospel, inspired and empowered by the Spirit and looked into by the angels, we can find hope in knowing that like Christ, our suffering will lead to glory.

This salvation was predicted and searched out by the prophets 

Some have suggested that the prophets had little understanding about the coming Messiah, what he would do and his purpose in doing it.

However, in fact, the prophets knew much about the coming Messiah:

  • (Isa, Jer, Ezek) the restoration of Israel from captivity
  • (Dan ) the coming of the kingdom of God and the son of man in the clouds
  • (Jer 31) the making of a new covenant
  • (Obad, Joel, Isa, more); the approach of the day of the Lord
  • (Isa 11; 32; and more) the creation of a new heaven and new earth

But what this passage emphasizes is the crux of the gospel message of which the prophets spoke and inquired – the sufferings and glories of Christ.

The prophets foretold the SUFFERINGS of Christ

11 …the Spirit told them in advance about Christ’s sufferings

They expected a coming redeemer who would be a suffering servant of God:

Psalm 22:7-8, 18: “All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: ‘He trusts in the LORD; let the LORD rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him….’ They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” This was fulfilled in Matthew 27:35, 39-44.

Psalm 22:16, Psalm 34:20, and Zechariah 12:10:

“Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet…. he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken….They will look on me, the one they have pierced….”fulfilled in his crucifixion  This was fulfilled in John 19:31-37

Isaiah 50:6, “I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.” This was fulfilled in Matt 27.30.

Isa. 52:14- 53.12 As many were astonished at you– his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind–2  …he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3  He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4  Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. 5  But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. 7  He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8  By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9  And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10  Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief…

 The prophets not only foretold the sufferings of Christ,

 The prophets foretold the GLORIES of Christ

11 ….and his great glory afterward

Isaiah 53,”After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied…Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong.”

Psalm 45:7, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Psalm 110:1  “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'”

These were fulfilled in Jesus according to Acts 2:34-36; Hebrews 1:13.

Daniel 7:13-14: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

The New Testament writers refer often to Old Testament prophecies about the glories of Christ and their fulfillment in him.

John 12:41 says, “Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him” (see Isaiah 6:11).

In Acts 2:30-31, Peter says about David and Psalm 16, “But he was a prophet and knew…Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay”

The prophets not only foretold the sufferings and glories of Christ,

The prophets inquired and spoke of the TIME AND CIRCUMSTANCES of Christ. 

11 They searched for what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about… 12  They were told that their messages were not for themselves,

Some have misunderstood v11 to say they knew nothing about the timing and circumstances of these events. However, what it says in v11 is they searched regarding this, and v12 says that it was revealed to them that these events would take place not in their own day, but in a future generation.

For example,

Daniel 8:27, wrot that a vision he saw was “beyond understanding.”

But he searched the Scripture and prayed for an answer (9:2-3, 22-23, 10:12; 1 Peter 1:10-11).

To Daniel was revealed the timing of the death of Christ. “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy. …From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’… (9:24-25).

In Genesis 3:15, God revealed through Moses that Messiah would come as the seed of a woman, an enemy would bruise him, but that he would crush the enemy.

To Abraham – God promised a descendant through whom all the nations of the world would be blessed

To David  – God promised that a coming Messiah from David’s kingdom would last forever

To Isaiah was revealed the circumstances of the birth of Christ as a child to a virgin and that he would come from the family of King David (7:14, 9:6, 11:1)

To Micah, was revealed the birthplace of Christ in Bethlehem (5:2).

Not only was this salvation predicted and searched out by the prophets,

This salvation was CONFIRMED BY THOSE WHO PREACHED THE GOSPEL to them and to us.

12  They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. …this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached [to you]…

Luke wrote that Jesus said…

NLT Lk. 24:25-27 …Wasn’t it clearly predicted [in Moses and all the prophets] that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?”

NLT Lk. 24:45-47 …”Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47

John wrote that Jesus said…

NLT Jn. 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

NLT Jn. 5:46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.

Luke wrote in Acts…

NLT Acts 3:24 “Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today.

NLT Acts 10:43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

NLT Acts 13:27-30 The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the one the prophets had spoken about….

NLT Acts 26:22 …I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen–

Galatians 3:8 says that the Scripture “announced the gospel in advance” to Abraham, saying, “All nations will be blessed through you.”

The verse specifically refers to the gospel of justification by faith, and through this gospel God would justify even the Gentiles.

It is by this message that God would make Abraham’s descendants as numerous as the stars. And it is by believing in this same message, then still in promise form, that Abraham was counted as righteous before God (Genesis 15:5-6).

John 8:56, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

Not only was this salvation predicted and searched out by the prophets,

This salvation was INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED BY THE SAME HOLY SPIRIT.

11 – the Spirit of Christ … 12 – the Holy Spirit sent from heaven

V11 says that these prophets spoke by “the Spirit of Christ,” the same “Holy Spirit” (v12) that now inspires and empowers those who preach the gospel.

It was “the Spirit of Christ” that “predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.”

The prophets spoke the same message as those who now preach the gospel because they spoke by the same “Spirit of Christ,” or rather, the same Spirit of Christ declared the same message through them both.

This Spirit was none other than Christ, the prophet, who spoke the message thru them.

Wsc 24. How is Christ a prophet?

Answer: As a prophet, Christ reveals the will of God to us for our salvation by his word and Spirit. (Joh 1.1,4,18; jon 15.15; 20.31; 1 Pet 1.10-12,21; Joh 14.26; 15.15; 20.31)

What was the purpose of Christ’s work?

Lk. 24:45-47 …”Yes, it was written long ago…  that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead…‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’

NLT Acts 10:43 He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.”

Not only was this salvation predicted by the prophets, preached by the NT writers, and inspired by the Spirit

This salvation has BENEFITS FOR ALL BELIEVERS

Some have suggested and taught that OT saints were saved not by faith but by works. How were OT believers saved? What was the difference between their faith and ours?

 OT believers are SAVED IN THE SAME WAY as NT believers.

  •  Robert Reymond in Systematic Theology: “…the elect were saved, are saved, will be saved only by grace through faith in the anticipated or accomplished work of the Messiah…
  • They were looking forward – though more dimly illuminated – to the work of the suffering and glorified Messiah, while we look back – more brightly illuminated through the NT writings – to the work of the suffering and glorified Messiah we know as Jesus of Nazareth.
  •  Westminster Confession of Faith 7.5 The Covenant of grace was administered differently in the time of the law and in the time of the gospel. Under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinatces given to the Jewish people, all foreshadowing Christ. For that time the covenat administerd under the law thorught operation of the Spirit was sufficient and effective in instructing the elect and building up their faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of their sins and eternal salvation. This administration is called the OT.
  • WCF 7.6 Under the gospel Christ himself, the substance of God’s grace, was revealed. The ordinances of this NT are the preaching of the word and the administration of the sacramaents of baptism and the Lord’s supper. Although these are fewer in number and are administered with more simplicity and less outward glory, yet they are available to all nations, jews and Gentiles), and in them the spiritual power of the covenant of grace is more fullyl developed There are not then two essentially different covenants of grace, but one and the same covenant under different dispensations [administrations].

Illustration of different presidential administrations… once in awhile, one policy may be carried over from one administration to another. It may be handled differently by the different administrations, but the end effect is the same.

Though OT and NT believers are saved in the same way,

NT BELIEVERS have a GREATER PRIVILEGE of FULLER UNDERSTANDING and therefore SURER HOPE

  • We have the Privilege of Fuller Understanding
    • Angels are looking on / looking into

12  …even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen

Reminds me of what Jesus said about the prophets’ longing to see Jesus’ day. After Jesus welcomed back the seventy (two) from their mission to the neighboring towns and villages,

Luk 10:21 ESV  21 abIn that same hour bhe rejoiced cin the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, dLord of heaven and earth, that eyou have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and frevealed them to little children; yes, Father, for gsuch was your gracious will.1 24 For I tell you athat many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

And because we have a fuller understanding,

  •  We have a Surer Hope: since we know more than the prophets and the OT believers, we should trust him even more than they. We can have a surer hope.

Paul wrote to the  Colossians 1:27  To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

This caused me to dig a little deeper into the glory that is said to be revealed to us on the last day that gives us this sure hope.

I wondered about  the nature of the glory that we are promised when Christ returns? I don’t know that I got to the bottom of it, but here’s what I found.

“Glory” in Scripture can refer to a person’s favorable reputation or to their vanity or conceit. It is a term of measurement: the brightness of a light, the beauty of a flower, the wealth of nations. It can refer to heavenly angelic beings. The verb form can mean appoint, exalt, honor, bless, and boast.

The two most frequent uses denote worship and refer to God’s revealed presence. The verb form is found in 1 Peter 4 times and the noun form 11 times.

Glory as divine presence:

The glory of the Lord indicates God’s visible, movable presence in the OT:

  • In the OT, we see a gradual shift from the glory of Yahweh in Genesis to the glory of the coming Messiah in the prophets
  • In the theophanies of the OT – the mighty and ominous arrival or appearance of God, as in in smoking firepot that passed between the halves of the sacrificial animals when God cut a covenant with Abraham; or in Moses’ burning bush in the wilderness
  • God’s glory “thunders” on the waters
  • God’s glory “shakes” the world
  • Later God’s glory was revealed to Moses on Mt Sinai and qualified him as a sacred mediator
  • Glory connoted the unqualified blessing of God during the Davidic monarchy
  • In the Psalms of David he is the King of Glory; he fills the earth with his glory
  • At the dedication of the temple, the glory of the Lord filled the temple in the form of a cloud so that the priests could not stand to minister
  • Speculation about a Messiah figure who uniquely bore God’s glory began to appear
  • In the mouths of the prophets glory became a sign of hope: Yahweh will one day manifest himself, his glory, as never before, gather the nations, forgive and transform humanity and recreate the world
  • Ezekiel spoke of God’s human shaped glory in 1:28 “Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
  • Daniel spoke in chapter 7 of one like a son of man who became equated with Ezekiel’s human shaped glory of the Lord

Glory in the NT:

Jesus’ glory and the future (a major shift):

  • The revelation that ushers in the eschatological age is not described as a manifestation of Yahwheh’s glory but the advent of Jesus and his glory
  • God’s glory was manifested at Jesus’ birth, baptism, transfiguration, resurrection and ascension
  • When Stephen was being stoned, as recorded in Acts, saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at his right hand
  • Hebrews speaks of the radiance of his glory

However, suffering was a necessary prelude to messianic glory as we see in v11 today and Luke 24:26 in our mediation  and in Hebrews

  • ESV 1 Pet. 1:11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.
  • ESV 24:26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
  • ESV Hebrews 2:9  But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Resurrection as glory: Jesus’ glory became a substitute for Yahweh’s glory beginning with  the resurrection

  • When healing a man after the resurrection Peter identifies Jesus as the one whom God had glorified as his servant (acts 3.13), whom God had raised from the dead (v15)
  • In other parts of the NT he is said to be “raised”, designated, exalted, having sat down at the right hand, taken up in glory, glorified, crowned with glory and honor, receiving the name above every name – all after his resurrection.
  • ESV 1 Pet. 1:21 …God … raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
  • Jesus’ glory becomes a part of the Christian’s confession:
    • ESV 1:1 Paul, an apostle–not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead
    • ESV 1:20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
    • SV 1 Thess. 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
  • To believe in Christ’s glory is to believe in God who gave it to him.

Future glory in the NT

  • In Revelation we see a heavenly temple filled with smoke from the glory of the Lord
  • In the new heavens and new earth there will be no need for sun or more for the glory of the Lord will be its light.
  • Christians are promised to be “led to glory,” “will receive a crown of glory, as well as “a certain glory”

ESV Romans 8:18  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

1Co 15:35-58 ESV 35 But someone will ask, a“How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 aSo is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; ait is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, ab“The first man Adam became a living being”;1 bthe last Adam became a clife-giving spirit. 50 I tell you this, brothers: aflesh and blood bcannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. aWe shall not all sleep, bbut we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For athe trumpet will sound, and bthe dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and athis mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: a“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 a“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and athe power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, awho gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 aTherefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in bthe work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord cyour labor is not in vain.

1 Peter 4:13  But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

1Pe 5:4 – And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

1Pe 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.


Click here for the series of twenty-three sermons on the entire book of 1 Peter.

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