of the Gospel in a Morally Shameless Society
If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed.
1 Peter 4:16
1 Peter 1:10-12
The prophets were serving not themselves, but you.
Have you ever received star
treatment? Have you enjoyed an occasion at which you were made the center of
attention and all your wishes were catered to? You felt that you were great
because you were treated as though you were great.
Every phrase in 1 Peter 1:10-12 tells Christians, though we are exiles and strangers in the world, that we are at the center God’s focus in history, in the work of the prophets, and in the ministry even of the angels.
God planned and then delivered “the grace that was to be yours.” This gift is the salvation of our souls. So great was the gift that what God prepared was unseen, unheard, and unimagined by mankind! 1 Cor. 2:9
The prophets prophesied about it while not being blessed to experience it themselves. However, they were so curious about what God was doing that they searched and inquired about it. They longed to know what God was going to do and when he would do it. For example, look at the “what” and “how long” questions in Daniel’s vision in 12:5-9.
Christ’s suffering and how that suffering would lead to subsequent glories were a hidden form those who foretold it.. See Ephesians 3:4-7.
The prophets had to accept that in prophesying the great and wonderful things revealed to them, they were serving the heirs of the Christian age, not themselves.
The work of God the prophets prophesied was of hidden meaning until its truth was revealed by those who preached the good news of Jesus. This new message was a heavenly one delivered when the time was ready by the Holy Spirit. Until the time of its revelation, even the angels were held in curiosity about it. Even now, there are glories to come the angels do not yet fathom. Mt. 24:36.
It is a great privilege to live in the days of Jesus and his kingdom. To us God’s great plan is revealed. We know of the great sacrifice of his son. The great prophets prophesied these great events. The angels ministered towards this great age. God has made us the great recipients of his great grace. God has pronounced us great. Be great!
For discussion and enlightenment:
Discuss by name some of the prophets and what they did in service to the Christian age.
How does the conversation between Jesus and Peter in Matthew 16:21-23 speak to the idea that God’s plan to save us by Jesus’ suffering was not comprehended until its announcement?
How should God’s plans and efforts to save us make us feel about ourselves? How can this understanding aid us in times of trial and difficulty?
In your life, how would you understand and apply the phrase, “You are great, so be great!”
Does our greatness come from the power of self or from another source? If our greatness is rooted in the eternal work of God, how does that motivate our faith?
What are some remaining glories we are yet to see?
If you are counted among the elect, cleansed with blood of Jesus, sanctified by the Spirit, born again through the resurrection of Christ, and set for salvation at the revelation of Jesus Christ, you are great! Greatness is not your achievement. Greatness is God’s achievement for you in Jesus Christ.