“Kept by the power of God” – 1 Peter 1:3-5

July 29, 2018

 

“Kept by the power of God” – 1 Peter 1:3-5

 

This letter was written by the Apostle Peter (AKA, Simon Peter, and Cephas). His name means rock, literally Petra.  Peter was married. (Matthew 8:14-18; Mark 1:29-34; Luke 4:38-41) He and his brother Andrew were Galilean fishermen from the village of Bethsaida (John 1:43, 12:21).He was a follower of John the Baptist.  He was the first disciple that Jesus called along with His brother Andrew.

 

The Catholic Church claims him as their first Pope.

 

“If Peter was the first Pope, he would have had a greater position than all the other disciples. When the disciples discussed which of them was the greatest in Luke 22:24-27, Jesus had the best opportunity to affirm Peter's headship as the first Pope but Jesus simply said that the greatest shall be a servant of all. Thus Jesus showed no special papal leadership to Peter and nor should we. One would not find the disciples arguing among themselves as to who was the greatest if they understood Peter to have supremacy. This argument took place on the last night of Christ's earthly ministry, but still there was no such understanding of Peter being supreme. Why not? Because it was not given. If it had been given in Matthew 16:18-19, then it would have been made clear now but Jesus says not so. –Adam Clarke’s Commentary

 

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NKJV), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,  who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

 

Peter is writing to the hurting, discouraged Jews of the diaspora, Jewish believers who had been scattered, dispersed to five different parts of the world (Verse 1). They were going through trials of their faith… “Grieved by various trials” (Verse 6). He is writing at a time when it was extremely dangerous to declare that you were a believer in Christ. Christianity had been outlawed and Emperor Nero was set on eradicating this Sect from the Roman Empire.

 

So this letter was written to prepare them for the persecution that was coming and to give them hope!

 

At the very beginning of his letter the apostle Peter bursts forth with a beautiful doxology. After a very brief salutation he suddenly breaks forth with these thrilling and powerful words.  “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3 NLT). In this doxology he was doing what all the early Christians did, what all the writers of the New Testament epistles invariably did, the moment they mention the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they burst forth into praise. Why have so many lost the joy of their salvation? Why have so many, rather than praising God for their many blessings, walk around sad, depressed, angry, and complaining about the events in our life? Where’s the joy? How can we regain our joy?

 

It’s wonderful to see a newborn Christian who wants to share his faith with everybody because he is so excited about what God has done in his life. Sadly, as many Christians mature, this joy tends to fade away. David said, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Psalm 51:12).

 

Verse 3: What is the first thing Peter does when he is writing to a frightened and discouraged people? He begins with worship! “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:3 NLT). His aim is to move us from focusing on ourselves to focusing on our great and merciful God. God is the focus of our worship! He is great in mercy. Mercy is defined as God’s love in action, John 3:16, “God so loved…that He gave…”  He is “The author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 2:12). He is the God who gives us, “Living hope.”

 

And how are you handling life? You have experienced the mercy of God! You know you have been born again by the grace of God! You have a firm grasp of what God has done in your life. You are saved, sealed, sanctified, sure and settled, but are you satisfied with your Christian life right now? You constantly face temptations, trials, pressure, stress, persecution, frustration, suffering, conflict, worries, fears, family problems, work related issues and people problems, and they wear you down. What do you do? Worship! Put a praise CD in your stereo of life and worship Him. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20,21).

 

Our hope is a “Living hope!” When Jesus died He paid the penalty for our sin. Our sins are covered by His blood,

 

Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

 

1 Peter 3:18, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.”

 

The resurrection guarantees our future with Him in heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:17, “And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!”

 

Verse 5, “Kept.” The Greek word for “kept” is Phroureo, “To guard, protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight.” It is in the present-participle tense, indicating continuous action. The military word, Phroureo is translated Guard in Philippians 4:6,7, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard (garrison, walk guard duty) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

 

God is walking guard duty around my life, and yours if you are a believer.

 

Listen to part of the Soldier’s Psalm:

 

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust him. For He will rescue you from every trap…The Lord says, ‘I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My name. When they call on Me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them My salvation’” (Psalm 91:1-3; 14-16, NLT).

 

So when God is saying we are, “kept by the power of God,” it means He is keeping careful watch over us for now and for all eternity! When God saved us He didn’t just start us on our way to heaven, and He did do that! He didn’t save us and leave us on our own to struggle through life alone. Peter, writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wants to impress upon us that God wants His children to feel secure in Him, so he writes that we are, “kept by the power of God,”  The author of Hebrews writes, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

 

Psalm 121 MSG, “I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from God, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, our Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. God’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you—Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moon stroke. God guards you from every evil, He guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, He guards you now, He guards you always”

 

God is doing everything that must be done to guarantee our eternal salvation. 

 

Philippians 1:5,6 NLT, ““And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

 

Our salvation is a now salvation! Romans 10:13 NLT, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” It is instantaneous! So what is to be revealed on the last day?

 

It is true we are saved the very moment we receive Jesus Christ as personal Savior! But our salvation is not complete.

 

1 Peter 1:4, “We have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”

 

Romans 13:11, “And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.”

 

Ephesians 1:13,14, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 

My salvation is wonderful, but it is only the beginning! This is only a the first act. There is so much more grace and glory to be experienced.

 

Romans 8:18 NLT, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later.”

 

1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

1 Peter 4:23, “But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”

 

1 Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (Quoted from Isaiah 64:4).

 

The doctrine of eternal security is a wonderful, comforting doctrine! Just to know that I am saved forever is very assuring.

 

D.L. Moody said, “The longer I live the more I am convinced that it is one of the greatest privileges of a child of God to know—to be able to say, "I am saved." The idea of walking through life without knowing this until we get to the great white throne, is exploded. If the Bible don't teach assurance it don't teach justification by faith; if it don't teach assurance it don't teach redemption.”

 

The doctrine of assurance is as clear as any doctrine in the Bible. The old-time Baptists called this, “Once saved, always saved,” and I firmly believe that, but…the worse thing I could do is to give anyone a false sense of security. I would not like you thinking that you are a true believer if you went through the motions at some time in your life, but you have never developed as a believer, and never seen any growth in your life. Let me make one thing absolutely clear. If someone claims to be a believer but there is no Christian fruit in their life, they are just fooling themselves. If there is no evidence of Christ’s presence in their life there is no life!

 

James 2:14-16 NLT, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?”

 

If someone claims to be Christian but he is not interested in prayer or gathering together with other believers, if he has not opened his Bible or given any indication that he knows Christ, he is not a true believer! I have known too many people who made a decision when they were  10-12 years old, but never come to church, live like an unbeliever, never pray, except in a crisis, I submit to you that they are not children of God! Am I judging them? No, I’m just inspecting fruit! “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

 

Luke 14 and Matthew 19 describe true disciples:

 

Luke 14:26,27,33 MSG, “One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, ‘Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s own self!—can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his own cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.’” Verse 33, “Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.”

 

Matthew 16:24-26, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”

 

True believers:

 

•Love God more than any other earthly relationship.

•Identify with Christ in every part of their life.

•Will show that our relationship with God is the most important thing in our lives. Colossians 3:3,4, “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”

•Deny themselves. This the hardest part! This means that I must give up self-esteem for Christ-esteem; self-worth for His worthiness; and self-promotion for exalting Christ.

 

Examine Yourself.

 

2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”

 

Matthew 7:21 NLT, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.”

 

Eternal Security, listen to the promises of God:

 

John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.  My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  I and My Father are one.”

 

I Thessalonians 5:23,24 NLT, “Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for He who calls you is faithful.”

 

John 4:13,14, “Jesus said, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.’”

 

John 6:35, 37, 39, 47, 51, “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst…All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out…This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day…Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me[a] has everlasting life…I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

 

Everything about salvation from start to finish is about God not me!  Philippians 1:7 NLT, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” There is no security if we must depend on us! In fact there is no salvation if it depends on us!

 

There’s a story about two children in Tennessee playing on the railroad tracks when speeding train threatened to end their lives. The train was coming dangerously close, when the older child, a girl, grabbed her little brother and threw him against the rocks beside the track, then jumped to safety, shouting, “Hold on to the rock, brother.” The twist to this illustration is, in our salvation the rock has hold of us, and He is hanging on.

 

John 10:27-30 NLT, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from Me,  for My Father has given them to Me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

 

Romans 8:38,39 NLT, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Then wrap that up with more eternal life promises:

 

Ephesians 1:13,14, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 

Ephesians 4:30 NLT, “And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.”

 

Jude 24 NLT, “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.”

 

Salvation is not secure if it depends on us! I am not holding on to God He is holding on to me! If it depends on us we will surely fail. Our old nature does not have the power, strength, ability of the wisdom to overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.

 

Note these  important conclusions:

 

First, I am talking about true believers. Those who have placed genuine faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

 

Romans 10:9,10 NLT, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved.”

 

Second, those who have exercised true faith in Christ death and resurrection are sealed by the Holy Spirit.

 

Ephesians 1:13, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit…”

 

Third, The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives is the guarantee of our ultimate redemption and inheritance.

 

Ephesians 1;14, “The Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

 

Now let’s go to the very throne room of God to just catch a glimpse of the One who not only died for us, but He now lives for us.  “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

 

Thinking of the fullness and duration of this wonderful life, W. B. Hinson, a great preacher of a past generation, spoke from his own experience just before he died. He said, “I remember a year ago when a doctor told me, ‘You have an illness from which you won't recover.’ I walked out to where I live five miles from Portland, Oregon, and I looked across at that mountain that I love. I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God's own poetry to my soul. Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting His lamps, and I said, ' I may not see you many more times, but Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and River, I shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great down pulling of the material universe!'”

 

 

If this message was helpful to you, please let me know: pastorbigjohn@sbcglobal.net

 

Marlena and I support this ministry with our Social Security plus donations from a few of our friends. We need more friends! Will you be a friend to us and God’s word For You? Your financial support of this ministry is much appreciated. You may send your support to God’s Word For You, 25413 Alpha Street, Moreno Valley, CA 92557

 

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