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Studies from 1Peter: 5

V. The Greatness of Salvation 1 Peter 1:10—12

By Nelson Thomas Mumbai

“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, of what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven- things which angels desire to look into.” 1Peter 1:10—12.


            Readers of Apostle Peter were rejoicing because of the sure hope of their complete salvation. V.9c. Through out eternity we shall rejoice in the Lord and worship Him considering the salvation of our souls. Cf. Isaiah 25:9; 35:10; Revelation 5:9 etc. Now the writer takes up salvation in detail and explains how it’s so unique, to prove that the reader’s are so privileged and must keep on rejoicing. Four things are noteworthy:-

1. Prophets carefully inquired about it. v. 10, 11c
             Notice the words, ‘inquired’, ‘searched’. Salvation was a theme of their research, not just a study, but going to the depth of that topic. Why did they search so carefully?

Revelation & Inspiration

            Here we should have some idea about the way in which God revealed His truths to the prophets. Cf. Amos 3:7 – God revealed His secrets to His servants. Hebrews 1:1:- Spoke to them little by little- progressively. It was not just an idea and then writers developed it. Bible says “All scripture is inspired by God…” – ‘God breathed’. Cf. 2Timothy 3:16. Peter says, the Spirit of God carried them. Cf. 2Peter 1:21.

            So, as God revealed various truths to these prophets, salvation was an important matter. But they could not understand the divine revelations concerning salvation.

            They tried their best. “What ….what manner of time...” etc. v. 11. Then it was revealed to them that ‘it is not for you, but the future generation shall know it.’ V. 12. That is you and me!

Three things disturbed them:-

a. Salvation to the Gentiles. V. 10
        “Grace that would come to you...” Salvation is always by God’s grace -‘unmerited favor of God’. None of us are in any way deserving any kind of salvation.
Prophets could easily understand such gracious act of God to Jewish people in saving them in various times.
            i. Salvation from the enemies.
            ii. Salvation from captivity. –Babylonian etc.
            iii. Future salvation by Messiah in the Kingdom. But they could not understand the fourth aspect of salvation that God revealed to them.
            iv. Personal salvation of sinners-whether Jew or Gentile. Cf. Isaiah 11:10; 45:22; 49:6; 52:10; 65:1; Hosea 2:23 etc. Even the Apostles in the New Testament failed to appreciate this divine programme initially. Cf. Acts 11: 1, 18 etc.

b. Suffering Messiah. V. 11.
        They could easily grasp the glories of the coming Messiah to establish the Kingdom. Cf. Isaiah 9:6, 7; chapter 11; Psalm 24 etc. But God revealed His sufferings also to them. Cf. Isaiah 53; Psalm 22 etc. Today we are able to understand these Old Testament predictions as the Messiah has already been suffered.

       Though the Old Testament writers wrote it, they could not understand the sufferings of Christ. They expected a deliverer who will redeem them and provide the above mentioned threefold salvation and establish the kingdom. That’s why they inquired more earnestly to get more light on it. Even John the Baptist also had doubt about the work of Christ. Luke. 7:18—23.

c. The times. V. 11

“What manner of time” Isaiah 61:1, 2 cf. Luke. 4:25—27. Another difficulty prophets faced was in connection with the time.

They got revelations but not clear about the times – the schedule of the divine programme in its sequence.

They saw two mountain peaks: Calvary (cross) and the Mount of Olives (crown) but they could not see the valley in between, which is the present age, the age of grace / Church. But we are so much privileged that we can look back and forth.

The Lord Jesus Christ says it emphatically, “Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, sand did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” Matthew 13:16, 17.

That is why we ought to study Old Testament seriously and systematically. It helps us to understand New Testament better! cf. Rom. 15:4; 1 Corin. 10:11; Luke 25—27

So, the first reason that makes the salvation that we enjoy today great is because it was the main theme of prophet’s study.

2. Main subject matter for the Holy Spirit. V. 11

            Salvation of sinners through Christ was the most important theme for the Spirit of God as well. “Have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit.”

            o Inspired to write. 2 Peter. 1:21; Reve. 19:10
            o Empowered to Preach. V. 12
            o Still reveals Christ. John. 15:26; 16:14.

3. A matter of wonder for the Angels. V. 12
        ‘Angels desire to look in to it.’ Angels are also involved in the work of Salvation:-
             • Luke. 1:26—35 - Announced Christ’s birth.
             • Mark. 4:11 – Ministered Christ after temptation.
             • Luke. 22:43:- Strengthened Him at Gethsemane.
             • Matthew. 28:5—7:- Stood by the grave at resurrection.
             • Acts 1:10—11:- Attended His ascension to heaven.
             • Luke 15:7, 10:- Today rejoice at repentance of sinners.
             • Hebrews 1:14:- Minister to those who believe the gospel.

Yet - they wonder?
            Two possible reasons:-

a. No salvation for the fallen angels.
Hebrews. 2:16; 2 Peter 2:4. They wonder, ‘how could a holy God save such wicked men while fallen angels are chained for judgment!’

b. Want to communicate this brilliant message.
Knowing the glory of the gospel angels might desire to carry this message. No doubt they would have done it effectively but it pleased God to associate with us- human beings- to propagate the gospel of salvation.

So our preaching and various other ministries are a wonder to angels. Cf. Eph. 3:10 –They are learning the wisdom of God through the Church. In Revelation 5: 7—12 we see they worship with this wonder.

But the awesome truth is often we are not moved by these truths at all!

How much blessed and privileged we are. How much more we ought to worship and glorify God with such sense of surprise.

4. The cost paid to procure it. v. 18, 19.
            Though it is not part of the present text, we see Peter refers to the cost of our salvation that makes it so great. Though salvation from sin for sinner is free thru Christ, it is never cheap. Great price He paid –the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus we see four things make salvation so great:-
            1. It was the main subject matter for prophet’s research.
            2. It was an important theme for the Holy Spirit.
            3. It is still a matter of wonder for the Holy angels.
            4. Its cost is too high – the blood of Christ.

Conclusion: -
        What should be our response to such great salvation:-
             • Keep on rejoicing in spite of the circumstances.
             • Neglect not. Hebrews 2:3
             • Worship – costly
             • Witness
             • Enjoy this salvation.

Next: Threefold duties of a Christian

Prepared by Nelson Thomas as part of his teaching ministry. You are free to use it for your personal study.
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