Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6th - Our Supernatural Bible

Prayer Requests
Pastor Aaron Preaching - Romans 10
Dave and Brooke in Mexico
Everybody else who is going to Mexico
Summit in General
Preaching KSU
Deeper Conference
Costello’s Traveling

Text – 1 Peter 1:10-12

So last week we talked about the Faith that God gives us as being worth more than what? Gold.

Let’s look real quick at the major difference between all religions and Christianity.

In every major religion you try to be good enough to be good enough to go to Heaven. You work your whole life trying to put together something worthwhile to present to God. I’d estimate 95% or more atheists will say, “If there is a God, I think he’ll find me good enough even though I didn’t mess with organized religion.”

That’s the equivalent of trying to bribe God, and it totally misses the character and nature of God, that he requires perfection. So in every major religion, people are expecting to dump their life out before God and hope he finds it good enough.

In Christianity we know that we can never be good enough, because perfection is the requirement, and that we have utterly and totally blown it by sinning and loving ourselves more than God and other people. So we dump our lives and achievements out before God, knowing that it’s not good enough, and instead of throwing it away, like he is going to do to the people who thought their works were good enough, he’s going to say, “Yep, I can fix that.”

Just as if you gave me a big pile of gold junk…nuggets, dust, broken earrings, old electronics…instead of throwing it away because it’s worthless, I’d run it through the crucible, and it would be refined, and then I could mold it into something I really want. That’s what God does with us, we’ve become worthless through our sins, but God can fix it, and he runs us through the crucible, makes us pure, removes what he doesn’t want, and then molds us into something he really wants.

Zechariah 13:8-9 In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'They are my people'; and they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'

Through that purification which we inherit through our faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave himself up for our sins to deliver us, Peter says this is our end goal, that we are

1 Peter 1:9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Today we’re going to talk about how we know about this faith, how we know what to put our faith in, and why it’s so special.

1 Peter 1:10-12 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

We’re going to look at three groups who are interested in the Bible besides us. The first is the prophets who wrote down the Bible, the next is the ministers of the gospel who preached the Word to you, and the third is the angels in Heaven who are watching God’s plan of redemption unfold in front of them.

v. 10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully,

The prophets who wrote down the prophecies about Christ, though they wrote it down, didn’t know to which it referred. A lot of it was very clear, but not unless you put the pieces together.

For example, a lot of the Messianic prophecies make it out that the Messiah would be humble, and would die, but then other prophecies make it out that the Messiah would be a great ruler and would reign forever. How could both of these happen? You can’t have a Messiah that dies and also lives…some of the great scholars came to a logical conclusion that there would be two Messiahs, one to die for sins, and the other to rule and live forever.

But what piece weren’t they considering? The Resurrection. The Messiah did die for sins, but then he defeated death and now rules forever as the King of kings. That one detail totally wrecked their ability to fully understand who the Messiah would be.

Consider this; It’s sort of like Cross references: if you went back in time and told someone that in the future, you can say goodbye to someone who is leaving on a trip thousands of miles away via airplane, and still say, “I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” How could you possibly tell someone who is going to be thousands of miles away, “I’ll talk to you tomorrow?” We’re missing an important detail. The telephone.

Another example before we move on,

Psalm 22:16-17 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

This was written a thousand years before Christ was crucified. At the time of this writing, there was no such thing as crucifixion. David must have been totally perplexed as to which event could encompass the piercing of the hands and feet without any bones being broken. But four-hundred years before Christ was born, when crucifixion was invented, it became clear.

v. 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.

They wanted to know, even though they wrote it down, it was actually the Holy Spirit doing the work of predicting the suffering death of Christ, and the glory that would occur afterwards, the glory of the Resurrection and the salvation of many to follow.

One that I think probably got Isaiah all confused, and probably excited too, is

Isaiah 42:6-8 I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.

In these verses two huge things stand out…one that God is sending God to do the work of opening the eyes of the blind and rescuing the prisoners, and also who is being rescued, that the Messiah would be a light for the nations.

There are lots of allusions to the Messiah coming for all people, but the Israelites thought the Messiah would come only for them. But Isaiah must have poured over this trying to figure out any other reading, but the only way to read it is that the Messiah would come to save both Jews and Gentiles.

This was proven explicitly clear when Christ pronounced that he would be saving both Jews and Samaritans.

John 4:42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."

v. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you,

The prophets realized that the Messiah was coming not for them under their covenant, but later. In writing down what God had told them, it was partly for them to give them hope of a future salvation, but the major reason they were writing down the Word of God was for you.

Recap, who is the “you” that Peter is talking about?

Jews or Gentiles? Both.

Rich or Poor? Both.

Asians or Palestinians? Both.

Christian or non? Christian.

The “you” that Peter is talking to here is ALL Christians, not just those in Pontus and Galatia. The reason that God gave the prophets the prophecies about Christ was for the Christians, those that would believe after Christ’s resurrection, because this is truly when the scriptures blossom to us and we can see the glorious meaning pointing to Christ in them.

Peter had previously preached this message on multiple occasions and I think it was something he loved to point out.

Acts 2:29-31 Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption.

Acts 3:18 What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.

Acts 10:43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

So the prophets wrote down their prophecies for two major reasons, first to give hope to Israel that a deliverer was coming, but now so that we can look back and see that Christ wasn’t just Plan B to fix sin, he wasn’t even Plan A, he was Plan Only, there were no other ways to be saved and that things occurred exactly as God intended for them to happen.

v. 12 in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven

So the first people to look into the scriptures were the prophets. The second group are those that preach the gospel. The prophets wrote it down, the preachers find the intent of the author to point at the Resurrected Christ. Just as the things revealed to the prophets were not for their sake, neither is the preaching of the preachers for their sake. They are wanting to make Christ known to you.

I’m going to Heaven whether I preach everyday for the rest of my life, or if I go sit on my couch everyday for the rest of my life. The preaching is not for me, but for you and those who will believe. We have eternity to know Christ better, but we have only moments to know him at all, and so preaching is our duty to make Christ known among the nations, and we have the promise of the Holy Spirit from Heaven working with us.

One of the beautiful things about preaching and ministering is that it is a great way to draw closer to Christ and the Holy Spirit, so while the motive of preaching and teaching is outward, there is a huge inward blessing in it as well.

Philemon 1:6 I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.

And the final group that is interested in what God spoke through the prophets.

v. 12 things into which angels long to look.

We’re going to spend the whole class next week talking about angels, but check this out, that they are interested in things that happen on earth. The reason is because what happens on earth is so tied to what God is doing in Heaven. They know that Christ died for sinners, that he rose from the grave, and that he is living in Heaven.

The angels are looking into the preaching of the gospel and as we’ll learn next week, they are actively working with God to see his purposes come to fruition. God could obviously do it all on his own, but he employs angels to help. Likewise, even though he could do it on his own, he employs preachers and ministers, he employed prophets to write down the Word.

In conclusion, everyone who presumes to speak for God is a prophet. When you say, “Thus saith the Lord…” or “The Bible says…” you have made yourself a prophet. It is very important that we are actually speaking for God, and the only way which he speaks to us today is through the Bible. It contains everything we need to know about life, ministry, and God, and so when you stand up and say, “John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever should believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.” You have just become a prophet, and it is a huge responsibility but one that has eternal rewards when you see souls saved.

There are false prophets everywhere who will tell you that God wants you to be rich, or that he’s not angry, or that he loves sinners unconditionally and won’t send anyone to Hell, they are false, and they will be punished as such.

But we can be true prophets by preaching God’s revealed words though his prophets, as we preach to see people saved, things which the angels long to look into. We’ll conclude with a definitive statement;

Hebrews 1:1-2 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.


I really want you all to do the homework this week, it’s pretty short, and I’m certain it will really help this lesson to sink in. I’ve made it short so you can do it in a matter of minutes, but the lesson to be learned will be with you for life.

Read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. Pick at least three specific prophecies for Jesus Christ and write a sentence or two explaining how Christ fulfilled them.