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San Antonio, Texas

Previous Study: 1 Peter (Excerpts)

Topic:  Standing by Grace (I Peter 5:12)

Apart from the grace of God we have no standing before Him; nor can we stand before the onslaught of Satan.  The standing posture is a position of power, whereas contrasting positions could be sitting or lying, which are positions of weakness.  We gain this position of confidence and strength before God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Rm 5:1-2).  Prior to that, we are in the prone position, “dead in our trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1).  That our grace-standing is a position of strength is also evident in II Tm 2:1, where Paul exhorts Timothy to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  In Eph 6:10-17 we are told three times to stand firm against Satan, and we are also told to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might, which of course speaks of grace—particularly the grace provision of divine armor.  Apart from grace therefore, we are as defenseless, useless, and impotent as a corpse.

Topic:  Ministry of the Spirit (1 Peter 4:14)

Concerning the Spirit resting upon us, recall that Noah, whose name means rest, released a dove from the ark that could find “no resting place for the sole of her foot, so she returned to him into the ark” (Gn 8:9).  The resting posture of the Holy Spirit does not illustrate the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but rather His empowering ministry; or in our parlance, the filling of the Holy Spirit.  The idea of resting speaks of more than empowerment though; it also speaks of the rest or comfort that the Spirit brings.  Yet there is no rest for some, as He will rest upon neither the unbeliever nor the carnal believer, because their souls are like the surface of waters upon which debris and trash and even bloated corpses float.  Now the raven—a scavenger—will gladly rest upon us when we are carnal and our souls like a garbage dump.  However, not to empower us, but rather to drain and even devour us.

Topic:  Sanctification (1 Peter 3:15)

In I Pt 3:15 we are exhorted to “sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts.”  To sanctify is to set apart, separate, make holy, treat as unique, etc.  If we are functioning properly as Christians, there will be nothing comparable in our thoughts to the Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing will occupy our thoughts like He does.  And when we set Him apart in our hearts as unique and incomparable—something only the Holy Spirit can affect within us--then a reciprocal effect will take place:  when we sanctify Him then we will become sanctified.  If we set Him apart in our hearts, then He will set us apart for His use.  To set Him apart means that there can be no other gods or idols in our hearts.  We might—for sake of an illustration--say that the rival gods are living beings, and are possibly celebrities or even people of the opposite sex that we become obsessed with.  The idols are the inanimate things, and these could be our addictions:  drugs, alcohol, money, career, recreation, hobbies, etc.  Many of these things are neutral in and of themselves, but when they supplant Jesus Christ as Lord in our hearts, they become gods and idols.

Topic:  Self-Sacrifice (I Peter 2:24)

The whole burnt offering of the levitical system shadows forth the Lord Jesus Christ as a wholly perfect sacrificial victim—a sweet savor or fragrant offering to God.  The word whole in regard to the burnt offering has two-fold significance:  (1) that the victim was wholly without blemish; and (2) that the victim was sacrificed entirely to God.  The first point in regard to the Lord Jesus Christ needs no elaboration, but the emphasis of the second is that the Lord surrendered His life entirely to the Father—He held nothing back for Himself or His own interests.  Christians who are following the Lord Jesus Christ must do the same; that is, if they are truly following on the same path that He walked.

Topic:  Divine Provision (1 Peter 2:2-3)

The taste of manna was sweet but simple (Ex 16:31; Num 11:8).  In the Numbers passage the Exodus Generation (EG) complained about the simple, and to them, unsatisfying diet.  They preferred what was available in Egypt, a picture of Satan’s world, rather than the simple fare that God provided for them.  Manna is a picture of divine provision, most notably the Word of God.  C. H. Mackintosh writes of the rebellion of the EG against divine provision, and how the Christian likewise rebels, “It is truly deplorable to find Christians seeking after the things of this world.  It proves, very distinctly, that they are ‘loathing’ the heavenly Manna, and esteeming it ‘light food;’ they are ministering to that which they ought to mortify” (Notes on Exodus, p. 215).”

Topic:  Prophetism

Extract from Geerhardus Vos in Biblical Theology, Old and New Testaments :

“Next to Mosaism, Prophetism marks an epochal onward movement in Old Testament Revelation.  In order to understand why this should be so, we must call to mind how the process of revelation is articulated.  Revelation follows events.  But not all happenings in the history of Israel, even though apparently momentous, give rise to a large influx of new revelation.  What is necessary for this is, that the new happenings shall leave something new, that is of lasting significance, behind.  When the acts of the exodus lead to the setting up of the theocratic organization, a large volume of revelation follows in their wake.  We must, therefore, ask, what was the great event in Sacred History, that could call forth such a new body of revelation of the most far-reaching importance?  This event can be nothing else but the new organization of the theocratic kingdom under a human ruler (p. 185).”

“The prophets were guardians of the unfolding theocracy, and the guardianship was exercised at its centre, the kingdom.  The purpose was to keep it a true representation of the kingdom of Jehovah….  It is a mistake, however, to infer from this national function, that the prophetic office was a sort of diplomatic, political office….  What we find is rather an aversion to all political entanglements and alliances.  But this is not based on superior political insight on the part of the prophets.  It simply results from staunch maintenance of the theocratic principle, that Jehovah is King, and Israel bound to rely exclusively on Him [Isa. 7; 30.1-5; Hos. 7.11; 12.1].”  Ibid., p. 186.

San Antonio Bible Church. Teaching the Word of God by exposition of Scriptures using isogogics, categories and exegesis. A Bible Doctrine Church.

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