God’s Hidden Treasure – Pt 2
1 Peter 1:1-5
– Indiana Jones 1,2,3; the Mummy 1,2; National Treasure; the fountain of life; the holy grail; the ark of the covenant; and the tombs of Pharaohs; there are many examples of movies and artifacts that people spend their time and money searching after things that they believe to be of great value. Many come to the end of their life and discover what they were looking for. Mankind chases after what Ecclesiastes describes as the wind…
– “About all that remains of the so-called “Seven Wonders” of the ancient world are as follows: The only remains of the tomb of Mausolus, built in 350 B.C., are now exhibited in the British Museum. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, once the center of the fertility cult of Diana, was probably destroyed in A.D. 262 by the Goths. This was about 200 years after the city was visited by Paul. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon grow no more. They adorned one of the world’s spectacular cities during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Babylon’s ruins have been found on the Euphrates River, about fifty-five miles south of modern Baghdad. The magnificent statue of Zeus once stood forty-feet high in the city of Olympus where the Olympian games were held every four years. During Byzantine times plunderers dragged off and burned the huge statue.
King Ptolemy’s famous lighthouse near Alexandria, Egypt, was built 200-feet-square at the base. It crumpled during a fourteenth-century earthquake. The Colossus of Rhodes met the same fate in 224 B.C. It was originally a giant 100-foot statue of Apollo that spanned the harbor on the isle of Rhodes. Only the pyramids, built before the time of Moses, have survived the ravages of time. They were built as tombs for the pharaohs who fully expected to be revived after death.”
– Is there something in this life that lasts forever that is precious. There is something, that the seven wonders of the world could never compare to…
– God has given us treasure that is more precious than anything that this earth could ever offer. We will see in this passage 3 Pieces of God’s Hidden Treasure.
[#1] – The first piece of hidden treasure is that we were: chosen according to the foreknowledge of the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood (1-2)
* Chosen according to the foreknowledge (1d-2a) – see note on Rom 8:29
> God not only knew us before we knew Him but also knew us in the sense of choosing us by His grace, before the foundation of the world – Eph 1:3; 2 Tim 1:9
* Father, Spirit, Christ – all 3 persons of the Trinity are involved in the redemption of the elect (2)
* Sanctifying work of the Spirit – see note on 2 Thess 2:13; the order of terms used suggests that the sanctifying work of the Spirit referred to here is the influence of the Spirit draws one from sin toward holiness, Peter says it is “to” or “for” obedience and sprinkling of Christ’s blood, i.e., the Spirit’s sanctifying leads to obedient saving faith and cleansing from sin (2)
> Sanctification – a necessary aspect of salvation, not something reserved for special Christians
* To obey Jesus Christ– God’s choice or election is designed to bring this about (2)
> see 1 Peter 1:14, 22
* Sprinkled with His blood – the benefit of Christ’s redemption are applied to His people (Isa 52:15; Heb 9:11-14, 18-28) (2)
> “Thus He will sprinkle many nations…” Isa 52:15
[#2] – The second piece of hidden treasure is that we have been: born again to a living hope through Jesus’ resurrection, obtaining an inheritance reserved in heaven for us (3-4)
* Living hope – in the Bible hope is not wishful thinking but a firm conviction, much like faith that is directed toward the future (3) – see 1 Pet 3:5, 15
> Dr. A. J. Gordon was pastor of a church in Boston many years ago. One day he met a little boy out in front of the church. The boy was carrying a rusty bird cage in his hands and several little birds were fluttering around on the bottom of the cage, as if they knew they were going to be destroyed. Dr. Gordon said, “Son, where did you get those birds?” The boy answered, “I trapped them out in the field.” “What are you going to do with them?” the preacher asked. “I’m going to take them home and play with them and have some fun with them.” “What will you do with them when you get through playing with them?” Dr. Gordon asked. “Oh,” said the boy, “I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have around the house.” Then Dr. Gordon asked the boy how much he would take for the birds and the boy answered, “Mister, you don’t want these birds. They’re just little old field birds and they can’t sing very well.” Dr. Gordon said, “I’ll give you two dollars for the cage and the birds.” “All right,” said the boy, “It’s a deal, but you’re making a bad bargain.” The exchange was made and the boy went whistling down the street, happy because he had two dollars in his pocket. Dr. Gordon took the cage out behind his church and opened the door of the cage and the birds flew out and went soaring away into the blue, singing as they went. The next Sunday Dr. Gordon took the empty bird cage to the pulpit to use it in illustrating his sermon. Then he said, “That little boy said that the birds could not sing very well, but when I released them from the cage they went singing away into the blue, and it seems that they were singing, “Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed.””
* Resurrection of Jesus Christ– secures for His people their new birth and the hope that they will be resurrected just as He was (3) – see 1 Pet 3:21; 1 Cor 15:20-22
* To obtain an inheritance – believers are born again not only to a hope but also to the inheritance that is the substance of hope; the inheritance is eternal – in its essence (it is not subject to decay) and in its preservation (it is divinely kept) – see Col 3:23-24
> Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were shy, thin youths with glasses in 1933 when they created the man of steel who would become a multi-million dollar hero: Superman.” Siegel and Shuster are old men today, living on pennies and memories. They have no royalties because they signed over their rights to Superman in 1938 for $130. Siegel says he can’t bear to watch the old Superman television series and it pains him to see kids reading comic books on the Man of Steel. Shuster said that in 1966 he stood on the sidewalk on the opening night of the broadway musical, “Superman.” “I couldn’t afford the price of a premiere ticket,” he said. “I just huddled out there, while the celebrities arrived and everyone gawked at them. I couldn’t get in to see our own creation.”
[#3] – The third piece of hidden treasure is that: we are protected by the power of God through faith (5)
* By the power of God through faith – there are 2 sides to the perseverance of the Christian; he is shielded 1) by God’s power and 2) by his own faith; so he is never kept contrary to his will nor apart from God’s activity (5)
> “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” 2 Tim 1:12; “Therefore He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Heb 7:25; “For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.” 9:15; “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” 10:14; and if necessary see Rom 8:28-39
> “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I wish to be, I am not what I hope to be; but, by the grace of God, I am not what I was.” John Newton
* Salvation – see note on 2 Tim 1:9; the Bible speaks of salvation as 1) past – when a person first believes – see Titus 3:5; 2) present – the continuing process of salvation or sanctification – see verse 9; 1 Cor 1:18; 3) future – when Christ returns and salvation, or sanctification, is completed through glorification (as here; see also Rom 8:23, 30; 13:11)
> Note on 2 Tim 1:9 – salvation is by God’s grace alone and is based not on human effort but on God’s saving plan and the gracious gift of His Son
– In this passage we saw the amazing salvation that God has given to us. There were 3 Pieces of God’s Hidden Treasure: (1) chosen according to the foreknowledge of the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood; (2) born again to a living hope through Jesus’ resurrection, obtaining an inheritance reserved in heaven for us; (3) we are protected by the power of God through faith.
– What does this mean for us? (1) Recognize that God has saved your soul, working out the whole process Himself; (2) we have a living hope, because of a living Savior, we have an inheritance; God is good, much better than our problems; (3) God will never lose us, and He will never allow us to lose Him, if we have truly been born again.
–> God has given us treasure that is more precious than anything that this earth could ever offer. As a result of this we should give Him all that we have in gratitude. Time, money, talent, whatever… <–