Lesson 4 - I Peter 1: 8-9

Lesson 4 - The Book of I Peter 1:8-9

Lesson for February 3, 2013

The Book of I Peter 1:8-9

Chapter 1

Verse 8

Jesus Christ was the visible member of the Godhead in the Old Testament and during His earthly ministry in the New Testament.  However, Jesus Christ as God is invisible to us just as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Christ as true humanity is also invisible to us since He is now seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.

You love Him refers to your capacity as a believer to love Jesus Christ though you have never personally seen Him.  How can you love someone you have never met in the flesh?  Well, as believers we have a unique nature called a human spirit.  The human spirit which is created at salvation by God uniquely enables us to love God Who we have never seen by means of Bible doctrine in our soul.  We love God only because He first loved us.

God’s love is always based on His integrity.  All of God’s attributes work together as one cohesive system designed to empower the believer in the execution of His plan, purpose and will.  Therefore, divine love cannot operate independently of His integrity.  Many believers today have “created” God in their personal image.  They often ascribe to God their own superficial, emotional love and call it “the love of God.”  God is not sentimental about us.  He does not love us because we are “lovable.”  God loves the believer because he possesses the righteousness of God.  Only inside of God’s power system can the believer exhibit love for others.  Our strength to love another person comes from the integrity we develop from the study and application of God’s Word. 

God is the source of love and we take our precedence for loving others from Jesus Christ.  And only by knowing the doctrine of impersonal love can the believer apply the doctrine.  Impersonal love is how we regard others and often involves being tolerant of others despite their behavior, their personality or their beliefs, with our attitude being the same that Christ exhibited toward others.  The ultimate demonstration of impersonal love was Christ’s attitude on the Cross when He said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:24)

Even though you are not able to see Jesus Christ He becomes a reality when you believe in Him and begin to advance in the Christian Way of Life.  And the key to the reality is what happens after Bible doctrine is learned and circulating in your soul.   You get your capacity to love God from Bible doctrine which has been metabolized and is ready to use.  Bible doctrine in the human spirit is called “epignosis” in Greek, which means that academic knowledge (gnosis in Greek) has been believed and converted to spiritual knowledge by God the Holy Spirit.  The result of believing in Jesus Christ and learning to love Him is rejoicing with “joy inexpressible and full of glory.”

The Greek word for rejoice is “agalliao,” which is to be exceedingly glad or to greatly rejoice.  Believers in Jesus Christ are to rejoice with exceeding happiness because they have believed and have been given an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and cannot fade away.  Capacity for happiness is achieved only through the intake and application of accurate Bible doctrine.  And only those believers who are advancing in their spiritual lives truly love God which causes them to share His happiness.  The happiness God gives a believer is inexpressible, which is the Greek word “aneklaletos” meaning unable to be told.  The idea is that God’s happiness is so far above and beyond human happiness that there are no human words to properly describe it. 

Verse 9

Obtaining is the Greek verb “komizo,” which means to receive back with interest.  It has the concept of receiving back what is promised but to receive it back with compounded interest.  It is not only a matter of seeing a promise fulfilled but of seeing more than anticipated. This verb has a twofold connotation. It means that when the believer erects the edification complex of the soul through Bible doctrine, he receives the doctrine and the edification complex is the interest.  He receives more than anticipated.  It also means the believer receives a resurrection body in eternity.  This is more than anticipated or deserved and both of these are connected with the soul.  

The word for outcome is “telos,” which refers to our ultimate destiny.  The word faith is the Greek word “pistis” meaning to believe.  The moment you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you begin to receive back with interest.  At the point of faith in Christ the soul is saved and that is all.  Once a person has a saved soul his soul is only saved, it is not fulfilled. The fulfillment of the soul is accomplished if the believer makes enough decisions to take in Bible doctrine. Every decision to take in Bible doctrine is the deliverance of the soul.  In eternity it is taken out of our hands because we are given a resurrection body which is the permanent home of the soul for all eternity.  So we have the word salvation which means deliverance.  It is referring here to the deliverance of the soul.  

The soul at the point of salvation is unfulfilled until daily positive decisions to take in doctrine result in an edification complex being erected.  That is the fulfillment of the soul in time.  And then, in eternity, the soul is fulfilled in a resurrection body.  So the deliverance of souls is twofold and it is all based upon God’s grace.  So Peter gave us a contrast based upon fulfillment of your soul dependent upon your own free will and fulfillment of the soul based upon God’s will.  

The realization of the fact that you have an eternal inheritance should cause you to have a personal sense of destiny.  It is a personal sense of destiny that gives the believer capacity for life by producing spiritual self-esteem.  Spiritual self-esteem means that you have discovered who you are in Christ.  Capacity for life replaces the temporary pleasures of the world with the eternal happiness of God. (Galatians 6:6-10) Capacity is increased by spending a maximum amount of time in fellowship with God under the filling of the Holy Spirit, in consistent study and application of Bible doctrine and in the use of Divine Viewpoint Thinking.

Having a personal sense of destiny should change the way we think and talk:

  1. To self - When we understand who we are in Christ we begin to replace negative self-talk with positive spiritual self-esteem talk.  Thinking and talking about what God has done and is doing for us. (Ephesians 5:19, Philippians 4:8)
  2. To others - When we get our thinking right we begin to talk differently to and about others.  Our talk becomes less about “me” and more about “you”.  We begin to think of others the way God does and we begin to look for opportunities to encourage others or share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. (II Corinthians 5:18-20)
  3. To God - When we have a personal sense of destiny, we stop trying to coerce God into a course of action. We become thankful for what God has given us and we learn how to pray effectively for others and ourselves.   (Philippians 4:6-7)

Having a personal sense of destiny takes us from spiritual babyhood to the beginning stages of spiritual adulthood.  We begin to grow up in Christ and realize all the wonderful things that God has done for us, is doing for us and is going to do for us. We begin to see His work in our past, our present and our future.  This causes us to put aside anything in our life that is a distraction to our spiritual life.  And it causes us to keep looking to Jesus as our only hope (confidence) for lasting peace and happiness.  (Hebrews 12:1-2)

Inheritance implies a family relationship, in most cases, and eternal is a permanent, everlasting relationship.  This is certainly the case for every Christian.  At salvation, every believer becomes a child of God.  One of the amazing things is that as children of God we also become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.  This means that we share in Christ’s inheritance.  The Bible declares that it has not even entered into the mind of man what God has prepared for him.  So the questions are, “What is this inheritance and how do we get it”?  (Galatians 3:26; 4:26; Romans 8:17)

In eternity past, when God was designing a plan for your life, He included as part of His plan an inheritance. Yes, God was thinking of you in eternity past and predesigned a magnificent plan for your life on earth (therefore you could not have worked for it, earned it or deserved it).  He has also designed a plan for you for the eternal state (also, you cannot work for it, earn it or deserve it).  God’s plans are always a matter of His grace. (Ephesians 1:11) 

For the believer in Christ, God has become your father, not merely your creator.  This family relationship is entered into by faith in Christ at salvation.  Therefore, it is not something for which we have worked, nor is it something that we deserved.  In other words, this family relationship is based on the grace of God.  Therefore, our inheritance also is based on God’s grace.  As our Father, God desires only the best for His children.  It is a divine decree from our heavenly Father that we have an inheritance and His decrees must be carried out. (Galatians 4:4-7)

Inheritance implies a family relationship even in the case of Jesus Christ.  As the second person of the Trinity, Jesus is the Son of God.  It is this family relationship that Jesus has with God the Father that guarantees that He will have an inheritance.  As a matter of fact, Christ is the inheritor of all things according to Hebrews 1:2.  It is this inheritance that the believer, as a child of God, shares with Christ since he is in union with Him. 

At salvation the Holy Spirit permanently indwells the body of every believer, which guarantees an inheritance from God.  His indwelling is the “down payment” for our future inheritance.  Since we are guaranteed this eternal inheritance by God, it contains and expresses within it the doctrine of eternal security.  As our teacher and guide, it is the Holy Spirit Who reveals not only the fact of but also the nature of this inheritance to each of us as we study the doctrines of the Word of God.  (Ephesians 1:14; Galatians 4:6; I Peter 1:4-5)

Upon faith in Christ, a believer is placed in union with Christ, becomes a child of God and becomes a spiritual aristocrat.  It is this realization that should be a motivating factor for the believer to live as royalty and not as a mere peasant.  What God has provided for us is immeasurable.  It is up to us to begin to discover the breadth, length, depth and height of what we have as believers.  This can be accomplished only one way – study and application of God’s Word. (Ephesians 3:16-21)

As Royal Family of God it is not only our responsibility but it is our privilege to represent Christ to the world.  It is, therefore, imperative that we think, talk and act like the true royalty that we are in Christ.  Because of this unique dispensation in which we live, we have a unique relationship with God.  Never before has the entire Godhead permanently indwelt a believer as they do now.  As never before in history, we have the opportunity to make our experiential sanctification align with our positional sanctification.   (II Corinthians 5:20)

Like any “human royal family”, the Royal Family of God is given all the necessary resources to fulfill their duties as royalty.  These resources are available to the entire Royal Family of God, though few exploit them to their fullest.  It is only by relying upon the resources of God that the maturing believer is able to properly execute God’s plan  Any attempt to “play” outside the plan results in failure and divine discipline.  God’s plan must be executed God’s way to ensure a successful life.  In the Christian Way of Life, the ends never justify the means.  A right thing must always be done in a right way. (I Corinthians 9:24-27)

Eternal inheritance means exactly that – it lasts for all eternity.  Our inheritance begins at salvation but will not be fully realized until we enter the eternal state.  After the believer is evaluated at the Judgment Seat of Christ, his “escrow blessings” (those kept in his escrow account) will be conveyed to him to enjoy for all eternity.  It is the realization of these greater blessings in eternity that should be a motivating factor in the life of every believer.  This knowledge becomes part of our personal sense of destiny and the hope (full confidence) of a future filled only with peace and happiness. 

In God’s grace He has provided for every believer for the eternal state.  For those believers that execute the Christian Way of Life, the rewards will be greater.  Nevertheless, all believers will be blessed in eternity and all believers will enjoy eternal happiness.  Personal sins are not going to be an issue when you stand before the Lord Jesus Christ to be evaluated, because your sins were dealt with on the Cross.  Only what you did or did not do with your Christian Way of Life will be evaluated.