Sermon: The Resurrection We So Desperately Need (1 Peter 1:3-9)

The Resurrection We So Desperately Need

1 Peter 1:3-9 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  [6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  [7] so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  [8] Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  [9] obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Introduction-

Most people today if asked the question, “Are people basically good?” would answer it in an affirmative way.  Answers vary from yes to probably to most lean towards good.  Practically all secular counseling and psychiatric examinations begin with the fundamental assessment that people are basically good.  Parents will argue that their children are good almost to the death.

I’m afraid that these claims fall very short when compared to the reality of human nature.

Rather than being basically good and able to perform truly good works, the Bible is very clear that the opposite is true.  The scriptural assessment is very gloomy indeed.

What the Apostle Peter wants us to see today is that we have a great need and only Jesus Christ can meet that need.

I want to begin this message by identifying our greatest need.  You may not have enough money to pay your bills…money is not your greatest need.  You may be suffering from a sickness or a disease…health is not your greatest need.  You may have fought with your spouse before coming to worship this morning…a good marriage is not your greatest need.

Our greatest need is that we are spiritually dead.  We are spiritually dead and most don’t even know it.  Even if we did know about it, there is nothing we could do to change our condition.

Ask yourself, “Do I really believe that I’m in need of a resurrection?”

Ephes. 2:1-2 (ESV)

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

[2] in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience-

Other texts we could look to are (1 Cor. 2:14; John 6:44)

We are spiritually dead…not sick and in need of medicine, but dead in need of a resurrection.

(PC) In this text, Peter is speaking for God directly to us and saying that…

The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead can also raise us from the dead and secure our salvation.

If you’re a believer this morning and have experienced this new birth or this resurrection you know the reality of being brought from death to life.  Seek to find more assurance as we look at the work of Christ.  If, on the other hand, you’ve never trusted Christ as Lord and Savior, look with me at Peter’s great gospel claims and see that it is all true.

1. Christ’s Resurrection Secures Salvation (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  [4] to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,  [5] who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

I want you to stop and think with me what it would be like to be dead.  If you were to die unexpectedly today, what would you miss?  You would miss your family and friends.  You would miss seeing your children grow up.  I’m sure you would have things you wish you could tell those you love, and didn’t have the chance.  I’m sure there would be things you wish you’d done or perhaps done differently.  I wish I would have told my son or daughter this or that.  I wish I would have told my wife or husband something.  What if after experiencing death for a few months, you were resurrected and could see your loved ones again.  Would you live the rest of your life differently?  Would you be rejoicing?

In a sense this is what happens to believers because it happened to Jesus.  His resurrection brings about our resurrection.

Peter experienced the new birth and the result was that he praised God.  God has great mercy and looks down on His people and caused us to be born again. Just like in your imagination when you were physically dead and were given the gift of life again, so through mercy, God causes us to be born again spiritually.

We are born again to a living hope.

Jesus is called the first fruits of those who would experience the resurrection.

1 Cor. 15:20-22 (ESV)

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  [21] For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.  [22] For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Jesus is the first of the true resurrections.  There were others who were brought back to life before Jesus.  Lazarus and the widow of Nain’s son are two examples.  However, in each case these who were brought back from death would eventually die again.  Jesus, on the other hand, was brought back to never die again.  He was the first to experience a true resurrection.  According to the Bible, He is the first but He is not the last.  When Jesus came back to life, His body was different.  It was free from decay and the effects of the fall.  His was a body remade.

1 Cor. 15:50-57 (ESV)

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.  [51] Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,  [52] in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  [53] For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  [54] When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

[55] “O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

[56] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  [57] But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus was the first one to put on immortality.  His resurrection causes our resurrection.  The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead can also raise us from the dead and secure our salvation.

Our being brought to life spiritually and then eventually receiving our resurrection bodies takes place through the proto-type who is Jesus.  through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

When King Jesus gives the command, the angel will blast the trumpet and all who have come to Christ through repentance and faith will be immediately changed.  At that moment death will surrender all its captives.  They will immediately receive bodies just like the body of Jesus.  Those who are still alive on the earth will also in the twinkling of an eye be changed as well.  Can you imagine the great reunion that will take place?  Loved ones that have gone on before will be alive.  Saints of old will be walking around speaking to one another.  All this will come to pass because our Lord conquered death.  Death did not have a tight enough grip to keep Jesus in the grave.  He was victorious.

2. Christ’s Resurrection Causes Inexpressible Joy (1 Peter 1: 6-9)

[6] In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, as was necessary, you have been grieved by various trials,  [7] so that the tested genuineness of your faith-more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire-may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  [8] Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,  [9] obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Can you imagine how you would feel if you were allowed to come back to life after a few months of being dead.  Let’s take it a step further and imagine what it would be like to be brought back to life if you were dead and you were not saved.  How would you react then?  Would you be praising God and rejoicing?  The truth is this is exactly what takes place when the Lord saves a sinner.  Because of the resurrection, Jesus has the power to snatch sinners who are hanging by a thread ready to drop into the darkness and eternal fire of hell.  He places us into His kingdom and makes sure nothing ever happens to us.  This is why we are rejoicing.

The text tells us that the rejoicing doesn’t stop because, in this life, we experience trials of various types.  It doesn’t stop because we see that life is going to only get better.  Because of the resurrection our suffering now will be seen as only momentary and light when we view it against the peace we will experience for all eternity with Jesus.  As believers, we also know that our suffering is momentary and light and also that it is making us more suited for heaven and that by testing, our faith proves to be genuine.  Have you ever had your faith tested?  If you pass the test, your faith is real saving faith.

By faith we understand that someday Jesus will return.  When He is revealed to us then our joy will be complete.  When that day comes the salvation that our faith had reached for all those years will be eternally realized.

The resurrection is all about the grace of God.  It’s grace because it secures salvation for the people of God.  There isn’t a person who deserves it.  You could go down through every name of every person who ever lived and not one of those people would be worthy of eternal life.  But because of the gospel of Jesus Christ…His death for the elect and His resurrection to secure us, we can rejoice.  The gospel is the good news that Jesus did for His people what we could never do for ourselves.  The law of God had condemned us but the gospel saves…

John Bunyan had it right…

Run and work, the law demands

But gives me neither feet nor hands.

A better song the Gospel sings,

It bids me fly, and gives me wings.

If you’ve never known Christ as Lord and Savior, come to Christ today and be assured that everything He claimed is true because of the resurrection.  Not only did Jesus make fantastic claims but He proved them to be true when the stone rolled away and he appeared for some fifty days.  Many people saw Him during that time.  Many people saw Him as He was taken back into heaven.  Trust Christ today.

The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead can also raise us from the dead and secure our salvation.

Lord’s Supper…

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