Sermon Text- “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 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. 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, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:6-9).
The Apostle Peter in chapter one of his first letter blesses his readers with a strong theological introduction where the reality of God’s Trinitarian nature is vividly expressed in the life of Christian believers (1 Pe. 1:1-2). Following his introduction, Peter then spends the next ten verses unpacking the truth of what he has expressed in the first two, but with vibrant detail. Peter desires his readers to have a healthy understanding of God’s Trinitarian nature but within the context of the Christian life. It is edifying to know what the Bible teaches doctrinally about the Trinity, but even more worthwhile to know how the doctrine of Trinity is to be articulated in the life of a Christian. Picture an impenetrable suit of armor that is prepared for battle. That armor is only useful to a warrior who wears it into battle. Doctrine can, in many ways, be compared to a suit of impassible armor that protects the one who wields it from the flaming arrows of the enemy’s attacks. However, this doctrine is only effective by those who live out what they believe to be true. This is what Peter wishes his readers to understand regarding knowledge of the Trinity. Knowing about and being able to expound the biblical doctrine of the Trinity is of utmost importance, but it’s not enough. Christians must live out the implications of this biblical teaching, and this is what the sermon text conveys.
In what follows, there are at least two very important evidences that Peter gives to display the model of a true Christian who is basking in the reality of a Trinitarian God. Evidence number one designates the fact that true converted Christians will continually be rejoicing in a hope of future salvation obtained by the Father through the resurrection of Jesus (1 Pe. 1:5). This rejoicing is a continual rejoicing even though, if it be God’s will, Christians should suffer grief as a result of various trials that only last for a short season. Hence, one piece of evidence indicating the reality of saving faith is that those who suffer grief continually rejoice in the God of their salvation and that will result in praise from God Himself. Evidence number two of a truly converted believer should logically result from the first. If there is continual rejoicing in the life of a Christian, though grieved by trials for a time, then an immense and profound love for Jesus Christ will result. This love for Christ will by consequence produce a life full of excitement as Christians engage in the reading and meditating on Scripture, a life of devout prayer, and a renewed interest in the mutual edification of other believers through worship and discipleship. Both evidences will thus result in an overall indication of saving faith.