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The Foundation of Our Security - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 12, 2022 12:00 am

The Foundation of Our Security - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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July 12, 2022 12:00 am

Discover the basis for unshakable faith in times of trouble.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Tuesday, July 12th. Sudden calamity can shake us like an emotional earthquake. Today's podcast continues the study of 1 Peter, where you can find stability on the unshakable foundation of our security. If you were going through some very difficult times in your life, probably the first thing that you'd want somebody to do is at least try to encourage you.

That's what your heart would desire most of all. And that is exactly what Peter is doing when he writes his first epistle here. He is writing to encourage those people who are going through difficulty trial, who are suffering and who are about to go through some very, very, very difficult persecution under Nero. Now, where would Peter naturally and normally begin to encourage these people, but by first of all, reminding them of who they are, reminding them of where they are, reminding them of who they are in Christ Jesus.

And so even in this first chapter, he gives them eight tremendous affirmations. Now, we're not going to deal with all of those because we're just going to take the first five verses. But you can see in the very beginning that Peter's goal here is to encourage these believers in their Christian life and persecution.

Some of it has already begun, but it is about to be unleashed against them in a very dramatic fashion. So let's begin with verse one. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood. May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Then he says, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, that is, for you who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Then he goes on to something else, and so we want to stop there. Now, here's the danger oftentimes of a book like this, and many of them, in fact. It's easy to get bogged down in big, gigantic, deep, broad words. Like, for example, in the book of Ephesians, we could stay in the first chapter of Ephesians for a long, long time. And so what happens if you stop at some words, you sort of lose the context of where you're headed.

So I'm not going to do that in this one, as we have done in some others. I want you to get the message of the book. And so I'm going to explain what these words mean, but I want you to get the message of the book. And here's the message. The message is that when you and I go through difficult, troublesome, trying times, no matter what they are, doesn't have to be persecution from other people, though it can be. There is a reason for us to be confident and bold and assured and triumphant through those troubles, no matter what they are.

And so that is the theme we're approaching this under, and that is that we living triumphantly through troubles or through trials. And so what do you suppose he does once he identifies himself and identifies his readers? Listen to what he says. He says to you who are elect.

I want to explain what he means by elect here. But what I want you to see is in these first chapters or so here, first chapter and a half, what he wants to say is now that you're going through this difficult in heartache, I want you to remember something. I want you to remember what your position is. He says, I want to build for you the spiritual foundation so that no matter what happens, you can always refer back and refocus your attention on who you are and where you are. So he says, beginning. And let's read the latter part of the first verse, the second verse again, then we'll go back. He says you who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood.

May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure. Now, when he says you who are chosen, you who are elected, he says, first of all, he's going to say three things in these first five verses. First of all, he's dressing them and reminding them that first of all, they are chosen or elected by the foreknowledge. Listen, by the foreknowledge of God, the Father. When he says elected or chosen to be chosen out of, to be picked out of, he's simply saying that God the Father has elected them to be saved. You say, well, now, wait a minute. Does that mean that God the Father has elected others to be lost?

No, it does not. And of course, there are other people who would choose to interpret this to mean that he only elects people to service, never to salvation. But the truth is that every person who will ever be saved, who's ever been saved, has been chosen to be saved by the Lord God. You say, what about free will? You cannot separate free will and God's election. It's like two tracks. A train cannot run on a single track.

It must have two. You have election on the one hand and the free will of man on the other. So who is elected? Those who are elected by the Lord Jesus Christ and respond by an act of their free will to the author of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, belong to those who are the elect so that every single believer falls into the category of the elect. There's nothing in the Bible that even begins to imply that God elects some to salvation and some to hell.

Nowhere will you ever find that. So when he says you are the elect, what is he saying? He says, first of all, he says, look, addressing them, you who are chosen by God the Father, every single one of us has been chosen. If you had not been chosen, you would not be saved. Every single one of us has been offered the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And we responded. Every person who responds will respond out of an act of their own free will, but will respond to the offer of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says to you who are chosen or elected according to the full knowledge of God, because God knows beforehand what is going to happen does not mean that he predetermines what is going to happen. Because God knows that somebody is going to be saved does not make them save. And because he foreknows ahead of time who is not going to be saved does not mean that he determined they not be saved. So man has a free will to choose whether to respond to God's offer of salvation or not.

And he says they were elected according to the full knowledge of God. What Peter is trying to do here is to assure them and remind them of who they are and what their position is as they go through this persecution and trial and heartache. He says now, according to the full knowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, what does he mean? He means the Holy Spirit sets us apart to understand the truth and to respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And he sets us apart for the work of the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. So he says God the Father chose us in him. Listen, by foreknowledge he also says in Ephesians 1 he chose us in him when? He chose you in Christ Jesus when?

Before the foundation of the world. He says the sanctifying work of the Spirit that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood which is the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. So the very beginning of this epistle to assure them and to give them comfort and reassure them, he says look who is involved in your life.

Who's involved in your life? God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. So that God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit has been, is now and forever shall be involved in your life and mine. So he begins with reassuring them that you have been chosen by God. Listen, chosen by God, set apart by the Holy Spirit and cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ which is his way of saying to them look how secure you are in the Godhead.

You're not out there just facing your troubles and trials and heartaches alone but God has secured you in him and he involves all the three persons of the Trinity. Then look if you will at what he says in verse 3. He says blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again. He says first of all we've been chosen.

We have been elected by the full knowledge by the grace of God. Secondly he says we have been made to be or caused to be born again. Now to be born again means that God does something inside the human spirit. That is before we were born again the Bible says we were dead in trespasses and sins. Through the work of the Holy Spirit of convicting us of our sin and revealing to us the sacrificial all sufficient substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. The Holy Spirit revealed to us the truth, revealed to us our need and brought about by the regenerating work of the Spirit what the Bible calls a new birth. That is something happened to us whereby God says we have become new persons in Christ.

Before dead in trespasses and sins now made alive in Christ Jesus. Before it was our life now it is his life living within us. We may act like what we used to be.

We may think at times like we used to think. Our conduct may be as fleshly as it can be but because we have been born again we are brand new creatures in Christ Jesus. Can't ever be what we were because of the new birth experience. Now, you remember in John chapter 3 Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus. Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. Except a man be born again he cannot see and understand the kingdom nor can he enter into the kingdom of God. And what he's saying in this passage is this. Not only have you been chosen by God but he says you have been caused to be born again by his great mercy and not by your works.

Listen if you will. He says not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to his mercy he has saved us according to Titus 3.5. According to his mercy.

Now think about this for a moment. If you'll think about how you've been saved and how you were saved. If it were not for the great mercy of God. God took the initiative. God chose you.

God chose to send the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sin. If it were not for the great mercy of God every single one of us would be bound for eternal separation from God. There's not one thing we can ever take credit for.

There isn't anything we've done. We have all been continuously responding to God's offer of grace. Not by works of righteousness but listen. He said but according to his great mercy God reaching down to undeserving sinners. Reaching down revealing himself by his grace. His undeserved favor toward us chose to bring about the new birth experience.

Now let me ask you a question. How could a five year old ever take any credit for being saved? Do you know how merciful God is to a five year old? To place that child in a home where those parents were loving and considerate and unselfish. And decided to surround that child with godly parents.

Take them to a church where the Bible is taught. And very gently and lovingly lead that child to receive Jesus Christ as their personal savior. And God the Father reaching down in the mind of a five year old child. Listen you think about this that God the Father in all of his infinite everything could make himself known to a five year old.

Let me ask you a question. How much grace and mercy did it take to save a five year old? Well let's go all the way up the scale to an 80 year old man. Who having spent 80 years of his life. Coming to the end of his life. Somebody approaches him and presents the gospel of Jesus Christ. And for the first time in his life he acknowledges that he needs to be saved. And so on bended knee he confesses and repents of his sins and places his trust in Jesus Christ. And he's saved.

Now let me ask you a question. How much mercy did it take to save the five year old? How much mercy did it take to save the 80 year old?

My friend. It takes the same amount of mercy. The only difference is he just gets to the five year old earlier. But look what God does in his mercy when he saves a five year old.

Look what he delivers that child from. And look at the 80 year old man who has spent and wasted his life. But it took the same blood of Jesus Christ atoning death at the cross to save the five year old boy as it did the 80 year old man.

But now what about you? Think about where you might be tonight if God in his mercy had not saved you. It was God's great mercy that he sent somebody to you and confronted you with the gospel. It was God's mercy that he surrounded you with somebody who either kept telling you that you needed to be saved or you kept hearing it. That is, God saw to it in his loving mercy to you that you had the opportunity and God put enough pressure on you and you were wise enough to respond. But all the glory and the credit is God's, not by works of righteousness, which we've done, not by our works, but by the mercy of God.

There's not a single one of us. And listen, he says the great mercy of God. And you think about how merciful God has been to you and to me and to others who have resisted him.

Let me ask you a question. How many of you resisted God? I mean, resisted him in a very strong way before he saved you. I'm going to tell you, you know why you're saved? The great mercy of God.

Suppose he just said, well, that's the way you're going to act fully on you and just let you die and go to hell. But listen, you resisted God and resisted God and resisted God. And it's in his great loving mercy that he persisted in sending the Holy Spirit into your life and to you through somebody or something until finally you said, yes, Lord Jesus. The great mercy with which he has brought about this whole new life for you and for me. Now, listen to what he says. He says, blessed be the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to what? To a living hope, not a dead hope, but a living hope. Now, look in verse 13 of the same chapter.

Verse 13. Listen what he says. Therefore, gird your minds for action. Keep sober in spirit. Fix your hope. Listen, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. That is when the Lord Jesus Christ comes and he takes us away.

He says, fix your hope. Well, he says that again in a different way in verse 21. Who through him are believers in God who raised him from the dead and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in whom? Are in God. Chapter three, verse 15. But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.

Always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for what? Listen to what he says in this verse. Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts. Always listen out to believers undergoing persecution.

He says always being ready to make a defense to how many people? To everyone who asks you to give an account or the reason why you have a hope. That is to give an account for the hope that is in you.

He says you to do that, he says, yet with gentleness and reverence. Now, why would he mention hope so often in these five chapters? Because these people undergoing persecution needed hope. Now, what is the basis of your hope? Friend, did you realize that only Christians have any basis whatsoever for any hope of life beyond this one that has anything about it that you and I would desire?

You are the only ones. Only believers have a living, vibrant hope. Because our hope is based upon the visible, unquestionable, undeniable historical resurrection of the living Christ.

And that's why we sing. I know that he lives because he lives where? In our heart. Thank you for listening to the Foundation of Our Security. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by intouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-25 22:27:37 / 2023-03-25 22:34:52 / 7

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