1 & 2 Peter
Five times in his two epistles, Simon Peter mentions possessions that are precious to the people of God. Now, when we think of something precious, we think of a thing that is valuable, of something that is to be cherished, of something that needs to be put under a guard and watched very closely. We all think of our children as precious. Some even feel that way about their spouse. We cherish them and want to protect them and we hold them in high regard. Some of you own things that are precious to you. It may be a family heirloom, a piece of jewelry or an automobile. Whatever it may be that you hold precious, you know precisely what I am talking about.
If you go to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, there in the Museum of Natural History, they have a rock called the Hope Diamond. This stone is considered to be absolutely priceless. If you ever go there and view the stone, you will look at it through a thick piece of glass that allows you to peer into the vault where the diamond is kept. This stone is also protected by an elaborate alarm system and armed guards. Why go to all this trouble for a rock? I mean it is big, but does it look all that special. The reason? Somewhere, someone considers the Hope Diamond to be a precious thing.
As believers, there are things which we possess that are truly precious to us. All material wealth that we esteem will one day perish. All the people who are precious to us will also perish from this earth. Even the Hope Diamond, with all the millions of dollars spent on its protection and safekeeping will also perish. However, we have been given some very precious things by the Lord that will never perish or be taken away. I would like to share these precious things with you. To accomplish this, we are going to have to travel through both of Peter’s epistles. However, it is a journey worth taking. Notice with me Our Precious Possessions.
There are Precious Trials (turn in your Bible to:)
I Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
1. Peter tells us that the trials of life are very precious things. We may look at the valleys we are forced to navigate and think that our lives are horrible. Yet, Peter tells us that trials have a way of helping us.
Note: Peter refers to the refining process that is used to purify gold. When we are put to the test in life, it has the effect of removing the impurities from our lives. Often, it is the trials of life that will bring us closer to the Lord.
2. In the valleys of life, we are reminded of several great truths that we often forget when life is easy. Allow me to share some of them with you today.
- a. We are reminded that Jesus is always with us. (Hebrews 13:5) [Illustration: the Disciples I in the storm – John 6:16-20]
- b. We are reminded that even our valleys are planned by the Lord. (Romans 8:28; Isaiah 45:7)
- c. We are reminded that our trials are helping us grow in the Lord. (II Corinthians 4:17)
- d. We are reminded that something better is waiting just down the way. (Romans 8:18)
- e. We are reminded that even when times are bad, God is still good. (Job 1:20-21)
3. The trials and valleys of life are no fun and we would all rather be spared having to go through them, but when we do go through the valley and come out on the other side, we know the Lord better than we could have otherwise and we will be stronger in our faith than ever.
There is Precious Blood
I Peter 1:19 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
1. Peter tells us that the blood of Jesus is a precious substance. He means it is something of great price and is to be held in honor and great esteem.
2. What is it about the blood of Jesus that makes it so special?
- It is the price of redemption.
- It is the proof of God’s love for us.
- It is the only substance known to God or man that can cleanse away our sins.
- It is pure blood that was shed by an innocent man. His blood and His death were accepted in place of our own by the Father in Heaven. His blood is precious blood!
3. Since the blood of Jesus is precious, it deserves to be cherished by the believer. We make much of the cross in our Christian churches. However, the cross doesn’t save anyone! What happened at the cross makes the difference. When the Lamb of God poured out His life in His blood, sin was forever atoned for, and redemption completed!
(Illustration: Some would like to take the blood out of hymnals. Some like to preach a dry cleaned plan of salvation with no reference to the blood of Jesus. My friends, those of us who still cherish the blood of Jesus, need to take a stand on the side of right and guard this precious blood. We must see that there is always a group somewhere that preaches and teaches that the blood, and the blood alone, makes it right with God. His blood is precious blood and we need to cherish, protect and proclaim the blood of Jesus.)
There is a Precious Savior
I Peter 2:6-7 “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture. Behold I lay in Zion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”
1. Peter now moves on to tell us that Jesus, Himself is precious. The word used here refers to a thing of great value. Peter is telling us that Jesus is valuable to those who believe. In fact, His value to us is beyond all human comprehension.
2. Allow me to tell you why I believe Jesus is precious to the saints of God.
- Because He loves us.
- Because He cares about us.
- Because He understands our needs.
- Because He is always near to help us.
- Because he paid the ultimate price to save us. [ You can’t put a price on things like that! Men will fail you; those you love will let you down. People around you may never understand you or what you are facing in life, but there is a precious Savior named Jesus who can and does understand and care. He is a precious Savior.]
3. One more thing that makes Him precious to me is the fact that when I came to Him for salvation, carrying all the baggage of my sins, He still wanted me. He didn’t turn me away, He saved me by His grace – John 6:37. Since that day, there has been times that I failed and opportunities that I have wasted, but not once has the Lord turned me away when I came to Him with a repentant heart. He is faithful to forgive and restore all that I have broken in my foolishness. (see I John 1:9) When these things are added up, it is easy to see why He is called a precious Savior.
There is a Precious Faith
2 Peter 1:1 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ.”
1. Now, Peter moves on to tell us that our faith, that is, our system of belief is a precious thing as well.
2. Many of us grew up hearing about the cross, the blood and the plan of salvation made possible through the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, we often take what we have in Jesus for granted and fail to realize how special it truly is. You see, our faith is precious because it is the only thing that is valid in the eyes of God! People involved in all other religious systems in the world are being deceived by their false doctrines. The one and only one, means of salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
3. Our faith is precious because:
- It is free.
- It is open to all.
- It is complete.
- It is totally the work of God.
- It is foolproof.
- It is eternal.
- It is something that can be lived. (Our salvation has been paid in full and we have been given an internal guide to help us understand the road map (the Bible) to get us home. – John 14:16-18; 26; John 16:13)
4. Considering how precious our faith is, we should never be guilty of taking it for granted, but promote it and protect it against the evils of our day. You see, the way we believe is being attacked by the world. We are called intolerant and narrow-minded because we say Jesus is the only way a person can be saved, according to the Bible, we are exactly right! We must cherish our faith. How? By living for Jesus with every fiber of our being! By cherishing and seeing the value in the things He has given to us. By protecting the faith and passing it on to another generation. Faith is a precious thing; let us ever seek to treat it so.
There are Precious Promises
2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
1. Peter’s last statement about precious things is found in this verse; He tells that there are some promises of God that are valuable and are to be held in great esteem.
2. Allow me to just remind you of a few, some of which I have already touched on:
- There is the promise of His love.
- There is the promise of His presence.
- There is the promise of His provision.
- There is the promise of His grace.
- There is the promise of His heaven.
It is plain for us to see that God has given us some very precious and valuable things. Are you cherishing them as you should? Are you guarding the things of God and passing them along to others so that another generation knows God and will walk with Him?
Did you know that some have said there are over 7,000 promises contained in the Holy Scriptures. Personally, I have never counted them. However, every promise God has made, He will bring to pass! He will never be caught in a lie, because He can’t lie. (Hebrews 6:18) He will never be unfaithful because He has the power to do what He has promised. (Romans 4:21)
IF GOD PROMISED IT, THEN YOU CAN TAKE IT TO THE BANK!
In 2 Peter 3:1-10 – He explains – ONE THING YOU CAN TAKE TO THE BANK.
There are not too many things in this world that you can actually count on. The stock markets have their ups and downs, the economy could be a lot better. The prospects for peace in the world are about as distant as they have ever been. Preachers, churches and ministries are continually straying away from the Lord and causing confusion and doubt. If you live with your faith in men, ministries and money, you will live a very disappointing and discouraging life.
Yet, there are still things you can believe in; I hold one of these things in my hands today. THE BIBLE, the inspired, the infallible and inerrant Word of the living God. This book is pure and worthy of our faith and acceptance. Every word in the Bible is inspired by the Lord and will endure forever. (Psalm 119:89; Matthew 24:35) Every word in the Bible will come to pass just as it is written; this includes every promise of God.
Every promise God gave in His Word is worthy to be believed for it will come to pass just as He said. (Hebrew 6:18) Think of what this means: He promised to save you if you called upon Him, (Romans 10:13), He meant that! When He promised to be with you, (Hebrews 13:5), He meant that. When He promised to take care of you as you passed through this world, (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:25-34), He meant that. And, as Peter is about to tell us, when the Lord promised to come back again, He meant that too!
For instance, the last recorded promise in the Bible from the lips of the Lord Jesus, (Revelation 22:20), Jesus makes it crystal clear He is going to return to this world. Many refuse to accept this as the truth, but that does not change a thing! Jesus said He was coming again, and He will! Jesus will come, you can take that to the bank. A few reasons why this is true.
The Assurance of the Scriptures
A. The Bible is a Perfect Book – 2 Timothy 3:16 – It is the perfect revelation of God’s will to mankind. You can count on the Word of God! Therefore, when something is written in the Bible, you can consider it settled forever. (Psalm 119:89)
B. The Bible is a Prophetic Book – Throughout the Bible, prophecies are presented and fulfilled, over and over. In fact, there were over 300 prophecies given in connection with the first advent of Jesus, and all 300+ prophecies were literally fulfilled.
- His virgin birth – Isaiah 7:14
- His birth in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2
- His humiliation and death – Isaiah 53
- His resurrection – Psalm 16:10 – etc.
The Bible is a book of prophetic content! The New Testament speaks of many different matters:
- We all know how important the New Birth is, but did you know it is only mentioned 9 times in the New Testament.
- We, Baptists are big on baptism, but it is only mentioned 20 times in the New Testament.
- Even the great doctrine of repentance is only spoken of 70 times in the New Testament.
- However, in the 27 books of the New Testament which is divided into 4 categories:
- Historical, Pauline Epistles, General Epistles, and Prophetic; there are over 380 references to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Believe me, I get the impression that it is an important doctrine to the Lord! After all, He devotes 1 out of every 25 verses in the New Testament to the Second Coming. Some of these prophetic passages are: John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:16-18.
The Bible is a Preserved Book
Every word in this Book will literally come to pass. God will see to it that none of His Word falls to the ground. Isaiah 55:11, He will see that it gets the job done. – Matthew 5:18; I Peter 1:25; Romans 4:21. Even the parts about the Second Coming!
If you declare that you believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant and infallible, then be prepared to be ridiculed. Maybe you need to claim one of His promises today, THEY STILL WORK! Maybe you need to thank Him for being faithful to you! He is worthy of your praise—see you at the Bank!