Lesson 2
I Peter 1:6-16

E-Mail - Henry Mahan

(Vs. 6) This verse is a part of what has been written before. Believers are a happy people. They rejoice that they are the elect of God, that they have been regenerated by the Spirit of God; they rejoice in the redemption of Christ, for their sins are forgiven; they rejoice in the resurrection of Christ; and they rejoice in their inheritance, which is reserved in heaven.

"THOUGH NOW FOR A LITTLE WHILE WE ARE DISTRESSED BY TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS" (John 16:33; Luke 6:21-24). The word "temptation" refers not to temptation to sin but refers to the trials which God in His wisdom decrees and permits for our good. These trials come in different ways–the trial of difficult service, the trial of reproach from unbelievers, the trial of riches or poverty, the trial of sickness or sorrow, the trial of success or failure, the trial of disappointment (Rom. 8:28). Sometimes trials of faith are unpleasant to the flesh, but not always. God may permit a man to prosper in order to try his faith.

(Vs. 7) God has a reason for every trial and affliction that He brings into our lives. Faith is tried TO REVEAL THE GENUINENESS OF IT. Your faith is more precious than gold (which will finally perish), and gold must be tested by fire. When gold comes through the fire, it is purged of its dross and shines the brighter. So faith that comes through real trial is purged of pride, hypocrisy, and self-righteousness; only that which rests in Christ is left.

Faith is tried in order TO STRENGTHEN IT AND INCREASE IT. The more my faith is used, the stronger it becomes. Trials do not PRODUCE faith; they REVEAL faith!

Faith is tried TO REVEAL THE VALUE OF IT TO ME (I Cor. 15:19). Nothing is better for us than to find out how frail we are and how fragile are the things of this world. Our trials enable us to comfort others who are tried (II Cor. 1:3-4). Faith which survives trial will be honored and praised at the appearing of Christ. It will bring glory to Christ and to us.

(Vs. 8) We have never seen Christ with our natural eyes, yet we believe Him (John 20:29). We believe not with a notional, historical, or temporary faith but actually looking to Him as our Lord and Saviour with confidence, unspeakable joy, and full expectation, being confident that what He has promised, He is able to perform (Rom. 4:20-21).

(Vs. 9) The chief design of this verse is to distinguish this great salvation from a temporary deliverance. The end of faith (or the results of faith) is not Just to make life here bearable or only to give us moral principles by which to live; but the outcome of faith is THE COMPLETE SALVATION OF OUR SOULS from sin, from the law, from hell, from eternal death, and to eternal glory with our Lord. This is the salvation we now have by faith in our risen Lord!

(Vs. 10) The prophets of the Old Testament who wrote of Christ's coming and of the redemption which He would accomplish (Isa. 53:4-6; Acts 10:43; John 5: 46) searched and enquired earnestly about this salvation (Luke 2:25-32).

(Vs. 11) The Spirit of Christ was in these prophets of old. They wrote as they were taught and moved by the Spirit. They prophesied as they were inspired by the Spirit. The Spirit of God prophesied through them concerning the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, and they sought to find out WHEN this would take place and TO WHOM this great grace should come (Luke 24:27, 45-47).

(Vs. 12) It was revealed to these Old Testament prophets that the services they rendered and the coming of the Messiah of which they spoke would not be fulfilled in their day but in a later day. Therefore, those who lived in the days of His coming would recognize the Messiah from the fulfillment of their prophecies and all Old Testament types and pictures. They were ministering to us. The fulfillment of these things is reported to you by the same Holy Spirit Who inspired them to prophesy of Him. We proclaim the gospel by the same Spirit by which they prophesied and promised the gospel. Into the very things which we preach and you believe, the ANGELS DESIRE TO LOOK!

(Vs. 13-16) Therefore (since you are so highly favored as to be a witness and a recipient of all that these great prophets only talked about, hoped for, and enquired into; and since you have had revealed to your heart mysteries that the angels desire to look into), consider the following:

Henry Mahan is pastor of
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.