Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen, 19 Apr 2015
5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
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 honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
God’s word is marvelous. It reveals to us the inexpressible marvels of heaven. As a child I thought what a privilege the disciples had to be physically present with the Lord. They heard Jesus speaking about the mysteries of heaven, and saw His miracles. But now we experience the blessing that Jesus mentioned to Thomas, ‘blessed are those who believe though not having seen’ (John 20:29). We also now have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit with us continually. And we can experience Jesus Himself indwelling us, so our privilege is much greater!
In verse 8 we read, “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory”.
There was a Muslim woman all the way from Iran who visited us here. She shared her testimony. She had a very ill child and she prayed to Allah to heal her child, but he didn’t get better. Then she prayed in Jesus’ name and the child got well. Then she searched about Jesus in a dictionary and decided that she was going to serve Him from then on. As she walked in her town she saw two men whom she instinctively knew were Christians and she stared at them as though they were angels. She watched them closely to see how they conducted themselves. Eventually she came here to KwaSizabantu and shared her testimony with us. To her Christians were like angels.
How do people perceive you? Is Jesus more than just a name to you? Do you experience Him as our text says with joy unspeakable and full of glory? Do you know this joy which is eternal? We read of Moses that he chose the suffering with the children of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season (Heb 11:25). The world’s joy is like a bubble which glistens so beautifully in the sun but when you touch it it pops and all its beauty is gone. The pleasures of sin is just an illusion, like a mirage in the desert.
In verse 10 we read, “of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you”
The prophets prophesied about our Saviour, His suffering, death and resurrection and the great joy afterwards and enquired what it meant, but it was hid from them. God hid it from them only to be revealed at the proper time when Jesus came.
His suffering wasn’t just the physical suffering He experienced, but also the suffering because of your and my sin. But He saw the result of His suffering, that many would be made righteous, and was satisfied (Is 53:11). He saw you and me. Even on the Cross He cried, ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?’ It was because of your and my sin that God the Father forsook Him!
If we do not turn to Him after all that He had done our condemnation will be worse than the heathen that never heard. We read how the angels rejoiced and spoke together glorifying God (Luke 2:14), when He was born. Imagine the great rejoicing in Heaven when He ascended again to heaven. What do the angels see in you?
Can the Father in Heaven say that He doesn’t regret the work His Son had done for you? Can God and the angels see the glory of Jesus in your life? If you are not touched and changed by this, it’s a tragedy.
May the glory of the Lord be seen in you.