Our Exclusive Gospel: 2017 Study of 1 Peter #7
This is an exposition of 1 Peter 2:21-25. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, June 4, 2017.
Have you noticed how open-minded and understanding we have become? In our sophisticated, compassionate and tolerant world it is the height of arrogance to declare someone is wrong or some belief is not valid. Truth is an ever-changing commodity. Truth is what we make it. Black and white is sometimes purple! What is true and right for you may be false and totally wrong for me. What was true yesterday may not be true today and may be heretical tomorrow. While such a view of truth is, to say the least, confusing, with regards to faith, it is devastating! Once respected and conservative theologians are now arguing that God does not know the future. He has no way of knowing what man will do so God “rolls the dice” and hopes for the best. Others question whether anyone can claim to “know” the will of God. “Christian” theologians now claim it is wrong to say that Christ is the answer to man’s sin. After all how can you limit God to only one option?
So-called “progressive Christian scholars” promote an understanding of Christianity that leads to a greater concern for the way people treat each other than for the way people express their beliefs. What matters is that we accept all people, and respect other religious traditions. The Center for Progressive Christianity released a statement declaring, “We are opposed to any exclusive dogma that limits the search for truth and free inquiry.” In other words there are many paths to God and who are we to limit God? Yet an honest reading of the New Testament cannot deny the exclusive claims of Christianity. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me.” Luke records the words of Peter before the Sanhedrin, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men, by which we must be saved.” This exclusive nature of the Gospel is at the heart of our text this evening found in 1 Peter 1 Peter 2.
Text: 1 Peter 2:21-25
Peter, the aged apostle shortly before his death is writing to scattered believers.
Persecution has begun.
Many have died – others will follow.
Peter announces the glorious message of the Gospel.
Strong doctrinal basis for hope and assurance.
A new birth, to a living hope, through the resurrection to an inheritance that cannot fade.
All because of God’s grace!
Then Peter applies the truth – “so what?”
In the middle of the “so what” as he refers to Christ’s suffering – Peter cannot help but speak again of the glory of the Gospel. Tuck away in the middle of this argument for Christian living is a profound statement concerning the Gospel. As we consider the meaning of this passage we are again reminded that:
Thesis: Jesus Christ alone is worthy of our love and adoration.
There are three reasons for why we should love him exclusively.
- Because He alone lovingly stood in our place. (2:24a)
- Because He alone graciously secured your deliverance. (2:24b)
- Because He alone compassionately cares for your soul. (2:25)
He alone is worthy of your love and adoration because he alone lovingly stood in your place, He alone graciously secured your deliverance and He alone compassionately cares for your soul.
Is it arrogant to say that Christ is the only way?
Let’s consider the whole picture.
- God did not owe us anything but death
- God chose to love
- Suffered and died himself in our place
- All that is asked in return is that we come his way
It is the height of arrogance to demand another solution!