OT Prophets and Salvation
1 Peter 1:10-12 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 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. 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.
We touched about sufferings last week and if you have noticed, Peter was not sympathizing or having pity upon suffering Christians but instead he is urging them to rejoice. Sufferings purifies our faith, it reveals the reality of our faith, strengthen our faith, which is all for the glory of God. Truly we can rejoice in the midst of sufferings because the outcome of suffering tested faith is the salvation of our souls (1 Pet. 1:6-9). The salvation mentioned in verse 9 was the object not only of the search of Peter’s generation, but also of the Old Testament prophets.
I. The Prophets did not understand
A. The salvation of which the Old Testament prophets spoke was a salvation for the Gentiles, as well as the Jews
B. The OT prophets did not understand that this salvation will involve the suffering and death of the Messiah.
C. The OT prophets saw the suffering (Isa. 53) and glory (Isa. 11) of the Messiah but they did not understand that His suffering would be on His first coming and His glory would be on His second coming.
II. The Prophets Inquired (v. 10)
A. The prophets searched the Word of God like someone who digs for gold to understand salvation.
B. They needed to study the books that they themselves wrote.
C. If it is necessary for the prophets to seriously search their own books, We must do this also. Are you a serious Bible student?
III. The Prophets searched diligently
A. “Searched” means to look diligently, examine, to investigate.
B. The New Testament mentioned this word in a number of contexts:
1. Jesus searches our minds and hearts. Rev. 2:23
2. Searching the Scripture with the purpose of finding its truth. Jn. 5:39
3. God searches the heart of those who pray. Rom. 8:27
4. The chief priest and Pharisees command Nicodemus to search the Scriptures. Jn. 7:52.
5. The Holy Spirit enables believers to see God’s purpose and work. I Cor. 2:10
God invites you to search His Word. We cannot know the New Testament sufficiently without the Old Testament. The New Testament is in the Old Testament contained. The Old Testament is by the New Testament explained. The New Testament is in the Old Testament concealed. The Old is by the New revealed. In the Old Testament, Job raises the question, “If a man die, shall he live again,” (Job
14:14). The answer is in the New Testament – ” I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (John 11:25).
IV. The grace that should come unto you (v. 10)
A. Peter says the Old Testament prophets prophesied that this grace would come.
B. The Old Testament prophets, spoke of God’s salvation by grace and not by works.
C. Peter sums up all of God’s future blessings in one word: grace.
D. There are times I would like to think that grace is a person. That grace is the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 1:16, Titus 2:11)
E. By grace or favour, in this verse, we understand the favour of having the gospel preached unto them, and being admitted to the privileges of Christians; the elect people of God under the Messiah. (Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible).
Illustration: Unmerited Favour
When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, which is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award—yet receives such a gift anyway—that is a good picture of God’s unmerited favour. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God.
V. It testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow (v. 11)
A. The words “testified beforehand” mean to bear witness before.
B. The Holy Spirit revealed the first and the second coming of Christ in the Bible (John 15:26; Romans 8:16, 17; I John 5:6, 10; Acts 1:8).
C. Two things the prophets were trying to find:
1. The sufferings of Christ
2. The glories to follow.
D. First the cross then the glory. First the cross then the crown.
E. Christ had explained it clearly to His disciples after His resurrection. (Luke 24:25-27).
F. The “glory” is future.
VI. Interest of the Angels
A. They too were involved in the foretelling and revealing the salvation in Christ!
1. Gabriel’s appearances to Daniel – Dan. 8, 9
2. Gabriel’s appearances to Zacharias and Mary – Lk. 1:11-19, 26-38
B. Angels cannot be saved or converted, so salvation is a mystery to them.
C. Like the prophets, angels were also not knowledgeable concerning the details of coming salvation.
D. Angels have a passionate desire to understand what salvation is all about.
E. I do believe that angels watch each salvation of every Christian.
The prophets and the angels foretold the coming salvation in Christ. Salvation was not clear enough to both of them and so are the coming glories to be revealed. If the prophets inquired and searched the scriptures, will you do it also? Will you be interested also to look how a wretched sinner can repent and be saved? Will you come to Christ for Salvation?