…obtaining as the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. (1Peter 2:9-12)
Hello Friends of God,
You were on God’s mind long before you were born. You were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God (1Pet. 1:2); and God chose us in Him before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4). Incredible scriptures we have already seen, as Peter reminds his readers of their election in Christ. See, God had a plan to extend His grace to you as revealed in the person and work of Christ. God revealed this incredible plan to the prophets of old, by His Spirit. Think about it for a moment….your salvation was revealed to God’s prophets by His Holy Spirit way before Jesus even appeared on the scene. Actually, our text says that they “made careful searches and inquiries” into what Holy Spirit just showed them. Like pieces of a puzzle, revealed one piece at a time, they would try to figure out who Holy Spirit was talking about. Moses was the first prophet, and he wrote the first 5 books of the Bible, that which we call the Pentateuch. In Genesis 3:15, did Moses know he was writing about Jesus; or in Genesis 49:10, when relaying the words with which Jacob blessed his sons, did Moses know that Jesus would be the One to fulfill those words. Throughout the centuries, as God revealed more and more of His salvation plan to His prophets, the prophets would study the texts that came before them, and try to put them together to figure out who could possibly fulfill these texts - who this person could be. They knew only that it was Messiah, but not Jesus. These prophets predicted the sufferings of Messiah, like Isaiah 52:13-53:12, and Psalm 22; and they predicted His birth, resurrection, ascension and future rule and reign (Isaiah 9:6-7; Psalm 110). There are literally hundreds of passages in the Old Testament predicting the work of the Messiah, but no one could figure out who that person would actually be. You remember from the Gospels, that even the devout Jews who studied the scriptures intensely, did not recognize Jesus as the fulfillment of these passages, even though Jesus told them that all those scriptures pointed to Him (John 5:39; Luke 24:27). I believe it would have been very hard to be a prophet of God, given all this revelation, and not know who God was speaking about, or even be able to share in the salvation of which they prophesied. Think of all these prophets, being shown all the glories of the coming King, yet not being able to enjoy His salvation and rule in their lifetime. All these prophets, Peter says, were actually writing for us – the recipients of salvation in Christ. We, having the benefit of looking at what they wrote, and being able to put the pieces of the puzzle together, can see the plan of God unfolded before our eyes. We were born at the right time! We even have what the first century believers to whom Peter is writing, did not have – the finished Bible – both Old and New Testaments. We have the fulfillment of the prophecies revealed in the New Testament. We are a blessed people…we have the Word of God in its entirety!
Even the New Testament writers prophesied of the coming of Jesus, and His future rule and reign, without seeing the fulfillment in their lifetime, even though they expected Jesus to return. The apostle John wrote all of the book of Revelation, without seeing it realized – yet all of it could happen in our day! He was writing for us! Now think for a moment what that means.
The last part of this passage (vs. 12) explains our salvation. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom. 10:17). One is saved by the preaching of the word of God, and responding to that word, by putting their faith in Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior! That would never have happened unless the prophets of old wrote down their prophecies – the word of God, by which we are saved. Preachers need to preach the word in order for people to respond to the offer of salvation as revealed by the prophets. In that sense, those prophets were writing about Jesus, so that their words could be preached and we might be saved. They didn’t even know who they were writing about! Yet, because of their writings, we can be saved! How remarkable is that! Praise God for those prophets who wrote down that which was revealed to them about their Messiah, our Jesus! Even the angels try to figure out this whole salvation thing, but it has been revealed to us!
“To us” – I don’t want us to miss this. Do you see the message Peter is trying to relay in the parts I underlined:
- outcome of your faith,
- the salvation of your souls
- the grace that would come to you
- they were not serving themselves, but you
- in these things which now have been announced to you
- through those who preached the gospel to you
The incredible truth of this wonderful passage is that their writings – the prophets of old who faithfully wrote down what God showed them even though they had no clue what they were writing, were writing for us. Because of their obedience, we are saved! God had a plan to save YOU! YOU were chosen and God moved the prophets to write down this salvation plan into His Word. By that Word, you are saved. So, we praise Holy Spirit for moving in the hearts of those prophets to write about our Jesus, and our subsequent salvation in and through Him. Thank You Lord!
(When you get to heaven, walk over and thank Isaiah for writing his incredible prophecy)