Some People Are Just Too Nosey

Some People Are Just Too Nosey
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

One definition for nosey is” offensively curious or inquisitive.” One individual can do acts that a Christian doesn’t approve of (I am not talking about overt sinful acts, i am talking about those things that are not). However, the question should be asked. Is this individual doing anything overtly sinful, unethical, or immoral? If the answer is NO, then perhaps the problem isn’t with their actions but your perception of their actions.

Today we will be looking at Romans Chapter fourteen in three parts. If we want the church to thrive then we need to mind our own business. We must not judge things that have no eternal value, we should not abuse our Christian freedom, and everything we do must be done in faith.

 

We must not judge things that have no eternal value

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
-Romans 14:1-9 (NKJV)

Christians are not to act from emotion, but from settled inward convictions that are the result of diligent prayer and study of the Word of God. There would be no serious problems if every Christian acted from conviction. Someone has said that opinions are what we hold, while convictions are what hold us. The stronger Christian is not to despise the weaker one in their immaturity; neither is the weaker Christian to judge the more mature brothers and sisters for their freedom in Christ. In Christ both are Christians, so we should remember that in our dealings with each other. Our lives are to be directed by Jesus, not by people’s ideas or judgments. Mature Christians know why they have acted the way they have acted and have no need for someone to approve or disapprove their actions. All they care about is How God looks at their actions. Why? Because they have put thought, prayer, and conviction behind the action they have performed (for the most part anyway, we do sometimes make snap decisions).

 

“I’m living my own life!” is a statement no Christian ought to make, because we belong to Jesus Christ, whether we live or die. He is the Lord, and we must live to please Him. So often the Christian who has sin in their life, a little white sin or whatever, can’t say they are doing anything “unto the Lord”; because they are truly practicing their so called Christianity from a place of selfishness and not as unto the Lord.

 

We should not abuse our Christian freedom

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:

          “As I live, says the LORD,

          Every knee shall bow to Me,

          And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
-Romans 14:10-21 (NKJV

We are not judgment seekers, but fruit inspectors. Some people who judge how other people behave or the acts they do will look at that Christian and see good fruit. Why? Because maybe what they are doing isn’t sinful, maybe you are living under the conviction God gave you and they are living under the conviction that God gave them. We have no right to judge our brethren, for we will all have our works tested at the judgment seat of Christ—not the White Throne Judgment, but the testing of the Christian’s works after the church is called home. We do not have to give an account of our brother’s life, so we have no right to condemn him today. Certainly all of us want to live lives that will stand the testing of Christ, lives that will win rewards for His glory.

There is one thing we should judge: we should judge ourselves to see whether we are abusing our Christian freedom and making others stumble. Certainly nothing is unclean of itself, but some practices and habits are considered unclean by others. Therefore, if we deliberately do something that makes our brothers stumble, we’re not living according to love.

It is a serious thing to cause another person to stumble and fall into sin. In Mark 9:33–50, where “offend” means “cause to stumble.” The believer who holds on to his questionable practice and causes another Christian to fall in their walk with God. This person is blind to the price Jesus paid on the cross. Our good should not cause evil talk. The Christian life is not a matter of eating or drinking (or any other practice), but one of righteousness and peace and joy, all of which come from the Spirit. Our aim should be not to please ourselves, but to build up other Christians in love. 1 Corinthians 10:23 states that all things are lawful for the believer, but not everything builds us up or helps to build up others. How selfish for a Christian to tear down another believer’s spiritual life because of his own selfish living (or prideful arrogance). Their practices may be lawful, but they do not come under the law of love.

 

We must do everything by faith

Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
-Romans 14:22-23 (NKJV)

The Greek word for “faith” in v. 22 means almost the same as “conviction,” for our convictions are born of faith in God’s Word. These two verses lay down the principle that the Christian life is between the believer and the Lord, and that the believer must always be sure they are right with the Lord. If there are doubts about some of their practices, they can’t have joy and peace. Verse twenty three reads that the Christian is condemned. That is, the Christian who engages in practices with a doubtful mind is condemning himself and those practices by his very attitude. Whatever we do that is not of faith is sin, for the Christian lives by faith. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by Word of God.” Anything I do that I can’t back up by the Word of God is sin. If it isn’t in the Word I can’t possibly do it in faith, therefore it is sin, plain and simple.

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Is the Church Really Necessary?

Is the Church Really Necessary?
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Not only is this a good question, but one that at this juncture must be asked! The church (universally speaking) has a ton of faults and failures. We must ask, is the church what God really wants? You may say the church has a lot of excesses. I will concede that point (see previous articles which talk about some of the problems with the church)! That being said, is it really necessary to God’s plans? Find out in today’s article.

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,

“Behold, I lay in Zion

A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,

And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,

“The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief cornerstone,”

8 and

“A stone of stumbling

And a rock of offense.”

They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
1 Peter 2:4–10 (NKJV)

 

 

This section of scripture is all about being a living building. The mindset of the Jew was on the temple where they would worship God, but God was done with temple in Jerusalem. God was and is building something new. He is building a people who will be the temple. Not only are we (individually) His temple, but the group of people (the Church) is the place of His dwelling. The place where is presence and glory dwells. No longer is it in buildings built by men, but men have become the place where His glory will now dwell.

In verse four it states that Jesus, the chief cornerstone, has been rejected by man. Indeed He was rejected by man, primarily the Jews at this time and subsequently by many today.  The Jews continued to reject Jesus and hardened their hearts toward God. The continued rejection of Jesus today causes spiritual blindness amongst those that are rejecting Him. The rejection today is not just among Jews, but among many people from many nationalities.

Peter then makes the contrast between those that have rejected Jesus and the people he is writing. He is writing to Christians and states that they have not rejected Christ and therefore their hearts are open to God and are a part of the Spiritual temple that is being built.

Now in verse five Peter talks about this spiritual house that is being built.  He is talking about the Church. The Bible uses many metaphors to describe the church. Among them are a body, a family, and a city. Continuing his metaphor of a temple, Peter relates the church to each of us by saying that we are a holy priesthood, solely dedicated to God.  The job of a priest is to stand between God and needy individuals. This is what a priesthood was designed by God to do in the Old Testament. While it is true that we have no need for someone to go to God for us, this metaphor was not used for this meaning. This metaphor means that Christians are supposed to stand between God and the unsaved in the world and bring them to God. That is the intent of the metaphor as it is used in this passage.

Now in verse six there is a quote from Isaiah chapter twenty-eight verse sixteen. Notice that Jesus is called a cornerstone. Without going into too much detail, a cornerstone is the primary stone of a building. This stone must be laid as perfect as possible so that as things are built on top of it the building stays sturdy and does not collapse. Jesus is our perfect and Holy Cornerstone. This verse also says that the individual who believes in Christ will not be put to shame. Notice that this is an open invitation to everyone, not to the Jews only but to everyone.

In verses seven and eight it says that to the Christians (those that have accepted Him) He is precious to them, but to the ones who rejected Him he has become a stumbling block to their faith. This was undoubtedly a reference to the Jews of Peter’s day because of what they had done to Jesus. To come to Christ they had to admit that their action is what lead to His crucifixion and because of that many continued to reject Him. At the end of verse eight Peter writes that they, the Jews, were disobedient to the Word, but they were also appointed to the word. What does this mean? It means that the Jews were given the promise of the Messiah (Christ) and were to be the ones that He was coming to bless, but having the Holy Word (Old Testament Scriptures) they still rejected Him! How ironic that the ones that were the keepers of the Word of God, would end up rejecting Him!

With verses nine and ten Peter ties his thoughts together. In verse nine, Peter is moving on from those that rejected Christ and he does this with one phrase, “but you.” He says that Christians are chosen people. They are called to do ministry and are called to be the informers of God’s Word and proclaim the good news of Christ.  In verse ten we find that Christians were not always God’s people, but they are now His people through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus has taken many people from all nations who had no affiliation with each other and builds a spiritual church on the earth to proclaim who He is and what He has done for the world. These people will be His witnesses throughout the world. It is because of this marvelous transcendent organization that people will be brought to salvation and cleansing so that they can be put right with a Holy God.

So in this text we have seen that the church is not only necessary but the primary way in which God has decided that the world should come to know about His marvelous plan, even with all if its’ faults and failures. So the question is what are you doing right now in your church? Are you one who is causing some of these failures? Or are you one who is going to co-labor with Christ to try to spread the good news of what God has done for us? The choice is yours.

I AM A CHRISTIAN, I Am Not Supposed to Feel Negative Emotions?

I AM A CHRISTIAN, I Am Not Supposed to Feel Negative Emotions?
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Too many Christians just act as though you should ignore things that happen to you, but that isn’t a proper response to life’s situations and circumstance. Nor is it a proper response to dealing with the grief that ensues. Psychology in our Christian Churches sometimes gets a bad name. I would like to say that psychology that affirms scripture is very helpful. Today we will be looking at the well-known model of the 7 Stages of Grief influenced by a Biblical Response.

Please remember that all of creation has been marred by sin, which is why grief has entered into creation. When I make this statement a lot of people like to ask if I believe that grief would not have existed if mankind hadn’t fallen into sin. I believe that it wouldn’t have, at least not as we know it today.

Now, let’s move on. The 7 stages of grief are generally accepted today in the world, but should they be adopted in Christianity? May I submit, yes (I speak as one who has done Christian counseling). Remember that good science just observes things and asks if it is repeatable (I know not a very technical definition).  So I believe that the seven stages generally hold true for people suffering some kind of loss. Some people will skip certain steps or become “hung up” on a step and a minister’s job is to help them through them. Now let us briefly go through what the steps are from a Biblical Perspective.

  1. Denial/Shock Have you ever heard the term, “he/she is just numb to that fact?” This basically describes this stage. People tend to isolate the news from their own minds so they won’t get overwhelmed. King David did this when his son Absalom (who tried to usurp David) died. He was, at first, completely numb. We find this in his commander’s statements after he saw the king and gave him the news of Absalom’s death.
  2. Pain and (or) Guilt – As shock begins to wear off we find that the experience has caused pain and guilt, unbelievable guilt. This happened with David at his son’s death; he wished it had been him instead of his son A lot of the time guilt becomes associated with this when we ask, “If I only did ______.” We need to remember that what has happened has happened nothing can change it.Another problem begins when people try to medicate the pain, get rid of it instead of feeling it and allowing it to happen. As Christians we should not be crying out to God asking why this has happened, but rather asking God to walk through it with us. Asking God what to do next, go to Him on our knees. Don’t become one who avoids pain, but one who walks with God through the pain.
  3. Anger– Ephesians 4:26 states that you CAN be angry, but it also says to not sin. Too many relationships are destroyed over people lashing out in anger. Yes a situation that is hard to deal with will come to anger! But do not act out of that anger and do not fall into the temptation to scream, “why me?” A lot of people turn away from God in anger and eventually come back (some never come back). Please don’t be the person who walks away and forgets about God. I have seen too many people do this in their lives because of a situation (i.e. death, anger at someone who hurt them, broken marriage, loss of a job, loss of a title/position etc.). In this stage it is important to draw strength from God and from His Word. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in this state because anger can become bitterness quite easily, and bitterness is like a cancer to our souls.
  4. Depression – During this time your situation “sinks in.” You have come to realize the true magnitude of the situation. You isolate yourself for a time and begin reflection on what has happened and what should/shouldn’t have been done before, during, and after the situation. A lot of people will try talking you out of this step. DON’T LET THEM!  They mean well and think you should be getting on with your life and looking to the horizon, but it isn’t time for that yet. You must go through this step. To short circuit this step could very well short circuit what God wanted you to learn about the situation and your responses.
  5. Moving UP – During this time is where you become organized and begin to feel more at peace, relying on God and allowing your relationship to deepen with Him and you begin to adjust to circumstances and begin to “feel” better. The problem is that a lot of people think they have “made it” when they get here, but they really haven’t, they are on their way.Another possibility here is to think grandiosely about the future with no realist expectations. Don’t allow yourself to go there. Just relax and begin to allow your mind to stand in God’s peace.
  6. Rebuilding– During this stage you become more functional. You become able to look at things objectively, not through colored glasses of emotions. Just sit back and allow God to work with you and through you to make your life better.Stay on your knees in prayer, because this is the time when the devil will tempt you with things that look good, but aren’t God’s perfect will for your life. Remember this is a time of drawing close to God and a time to bask in His presence. Not a time to be doing grandiose things, but living in the reality of what “is” and the hopeful expectation of the future.
  7. Acceptance – A lot of people will tell you that acceptance returns you to the way you were before the situation. This is not the case. The situation, especially for a Christian, has changed you and molded you to who you are today. In this stage you have dealt with the situation, the emotional issues and moved forward in reality. You have become who God has molded you to be through the trial. Now your expectations for the future are realistic and you are better for going through the trial, perhaps a little more humble/down to earth.

You know as Christians we tend to get stuck in one of these stages and don’t make it to stage 7. It is important that we make it through to stage 7; if we don’t then we have learned nothing through our trial. We have short circuited God’s work in our lives. Will you short circuit God or will you be changed through the stages of grief?

A lot of people ask what kind of circumstances I am talking about. Well, it could be the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a job, anything that you hold dear; maybe a loss of a relationship amongst Christian brothers and sisters that you never saw coming. It truly could be anything you hold dear to you. There is one scripture that has always stuck with me throughout all of my trials. It is the following:

(6) For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
(7) He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
(8) for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
-Proverbs 2:6-11 (NIV)

Entertain Me!

Entertain ME!
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Yesterday’s article was about where evil comes from. In that article we discovered that evil is simply rebellion against God and his authority. Today we are looking at brokenness before a loving God.

    (16) For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

          You do not delight in burnt offering.

    (17) The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

          A broken and a contrite heart—

          These, O God, You will not despise.

-Psalm 51:16–17 (NKJV)

Ravi Zacharias says that Christianity today is becoming too commercialized. I would like to suggest that it is not becoming commercialized, it is commercialized. If you want to sell a book these days all you have to do is put on it “10 steps to ___” or some similar title. Now the problem with commercialization is that we forget the basic tenants of Christianity. Let me submit to you that most “Christians” wouldn’t last a month in a country that kills you for being a Christian.

No, Christians in other countries aren’t concerned about the building, the music, and the looks of the pastor.  No they want something genuine, they want true Christianity. Not a flash in the pan Christianity which fizzles out after a short period of time. Do you know what these Christians want? They want the freedom to worship without worrying if they will die when they gather. They want to draw close to God. They want nothing more than a personal Relationship with Jesus.

You know before the 1980s Christians, for the most part, knew what it was like to be broken before God. This produced a genuine walk and satisfaction with their lives. How do we regain this? Let us find out today in this scripture.

In verses sixteen and Seventeen David was not trying to abolish the sacrificial system. You see the sacrificial system, at the time, were the center of Israel’s spiritual life and were very important to them. No, the nature and heart of his sins was deeper than any action he could do to accomplish the work of God in his life.  Unfortunately, Christians today are so consumed about works and what they can do to make themselves feel better and see progress in their lives they have forgotten that it is all about grace and all about recognizing YOU can do nothing. No my friends the latest Christian book/gimmick won’t change your life! Only coming to God and saying, “God I am not broken enough, BREAK ME! Make me who you want me to be, and forgive my sin so that my life can change.” Until Christians really start to realize this again they will not see the change they desire.

So how does this relate to the commercialization of Christianity? If Christians would simply just want God and not some formula of faith, then the result would be a less corrupt Christianity. People wouldn’t be seeking power and control of others. They wouldn’t be concerned about building the mega-church or the summer programs of the church. No, they would be concerned about how they could get to church in worship, seeking God, and experiencing His presence.

I know that this topic could go on longer and deeper. The goal here is to get you to think and pray about brokenness. So what do you do? First let me ask you a question. When was the last time you went to church and EXPERIENCED God? Has it been that long? Well my friends, then perhaps you need to repent of buying into the commercialization of Christianity. Buying into the “entertain me” mentality and return, as David did, to the crying out of God in our lives with brokenness that is way down deep in you. Only then will you get the relationship you desire from a loving God.

Most Christians Are in Essence an Atheist

Most Christians Are in Essence an Atheist

By: Rev. Joe Kramer

Many people run from place to place, and job-to-job going through the motions of life without having a purpose or a will to guide them. Christians are supposed to be fortunate enough to not worry about that. But this is not the case. Too many people that call themselves Christians don’t know enough about the Bible to apply any of its principles. This is a sad state of affairs! How defeating it is to say that you believe in God, but don’t know anything about God! This kind of individual is in essence an atheist (at least in their actions)! Why would I say that? Because they have no idea what they believe and have no idea how to make choices biblically, so their choices are dependent on the world’s ideas.

 

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
-James 4:6-10

 

Let us break this down. Verse six says God resists the proud but gives grace to the Humble. Those walking in humility are those who willingly submit to God in a pure heart, one who understands they are nothing without God. The proud are those that insist on doing things the way that seems best to them, those that don’t care about what God’s principles are about, much less try to make choices by them.

Verse seven is a command to submit to God. If we are doing things our own way we can’t hope to stand against the Devil’s ways, which lead to death (remember sin is fun for a season but it always ends in destruction). We are either doing nothing, or doing what the devil wants. Either way the devil is happy. Satan became proud and wanted to do things his own way. He made a choice to ignore what God had said, and you know what? This is exactly what you are doing when you ignore God’s Word and don’t know anything about it! To make right choices we need to know what God’s Word actually says.

Now in verse eight we are told that we should have fellowship with God through Scripture reading, study, application and prayer. This is the only way we can know what the principles in God’s Word are. The problem is that when most Christians do learn some principles they tend to not apply them because it would require CHANGES! Most so-called Christians don’t want change, even though it will improve their lives in the long run, because it might hurt, they may have to give something up! But James pulls no punches, he says to basically stop living contrary, make the changes, deal with the fallout, and be blessed by God in the long run!

Notice also in verse eight he calls Christians that won’t make the changes double-minded. The scripture says that a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways and should not think that he receives anything from God. A person who does not have their thoughts and motives pure will not receive what they ask for because they will do something selfish with what they have gotten and will mess their lives up even worse.

Verses nine and ten show us that we tend to become so busy about life that we forget, as did those whom James was writing to, to examine ourselves, how we think, act, and live, before God. Later in this book it is talked about the man who looked in the mirror and who saw what he looked like and went away and forgot what he saw, never fixing the problems that he saw. This is a sad individual for sure; someone who will look into God’s Word and not make the necessary changes. He lives just as the world does. He has no effect for Christianity and sits in a pew and makes no changes in his life. This person is an affront to God! Perhaps he shouldn’t come to church? Wow!! Why would I say that? Because these people are one of the ones giving Christianity a bad name, or worse no name.

The Bible speaks over and over about judging ourselves so that no one would have a need to judge us. In Hebrews 12:5-6 (NKJV) “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” If we do not correct our lives confess our sins, then what are you hear for? Why aren’t you doing what God asked you? The Bible says that if we don’t judge ourselves as Christians, God will judge us. When He does, it is tremendously much harder than it would have been had we repented and sought Him to change us, that is if we are truly Christians.

How about you? Will you make the Choices it takes to be who you say you are? Or will you just continue in your fake Christianity where you are out only for yourself and don’t truly care about anyone else. Where you give Christianity a bad name and turn people away from God instead of toward God. The Choice is yours, which will you make?

God! I Can’t Take It Anymore!

God! I Can’t Take It Anymore!
By: Rev. Joe Kramer

A lot of us feel pain and hurt, sadness and disappointment but one thing we can remember is that there is still a loving God who wants to see us succeed. When no one else cares, and no one else will lift you up we can take comfort in the following scripture that there is a loving mighty God who does care about us. Are you feeling down? Is it because of a job, relationship, or something else? Then take comfort in God.

 

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7That 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: 8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11Searching 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.  12Unto 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. -1 Peter 1:3-12 (KJV)

 

Peter promises comfort in verses three through five. He blesses God because of the hope that He has given us through Jesus Christ. This hope comes because of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.  There are those today who would deny the resurrection and still call themselves a Christian, but to deny the resurrection denies part of what is fundamental to Christianity. Yes it may seem impossible, but without the resurrection of the dead, Christianity falls apart. There is no hope, if there is no resurrection. Because of the resurrection, Christians have a great promise. This promise is incorruptible and will not be taken away from those that are kept by God’s power, because they have placed their faith in Jesus Christ and walk in that faith. Our walk with God starts in salvation by faith and should continue in faith.

Now in verse six, Peter goes on to say that though these Christians have endured great trials they should rejoice in what he is trying to explain to them, because the testing of their faith will produce much more than any kind of riches here on earth. Knowing that their faith will bring honor to God. Knowing that they have not fully received what God has promised to them here on earth, they should rejoice because they will receive the fullness of the promise in heaven. Christians must remember that the Holy Spirit that comes into you at salvation is a deposit of what will be given on the day they get to heaven. We have not fully obtained the promise, but we will.

Verses ten through twelve (in most Bibles) give a wonderful word picture, but simply means that the prophets in the Old Testament gave too many prophecies for a mere man to fulfill them all, only Jesus could fulfill them, and He did fulfill them while here on earth.  Peter says that they didn’t minister to themselves but to those who would come after Jesus arrived on earth. Peter reminds his readers that Jesus did indeed fulfill the prophecies and mysteries found in the Old Testament.

Now Peter makes a statement which seems odd and out of place. He says that the angels desire to look into these things. The first thing we need to have is some background on the matter. You see, In the original language (Greek) this literally depicts the angels looking over from high up somewhere to see this. This is like you looking over a balcony to see what is going on down in the street below. This may include both good angels and bad angels (demons) looking for the coming of Christ and His love toward man. Now why would demons seem to care? Simply put, they hate mankind; God has placed us over all angels (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:3). The coming of Christ, his death, and subsequent resurrection would make it a very important moment to God, man, and all angels. So yes, the demons and the angels alike would be looking for this moment. Peter was reminding his readers how very important we are to God, and that He is aware of our circumstances and trials, and that we should take comfort in that fact and trust that God will work all things out for our benefit. Whether we see the benefit now or not is of no consequence because we can trust that God will work all things out toward our good.

If we keep these things in our minds we know that God will give strength to handle any problem or any situation. Trust me I know it doesn’t feel that way right now, but I also know that when you look back you will find that God worked it all out. Have faith in a loving God, and remember at least you aren’t being put to death because of your faith, like the first-century Christians were.