Listen to this Sermon: 08122012FirstPe5.12-14DonRuhl

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The True Grace of God

What does the Holy Spirit want us to learn from the Letter of First Peter?

First Peter 5.12–14

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • August 12, In the year of our Lord, 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Michael Crisp – First Peter 5.8–11


  1. Last impressions are as important as first impressions. 
    1. First impressions determine whether you will get into something.
    2. Last impressions determine whether you will remember it.
  2. After Peter introduced himself, 
    1. he referred to the Christians to whom he wrote, as elect, and then
    2. wished upon them wonderful things,

      2b Grace to you and peace be multiplied (1Pe 1.2b).

      1. Now listen to how he ended his letter, because
      2. you will hear him end with grace and peace.


  1. First Peter 5.12 – The True Grace of God

    12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand (1Pe 5.12).

    1. Silvanus, also as known as Silas, was the amanuensis for this letter, and
      1. he was a faithful brother as Peter considered him.
      2. How would you like for an apostle to call you a faithful brother or sister?
      3. Peter wrote by Silvanus,
        1. even Jeremiah used Baruch, and
        2. Paul used Tertius (Rom 16.22).
      4. Think of the life of Silas.
        1. He worked with Paul and Peter.
        2. Oh, the things Silas could tell us.
    2. Peter exhorted and testified that this is the true grace of God in which we stand.
      1. The Letter of First Peter is brief, because
        1. in all that could be said about the true grace of God,
        2. Peter wrote briefly.
      2. If God unleashed all the lovers of grace to write freely of grace,
        1. I suppose that even the world itself
        2. could not contain the books that would be written!
    3. The Hebrew writer also said he wrote briefly (13.22).
      1. Reading First Peter publicly takes roughly 20 minutes.
        1. Yet think on all the doctrines that Peter delivered to us.
        2. It took me 22 sermons to cover these five chapters of First Peter.
          1. The brevity, but rich content, of First Peter,
            1. typical of all Bible books,
            2. testifies to the divine literary nature of the Scriptures.
          2. You will not find such depth of content in other literature.
      2. Peter exhorted his readers in the grace of God, and testified of what it is.
        1. Peter saw grace in action in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, and
        2. declared it the true grace of God.
          1. Why did Peter specify the true grace of God?
          2. Because perversions of it
            1. were either already circulating then, or
            2. they would shortly, as Jude shows,

              3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 3, 4).

      3. Peter wrote of grace frequently,

        2b Grace to you and peace be multiplied (1Pe 1.2b).

        10 …who prophesied of the grace that would come to you (1Pe 1.10).

        13 …rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1Pe 1.13).

        7 …heirs together of the grace of life (1Pe 3.7).

        10 …good stewards of the manifold grace of God (1Pe 4.10).

        5b “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1Pe 5.5).

        10 …the God of all grace… (1Pe 5.10).

      4. Peter also wrote of grace without saying grace, such as,

        24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed (1Pe 2.24).

    4. We stand in the true grace of God.
      1. Without God’s grace where would we be?
      2. Do you not agree with the psalmist?

        3 If You, LORD, should mark iniquities,
        O Lord, who could stand?
        (Psa 130.3)

      3. His grace sustains us until we meet Him in person.
  2. First Peter 5.13, 14 – Love and Peace

    13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen (1Pe 5.12–14).

    1. Who is, “She who is in Babylon”?
      1. She is elect together with Peter’s readers.
      2. Could this be his wife?
      3. Could it be the local church?
    2. What is Babylon in this reference?
      1. Literal Babylon no longer existed by Peter’s time.
      2. Some believe this was Peter’s way of referring to Rome.
        1. Rome and Babylon were similar,
        2. especially in their dealings with God’s people.
    3. Mark was with Peter and sent greetings.
      1. Mark was Peter’s son
      2. in the same way that Timothy was Paul’s son.
    4. Greet one another with a kiss of love.
      1. Peter did not create a new practice, but
      2. regulated, or Christianized, one already in existence.
        1. Every culture has a form of greeting.
        2. Whatever it is, make it one of love.
    5. Send peace to all who are in Christ Jesus.
      1. Peter began with peace,

        2b Grace to you and peace be multiplied (1Pe 1.2).

      2. Now he ends with peace.
        1. Let us seek peace with one another.
        2. The next time you write a Christian,
          1. even in e-mail, send peace to that person, and
          2. see how they react.
    6. What purpose do these greetings serve?
      1. They show friendliness.
      2. They show that you care for someone.
      3. They show that you have a connection.
    7. Amen.
      1. Do you say, “Amen,” to peace for all who are in Christ Jesus?
      2. Do you say, “Amen,” to the teachings of the Holy Spirit in First Peter?
      3. Have you thought on all that Peter said God does for us?
        1. He elects us (1.2)
        2. He sanctifies us (1.2)
        3. He sprinkles us with the blood of Jesus Christ (1.2)
        4. He has begotten us again (1.3)
        5. He gives us an inheritance (1.4)
        6. He guards us in His power (1.5)
        7. He will praise, honor, and glorify us at the revelation of Jesus (1.7)
        8. He saves our souls (1.9)
        9. He will give us more grace (1.13)
        10. He called us (1.15)
        11. He will judge us (1.17)
        12. He redeemed us (1.18)
        13. He sent Jesus to die for us (2.23, 24)
        14. He called us to inherit a blessing (3.9)
        15. He watches us (3.12)
        16. He hears our prayers (3.12)
        17. He makes us live in the Spirit (4.6)
        18. He gives us ability (4.11)
        19. He gives a crown of glory to elders (5.4)
        20. He gives grace to the humble (5.5)
        21. He exalts us in due time (5.6)
        22. He cares for us (5.7)
        23. He calls us to eternal glory (5.10)
        24. He perfects us (5.10)
        25. He establishes us (5.10)
        26. He strengthens us (5.10)
        27. He settles us (5.10)


  1. What Peter showed and taught us in this brief letter affects us for eternity. 
    1. The world has a much different way of looking at life, and
    2. they will mock you for the life you have adopted.
      1. However, follow the teachings of the Spirit in First Peter, and
      2. you will stand in the true grace of God,
        1. which means that when you enter eternity,
        2. you will enter God’s presence.
  2. Have the peace of which Peter concluded his letter. 
    1. Stand in the true grace of God, and
    2. you will have the peace of which the apostle wrote.
      1. What concerns you daily?
      2. At the top of the list should be your eternal destiny.
        1. If you stand in the true grace of God,
        2. you can have peace right now about your eternity.
  3. All of Peter’s letter has prepared us to enter eternity. 
    1. Think about whatever you do, and
      1. suddenly being thrown into eternity, and
      2. then what will your life have mattered?
    2. For example, earlier this year I was driving down the Redwood Highway at night and as I approached Allen Creek Road,
      1. a man in dark clothing appeared in the crosswalk, and
      2. I stood on my brakes, and
        1. probably seeing the front of my car dip down,
        2. he turned to me and lifted his shirt,
          1. acting as though he wanted me to hit him.
          2. I read in the paper the next day
            1. that shortly after I had come upon him,
            2. someone else did hit him and he died.
              1. I call the police to tell them what I had experienced.
      3. Did this man want to die?
        1. Was he drunk or stoned?
        2. I do not know his condition, but
          1. this I do know,
          2. he is now in eternity.
            1. What does he think right now about his life on earth?
            2. What does he think right now about his actions that night?
              1. What does he think about how he ended his life, and
              2. that all of his eternity now depends upon it?
    3. Everyone of us shall someday enter eternity
      1. when we will get a chance to think about our lives, and
      2. what we were doing at the end.
        1. Will we be glad that we lived for the will of God?
        2. Will we regret that we wasted our brief time on earth?
  4. The best thing to do is get in the true grace of God. 
  5. As Peter said of us, 
    1. we are pilgrims (1.1),
    2. we are living stones in a spiritual house (2.4),
    3. we are a holy priesthood (2.4),
    4. we are a chosen generation (2.9),
    5. we are a royal priesthood (2.9),
    6. we are a holy nation (2.9),
    7. we are God’s own special people (2.9),
    8. we are sojourners (2.11),
    9. we are bondservants of God (2.16),
    10. we were sheep going astray (2.25),
    11. we are good stewards (4.10),
    12. we are Christians (4.16),
    13. we are the house of God (4.17),
    14. we are righteous (4.18),
    15. we are the flock of God (5.2),
    16. we are elect (5.13), and
    17. we are in Christ Jesus (5.14).
  6. Join us!