by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 2 Study # 8 March 29, 2009 Lincolnton, N.C.
10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 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.
12 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.
1901 ASV Translation:
10 Concerning which salvation the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
11 searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them.
12 To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven; which things angels desire to look into.
I. The "Salvation" in Peter's Thought.
A. In 1:5 the issue is a "prepared salvation" that is "to be revealed in the last time.
B. In 1:9 the issue is a "salvation" that is the "end of your faith" and is called "the salvation of your souls".
C. In 1:10 it concerns the "unto you grace" and focuses upon the "sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow".
D. These three references are the only ones in 1 Peter that use the word "salvation" directly. In all three of them, there is a primary characterization of "salvation" as something that is future, i.e., not currently in play.
1. That Peter emphasizes the future in the way that he does indicates that he firmly believed that the present is directly affected by what is believed about the future.
2. That Peter refers to a significantly high level of "rejoicing" in the present also indicates that he firmly believed that "joy" was the result of confidence about the future rather than any current participation (even in "manifold trials"). However, this is tempered somewhat by his insistence that they understand the relationship between the present "suffering" and the future "glory".
II. Peter's Focus Upon the Prophets.
A. He clearly presents them as "inquiring" and "searching".
1. The "inquiring" is a translation of an intensified form of a typical verb for "to seek".
a. This terminology was used by Jesus in Luke 11:50 and 51 when He said that all of the deaths of all of the people of God from Abel to the present would be "required" of "this generation". The implication is that the Justice of God has been held in abeyance for centuries, but will be poured out upon one generation. Thus, the word of our text has a sense of "establishment of the facts beyond dispute" so that action can be taken as a consequence.
b. James, in the first church council of Acts 15, was quoted by Luke in Acts 15:17 that the Gentiles "may seek after the Lord", using the term of our text.
c. In Romans 3:11 the apostle Paul declared that "there is none that seeketh after God", but in Hebrews 11:6 we are directly told that it is impossible to please God without a faith that "diligently seeks Him". But the author of Hebrews goes on to say in 12:17 that there was no place for repentance in Esau's situation even though he "sought it carefully with tears".
d. We must conclude, then, that what Peter is describing is a rather meticulous investigation of all of the available facts (or, at least, as many of them as they could find and consider).
2. The "searching" is a translation of another intensified verb. This form, however, is used only here in the New Testament.
a. The basic verb is found in John 5:39 where Jesus accuses the religious leaders of searching the Scriptures but being unwilling to let them lead to Him.
b. Again, in John 7:52, the religious leaders themselves use the term to challenge the identity of Jesus as the Christ because He was supposed to have come out of Galilee.
c. Paul used the term in Romans 8:27 to refer to God's "searching" of the hearts of believers who are praying and again in 1 Corinthians 2:10 in reference to the Spirit's "searching" of all of the deep things of God.
d. Jesus characterized Himself as the "Searcher" in Revelation 2:23 Who is to "give to each according to their works."
3. The focus that Peter developed is one of a pretty serious intention in the prophets to find out what was what in respect to the "salvation" of which he wrote. The implication is that the "suffering unto glory" thesis must have been a rather significant puzzle as it related, first, to the Christ, and then to the "salvation" He was offering.