The privilege of salvation
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
1 Peter 1:10-12 (ESV)
This is an amazing Scripture. Notice who the prophets were serving: their Master was God, and He made them work for you!
This is also the only place in the Bible where angels and prophets are mentioned together. That’s fascinating because the Bible says a lot about angels and a lot about prophets, but only here do we have them in the same text. Now it is interesting to note what is said of Angels in this context. They apparently desire to look into the mystery of salvation with all powers of investigation. The two Greek words here means to tiptoe as at a live show trying to see the stage or to stoop down as Peter and John did at the grave of Jesus in utter amazement.
Why would they? If we consider their nature, they have so much greater attributes than we do: We have knowledge and memory but are hindered by our bodies and limited age. Angels, no doubt, have memories far more tenacious than ours – they witnessed the birth of the worlds and systems of worlds. All history lays open before them. They know of God’s providence.
Why would they? If we consider their nature, they have so much greater attributes than we do: We have knowledge and memory but are hindered by our bodies and limited age.
Angels, no doubt, have memories far more tenacious than ours – they witnessed the birth of the worlds and systems of worlds. All history lays open before them. They know of God’s providence.
How would understanding salvation add to their knowledge? Or why would the angels marvel at our salvation?
The answer is clear. There are no “saved” angels because salvation is not for them, but for us. Jesus died to redeem fallen men and women, not angels. There are good angels and bad angels; obedient and disobedient angels, but there are no “saved” angels. Only humans can be saved. We alone of all the creatures in the universe can experience the wonders of God’s saving grace. This fascinates the angels and causes them to study and ponder the mysteries of salvation they do not share.
They know nothing about grace and mercy and forgiveness. They’ve never experienced new life, the new birth, regeneration, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or the wonder of deliverance from the slavery of sin. That which we have experienced in Jesus Christ, the angels never knew and will never know. We are far more privileged than they.
So the prophets predicted but could not understand … The angels wonder at but never experience … So when the full manifestation of this marvellous mystery came and the disciples realised that they are more blessed and more privileged than the prophets or the angels and they have a choice to serve Jesus, how would they not willingly trade their shackles of sin for Kingdom Slave Robes.
To them were revealed, like to the prophets that they were serving people yet to come – the gentiles who are fullness have yet to come in (Romans 11:25).
They realised that even while Jesus was with them He told them everything the Father said (John 15:15), but after the ascension, through the Holy Spirit, they only see in part (1 Corinthians 13:12).
And as this mystery is unfolding, like the Psalmist