1Pe 1:10-12 “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 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. 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.”
Peter has just spoken about “receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls (1Pe 1:9).” Now he tells us that the prophets of the Old Testament enquired and searched diligently concerning this salvation. They spoke by Divine Inspiration of the grace that was prepared for us. One of the thoughts behind this word grace as used here is “the divine influence on the heart, and its reflection in the life (Strong’s definition).” So in the days of the Old Testament prophets, they understood that there was a power yet to be revealed that would change the hearts of men. Furthermore, this change would be so powerful that it could be observed in the lives of these people whose hearts were changed. They were granted a wonderful understanding by the power of the Spirit.
Sometimes, we fail to recognize that God is three in one. Not only did they receive this understanding through the Spirit, but Peter is very plain in saying that their revelation came from the Spirit of Christ which was in them. This is a clear evidence of the deity of Christ and the omniscience and omnipotence of our Triune God. These prophets were moved to with a desire to understand when in time, and what condition of the world, the Spirit of Christ was signifying (showing them plainly) concerning the sufferings of Christ. The Old Testament scriptures are filled with teaching concerning our Lord’s coming, what He would endure and why, and the glorious victory that He would achieve for us. These prophets understood that there was a glorious deliverance coming to God’s people in the “fullness of times (Eph 1:10)!”
The prophets also understood something else about the coming of Christ and all that would be wrought in that time: they would not live to be a part of the kingdom of grace of which they prophesied. They understood that they were ministering (waiting on, serving) to us, the resident foreigners, concerning the coming of our great salvation. What great love God imbued these men with that they would endure all the hardships that came to them, knowing that it was not for their benefit, but for ours! Even though they did not expect to see the physical event of His coming or His resurrection, they still knew that power.
According to scholars, Job is one of the oldest books in the Bible, written centuries before Christ was raised from the dead. Yet Job declared with great confidence that “. . . though after the skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God . . . (Job 19:26).” These men willingly served us by faithfully recording God’s word as they were moved by the Spirit. God has blessed that work by preserving it down through time so that we still have its witness today to bear witness with the Spirit of Christ that dwells in us.
It is this witness that gives us confidence in the gospel that is preached unto us. This witness also testifies to our hearts concerning whether or not we are hearing the true gospel of Jesus Christ. If the preaching that we hear does not give all honor and glory to God, then it is not a true gospel. When the report we receive comes from heaven itself, it comes with the presence and power of the Holy Ghost. In other words, it is brought to us in the authority of God! The witness of that authority bears witness with the Spirit of Christ in our hearts and the testimony left us in the scriptures. Thus, every word is established in the mouth of two or three witnesses.
Finally, this passage tells us the angels desire to look into the report of this gospel that is preached. I understand that we have a relationship with Christ, as the redeemed, that the angels in heaven will never be party to. Yet, I think this scripture may have additional meaning to us. The word translated as angel means “a messenger; by implication a pastor (Strong’s).” Just as the prophets (messengers) of old desired to look into those things that are reported through the gospel, so do we, as messengers and pastors, desire to look into these things. We want to study and grow and rightly divide the word of truth. The Spirit of Christ in us causes us to yearn for a deeper understanding of those things that we are blessed to live and declare!
May we today, with diligence, desire to look into the things of the gospel of Jesus Christ!