Sermon: Examples of Honorable Living 1 Peter 2:13-25

Examples of Honorable Living

1 Peter 2:13-25

Truth Taught – All Christians are called to live honorable lives no matter our cultural context.

Introduction

Last time we saw together that Peter exhorted us to live with two things in mind.  He told us to abstain from sinful passionsbecause they wage war on our souls.  He also told us to engage in honorable living.  Here he speaks of living in such a way that what we claim to believe is seen in our lives. Too often Christians say what they believe but their lives say something else.  It’s what our lives say that is the true reality and a clear picture of what we believe.  If we claim to be a Christian and then live no different than the lost world around us, how can we have any assurance that our profession of faith is real?  So, it is in this section and for basically the rest of Peter’s epistle that he shows us what honorable living looks like. What does a life look like that would cause the lost world to take notice and give glory to God?  What would a life look like that would make a lost person glad that you’re a Christian even if they do not believe?

The Christian communities that Peter wrote to made up a small segment of the Roman Empire.  Their question he addresses is how should Christians conduct themselves while living as exiles among unbelievers?  Should they withdraw from society?  Should they simply seek to fit in?  Should they spend their lives protesting the evils of society? What would God have them do?  What would God have us do?  It seems that none of the responses I mentioned are what God teaches here—He doesn’t want us to withdraw, fit in, nor spend a life in protest. What God teaches is to simply live out your faith among the lost world.  Engage in the honorable living taught in 1 Peter 2:11-12.

Here, Peter explains to us that we are to live peacefully in society.  As God’s society, and while living as exiles we are not called to rebellion but to serve and Peter repeatedly calls this doing good.  We are to be do-gooders while living as exiles.

Our loyalty to Christ does not give us a license to rebel against other authorities.  Of course sometimes peace is not possible, but where it is we are to live peacefully in this world.

Prayer

1 Peter 2:13–25 (ESV)

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. 19 For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

  1. Exiles, Live At Peace With Secular Society

13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16 Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

As Christians in society, we are free and must not use our freedom to our advantage but as a means to seek the welfare of others.  The overall intention of Peter is to explain that Christians are to be law-abiding citizens and not troublemakers.  This does not mean we are pacifists, those who are into peace at any cost.  That’s not Peter’s intention here.  We are to obey the laws of the land in a general sense but seek to change things where we can.  When we cannot obey due to the fact that the government has stepped away from God’s purposes, then we must stand in defiance to those wicked laws.

We are to be those who do good to all people even if we do not agree with them or if they are our enemies. We are to go out of our way to treat all people with respect and kindness.  What Peter gives us is a general overarching command to be model citizens and to do good to all people.

He stresses, in this section, doing good.  This Greek word agathopoieomeans to go over and above what is expected.  So, based on this, simply obeying the law is not enough; that’s the minimum not over and above.  Specifically, it means good works beyond what is normally expected in a given situation. The reason is so that the authorities will take notice and praise you and in turn even praise God for your good works.

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Sermon: Waging War Against Your Passions For God’s Glory 1 Peter 2:11-12

Waging War Against Your Passions For God’s Glory

1 Peter 2:11-12

Truth Taught – Exiles live honorably in a hostile word by abstaining from sin and engaging in good conduct.

 

Introduction

After Peter has described such a rich and amazing salvation that God alone has given to all believers, and once he has declared that God is placing us within His very house that has Christ as the cornerstone, then he draws an appropriate conclusion.  All believers are beloved.

1 Peter 2:10 (ESV)

10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Now, Peter has spent the entire beginning of his first letter to convince us that no matter what may be transpiring around us and to us we are nonetheless loved by God.  This love is not the brotherly love that Peter tells us we are to have with all fellow believers within the church but an intimate Father-sibling relationship of love, care, and respect.

So, beloved, the matter is settled.  If you are a believer today and if you are in Christ by faith, then God loves you more deeply than you could ever imagine.  You are His and He is yours.

1 John 3:1–2 (ESV)

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Prayer

1 Peter 2:11–12 (ESV)

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

  1. Abstaining From Passions

11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.

Here we see an action we must engage in if we are to win the battle for our souls, we must abstain from sinful passions that battle against our souls.

Now we must see where Peter is coming from here.  He’s already called us elect exiles and now calls us sojourners and exiles.  So, we are foreigners living abroad, and we must not act like the citizens of the country in which we are currently living.

It’s not too difficult to take the pulse of those who are in the world.  Those who don’t know Jesus as Savior act one way, and we who do know Jesus must act another.

Have you ever noticed that the world never focuses on the absolute most important issue?  It’s really two parts and we are going to look at them.  Part one, the world never focuses on the human soul . . . ever!  They care a lot about preserving the body.  Health care professionals are all about looking for ways to extend the length of life while making it better quality.  Our lifespan is not very long in view of eternity.  Why would the world put so much emphasis on the temporal and none on the eternal?  They live with darkened eyes . . .

2 Corinthians 4:3–4 (ESV)

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

It’s vital for us to see that the world has been blinded to reality.  They’ve been blinded to what really matters.  Their eternal souls for a few years of pleasure will spend eternity in hell.  They never once consider their souls, and their souls will be forever lost.

Luke 12:16–21 (ESV)

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Part two, the world spends so much time on trivial and worthless things.  Think with me what the world endears.  Our culture is so enamored with sports, fashion, entertainment, etc.  Does it really matter so much who wins the Super bowl, World Series, what movie is coming out, or what so and so is wearing?  These things mean nothing, yet billions are spent annually on things that are worthless.

When we speak to these folks about Jesus their eyes glaze over as if He is boring and doesn’t matter. I cannot speak to you about Jesus, my soul or being born again, I have to go to the 4:00 show.

This is the mindset of the population in which we live.  We must not be like them because our nation is another kingdom all together.  This is why we must abstain from the passions of the world.

1 Peter 1:14 (ESV)

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance,

Peter will go on and further describe what he means . . .

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Sermon: Home With Jesus 1 Peter 2:1-10

Home With Jesus

1 Peter 2:1-10

Truth Taught – Jesus is the Cornerstone of God’s spiritual house.

 

Introduction

In our passage today, the Apostle Peter presents two images that represent Jesus Christ.  We see Christ as pure spiritual milk and Christ as the Cornerstone of God’s spiritual house.  The movement through these images goes like this:  Once we taste/experience Jesus, we see Him as precious and come to Him by faith as the Cornerstone of God’s spiritual house and are also placed as living stones into the structure.

Keeping with the Stone Structure metaphor, Peter also shows us that there are two building projects: there is the spiritual house in which Christ is the Cornerstone and Man’s building project that rejects the Cornerstone.  In this metaphor, rejecting the Cornerstone is rejecting the Gospel message.

Prayer

1 Peter 2:1–10 (ESV)

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture:

       “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone,

a cornerstone chosen and precious,

       and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe,

       “The stone that the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone,”

and

       “A stone of stumbling,

and a rock of offense.”

They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

  1. Tasting That the Lord is Good

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Remember all of man’s attempts at meaning and significance in this world fall short. We must see them for what they are, like grass and flowers.  Because God has had the good news preached to us and has saved us through imperishable seed, namely, His eternal life-giving Word, now we have work to do.

As God’s people, some of the work is that we are engaged in putting away sin.  These sins specifically mentioned are sins of manipulation and sins to make ourselves look good.  Beloved, do you see that when we are growing as Christians, that seeking to magnify ourselves is not important anymore?  Seeking to magnify Christ is very important.

All it takes is a taste of Christ to realize what God has given us in our Lord and Savior.  Once a person experiences salvation through Jesus other things in life begin to fall away and they treasure Christ more and more. As Peter thought about his own experience with Jesus, he thought that the best comparison is the craving a newborn has for his mother’s milk.  For an infant there is nothing like mother’s milk.  It is what causes the baby to grow.  Peter tells us that once we taste Christ, we will crave more just like a baby craves milk.

Once Christ is experienced, the natural response is to want more of Him.  He is good and loves us.

Peter quotes from Psalm 34

Psalm 34:8 (ESV)

   Oh, taste and see that the Lordis good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Peter writes to Christians who have experienced alienation by society because of their faith.  God has a great remedy for cultural alienation, namely, true fellowship with Christ and with His people.  That’s why we must put off those sins that would disrupt genuine Christian fellowship.  This language continues what we learned last time.  Our family and friends are those within the local church.  We must take care of one another and encourage one another and put off all sins that would destroy brotherly love within the local Church.

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Sermon: Earnest Love from a Pure Heart 1 Peter 1:22–25

Earnest Love from a Pure Heart

1 Peter 1:22–25

Truth Taught – God’s Word purifies our hearts and brings us eternal life.

 

Introduction

In this section Peter began by telling us to set our hope fully on the grace of God (13).  Then he continues down that path concluding to set our hope fully on God’s grace which will lead us to sincere and consistent obedience as we seek to walk in fellowship with God step by step acquiring His character as we live in godly fear of Him and as we consider the great cost of our redemption. He has shown us the proper working relationship we must have with God as His people.

Since we have been born again and have God as our Father, we also have all others who have experienced the new birth as brothers and sisters.  Peter has shown us the proper attitudes and love we are to have toward God our Father so now it seems very appropriate that Peter would share with us the proper relationships we are to have with our brothers and sisters, especially our church family.  When we love God properly, we will be able to love our church family properly.

Let’s jump into the text and discover what proper relationships within the Christian community should look like.

Prayer

1 Peter 1:22–25 (ESV)

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

       “All flesh is like grass

and all its glory like the flower of grass.

       The grass withers,

and the flower falls,

25    but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

  1. Obeying God’s Word Purifies Our Hearts and Enables True Brotherly Love

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,

God calls every one of us to love one another sincerely and earnestly.  Not only are we commanded to do this, but as we obey God’s Word in various areas, we are enabled to actually love one another as God desires.  The church loving like this is what God has always intended.

What exactly is this type of love the apostle refers to?  It’s not warm fuzzy feelings.  It’s not romantic type love.  It’s a love that refers to righteous and pure relationships with each other that are based on God’s character, which we are seeking to develop within our own lives. It’s a family love; based on God as Father, we are a spiritual house in which our Father is worshipped.

1 Peter 2:5 (ESV)

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Older people are spiritual parents, younger people are spiritual siblings, and younger people are spiritual children.

I want to pause here a second and ask you to consider whether or not Peter’s description resonates with you?  Is this a description of your relationship with others here or not, and if not, why not?

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SERMON: Proper Character and Conduct as Exiles 1 Peter 1:13-21

Proper Character and Conduct as Exiles

1 Peter 1:13-21

Truth Taught – God has redeemed us so we can live a life for His honor and glory.

Introduction

Today, we are going to see God’s plan to help us to be more consistently obedient to Him.  God will show us that we must prepare for obedience, have the right example to follow, realize that He is not only our Father but also our Judge, and that there was an extremely high cost to redeem us—too high for us to continue living our old life.

Prayer

1 Peter 1:13–21 (ESV)

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conductyourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile waysinherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

  1. Preparing for Obedience

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Last time we covered this verse in detail.  The message is on the website.  I don’t need to re-preach last week’s message.  I do need to show how it fits into the overall theme Peter presents in our verses today.

We are to gird up the loins of our minds being ready to obey God’s commands.  We looked at the language that came from the Exodus account of the Passover when the Hebrews were told to eat the meal in haste, literally, with their loins girded being ready to move forward to the Promised Land. So, girding up the loins of our mind means that we must do what is necessary to be ready mentally to move forward in obedience.

What was it that we said would prepare our minds for forward action into obedience?  Bible/truth intake.  Our minds are saturated with untruth and not ready to obey.  We must purposely take in truth, renew our minds so that we are ready to act.

Ephesians 6:14 (ESV)

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

What are some motivating truths we have in God’s Word?  So far Peter has told us two interrelated truths that motivate obedience.  First, he writes that our salvation is ready to be revealed.  There is nothing that must happen before this.

1 Peter 1:5 (ESV)

who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Secondly,

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Here’s his logic . . .

We must be obedient because time is drawing near for our salvation to be made fully manifest at the coming of Jesus Christ.  When Christ returns, we want Him to find us obeying God’s commands.  The time for our work is now because once Christ returns, we enter fully in to His rest.  Be diligent now because Jesus is coming again.

  1. Looking to the Perfect One to Obey

14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

God tells us through the Apostle Peter that we are to be holy.  Holiness is conforming to God’s character.  Holiness also is a two-way movement in a sense.  When we are becoming holy, we are moving away from our former character and moving toward God’s character.  That’s why Peter tells us to not be conformed to our former passions but be conformed to God’s character.  The Christian, therefore, must conform his thinking and behavior to God’s character.

Peter then quotes from the OT, Leviticus 19:2 to be exact.  He does a few things here when he makes this connection.

He shows us the reason we should seek to conform our character and life to God’s.

Leviticus 19:1–2 (ESV)

19 And the Lordspoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lordyour God am holy.

Rather than seeking to conform to the world, we as Christians are to seek conformity to God’s character.  He is holy and commands His people to also be holy.  We are to deny the sinful desires that formerly controlled our behavior to now seek God’s ways and pattern our lives after them.  This is not simply doing deeds but a character and life transformation. We must seek to copy God’s character and His ways.  If we cultivate a godlike character, then everyday decisions will also be godlike.

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SERMON: David’s Struggle to Find God Psalm 13

Date:3.20.19

Title: David’s Struggle to Find God

Psalm 13

Truth Taught- When we get to the point where God is nowhere to be found, at some point, we must pray and trust and rejoice that He will never abandon us.

Sermon Outline:

  1. Forgotten of God
  2. The Transition of Prayer
  3. Begotten of God

 

Sermon: Preparing for Obedience1 Peter 1:13

Preparing for Obedience

1 Peter 1:13

Truth Taught – We are to prepare our minds to be ready to obey God in all He tells us in His Word

 

Introduction

God always has a pattern when seeking obedience from us.  He shows us what we have been forgiven by grace.  Peter has laid out the salvation that God has given us by faith. This salvation is extremely valuable and amazing.  We have reviewed it about every week so far.

We have been brought to life by God and now have a living hope. We are guarded and so is our inheritance. This salvation is ready to be revealed; prophets longed to see it; and angels long to understand it.

So, based on all that we have been given by God through faith, what is an appropriate response?

This world is full of takers.  Those who always want handouts and free things are everywhere.  Our society has created a society of consumers.  Whether its generational welfare, those who refuse to work or those who live in their parents’ basement till they’re 40 years old or those who think that they are entitled to something just because they’re breathing is a terrible perspective.  This plays right into our fallen self-centered nature.

We’ve been given salvation but not for free.  Someone had to achieve the demands of God through His law.  Salvation was given to us, but not for free.  It cost Jesus His life to give it to us for free.

If you’ve received this salvation, then God desires obedience and service.  He desires His people to follow Him as Lord and not just Savior.  So, what does Peter do to help motivate God’s people for service?

It would be very easy as Christians in the first century to simply be concerned with themselves. Applying these situations to ourselves, suffering such intense persecution could cause us to be very secretive and self-focused.  How could we even think about others when our lives are hanging in the balance?

What does Peter tell us to inspire Christian living and service to others no matter what the circumstances?

He does this in verse 13 by using three Greek verbs.  These verbs will make up our outline for today.

  1. Prepare Your Minds
  2. Be Sober-Minded
  3. Set Your Hope Fully on Grace

Prayer

1 Peter 1:13–17 (ESV)

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

  1. Prepare Your Minds

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action

Verse 13 is the transitional verse going from the explanation of our great and infinitely valuable salvation to what God expects now from us.  It sets up Peter’s fuller teaching on Christian living found in the rest of the book.  See verse 13 as a bridge between the introduction to our salvation and the following application of our salvation.  God does not just give us salvation to make us welfare cases, but He expects godly living as the manifestation of salvation given.

1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Because God has given us such a great salvation, and since we currently possess it, and since there is more to come, does God require anything from us now?  Peter explains to us that salvation is free, but it does come with great responsibilities.  Here is where many Christians today miss the mark.  They think that they can get by in this world without serving Christ and His church.  They think that all they have to do is simply sit back and reap all the benefits at no cost to them.

Luke 12:48b (ESV)

48 Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.

Jesus teaches that when God gives us things, especially salvation, then we are required to be the steward who is awake and ready and working for His Master—not the one sitting back and simply taking without serving.

The first thing we must do if we are going to follow Christ in faithful service and obedience is to 13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action

This phrase literally means to gird up the loins of your mind. So, to obey and serve takes some mental preparation.  The reason it does is because we don’t normally think of obeying Christ and serving others because we are too focused on ourselves.

So, we must see that if God is to have our heart and our obedience, He must also have our mind.

This language of girding up our loins comes to us from the Passover event found in Exodus.  In Exodus 12 we are told that the Hebrews were commanded to eat the Passover meal in haste.

Exodus 12:11–12 (ESV)

11 In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.

The point is that eating the Passover meal with their loins girded up meant that they were ready to move forward in their pursuit of the Promised Land.

When we gird up the loins of our mind, we are preparing to move forward in godly obedience preparing our minds to live out God’s commands.  It’s a moving forward in obedience.   For us, the Promised Land is obedience to God’s Word.

We live in a day when we don’t prepare to live in obedience but simply react to situations.  One scholar said it this way, we simply think with our eyes.  As a result, our minds are never really made ready for obedience and service.  What God desires is a determined mental preparation toward obedience to His Word.

I want to challenge you with this because it seems we too often use our minds to seek a way out of obedience and service.  When we react rather than plan our thinking most often will be in the negative.  We will reason our way out of obedience rather than a way into it.  Therefore, we must make mental preparation beforehand rather than at the spur of the moment.

So, how do we gird up the loins of our minds to get ready to obey God? Or we might say it this way—how can we turn the robe of our mind into running shorts?

We must prepare our minds or gird up the loins of our minds with truth. What does Paul tell us in Ephesians 6?

Ephesians 6:14 (ESV)

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

This is the exact language of girding up your loins.  He says but on this belt of truth.  Beloved, we must be saturated in truth.  We must be influenced by truth rather than what the world would tell us.  If we are to obey God consistently, we must be influenced regularly by His truth.

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Sermon: Rejoicing Through Suffering 1 Peter 1:6-9

Rejoicing Through Suffering

1 Peter 1:6-9

Truth Taught – We can endure present suffering and even rejoice as we wait for our salvation to be revealed

Introduction

Peter reminds us that because of the New Birth, we have great joy because we presently have a living hope and an everlasting inheritance in the life to come.

At the same time, because we are Christians we will also have present suffering in this life.

So, let’s think through what Peter has already told us. In our present life right now as Christians we have New Birth, a Living Hope and Trials. It’s the very reason we are born again that we have trials. As God’s elect exiles we are brought into conflict with this world and the result is suffering and trials. As we currently endure trials, we also have a living hope at work within us. This hope, which is fueled by the Holy Spirit, is always pointing to the future and saying things like, you can endure this present suffering because you have a salvation that is being guarded until the day when Jesus returns.

The things that keep us going and cause our perseverance are our future salvation/inheritance and our love for Jesus Christ. Listen—the specific way we might suffer really doesn’t matter that much. We all suffer differently with different things and ways, but the things that keep us going in this life are the same for all Christians, namely, our love for Christ and our salvation that is ready and waiting for us.

Prayer

1 Peter 1:3–9 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

  1. As We Long for Salvation We Can Rejoice Through Our Trials

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials

We are called to rejoice through our trials, and we can as we look forward to the salvation that God promises is waiting for us. Remember it is guarded in heaven. We long for salvation to be fully revealed. We long for the promises of God to be realized. As we do, we can endure trials with joy. This is not just a silly wishful thinking joy I’ve seen some people try to maintain but this is a founded joy. It’s a joy that comes to us as we believe the promises of God. Even though we have not experienced the fullness of salvation yet, we know it is coming because God tells us it is.

The living hope Peter told us about leads us to this true and lasting joy, and it is not possible for a trial to remove the joy that comes to us because of our living hope. This kind of hope leads us to joy. The rejoicing that Peter tells us about is not due to the fact that our trials have ended because the rejoicing has nothing to do with this current life. Whether in good times or hard times this rejoicing will not end because the thing we are rejoicing in has not changed.

Another reason for rejoicing is that whatever the situation is; whatever the trial looks like compared to eternity it’s not even a blip on the radar. At the same time, we do endure real and painful trials while in this life. Do you experience trials in this life? Peter reminds us that the suffering is just for a little while. That’s good to hear. Sometimes trials seem to last forever and seem to be more than we can bear. Beloved, stay focused on our future salvation and our eternal life with Christ, and we can rejoice through the trial instead of whining through the trial.

He also adds a little phrase to assure us that this trial is not random and without meaning. Do you see it in verse 6? if necessary

We can be assured that to get us where God wants us to be, there has to be suffering because it is necessary. Trials are on purpose to achieve in the believer endurance, perseverance, growth and maturity. We can rejoice because God is at work moving us to maturity and toward our final salvation.

  1. As We Rejoice Through Trials Our Faith is Proved Genuine

so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The only reason Christians can rejoice in suffering is that we understand that our salvation is real. As we continue to believe while under immense pressure, our faith is proved to be genuine. Next to being insane, that’s the only explanation.   Remember, it’s not the suffering itself we rejoice in but the end result that the suffering achieves in our lives.

James 1:2–4 (ESV)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Where do we get real assurance that our faith is real? When we endure the trial and come out on the other end beat up some and maybe even a little bloody and worn but our faith is still intact. Low and behold we may have lost other things, but our faith still remains and it is even stronger than before. James tells us that these things make us perfect lacking nothing.

Peter captures the thrust of biblical truth like James does using the language of gold being refined through fire. After gold comes out of the refiner’s fire it has lost its impurities and is now closer to perfect and pure.

Isaiah 48:9–11 (ESV)

   “For my name’s sake I defer my anger;

for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,

that I may not cut you off.

10    Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;

I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

11    For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,

for how should my name be profaned?

My glory I will not give to another.

Remember, the trial does not make our faith genuine, but it is prove it to be real. Another amazing reason to rejoice is that not only is it proven to be real but what proved it real was that faith was demonstrated to be genuine while in the middle of the trial. God is glorified as others see your faith. His worth is shown as we cling to Him through it all.

Peter is not a health/wealth preacher, is he? He knows what suffering looks like; he has endured it. He knows what it’s like to come through it with a faith that shows itself as genuine.

Luke 22:31–32 (ESV)

31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Peter’s faith remained through his sifting process because Jesus prayed it would. In John 17 Jesus prays a very similar prayer for all God’s people. He prays that we would remain steadfast; he prays that truth would change us and make us stronger. Beloved, our faith remains because Jesus prays for us.

How does genuine faith endure suffering?

  1. Genuine Faith Sees the Unseen Savior

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Genuine faith endures because of an inheritance that is secure. Genuine faith endures because of a salvation ready to be revealed. Genuine faith endures because we are longing to see Jesus face to face.

Notice how Peter specifically points directly to Jesus as the means of an enduring faith. Jesus, not our inheritance, is the object of our love and affection. Jesus and not even our salvation is the focus of our love and affection.

Our faith sees the unseen Savior doesn’t it? I remember the first puritan book I ever read was titled, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ by Thomas Vincent. It was based on 1 Peter 1:8. Throughout the book he explains how vital it is that the professing believer love the unseen Christ.
Peter, of course, had seen Jesus. What he stresses is that there is a level of trust and faith that he could not attain but that all Christians after him could. We can by faith trust the written Word and receive blessings that Peter never knew.

Here’s an example:

John 20:26–29 (ESV)

26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

We can also see the same type of thing in Hebrews:
Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Beloved, we can trust in a way that those who actually saw Jesus in the first century cannot. We believe in and trust Christ whom we have never seen because God has told us through the Word all about Him.

Faith accepts the revealed, written record in the Gospels and epistles.

As we see Christ through the eyes of faith in the Word of God revealed to us, we have a faith that endures trials of various kinds so at the end of the day we can rejoice in Christ because He is our treasure.

If someone ever asks you, can you explain how it is that you can rejoice in the middle of your suffering? You might be able to tell them a few things, but you cannot fully explain it because it is in a real sense supernatural.

rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,

The gospels are better than being there!

But how do we come to crave the preciousness of Christ and trust the reliability of Christ if we can’t see him? How do you love him and believe in him, if you can’t see him?

We see Him in another and more important way.

I think the answer to that question is that even though we don’t see him face to face with our physical eyes, we do see him in another way that is even more important

For example, in Romans 15:20–21, Paul described his mission to unreached peoples (who could never see Christ physically) like this: “I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named . . . but as it is written, ‘They who had no news of him shall see, and they who have not heard shall understand.'” In the preaching of the gospel Christ can be seen in a way that is more important than seeing him physically.

Hundreds of people in Jesus’ lifetime saw him physically and never really saw him. “Seeing they did not see,” Jesus said. There is a seeing that is infinitely more important than seeing with the eyes. In 2 Corinthians 4:6 Paul describes it like this: “The God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” There is a spiritual seeing in the heart of the glory of God in the face of Christ, and without it no one is saved.

How does this kind of seeing happen? It happens through the Word of God. When the gospel of Christ is preached, we can see Christ more clearly for who he really is than many could see in his own lifetime. If you read the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, with openness to Christ, you can see the true glory of Christ far more clearly than most of the people who knew him on earth could see him

The gospels are better than being there. You are taken into the inner circle of the apostolic band where you never could have gone. You go with him through Gethsemane and the trial and the crucifixion and the resurrection and the meetings after the resurrection. You hear whole sermons and long discourses—not in isolated snatches on hillsides but in rich God-inspired contexts that take you deeper than you ever could have gone as a perplexed peasant in Galilee. You see the whole range of his character and power which nobody on earth saw as fully as you can now see in the gospels: you see his freedom from anxiety with no place to lay his head, his courage in the face of opposition, his unanswerable wisdom, his honoring women, his tenderness with children, his compassion toward lepers, his meekness in suffering, his patience with Peter, his tears over Jerusalem, his blessing those who cursed him, his heart for the nations, his love for the glory of God, his simplicity and devotion, his power to still storms and heal the sick and multiply bread and cast out demons.[1]

Peter understands that there is something more trustworthy than even being there.

2 Peter 1:16–21 (ESV)

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18 we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

What is the result of seeing Christ by faith?

obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We learned today:

As We Long for Salvation We Can Rejoice Through Our Trials

As We Rejoice Through Trials Our Faith is Proved Genuine

Genuine Faith Sees the Unseen Savior

Are you anticipating with great excitement the salvation that’s ready to be revealed?

Are you rejoicing through trials waiting on Christ to be revealed? Are you seeing the unseen Savior?

 

 

*Resources Used:

Teaching 1 Peter by Angus MaCleay

1 Peter by Karen Jobes

1 Peter by David Helm

1 Peter by John MacArthur

1 Peter by Peter Davids

1 Peter by Wayne Grudem

1 Peter by Edmond Clowney

1 Peter John Piper

 

[1] 1 Peter 1:7-8 John Piper

Sermon: What Our Real Home Looks Like 1 Peter 1:3-5

What Our Real Home Looks Like

1 Peter 1:3-5

 

Truth Taught – All believers are kept and secured and have a glorious eternal inheritance that is also kept and secured

 Introduction

This next section begins the doxology. Peter praises God for what he and all Christians currently possess. My goal in today’s message is to give you adequate reason to praise God as well. Beloved, when we can walk by faith and not by sight our souls will rejoice in The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ regardless our current situation. This is exactly what Peter is shooting for.

Remember last time we looked at Peter’s recipients, namely, God’s elect exiles. Christians do not have a citizenship in this world but have their citizenship in God’s Kingdom via the new birth. You know how it works; you are a citizen of whatever country you are born into. God tells us the New Birth has given us heavenly citizenship.

Our true citizenship brings us into conflict with our current residence. We are in conflict because we are Christians and seek to maintain God’s values and worldview. The fact that we do suffer because we are Christians reminds us to whom we belong.

Suffering also proves that we belong to God because no one would choose suffering over ease unless there is a promise coming in the future. Beloved what we are called to is to live in such a way that will bring us into conflict with our current society looking to the future for God’s promises to be fulfilled.

Peter teaches us that whatever suffering comes to us because of our obedience to God pales in comparison with our future reward.

Because we are elect exiles living away from our true homeland, Peter wants us to get a glimpse of our real home. The verses today, I pray, should make us long for our true homeland.

Usually, when we suffer in this life, it’s because something is being taken away from us. Because of our faith we may lose a job, wealth, status, home, family, even our very lives. Here Peter’s mission is to convince us that our inheritance is infinitely more valuable than anything we might lose, and what God has for us as an inheritance cannot be taken away.

Prayer

What does our real home look like?

When we moved away to go to Bible College we had not seen where we were going to live.

1 Peter 1:3–5 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  1. Praise God

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!

“Blessed be God” is a very common praise in the Old Testament. Here are a few examples:
Psalm 68:19

19    Blessed be the Lord,

who daily bears us up;

God is our salvation. Selah

Psalm 68:35

35    Awesome is God from his sanctuary;

the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.

       Blessed be God!

Psalm 72:18

18    Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

who alone does wondrous things.

Psalm 106:48

48    Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting!

       And let all the people say, “Amen!”

Praise the Lord!

Here, Peter makes this Jewish blessing and praise entirely Christian. He identifies God as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Beloved, take Jesus’ God and Father as your God and Father. Embrace Him through faith and obedience.

2 Corinthians 1:3 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,

Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

What do the OT writers and Paul and Peter mean when they say “Bless the Lord” or “Bless be to God”?

My thesis is that in the Scripture when God “blesses” men they are thereby helped and strengthened and made better off than they were before, but when men “bless” God he is not helped or strengthened or made better off. Rather (with C. A. Keller in THAT, I, 361) man’s blessing God is an “expression of praising Thankfulness” (ein lobendes Danksagen), when the OT speaks of blessing God it does not “designate a pro­cess that aims at the increase of God’s strength” (THAT, I, 361). It is an “exclamation of gratitude and admiration” (THAT, I, 357).[1]

With this meaning clearly in mind, Peter is praising God for something specific. . .

  1. Praise God for the New Birth

According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again

Peter blesses God for the specific act of his and all Christians’ regeneration. Salvation is brought about entirely by God because of His great mercy. God alone has the power to regenerate us, and He alone has infinite mercy, which is one of the reasons He does it. Because our New Birth is by God’s mercy it is totally undeserved and unearned.

Before we were born, God already loved us and chose us for regeneration. He has caused us to be born again. If we are to be His people with full rights of citizens in His heavenly Kingdom, then we must be born into that Kingdom to be a citizen. The New Birth is the means God uses to place us into His Kingdom.

Do you remember back in John 3 when Jesus and Nicodemus had their conversation about the New Birth? Nicodemus was discussing other things and Jesus simply said:

John 3:3 (ESV)

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Now, for some reason many are trapped in the mindset that somehow we can experience the rebirth on our own. Beloved, what say so did you have in your first birth? Did you tell your parents where you wanted to live or when you wanted to be born? Did you decide who your parents would be? You had nothing to do with birth number one. It’s the same with the second birth.

Notice the dilemma we are in: Jesus tells us that unless we are born again, we cannot see the Kingdom of God and yet we cannot be born again in our own power. So, Jesus has just made a demand that we cannot fulfill. This demand is not optional but a vital necessity, and yet it is completely impossible for mankind to obey the command.

This is why Peter blesses God. God is so merciful he has caused us to be born again. God has done for us what He requires and yet He knows we cannot do ourselves.

God is the Father of our Lord Jesus and also becomes our Father at the New Birth. We are not children of God by the fact that we are created by God, but we are granted a new birth through His power. At the New Birth we become God’s children, and in turn, He becomes our Father as well.

  1. Praise God for Our Living Hope

to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Peter tells us that our New Birth is a direct result of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Our New Birth is very much like Jesus’ resurrection. Just as the Spirit made him alive, we too are made alive and in a very real sense experience a resurrection from the dead ourselves. To those whom God has chosen and set His love upon before the foundation of the world, He has given a living hope. The hope God’s people possess is alive in contrast to the dead futile hope of the lost. Beloved the world in all its attempts at happiness and fulfillment ends up with no hope at all. The lost try everything to gain meaning and happiness and hope only to come up empty. Why is that the case—because only God gives the human this true and meaningful hope.

Ephesians 2:11–12 (ESV)

11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 (ESV)

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

Do you see what God tells us? Seeking hope outside of Christ is a waste of time. Unfortunately, most have sought it all their lives and will die entirely without hope.

We live in a world of hopelessness and despair.

The Christians Peter was writing to had been suffering massive persecution and were being expelled from Rome. They had lost their jobs, their homes, their savings, and many had even lost family and friends. At the same time, Peter wants them to know that if the evil world should take everything you possess it cannot take your hope. Beloved we like the first century Church have all eternity to be at peace and joyful. So, suffering in this world because we are citizens of the world to come is a very good trade. Peter wants us to realize this.

What better way to encourage suffering Christians than to remind them? . . .

They are elect.

They are exiles.

They are eternally loved by God.

They are Born Again.

They are citizens of God’s Kingdom.

They have a living and vibrant hope.

And one more for now—They have an Eternal Inheritance.

  1. Praise God for Our Guarded Inheritance

to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

Because we now have God as our Father, we are given an inheritance as His children. Of course, God isn’t going to die in order for us to receive it, but it’s waiting for us when we die. An inheritance is wealth or legacy that is passed on to a member of the family. Listen; if you are a believer, you’ve become a child of God. Because we are children of God via the New Birth, we are promised an inheritance. For those suffering Christians who have lost everything, this inheritance is especially sweet.

Peter adds three descriptions of our inheritance:

We have an inheritance that is imperishable.

Nothing can take it away from us. It will not leave or be destroyed. Our eternal inheritance will never be lost.

We have an inheritance that is undefiled.

It cannot be contaminated with sin or evil. It’s outside the realm of this fallen world and not contaminated with sin. Whatever our inheritance is exactly, it will only add to our ability to praise and glorify God.

We have an inheritance that is unfading.

None of the decaying elements of this world can touch it. It will never rust, corrode, rot, or lose its luster. This word unfading in the original language means it will never cease to be magnificent.

This inheritance is kept in heaven for you.

As Christians, our inheritance is already in heaven waiting our arrival. It’s literally being guarded and reserved for you.

Jesus referred to this inheritance when He preached the Sermon on the Mount. . .

Matthew 6:19–21 (ESV)

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

  1. Praise God Because We Too Are Guarded

who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Notice how secure things are in heaven.

Our inheritance is currently divinely guarded waiting our arrival. But is there any possibility that our inheritance will go unclaimed?

who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Our inheritance is being guarded, and beloved, we too are being guarded.

Our hope is a living hope that will not fail. Listen, as believers it is an impossibility that we will ever lose what God has so richly given to us. We are secure and so is our inheritance.

How secure are we? who by God’s power are being guarded through faith.

Here’s where we must make sure we get things right. It’s not our faith that guards us, but God guards us, and our ongoing faith is the mark or manifestation of God’s power at work within us. He guards us; He keeps us; and this is proven as we continue to believe.

Christian, you are guarded by God’s power until you are ushered into a salvation that is now ready to be revealed to you. God has prepared everything. Our Lord has accomplished all things necessary. Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension have achieved everything. Peter in his book anticipates the day when salvation is presented to all of God’s children.

1 Peter 4:7 (ESV)

The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

1 Peter 5:4 (ESV)

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Peter speaks of our inheritance and salvation in ways, which are meant to remind us of the Israelites anticipating the Promised Land while in Egypt. There are many parallels which include: Slavery-Suffering, Strangers or exiles waiting for their redemption. Being rescued from Egypt by God Himself. The big difference is that they did not receive the Promised Land because of their sin and rebellion. We will inherit the Promised Land because we gain access through a better covenant, which is the very blood of Jesus Christ. He makes the Promised Land ours through His life and death. This is exactly why and how we are guarded. The salvation that’s ready to be revealed is ours because it was purchased with the imperishable blood of Jesus Christ.

*Resources Used:

Teaching 1 Peter by Angus MaCleay

1 Peter by Karen Jobes

1 Peter by David Helm

1 Peter by John MacArthur

1 Peter by Peter Davids

1 Peter by Wayne Grudem

1 Peter by Edmond Clowney

 

[1] https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-does-it-mean-to-bless-god