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Last week we talked about submission, how we are called to live in submission to the authorities that are over us.
As we ended our time last week we noticed v.19-20
We have to remember the context in which this letter was being written.
Peter is writing to Christians that are suffering, that are being persecuted, that are having a difficult time of it.
1:1, they are exiles, they have been dispersed from their homeland.
They are Jews dispersed to these different places, being Jews would make them unpopular in these foreign lands, but to add to that they were also Christians which added to their unpopularity
The reality is that being a Christian may have been the ground of all of their suffering and difficulty.
You can imagine someone who is doing well financially and things are going well in their life and then they become a Christian and because of their faith maybe they lose their job, their family disowns them, maybe they get ran out of town.
Because they have been dispersed from their homeland they have probably had to give themselves over to slavery so that they can simply have something to eat, so that they can have a way to live.
Peter again addresses their suffering in 1:6-7
And as they were going through these trials, these difficulties they were at the mercy of those around them, some maybe have found good or gracious masters or employers while others had found unjust masters or employers.
with that mind Peter reminds them that though the suffering is difficult they are called to be faithful because they will be rewarded (v.19-20)
Jesus says the same thing:
What is this great reward?
What is the His glory that is to be revealed?
One of the things that suffering does for us is that it weens us off of this world and teaches us to long for the consummation of God’s Kingdom, we long for the Return of our Great King.
Then he grounds this call to suffer as a Christian and to look forward to the reward to come in the person and work of Christ.
Christ is our example
Christ is our Example
What is the call of the gospel?
It is a call to die to self, it is a call to take up one’s cross
Christ is our example ultimately but one of the things that I think about as i think of this text
He is our example in that He did not live for the world
He did not live for worldly fame
He did not live for the pleasures of the world
He did not live for the riches of the world
He did not live for the applause of the world
He did not live for the approval of the world
He lived for the Father, He came to do the will of the Father
John 4.
And interesting thing is the word that Peter uses here
You have been called
Here speaking about the effective calling of the Holy Spirit
They were called by the power of God, by the Spirit of God, called out of the world and called to Christ, and by God’s grace they turned from the world and turned to Christ.
But he reminds his readers that they were called to a suffering Savior
What did Jesus say to His disciples
John 15.18-
And He is our example as far as how we are to handle suffering when we suffer as Christians.
Let me just say this, we live in a time and place where by God’s grace we have not experienced the suffering for Christ that a majority of our brothers and sisters in Christ have through church history
But i fear that time is coming to an end.
I don’t know how soon, I am not a prophet and am not even going to try to guess, but the hostility for the Christ and the church in our culture is increasing.
There is a great hostility toward truth, toward the Bible, toward the Bible’s demands upon us as creatures of our God.
There is hostility toward a Holy God that tells us how we are to live our lives.
Make no mistake about, hostility toward God’s law, whether it comes from the world or the so called church is hostility toward God because the law is simply an expression of the character of God.
The church has two options here
The church can compromise and become more like the world and try to fit in with the world and ultimately change the gospel to fit in with the world.
The church can continue to proclaim, Thus saith the Lord and by God’s grace the church will be built up and strengthened but the church will also be increasingly attacked by a hostile world.
I do not understand Christian leaders apologizing to the world for how the church has offended the world throughout the years hoping to get in good with the world and to try to reach them that way.
You do not reach the world by apologizing for truth or for backing off of the truth, the world hated our Lord and the world will hate us.
But by God’s grace as we proclaim the gospel message there will be some who will hear.
There will be some who will be worked on by the power of the Holy Spirit and will come to Christ.
What does Jesus say?
All of that said, what is the example that our Lord gave to His people?
The gospels tell us how Jesus was hated all of His ministry, how He was ultimately betrayed by one of His disciples, how He was arrested, how He was lied about, how He was mocked, how His trials were a mockery of justice and yet through the trials He was silent and how through it all He entrusted Himself to the Father
And do you remember what Jesus says to Pilate
Jesus was able to endure all of the suffering, all of the difficulty because He was not living for this world, the kingdom of this world, instead He was living for God’s Kingdom, the Kingdom that He knew would one day come and fill the earth.
But not only was he living for another Kingdom, but He was also entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly.
In other words, Jesus knew that there was coming a day when all things would be made right.
He knew that justice would be served.
Brothers and sisters, Christians that are living in persecution can only suffer for our Lord when they are living for the Kingdom to come and when they live in light of the reality that justice will one day be served.
These are good truths for us to remember as well as we live our daily lives.
Brothers and sisters, we would spare ourselves a lot of depression and anxiety if we were not so influenced by the worldly kingdom.
Brothers and sisters we are called to live for God’s Kingdom.
Christ and His Kingdom should effect every part of our lives, it should effect the way we enjoy the gifts that He gives us, it should effect the way we suffer when trials come our way, it should effect the way that we interact with others, it should effect the way that we live and the way that we die, right?
Christ is our Savior
Jesus not only showed us how to live, how to suffer, how to die
He also Saved us by His life, by His suffering, by His death
Oh brothers and sisters we are in the holy of holies here.
Here we are at the heart of the gospel
Here we have the glorious doctrine of substitutionary atonement.
We are taught by the OT
Of course we have the picture of the sacrifice that would die in the place of the sinner in , , and we could go on and on
That was to teach the people of the need of a sacrifice
We are taught of the ultimate sacrifice to come in Isaiah 53.
Of course so much of this passage, even the previous verses are influenced by , but we also see it here
Peter uses the same exact verb that is used in v.12
This idea of Substitutionary atonement is all through the Bible
We could go to many more passages but we will look in the same book
1 Peter
Another interesting fact here is that Peter uses the word tree here and not cross.
Why do you think?
This is where Paul gets the idea in Galatians
But notice in the text, why did He die for us?
Ultimately so that we might live to righteousness
That we might live righteous lives, that we might live for God’s Kingdom, that we might be children of light.
Again, brothers and sisters, the Bible knows nothing of a Christ follower that does not seek to follow Christ.
The NT knows nothing of someone who has been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of Light who still loves to live for the kingdom of darkness.
He delivered us so that we might live to righteousness.
He delivered us so that as sojourners and exiles we might abstain from the passions of the flesh which wage war against our souls and so that we might keep our conduct among the Gentiles honorable so that when they speak against us as evildoers they may see our good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
What comes right after ? 13 -16
Christ has healed us, that is He has delivered us from the disease of sin, He has rescued us, He has changed our hearts so that we might be salt and light in this world brothers and sisters, that is what Peter is calling us to.
You see at one time you were just like the rest of the world but now you have a Shepherd, you have an Overseer of your Soul.
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