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In verse 13 of chapter 3 Peter picks back up his them of the born again believer’s response to persecution.
Peter again addresses how exiles and sojourners are to suffer.
In his day suffering was rampant and potentially violent.
Great pain and loss could come as a result of professing faith in Christ.
In these verses we began looking at last week Peter again reminds his readers what they should be when the trials and tribulations come.
I am going to pick up at the end of verse 14, Pastor Josh really unpacked for us the idea of suffering as a believer last week and how the Scriptures remind us not to be surprised when persecution comes.
At the end of verse 14 Peter calls those who have been born to,
I. Be Fearless (14b)
He calls those who are followers of Christ, those who desire to love life and see good days, to
Have no fear of them,
Peter wants those who are in Christ to know, they do not have to be scared of, afraid of, or have any fear of these evil, unrighteous men who threaten, revile, slander, and may even physically harm them.
How in the world can Peter have this kind of confidence, how is it that he can say “don’t be scared of those men who may beat you and may behead you?
Somebody, might even say to Peter, how can you say that Peter when you denied Christ three times?
How is all of the sudden, Peter writing with all of this authority about being fearless in the light of persecution?
A. Peter’s Progression in Fearlessness
Peter had the teaching of Jesus.
Even though Peter knew Jesus teaching was that enough to prepare Him to suffer without fear?
No, he denied Christ after Jesus told him this.
2. Peter saw the resurrected Jesus.
Think back to after the resurrection, Jesus had that beautiful time of restoration with Peter where after Peter professed his love for Christ, Jesus told him,
Was this enough to cause Peter to be perfectly fearless, seeing Jesus and being call to follow Jesus?
Remember Peter’s response?
John 21:
It is still like he doesn’t full understand how to be fearless in the face of persecution for Christ.
3. Peter is filled with the Holy Spirit.
We know the rest of the sermon, Peter confidently and courageously preaches the gospel in the midst of thousands.
This is why by chapter 4 we read,
Acts 4
Do you think Peter had the field cred to right to believers of His day,
Have no fear.....
nor be troubled,
What is Peter saying here, don’t be troubled?
Don’t worry, don’t be anxious, don’t fret...
Here the world troubled means,
to cause acute emotional distress or turbulence—‘to cause great mental distress.
Now, how many of us can say that since becoming a believer, we have grown in boldness in our preaching, teaching, witnessing.
Not that we are where we want to be but we can see growth.
Maybe the first time you went out to knock on doors or the first time you shared the gospel it caused great mental distress....But now it is a little easier, you don’t get quite as nervous, you look forward to talking about the gospel instead of fearing sharing the truth.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Those who are afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who fear God have no more fear of men.”
Doriani, D. M. (2014). 1 Peter.
(R. D. Phillips, P. G. Ryken, & D. M. Doriani, Eds.) (p.
Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
This brings us to the next command Peter gives the church,
Be Prepared with Gentleness (15)
Before we discuss the call to being prepared to preach the gospel, we must consider the contrast to what Peter just exhorted us to do.
Have no fear, nor be troubled, and
A. Honor Christ as Holy
15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy,
What does it mean to honor Christ the Lord as holy in your hearts?
Pastor David defines it this way, “To sanctify Christ in one’s heart, to honor Christ the Lord as holy, is to worshipfully esteem him as gloriously set apart in his person, words, and works.
In your hearts…in your inner and true man - honor, sanctify, set apart Christ in distinction and honor and holiness.”
John MacArthur states, “when believers sanctify Christ as Lord in their hearts they affirm their submission to His control, instruction, and guidance.
In doing so they also declare and submit to God’s sovereign majesty.”
In other words, I think of it this way, anytime a potential situation of righteous suffering arises set your mind and affections on Christ.
Think of Him, think of who He is (person),
Son of God
Son of Man
Son of David
Second Person of the God-head
Lamb of God
Lion of the Tribe of Judah
Think of His Work,
Sinless life (active obedience), He lived a holy life ever second of His life, to cover every sinful second of our life...
Sacrificial death on the cross.
He died so that the debt that you and I owed could be paid.
Substitutionary Atonement, He hung their in mine and your place.
Propitiatory work - satisfying the Father’s wrath...
Supernatural Resurrection
Sitting on the throne right now ruling and reigning.
What is that doing for our fear of man?
How about,
Revelation 6:1-
Now, honor Him, He is the coming conqueror with a voice like thunder!
Who in the world had any power over Him....
If we honor Christ as holy in our hearts will others notice?
Will those around us be able to tell something is happening to us?
Absolutely, when someone loves Jesus you know it.
Think about it, is it obvious when someone loves their wife/husband and children?
What do they do?
They talk about them.
They can’t wait to spend time with them.
They take care of them.
They protect them.
They devote their lives to them.
Tom Schreiner writes, “setting apart Christ as Lord in the heart is not merely a private reality but will be evident to all when believers suffer for their faith.
The inner and outer life are inseparable, for what happens within will inevitably be displayed to all, especially when one suffers.”
Therefore, Peter continues, we must,
B. Be Prepared to Present the Gospel
always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;
Do you see the flow of the text, suffering in Christ leads to setting apart Christ as holy, which leads to speak of Christ as our sure, and steady confidence!
Christians suffer for doing good,
Christians see Christ as their example in suffering,
Christians set apart Christ in their hearts,
Christians speak of their eschatological hope in Christ.
Here is the question, does this mean we need to be prepared to defend every disputed doctrine, and answer every question or so called supposed contradiction in the Scriptures?
for the hope that is in you;
No. Now I am not saying we don’t study to show ourselves approved.
And we should be seeking to grow in our “apologetic.”
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