1 Peter 1-2 Remember who you are

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Introduction

Over the last number of weeks we have been exploring the life of the Apostle Peter. As a disciple Peter was impetueus and Brash, always the first to speak.
Perhaps in the minds of many what they remember most vividly about Peter is that he denied Jesus three times, However, We left off last week with Jesus restoring Peter following breakfast on the Beach. As it turns out the same Peter who had denied Jesus three times spent the rest of his life boldly proclaiming the Good News that Jesus had Risen from the dead and that forivness of sins and by God was possible in Jesus name. So committed to this message Peter evetually became a martyre for his faith.
So we have explored Peters life, but This week we are beggining a new series as we explore one of Peters Letters to the early church begginging with 1st peter.

Big Idea

Peter starts his letter by Reminding the Church communities scatterd across Asia Minor of their new identity as the people of God centered around Jesus. Peter does this in:
verse 1 by reminding them of who they are .
verse 2 by reminding them of whose they are.
Peter’s reminders served to encourage them to live as faithful Christians within a difficult social situation by accepting suffering as part of their calling (2:21) and to bless those who insult and oppose them (3:9; cf. 2:11–15; 3:1, 7).
This would have been a vital comfort to the early church because the communities that Peter was writting to where experiencing persectuion and trials of Great pain under the Emperer Nero. Some of those Christians may have been wondering why they were suffering in this way.

Why you should Care

There are lots Reasons we should take heart from Peters comforting words.
firstly
At at this time in history it can be easy for us Christinas to forget our identity and loose sight of what actually makes us the Church of Christ. If lockdown has done anything for church communities it has made them think more deeply about what the church actually is. For example Many of the traditions that we may have inadvertadly used as Identity markers have been suddenly been taken away from us.
For example, we are fortunate at Rosskeen to worship at 2 very different but wonderful buildings. Yet, We hav’nt been gathering in a buildings for some time. Peter would say to the early church, (you are the building, the Temple of the Living God on Earth). And when we do gather again it looks like there will be restictions on our abilty to sing. Now as someone who is a singer and a musician and has spent 15 yeas of my life leading praise week in and week out I have been reminded not to build my identity around “what I do” as a Worship leader but only in what the Lord has done for me.
These strange times should serve as a catalyst for us to once again consider who we actually are as Gods people and not just what we do when we gather.

Aim of Sermon

If you are a Christian the aim of todays sermon
Firstly to help you understand the factors that make up our Christian Identity and the things that are true of every Christian.
Secondly to prepare you for the weeks ahead by laying a foundation. Understading our identity as christians serves as the imputous for all that Peter will ask of his readers concerning their worship and obedience through suffering.
If you are not a christian but are seeking to understand what all this church stuff is all about, I hope that todays message will be both informative and helpful but more than this God might use it to stir a desire in you to want to be apart of his Family (The Church). Jesus does not turn away anyone who comes to him in humility and faith.

Approach

So fistly we will look at Peter’s reminder to Remember who you are and Secondly we will look at Reminder to Remember whose you are.

Exposition

Remember who you are!

1 Peter 1:1 NIV
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
God’s Elect
Peter reminds them that they are God’s Elect. What does it mean to be Gos’s elect in the Biblical sense. Well essentially it means to be chosen. but that is maybe a bit of a simplistic term. to be elect means that God has set his love upon you and set you apart for himself by his unmereted saving Grace. The Language of elction was the language used of ancient Isreal which peter now applied to the church community centered around Jesus, Isreals Messiah.
For many the Idea that God “chooses” to have mercy and appoint some people to salvation” is unsettling, as it raises lots of phylisofical questions, not least the question of why God elects some and not others even though the offer and invitation of salvation goes out to all people.
Its important to remeber that Peter’s primary purpose was to strengthen Christian faith in the midst of suffering, not to simply teach the intricacies of doctrine, Peter did not intend his audience to get proud or argue over election. But to celebrate and rejoice in gods goodness and commitment to his church.
In themselves, believers are just ordinary people, but the gracious choice of God makes christians what we are—the ones whom God favors and loves. That is amazing, Peter encouraged his readers with the doctrine of divine election—because it reminded the Christians in Asia Minor that their suffering did not mean God had forgotten them.
I think if we were honest We too have the tendency to believe that God is with us and blessing us when all is well, while wondering if God has somehow abandoned us when our world is falling apart.
Aplication
Perhaps you are Christian who is suffering and your feeling that God cannot possibly love you as much as he used to? Peter would say child If you are in Christ, God has set his elective love on you. His favour and Grace is upon you, you have Gods assurance that your suffering is not purposless, suffering will actually strengthen your commitment and dependency on Christ to Christ, and your testimony for him. Don’t allow the trauma of the present to blur your vision of your glorious future with Christ in heaven.
Juan R. Sanchez
“because God has chosen us, we belong to God, and no amount of suffering can separate us from the inheritance he has prepared for us (3:13–14). We can stand firm in the grace of God because the God who chooses us is the God who brings about the very salvation he offers. If before the creation of the world God chose you, and if he sent his Son to die for you, he is hardly going to let you go now!
The Apostle Paul would put it this way, For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. Ro 5:10.
Exiles
But those who belong to Jesus are not Just Elect (ἐκλεκτοῖς) they are elect Exiles (παρεπιδήμοις)(parepidēmois Perhaps another translation might be, Aliens, Pilgrims or sojourners or Strangers.
In the Greek the word for elect acts as a modifyer for the word translated exiles. What that means is Believers are exiles, because they are elected by God.
Consequently the early christians refused to worship the gods of their culture; they had an exclusive message of salvation; they had odd customs and practices; and they believed in a God who became a man and who, rather than triumph and establish his kingdom as expected, had been killed, only to rise again (they claimed) from the dead. The Christians to whom Peter wrote were exiles in the world they once called their own.
Aplication When I became a Christian in 2004 and I began to embrace my new identity, I qucikly realised that my values were changing and that Christianity was not percieved as cool or even rational in the minds of my athiestit friends. I began to feel like I didnt fit anymore, Believers are exiles because they suffer for their faith in a world that finds their faith off-putting and strange. Maybe you are Christian and you struggle with the fact that you dont fit in with the world around you. Peter wants you to know thats ok, you are a stranger a pilgrim on earth at this time. you are a citezen of another country, Heaven is your home and one day heaven will come to earth in all its fulness and you will no longer feel like a stranger, you will be home.
There was an old scottish minister called william Barclay who The Epistle to Diognetus, said ‘Christians are not marked out from the rest of mankind by their country or their speech or their customs … They dwell in cities both Greek and barbarian, each as his lot is cast, following the customs of the region in clothing and in food and in the outward things of life generally; yet they manifest the wonderful and openly paradoxical character of their own state. They inhabit the lands of their birth, but as temporary residents thereof; they take their share of all responsibilities as citizens, and endure all disabilities as aliens. Every foreign land is their native land, and every native land a foreign land … They pass their days upon earth, but their citizenship is in heaven.’
It would be wrong to think that this makes Christians bad citizens of the land in which they live. It is because they see all things in the light of eternity that they are the best of all citizens, for it is only in the light of eternity that the true values of things can be seen.
We, as Christians, are the chosen people of God; we are the exiles of eternity. Therein lie both our priceless privilege and our inescapable responsibility.1
1 William Barclay, The Letters of James and Peter, 3rd ed. fully rev. and updated, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003), 194–195.

Remember whose you are!

You belong to the Triune God.
1 Peter 1:2 NIV
who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
You belong to God The Father
chosen according to the fornowledge of God the father. forknowelde in the bible is more than God simply knowing future events, it has to do with Gods elective love. God’s knowing in the Bible is a relational term. The best way to understand what Peter means by the word is to look at 1 Pet 1:20 where it says that Christ “was chosen before the creation of the world.” The term translated “chosen” by the NIV is actually “foreknown” (proegnōsmenou).
Therefore, when Peter said that believers are elect “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,” he emphasized God’s sovereignty and initiative in salvation. Believers are elect because God the Father has set his affection upon them. It had nothing to do with us, For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and not by works.
John 15:16 NIV
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
Ephesians 2:8 NIV
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
This awareness of their election by the fornknowlede of God will serve as the foundation for all that Peter will ask of them.
Peter linked their scattering, what he calls the scattering to the foreknowledge of God. In other words, the difficulties God’s people face do not surprise God. God the Father knows about everything his chosen people face. He works it all out as part of his plan. According to the foreknowledge of God the Father also suggests that all we go through is “according to God’s fatherly care.” God knew our circumstances of pain before the world began and cares for us in accordance with his fatherly care.
I am always blown away by this, you saw my sin, my heart, my thoughts, and you still set your love upon me. Rom 5:8
Romans 5:8 ESV
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If you are a Christian today take heart. Now matter what evil comes your way understand that God forknew you, it will be ok. He set his elective love upon you and he will complete the good work he started in you.
You Belong to God The Holy Spirit

through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient

Our Election by God has a pupose, that we might be sanctified by the Spirit to bring about obedience in our lives.
Sanctification means we are being transformed and renewed, we are growing in Holiness and likeness to Chris. Yet, since we are chosen of God and are objects of his fatherly care, we are never out of his plan. He is designing our sanctification, our spiritual growth. Knowing that, we can continue, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to obey the commands of Jesus Christ. That obedience begins with accepting Jesus as personal Lord and Savior and continues by living life each day just as Jesus told us and leads us to live it. We obey the call of Jesus to salvation, the word of Jesus in the Bible, and the encouragement of Jesus found in personal relationship with him each day.
Aplication
That means that whatever trial you are going through rest assured that God is using you circumstance to make you more like Christ, working all things together for your ultimate good and his glory,
You Belong to God the Son -

to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood:

What does it mean to be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus Christ.
The Bible teaches us, that the life is in the Blood, Blood gives life. Where there is no blood there is no life. Jesus Shed his precious blood for his people on the Cross that they might have life. He gave up his lifeblood, so that we might be cleased of our sins.
This event was anticipated in the OT throught the sacrificial system. Under that system everything was sprinkled with blood in order to make it ritually and ceremonially clean. But God also said the blood of bulls and lambs could never atone for humanities sin. The whole system was pointing forward to the one who was to come, the one who would make the ultimate and final sacrifice on behalf of his people by shedding his own precious blood, the blood of God the Son himself.
Isaiah 53:5 NIV
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
For Christians, the blood of Christ on the cross covers our sins and brings us salvation.
To people sprinkled with Christ’s blood and obedient to Christ, Peter gave the typical Christian greeting. Peace reflects the Hebrew greeting shalom, wishing wholeness and meaningful life.

Landing

Maybe today is a day that you needed reminded of who you are and whose you are. Perhaps Corrona Virus has exposed some of the religious idols you have been placing your trust in
1) for me personally God has used corona virus to remind be that Ministry work is not God. Leading worship is not God, buildings are not God. I am not to define myself by tradition and that I need to repent of these things
2) Perhaps for you today the correct response will be to turn to God and praise him for his elective love, Perhaps the right response is to rejoice that you belong to him.
Remember who you are
Remember whos you are
And you will endure suffering, that if you are a christian is sure to come.

Prayer

Dear Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank you for this letter of 1 Peter. We thank you for clarifying our identity in this world. We praise you that you have called us for obedience to Jesus Christ. May his eternal glory be ever before us. May his season of earthly humiliation guide us. And may his vindication inspire us to press on through this wilderness world. It is in Jesus’ name that we pray.
How Deep the Fathers love for us.
Celtic Blessing
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