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Living for God

Stonebrook Community Church https://www.stonebrook.org

 

Introduction

We’ve been studying through first peter. Anyone know what the book is about?

Authors intent – what is Peter saying to his audience? This is the first step in understanding any book. (also genre)

1 Peter 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it.

Peter is writing to the saints in Asia Minor who are facing some persecution for their faith. He wants them to understand their place in Christ, what Jesus has done for them, their identity in Christ, how to interact with each other and with the world while suffering. All to bring glory to God and proclaim him to the world!
Stand firm in the true grace of God in the face of suffering.

One way to divide the book is into 5 sections:
1. Greeting (1:1-2) Elect Exhiles – Chosen Outcasts – An interesting combination
2. Opening: Reassurance for God’s people (1:3-2:10) (Mercy to mercy)
3. As God’s people, live Godly lives (2:11-4:11) >>Beloved to Amen
4. Consolation for a suffering flock (4:12-5:11) >>Beloved to Amen
5. Closing: Final words and greetings (5:12-14)

As God’s people, live Godly lives

Relationships
1. Government
2. Employers
3. Wives
4. Husbands
5. Everyone else

Why? 

1 Peter 2:9 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.
1 Peter 2:12 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.

 

How should we act?

After the commands to Government, Employers, Wives and Husbands – Here then is the commands to everyone:

1 Peter 3:8-12 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. For "Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Finally all of you – referring to everyone not just slaves, wives and husbands

Five adjectives that should describe believers mainly in fellowship with one another. These five qualities are vital to effective interpersonal relationships. They are also indispensable for maintaining oneness in marriage. These are attitudes – the foundation to actions – God’s looks at the heart.

  • Unity of Mind – "Harmonious" implies cooperation when there are individual differences. These differences can have a pleasing rather than an irritating effect. –Not off key but in harmony. Many scriptures call us to be the body of Christ together – using our strengths in concert with one another.
  • Sympathy – suffering with another by entering into, and sharing the feelings of others, rather than by having compassion on another person from a distance. It implies bearing one another's burdens (Gal. 6:2).
  • Brotherly love – "Brotherly" looks at the special love that unites believers (cf. 1:22; 2:17).
  • A Tender heart – "Kindhearted" means feeling affectionately, compassionately, and deeply for someone else.
  • A humble mind – The person who is "humble in spirit" is willing to put someone else's interests and needs before his or her own (cf. Phil. 2:3-4). This is for other people but also toward God
    • "Christians are to be emotionally involved with each other."
    • Counter cultural for Asia Minor – very competitive – weakness and shame “Declare oneself powerless to defend ones status” (see v9)

Along with these 5 attributes Peter singles out those suffering – whether by the hands of another believer or not.

V9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.

Echoes Jesus’ words:

Matt 5:44-46 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,

Has there ever been a time when you have struggled to forgive? THAT’s NORMAL! YET IT’s SIN! Good thing that we are forgiven even if we haven’t forgiven someone else!

Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Still this is the standard that we are held to. We are not let our of the need to forgive just because we’ve been forgiven. Read 1st John – this is how we as followers of Jesus should act!

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

What qualifications can we put on “do not repay evil with evil?”

Righteous Justice rises up in our hearts – it’s not right that they should get away with this! It is my duty to pay them back. They can’t live this way!

Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

IT IS UNJUST!!! Or it would be if Christ hadn’t suffered and died for every sin! What makes you think that this injustice should be any different? Because it was done to me!!!
How can I love my enemies if I don’t even like them? Love is not just an emotion but acting rightly. Don’t respond to evil with evil – that’s loving. But it’s more than that.
It’s bringing a blessing instead “publically speak well of someone” – this is the greek understanding but we should have the Christian understanding – invoke God’s favor over them. Practically pray for their success! In this we receive and inheritance.

Our blessing is our inheritance:

1 Peter 1:4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

Our blessing is also good here – love life and see good days!

Peter quotes Psalm 34:12-16. This quotation (vv. 10-12) appropriately summarizes all of Peter's instructions concerning proper Christian conduct during persecution (2:11-3:12).
“Not the keys of a successful happy life but to glorify God to show the world God’s character and attributes.”

This is so right! If we’re aiming at a successful happy life and looking for instructions on how to gratify ourselves there are plenty of self-help books out there about the power of positive thinking! But we should get satisfaction, joy and pleasure out of this life when we seek God before that! This is in fact a the keys to a successful happy life that first glorifies God and is satisfied in him and draws happiness from the joy in the Lord!

Psalm 27:4 One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.

Peter goes on to address what happens when life gets hard. Walking in faith in the midst of suffering – central theme of the letter…. Again!

 

How should we act in suffering?

1 Peter 3:13-17 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.

V13 God will not harm us!!
V14 We need to expect suffering

We will be Blessed = privileged recipients of divine favor.

Matthew 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Don’t be afraid or troubled

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Quotes Isaiah to Israel while they were in trouble – COMMON STRUGGLE

“We fear God so little because we fear man so much.”

V15 Don’t fear man but revere Christ. Instead fear Christ – revere – regard him as Holy.

1 Peter 2:9 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.

1 Peter 2:12 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.

One of our greatest testimonies to the Holiness of God is our hope in the midst of suffering! What should I say? What is the reason for my hope? Do you have hope in the midst of suffering? GO TO Verse 18!

It is better to suffer than to sin.

V16 A "good conscience" is possible when we know our suffering has happened in spite of "good behavior," not because of bad behavior (cf. 2:19; 3:4, 6). A simple explanation of our good conduct may take the wind out of the sails of ("put to shame") our critics. Versus a bad conscience – this is possible – we may suffer the natural consequences of our sin (laziness/apathy/anger/lust).

Humility and respect are attitudes towards others rooted in our view of God. Shame = utter defeat and disgrace in battle.

V17 God’s will

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Peter means this as assurance not admonition. We are better off in suffering than those who oppress us. God's will is for us to do right not God wills suffering even if and when his will produces suffering. If only for a little while – a peek ahead!

1 Peter 5:10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

This is directly connected with the suffering of Christ!

 

Confidence in Jesus’ Victory

1 Peter 3:18-22 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

One of the closest verses that we can get to sharing the gospel in a nutshell. Peter here goes back and fills in the gaps in his earlier walk through of Christ’s sufferings in chapter 2
Peter proceeded to explain the significance of Jesus' resurrection and exaltation, not only for believers, but also for the whole universe. The previous example of Jesus stressed the way He suffered while doing good, this one emphasizes the theme of Jesus' vindication, which is major in 1 Peter following the quotation of Psalm 34 in 3:10-12

Jesus Christ became the Victor rather than a victim. All who trust Him share in that victory (cf. vv. 13-17).
This is challenge and encouragement for Peter’s readers and for us. We have victory in Christ!

Five components of His sufferings:

  • Once for sins – (1) They were expiatory, that is, they freed believing sinners from the punishment of their sins.
    • (2) They were eternally effectual. He died once for all and settled the sin question. The work of redemption was completed.
    • Complete sufficiency in his sacrifice
  • The righteous for the unrighteous – (3) They were substitutionary. The just died for the unjust. “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6b).
    • Vicarious sacrifice as a substitute
  • That he might bring us to God – (4) They were reconciling. Through His death we have been brought to God. The sin which caused seperation has been removed.
  • Being put to death in the flesh – (5) They were violent. His death was by torturous execution.
  • But made alive in the spirit – (6) Finally, they were climaxed by resurrection. He was raised from the dead on the third day. The expression made alive by the Spirit means that His resurrection was through the power of the Holy Spirit.

EXCURSIS on the Gospel Once you have established that we are all sinners in need of a savior.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (ESV)

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

Then you have this verse that explains what Christ has done for us. (1 Peter 3:18)

Romans 10:9-10 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (ESV)

John 1:12-13 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (ESV)

1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. (ESV)

Peter shows that as a result of Jesus' sufferings, we can be sure of ultimate triumph, and this gives us confidence as we suffer this is not the end

 

Noah?

There is a difference between unclear revelation and difficult and complex doctrine that is emotionally problematic. Be extremely careful with this passage. It is not something to be trifled with! Millions of Christians have been led astray by teaching this passage in error – purgatory, infant baptism and universal salvation. Never take an unclear passage such as this to alter the clear interpretation of another passage!

1 Timothy 1:3-4 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

“If they are fallen angels, Peter may have meant that after Jesus Christ arose, He announced to them that their doom was now sure. He may have done this either by His resurrection itself, or by some special announcement to them.” -Constable

So the verse may be amplified as follows: “by whom (the Holy Spirit) He (Christ) went and preached (through Noah) to the spirits now in prison (Hades).” -BBC

We know from the weight of scripture that there is nothing that we can do/say/think/act that we can perform that saves us!! How does this passage fit? Baptism now delivers ("saves") us from the consequences of siding with the world (cf. James 1:21; 2:24; 2 Cor. 6:17-18; Col. 3:8-9; Heb. 10:22). Baptism is the evidence that a person has made a break with his or her past life, and is now taking a stand with the Savior. It is an appeal, springing from "a good conscience" (i.e., a conscience that is now right with God; cf. v. 16).
The flood in Noah's day was a "type" (i.e., a divinely intended foreshadowing) for baptism. God washed away from the earth its past evils and sins with the Flood, and Noah and his family could start life anew.

Final Thoughts on Noah
1. Noah and his family were a minority surrounded by hostile unbelievers
2. Noah was righteous in the midst of a wicked world
3. Noah witnessed boldly to those around him by believing God and building the ark
4. Noah realized that judgment was soon to come upon the world
5. God waited patiently in that time before bringing judgment
6. Noah was saved with a only a few others

 

Conclusion

How should we act? In Suffering? Why? We have hope!

Ps 34 – God is watching and he hears our prayers. There is an invisible reality. 

Don’t be surprised, be ready when suffering comes.
Prepare your heart and learn so that when it comes you’ll be ready to go through it in faith!
Don’t live to avoid suffering.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,