Summary: This sermon addresses the need to live with a sense of urgency in light of the coming of Christ. We want to be found faithfully living and serving when Christ returns. I relied heavily on "Living With a Sense of Urgency," Sermon by Joey Nelson, SermonCe
A. It’s Super Bowl Weekend, so I thought I might start with a Super Bowl riddle.
1. Question: How many Buffalo Bills does it take to win a Super Bowl?
2. Answer: No one knows, and we may never find out!
3. If you are a football fan then you know that the Bills went to four consecutive Super Bowls, which is unprecedented, but they lost all four of them.
B. This riddle would not have worked for either of the teams in today’s Super Bowl.
1. The Pittsburg Steelers have already been to 7 Super Bowls and have won 6 of them.
2. The Green Bay Packers have been to 4 Super Bowls and have won 3 of them.
C. We are now only hours away from the big game.
1. I can only imagine the sense of nervousness and urgency that the players are feeling.
2. Just getting to this big game is a challenge – the members of 30 other teams will be sitting at home today watching the Super Bowl.
3. The Super Bowl is a 60 minute game, but the urgency to take the lead and win only gets stronger as the end of the game approaches.
D. It’s that kind of urgency that I want us to sense with regard to our Christian lives.
1. There’s certainly a sense of urgency in the New Testament.
2. It breathes urgency and expectancy with a lot more at stake than any Super Bowl game.
E. Consider some of the statements of urgency in the New Testament.
1. The Apostle Paul wrote: “The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” (Rom. 13:12)”
2. James wrote: “The coming of the Lord is at hand,” (James 5:8).
3. The Apostle John wrote: “It is the last hour…” (1 Jn. 2:18)
4. Jesus said: “Surely, I am coming soon.” (Rev. 1:3; 22:20)
F. In our Scripture section for today, Peter picks up on this intensity when he wrote: “ 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” (1 Pt. 4:7)
1. In our series on 1 Peter, we have been discussing the fact that Peter was writing to a group of suffering Christians.
2. He wanted them to know that their suffering would be rewarded, and that it could be used to grow the kingdom.
3. He wanted them to be prepared for it to get even harder.
4. Peter knew that only the well prepared would survive.
5. So Peter instructed them to live with this sense of urgency – the time was short.
6. I don’t think Peter wanted them to always go around in a hurry – that’s not what we mean by urgency.
7. Rather, he wanted them to have this sense of the passing of time and how we must take advantage of opportunities while we still have the chance.
8. In our verses for today, Peter defined for us what a life led with a sense of urgency looks like.
9. Transition: Those who live with a sense of urgency have…
I. A Militant Attitude Toward Sin
A. Peter began: 1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. 2 As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.
1. The picture we have here is of putting on an attitude as a suit of armor.
2. Our attitude is like a weapon as we do spiritual warfare.
3. And what is this attitude? Well it’s the same one that Christ took toward sin and suffering.
4. It has to do with dying to sin and living according to God’s will.
B. Jesus knew that at once He had completed the task of bearing our sins on the cross, He would never again have to struggle with sin or temptation--that would all be over with.
1. Sin was finished and defeated.
2. The attitude we should arm ourselves with in living a life of urgency is like that.
3. We should consider ourselves “dead” to sin…finished with it.
4. We don’t have to respond to it anymore.
5. Sin’s power has been broken and we are free to live differently!
6. When sin says to jump, we don’t have to jump anymore.
7. When sin ruled in your life, it said to “Jump” and you said, “How high?”