Sermons

Summary: an exposition of 1 Peter 13 preached during the Corona Virus Lockdown on 2020

[A number of members of the congregation give some mini-testimonies of why Jesus, church and prayer are important to them]

Fr Mund: Today’s passage is a really beautiful one - and a really difficult one. It is so rich, so full of so many themes, so much depth, that is really hard to pick out what to say about it. Even the small amount I do get to share with you today will only scratch the surface and if each one of you preached your own sermon, we would still as a church not cover everything that is in this passage. Let’s hear it again:

13 Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14 But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, 15 but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 16 But do this with gentleness and respect

Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil.

18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, 20 who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.

21 And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of physical dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a cleansed conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him.

18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous in order to bring you to God

This is the heart of our faith. Many people think your value depends of what you do - good people do good things bad people do bad things. So in many belief systems what happens to you depends on how good you are. So for Hindus for example, if you live a good life you will get reincarnated better next time round, if you lead a bad life you will get reincarnated worse. For Muslims there are two angels sitting on your shoulders. One weighs up your good deeds, one your bad deeds and on the day of judgement they are put on a scale and if your good deeds weight more you go to paradise, if your bad deeds wear more you go to hell.

But for Christians it is not about how good you are but about how loved you are. “For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous in order to bring you to God”

There is an old metaphor which is told in this cartoon: [cartoon shows two children who are friends, one grows up to be a judge one to be a criminal. One day the criminal ends up in the judge’s law court. He has done wrong- the Judge has to find him guilty and imposes a huge fine. But then the judge takes off his whig and his gown and get’s his cheque book out and because he loves his friend, he pays the fine. This is what Jesus does for us.

"And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of physical dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a cleansed conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him."

According to the bible - Baptism is a really important thing. As God’s word says here “Baptism now saves you” - you can’t get more important than that. “Baptism now saves you”

Romans 6 tells us more about this

{Use a powerpoint to demonstrate this}

- (picture of Christ on cross) (picture of font superimposed on corner)

- Roman’s tells us that in baptism we are joined to Christ on the cross (picture of congregation members faces superimposed on body of Jesus)

- so that when Jesus dies (big red cross through Jesus face)

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