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Introd.: motto of Boy Scouts = "Be Prepared"

God's message to Joseph in Egypt = help the nation to be prepared for 7 years of famine

doctors take much more time today than they used to to make sure patients understand and are prepared for the operation

Illust. of not being prepared:

Peter wants his readers to be prepared to suffer even the fieriest of trials

Big Idea: BE PREPARED TO SUFFER INTENSELY AND STAY COMMITTED TO THE WILL OF GOD -- LIVING OUT YOUR VICTORY AND VINDICATION

I. BE PREPARED TO SUFFER INTENSELY (:12)

the degree of suffering is in view here

A. Assurance of Love Produces Security -- "beloved"

this is true in our family; true in the family of God

B. Intense Suffering Should Not Produce Astonishment

Danger of prosperity doctrine = presenting Christ as a cure-all:

Christianity does not provide immunity from suffering; Don't be surprised if the world hates you (1 Jn.3:13) ; we need to teach people to count the cost

C. Intense Suffering Should Produce Purity

1. Intensity -- a fiery ordeal -- must have been a very severe trial in view since thay already had weathered other opposition; only other NT usage = Rev. 18:9 the burning of Babylon

2. Purpose -- divinely allowed for testing; image of purifying metal

II. REJOICE IN YOUR VICTORY (:13-14)

A. The Degree of Rejoicing -- determined by degree of fellowship with Christ; God's purpose is to make us like His Son; we must go thru same school of obedience (Heb. 5:8) Philip. 3:10-11

B. The Occasion of Rejoicing

1. Right now as we are going thru the suffering

2. Even greater rejoicing at the revelation of His glory

that will be glory for me (Rom. 8:17-18; 2 Cor 4:17-18)

obtaining a better resurrection Heb. 11:35

"shout for joy" used earlier in 1:6 and 1:8

C. The Reason for Rejoicing = Assurance of Victory produced by the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives right now; performing His function of exalting Christ in our lives

III. ASIDE: REMEMBER, THE CONTEXT MUST BE COMMENDABLE CONDUCT (:15)

Def. of "troublesome meddler"

a compound word:

"another" = denotes an activity which is foreign to the doer, or which is not his concern

"overseer" (same as bishop)

in the context -- seems to be someone guilty of conduct which justly involves him in shame and punishment at the hands of the state;

some type of political agitator that would be viewed as a threat to the state?

IV. DON'T FEEL ASHAMED, BUT GLORIFY GOD IN YOUR VINDICATION (:16-18)

A. Don't Feel Ashamed -- not trying to deny or minimize allegiance to Christ

B. Glorify God in Your Vindication

C. Contrast between temporal judgment of the state in executing believers and eternal condemnation of God against unsaved

V. STAY COMMITTED TO THE WILL OF GOD BY ENTRUSTING YOUR SOULS TO A FAITHFUL CREATOR (:19)


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