Summary: We as Christians need to live for God and understand that when we live holy lives in a fallen world we will suffer for our stances but we need to stay sensible through the trials and be committed to the cause of Jesus Christ.
Don’t be shocked by suffering, be sensible – 1 Peter 4
Thesis: We as Christians need to live for God and understand that when we live holy lives in a fallen world we will suffer for our stances but we need to stay sensible through the trials and be committed to the cause of Jesus Christ.
I Peter was written by Simon Peter one of Jesus’ disciples. He wrote this book to encourage believers who were being persecuted by secular society- The Roman Empire and the Jewish nation. We know from church history that Peter was crucified for his stance on the message of Christianity. The Romans had him crucified upside down at Peter’s request. He is said to have stated, “He felt unworthy to die in the same manner as His Lord.”
In my first sermon based on 1 Peter 1 we discovered that peter challenges us about our present mindset – our current thought processes should be changed since we have received grace from Jesus and experienced Him personally in our lives. The truth is we should have been touched dramatically by our salvation experience that we want to drive out our old evil way of thinking and acting and replace it with right thinking and actions.
In my second sermon from 1 Peter 2 we were challenged as Christians to seek to romance the precious stone Jesus like we seek to romance the lovers in our lives. In our text today we are looking at the importance of each of us Christians making the decision to romance the Stone. We know that Peter refers to the Stone as Jesus Christ. He is a precious stone a living hope the one who is the cornerstone of all relationships.
What we are talking about when we say that we must romance the stone is that we must have Spiritual Intimacy with Jesus the lover of our souls.
In my third sermon from 1 Peter we were charged to make sure we do right things then we will be right but if we chose to do wrong things then we will be wrong in the sight of God. We were told by Peter in chapter 3 that we must be willing to suffer for doing good. We need to be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, and also be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing if you bless those who persecute you for doing good. 1 Peter 3:13, 14 stated;
“13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.”
I want to pick up this thought from chapter 3 of 1 Peter and move us into Chapter 4 of 1 Peter and see how important it is to approach this life with the right attitude and mindset about doing good and suffering for it.
Scripture Text: 1 Peter 4:1-19 (Play on the CD)
1Therefore, 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. 2As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 5But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18And,