Summary: Part 1 of Exiles: Sustained by Hope in a Hostile World (1 Peter)
If you are a fan of Georgia Tech football, you might consider October 7, 1916 as one of the greatest daysin history. If you are a fan of offense in general, you might feel the same way. Because on October 7, 1916, Georgia Tech delivered the most stunning beatdown in football history to Cumberland College, beating them by a score of 222-0.
Here's the way it went down. The season before, Cumberland’s baseball team humiliated the Yellow Jackets, beating them 22-0. So Tech coach John Heisman (yes, that Heisman), was looking for revenge. So he was determined to run up the score as much as possible. And he did. 32 touchdowns. They scored a touchdown every one minute and forty three seconds. 471 yards of offense, which if that doesn’t sound like very much for 222 points, that’s because 73% of the game was played in Cumberland’s red zone. Cumberland’s quarterback was carried off the field uncounscious THREE DIFFERENT TIMES. At one point, Georgia Tech’s kicker kicked off, ran down the field, and caught his own kick for a touchdown. At halftime, when the score was 126 to 0, Cumberland’s coach went to Coach Heisman and begged him to end the game. Heisman agreed to shorten the game by five minutes.
But there’s another part of the story that isn’t told as often. In 1916 Cumberland College was experiencing such financial difficulties that their president cut funding for all sports, including football. However, when Cumberland tried to back out, John Heisman demanded that they either play the game or pay a $3000 fine to forfeit. In order to pay that money (about $70000 today), Cumberland would have to not pay their professors, and the school would have closed. So Cumberland chose 13 members of the Kappa Sigma freaternity, some of whom didn’t know how to play football to go to Atlanta and sacrifice themselves in order to save the school.
Now, I ask you, how would you feel to have been chosen for that kind of assignment? Would you have looked at Tech’s record at the time (in the middle of a four year, 33 game winning streak) and opted out?
Let me put it this way: What if you knew that because of your actions, the school would be saved? Not only that, but eventually Cumberland College would become Cumberland University, whose alumni include 14 governors, more than 80 members of the United States Congress, two Supreme Court justices, three United States ambassadors, and the longest serving secretary of state in US history? Would you be willing to endure 55 minutes of football humiliation for something like that?
This morning we begin a new sermon series on 1 Peter, and we’re going to spend a lot of time on the term Peter uses to describe the recipients of his letter.
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Meet the Author
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ (v. 1)
• Leader of the Twelve
• Head of the Jerusalem church (Acts 15:8)
• Eyewitness to the life and death of Jesus (1 Peter 5:1)
Meet the Audience
To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia (v.1)
• ELECT: Those to whom God has chosen to give saving faith so they can become Christians (1 Peter 2:9)
• EXILE: One who has been banished from one’s home or country, expelled from one’s native land by official decree (Jer. 24:5-7)
The Questions We Most often ask:
1. If I’m chosen, then why am I suffering?
2. If I’m suffering, then does that mean I’m not chosen?
How are We Chosen?
Foreknowledge: (prognosis): God’s eternal, predetermined, loving, saving interntion.
• Not mere supernatural knowledge of the future.