Summary: Exposition of 1 Peter 3:13-17
Text: 1 Peter 3:13-17
Title: How to React to Persecution
Date/Place: LSCC, 11/27/05, AM
A. Opening illustration: the persecution of the insurance companies, the suffering of the bricklayer—ill file
B. Background to passage: Peter again takes up the subject of Christians being persecuted, and suffering for righteousness sake. Although the text indicates that this may be unlikely, we know that Christians are called to suffer persecution in the advancement of the kingdom. He wants them to react well to it. So,
C. Main thought: we will see the four reactions that we should have to suffering/persecution
A. Consider yourself blessed (v. 14)
1. This is the same word used here that was used by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. But the connotation here is a little different. Here it means “privileged” or “honored.” The text indicates that this blessing will occur alongside the suffering or persecution. God is always about using suffering in our lives to shape us and accomplish his purposes and plans.
3. Illustration: someone asked, “why do Christians suffer?” One writer asked “why not, they are the only ones who can handle it.” Paul’s thorn in the flesh—2 Cor 12:7-9, Charlie losing Rhonda and God working in his life to change his perspective and direction, then later bringing them back together, blessed.
4. We should count it an honor to serve Christ. Look for the purpose in suffering, but if you cannot find it, trust that it is there. Realize that God is working in you, and has found you worthy to suffer for Him. Expect blessing to follow your persecution. Refuse to believe that God has forsaken you, forgotten about you, or just delights in your pain. Refuse hopelessness, and express your faith in Him.
B. Put your trust in Christ (v. 14-15)
1. Peter quotes here from Isa 8:12-13, and exhorts them not to fear. Original context is invading Assyrians. Peter says don’t be shaken or troubled. Peter further instructs them to “treat as holy or reverent” Christ in their hearts; meaning to make Christ first, central, primary in your heart. He says to firm up your loyalty, love, adoration, and obedience to Christ.
2. Matt 10:27-28, Prov 3:5-6, Ps 37:3-7, 62:8, Isa 12:2, 26:3,
3. Illustration: “The vine clings to the oak during the fiercest of storms. Although the violence of nature may uproot the oak, twining tendrils still cling to it. If the vine is on the side opposite the wind, the great oak is its protection; if it is on the exposed side, the tempest only presses it closer to the trunk. In some of the storms of life, God intervenes and shelters us; while in others He allows us to be exposed, so that we will be pressed more closely to Him.” When the emperor Valens threatened Eusebuis with confiscation of all his goods, torture, banishment, or even death, the courageous Christian replied, “He needs not fear confiscation, who has nothing to lose; nor banishment, to whom heaven is his country; nor torments, when his body can be destroyed at one blow; nor death, which is the only way to set him at liberty from sin and sorrow.” Mary’s willing submission and trust in God—Luke 1:38,