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Summary: How can we get a hearing in lost society? How can we create in environment for effective evangelism? How can we project a true image of ourselves, and, more importantly, the God we serve? How can we defuse and influence a hostile society, family member

I Can’t Get Any Respect

(I Peter 2:11-12)

1. Take a minute and think about the answer to this question.

2. Can you think of two people who have significantly influenced Your growth in the Lord?

3. Take a moment to think. What was it about them that influenced you?

4. Did those people have weaknesses you could see? If so, why didn’t those weaknesses detour you?

5. For me, it was the good preaching of my pastor (after I was saved) and a brother who was a year older in the Lord. We spurred each other on.

6. Perhaps for you it was a parent, child, sibling, friend, or pastor.

7. Influence is important stuff. And influence is part of the reason God has you and I remain on earth.

8. We exist to glorify God, and part of that glorification involves influence.

9. What effects should Christians desire to have upon society?

1. EVANGELISTIC

2. PEACE and respect for our Faith

3. Recognition of God’s GLORY by even the lost

4. VINDICATION (regarding false claims)

5. SALT

6. Appreciating and enjoying life and beauty, culture, the arts, human creativity as it mirrors God’s creativity.

Main Idea: How can we get a hearing in lost society? How can we create in environment for effective evangelism? How can we project a true image of ourselves, and, more importantly, the God we serve? How can we defuse and influence a hostile society, family member or friend?

TS ------> Peter shares God’s strategy for maximum influence. We can live out that strategy through several means.

I. By Means of DEPTH (11)

• The aliens have landed, and they are us!

==> When the text calls us "aliens and strangers," that does not mean we are to be detached from society; Abraham was an alien and stranger; he dug wells, made friends, and became part of the culture of Canaan…yet he remained different. That difference starts within us and is reflected outwardly.

A. A sincere faith begins on the INSIDE

B. We all have a WAR within

• The body’s desires are not wrong or sinful in themselves, but sin perverts these desires; and the Christian is tempted to satisfy the bodily desires in ways contrary to God’s will.

• explain the believers two natures & how this differs from dualism

• strateu/ontai = to war, strategize

C. We all have this war: there are no exemptions. Everyone here struggles with this war, and everyone here sometimes loses a battle of some sort.

1. Until we are honest with ourselves about what is going on within us, we are in no position to share Christ with others

2. We do not need to be perfect, just authentic

3. When we see each other in church or public, we are on our best behavior. Our spouses and children see more, but not all. There are frequently battles taking place in our yuxzh/, our souls; the struggles vary, but we all have them.

4. You need to be honest with yourself, and keep struggling, with God’s help. It is when we stop struggling that we are most dead

5. Shallow people are superficial people, meaning they are surface people; but people

with depth are more prone to have a deep effect

How can we get a hearing in lost society? How can we create in environment for effective evangelism? How can we project a true image of ourselves, and, more importantly, the God we serve? How can we defuse and influence a hostile society, family member or friend? By Means of DEPTH

Peter shares a second means of influence:

II. By Means of LIFESTYLE (12)

A. Many Christians are too worried about IMAGE

B. But here, the image flows out of REALITY

• I have heard many situations where dad or mom abused or molested their own children and were officers at church; everyone else thought they were wonderful

• As a new Christian, I immediately felt a pressure to pretend as I got involved in my home church; not from everyone, but from several. It is a sad state of affairs when lost people are honest while Christians put an image; it ought to be the other way around.

C. We do not WITHHOLD who we are

D. We are simply OURSELVES

1. The pagans are not stupid; they can detect an act

2. But consistency coupled with conviction impresses even the lost; authenticity

• If we are walking with the Lord in a fairly reasonable way, and our honest selves do not make the Gospel attractive, then there is something wrong with the Gospel.

• But I think many of us are trained to conceal who we really are or we will be pounced upon by fellow Christians….

3. Consistently walking with God over time will vindicate you against false accusations

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