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Summary: Theme of Peter’s First Letter is STRENGTH THRU SUFFERING.

1. Theme of Peter’s First Letter is STRENGTH THRU SUFFERING.

a. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, he writes to Christians living in some of the most difficult times ever for Christians.

b. Not unlike our brothers in Sudan, or China, or Indonesia.

c. The price paid for being a Christian is sometimes death.

PERSPECTIVE is everything. Right one? Helps. Wrong? Hurts.

• How do we see things? What angle are we taking?

• If we view suffering only in light of ourselves, it can be overwhelming & lonely & oppressive!

• But if view it in light of others, in light of eternity, in light of what Jesus Christ has done for us…

• We can grow. We can persevere. We can encourage others.

THE Bible is full of REAL LIFE, DOWN TO EARTH men & women who suffered greatly for their faith.

• One of those men is our brother Paul, the apostle.

• Flip over now to 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

I would encourage you to pick up the book “Foxes Book of Martyrs.”

• Christian after Christian, standing strong in their faith.

• Some modern day books highlighting strength through suffering are “Jesus Freaks 1 & 2” and “Profiles in Faith” by Harold Sala.

• In light of our brothers & sisters, our suffering is put into perspective. Something we need in these last days!

YET Jesus is the one who suffered… look at v18.

I. (3:19) JESUS CHRIST SUFFERED!

1. (13-15) Submit yourselves to EVERY ordinance.

a. Without the suffering of Jesus, we wouldn’t have any.

b. But because he suffered, we suffer as His followers.

NOTE: Jesus said it would be so.

John 16.33 (NLT) I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

Acts 14.22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, "We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God."

• Peter mentions it in 5:9

NOTE: But Peter is sharing with us more than just the temporary sufferings we experience. He’s speaking of Jesus’ FINISHED Work!

• Jesus suffered ONCE for sins.

NOTE: This is one of the clearest, most wonderful verses on the cross of Jesus Christ in all of the Bible.

• He suffered once FOR sins, the just, for us the UNJUST!

• The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ never has to be repeated again!

• Jesus meant it when He said from the cross…

John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

THIS passage is so powerful… so wonderful.

• It undermines the false teaching that say Jesus is continually being sacrificed through the MASS in the Roman Catholic Church.

• The Bible says NO, He died for sins once, for all.

• He doesn’t have to be resacrificed by a priest on an altar!

• It’s over. It’s finished. It’s done.

• Your salvation is secure by faith in Jesus Christ.

YOU KNOW when we celebrate communion together.

• We celebrate a work that is finished & complete!

• The bread speaking of Jesus broken body… broke ONCE for us.

• The cup speaking of Jesus spilled blood… spilled ONCE for us.

• We look back and enjoy the blessing of KNOWING we are saved.

LOOK: You don’t have to wait until you face God to know that you are saved. That would be tragic to not know.

• But it’s God’s will that you would know you are saved and live in the assurance of His finished work!

1 John 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

BUT A constant enemy of ASSURANCE is doubt & unbelief!

• These keep a believer wandering, wondering, & weak!

• Doubting is being ’uncertain, unsure, distrustful, disbelieving, and/or lacking conviction.’

• And like the so many around us, we fail at times in our faith…

• Sometimes doubting our salvation.

• The thing about doubt is that we really DON’T want to.

• The truth about doubt is that we really DON’T have to!

• FAITH is what brought you into His Family, and FAITH will keep you until the end.

John 10.27-29 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

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