Summary: We are saved to advertise the excellencies of God.
“Living as an Advertisement”
Preparation: Put a cut-out of an advertisement in each of the bulletins. I will make reference to it at the end of the message.
Illustration: Read a full page newspaper ad. Have you ever considered the fact that we are like full page ads, advertising Jesus Christ?
Whether we realize it or not; whether we like it or not, we are an advertisement of Jesus Christ.
The tone of I Peter is a warm pastoral one, full of encouragement. The basic problem that these early Christians were facing was living for God in the midst of a society ignorant of the true God and unfriendly toward those who did. Because they were Christians, they were misunderstood and subjected to unjust treatment. Peter’s pastoral purpose is to help these early believers see their temporary sufferings in the full light of the coming eternal glory.
1:3-9 After opening his letter with a majestic ascription to the great mercy of God that caused us to be born again.
1:13-2:10 Deals with living in the light of that great salvation that we have. This included:
· (1:13-16) Living in holiness,
· (1:17-21) Living in holy fear of God, and
· (1:22-25) Living in love for one another
We will be looking at I Peter 2:1-10. I want to call it Living as an Advertisement.
1. Our Foundation for Advertising is Living Like Jesus (vv. 1-3)
Ghandi was once asked why he wasn’t a Christian. He responded by saying, “If I saw a person who said they were a Christian, actually act like Christ, I might consider it.”
Actions do often speak louder than words. There needs to be a foundation laid that will not crack when we are shaken. We have good reasons for telling others the good news of salvation and new life in Christ. But has to be upon a bedrock of a lifestyle that imitates our Lord, to the best of our ability.
a. The kind of lifestyle that damages our testimony (v. 1)
Peter is saying that we need to turn away from those kinds of behaviors listed in v. 1.
The world and Satan are constantly bidding for our affection and allegiance. They would want us to value what the world values, and participate in a sinful lifestyle because it clouds our view of God and makes us poor advertisements of Jesus.
Sin has a way of dragging us down and blinding us to the liberating truths of God’s blessings. For example, when we are living in sin:
· We don’t feel the warmth of God’s approval.
· We don’t experience cleansing of forgiveness.
· We don’t handle stressful situations well, for we try to defend ourselves in a reactionary way instead of a Christ-like, trusting way.
· We don’t see God’s providential hand working in our lives to guide us.
· We don’t feel peace in our souls.
· We become blinded to God’s unfolding plans.
· We lose faith in God’s goodness and faithfulness.
· We don’t pray for God’s will anymore.
· Our view of God becomes smaller and smaller, until He is just a manageable deity that we come to only out of our convenience.
And when people see this in our lives, it greatly damages our testimony. They’re not likely to want to listen to anything we have to say.
b. The kind of lifestyle that develops our testimony (v. 2)
Illustration: Feeding a newborn baby
A baby doesn’t keep you guessing when she’s hungry, she let’s you know (“Whaaaaaa!”). And when a baby is hungry, nothing is going to pacify them for long. They just keep crying until you feed them. If any of you have ever bottle-fed a little baby, you know that there isn’t much to it. Just stick the nipple in the close vicinity of the babies mouth and PLUNK! The child takes over from there. It’s natural to them…
That’s how it ought to be with Christians. We are to be like newborn babies that cry often for God’s Word, and have it be a natural part of our daily lives.
The word, “if” in v. 3 can be translated “since.” Since we have been saved (“tasted the kindness of the Lord”), don’t stop there! Keep yearning for the Bible so that we can grow in respect to our salvation and not remain infants.
If we neglect our spiritual food in the Bible, we run the risk of being swayed into a sinful mindset, and ruining our spiritual growth and advertisement to others.
When we climb the mountains of life, the Bible is our rope of courage to cling onto.
In the valleys, it is our staff of guidance.
When the storms come, it is our umbrella of assurance.