Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the series "Hope In The Darkness".
Series: Hope In The Darkness (Study In 1 Peter) [#1]
LIVING IN HOPE
1. In A.D. 64, Nero burned Rome and guess who he blamed? Christians. Christians were being severely persecuted. They were being fed to lions, beheaded, crucified, burned, etc¡K Christians had to go underground, leave their homes and jobs, etc¡K Christians were scattered all over the world. They did not fit comfortably into this dark world. They were strangers in this world.
2. One of the most severe problems the Church faces today is that we do not seem to be strangers in this world. As the famous question goes, ¡§If they were gathering all people that were believers to kill them, would you be chosen?¡¨ Christians should ¡§stand out¡¨ as different in this world. We have been sanctified. That means we have been set apart by God.
3. In verse 2 we are shown how each member of the Trinity of God made our salvation possible.
„« The Father chose us according to His foreknowledge.
Now let¡¦s carefully look at this choosing of us by God. Does this mean that God chose some to be saved and others not to be saved?
Did God choose some to be saved and others not to be saved? Did Jesus die only for those that God had ¡§hand-picked¡¨? (This is called limited atonement). Absolutely not! Scripture shows us that Jesus Christ died for all and that God does not want any to die and go to Hell. So what is this choosing? God knew that mankind would sin and that we would need a way of escape from what we deserve, which is Hell. So, He knew that He would have to make a way for us to be saved and that way would be through Jesus Christ. Now, God does know who will be saved and who will not because He knows everything, but He does not determine that. Each person must decide for themselves.
„« The Holy Spirit sanctifies us.
When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit takes residence within them. That means that person is a new creation, born again, and sanctified. Sanctification is the setting apart. The Holy Spirit sets us apart from the world and makes us new.
„« The Son washes us clean with His blood.
Notice that we must surrender our lives to Jesus and allow Him to be our Savior before His blood is sprinkled upon us. In a time when it was suicidal to be a Christian, Peter was telling them that through Christ there was hope in spite of the atmosphere they lived in. Did Peter tell them that life would get easier here on earth? No. Did Peter tell them that the persecution of Christians would stop? No. With their families and friends being brutally killed and knowing they could be the next to die, what hope was there? Peter shares with these believers and believers today why we have hope.
Live In Hope Because Of Salvation
1. Sanctification: As stated earlier, sanctification is the setting apart of something or someone. We are born again into a new family, the family of God. The moment we accept God¡¦s offer of salvation, the moment we are set apart. Your eternal life begins right then!
2. Justification: Once we are born again, the blood of Jesus is sprinkled upon our lives and we are washed clean. Because of this washing we stand before God justified; just as if I had never sinned. We stand before God as pure and holy. Therefore, we are given an inheritance that will never perish, spoil, or fade. Our inheritance is awaiting us in Heaven.
3. Glorification: The text indicates that our salvation is not completed. Once a person accepts God¡¦s gift of salvation they are saved, but salvation will not be completed until believers are given glorified bodies. This body cannot go into Heaven.
Not only do we live in hope because of our salvation, but we also¡K
Live In Hope Through Faith
1. Faith believes in something although none of the human senses can prove it is there. You cannot hear it, see it, smell it, touch it, or taste it but you know it is still there. Believers have faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He was perfect, He died for us on a cross, and He was resurrected from the dead.
2. Our faith is strengthened through trials and tribulations. No matter how bad the situation becomes, the one thing that cannot be taken from you is your faith.
3. Faith produces praise, honor, and glory of Jesus Christ. When we stop focusing on our difficult surroundings and focus on Jesus Christ, we cannot help but give Him praise, honor, and glory. When we are worshipping the King of kings and Lord of lords we will find an inexpressible joy in our lives. When we realize that we are receiving the goal of our faith which is salvation, we cannot help but be joyful.