Summary: who is really the MASTER in my heart?
The purpose in gathering together this morning is to worship God, who eternally exists in Three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit! Worship is giving worth to someone or something! As we sing, as we pray, as we study His Word, we are to give worth to the Triune God! Of course, the ultimate sign of worship is actually doing what God says. And so, let us worship God by not only giving worth to His Words but commit to taking action in what He says. Read along with me 1 Peter 3:15-22…..
We actually took a glimpse of this passage last week as we noted instructions for us from v3 on. This morning, in preparation for Communion, I started with v15: it is the main instruction for us.
v15a: In our hearts revere Christ as Lord. What does this mean?
Let’s first of all look at other translation of this verse:
ESV: but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
NASB, NKJV, NRSV: but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence
Let us memorize 1 Peter 3:15a but let us get a better understanding of it.
1. Where does it all start? God gave us brains so we can read, listen, remember, and think. But even if we read and memorize the entire Bible and know all the original Hebrew and Greek of Scriptures, they would be meaningless to God if we don’t place them in our hearts! Because God always looks in our hearts, we must always check what’s going on in our hearts! I will bring this up again later as we learn more from this passage; and you have heard me say this before, but we all need reminders because we are all like sheep who go astray; Always do a throne check of your heart! (slide) Who is sitting in the throne of our hearts right now?
It starts with our hearts then….
2. Revere (honor) Jesus Christ as Holy Lord!
What does holy mean?? – to set apart, to sanctify
What does Lord mean?? – Master!
And so, the simple question for us is, “Do we always revere, honor, set apart Jesus Christ as Master in our hearts?”
If we are really honest with God, the answer of course to this question is, no, we don’t always set Christ as Master in our hearts; we allow other people and things get ahead of Jesus Christ; even coffee or Facebook.
Does God understand our wandering hearts? Through grace, the answer is yes, God understands us because we can read how He treats us! You know this is another reason for us to really read and study the Bible; Many Christians are complacent because they are complacent about reading God’s Word and learning more about His love!
Think about this for a moment: God knows everything about us but yet He chooses to speak to us about what we are to do! God understands us and He wrote 1 Peter to instruct us Christians in spite of who we are! In spite of who we are, God loves us! If God didn’t care about us, He would take away Scriptures and just leave us lost.
God not only continues to encourage us by telling us what to do but also gives us the reasons! This is what we see in our passage! God tells us to revere in our hearts Jesus Christ as Holy Lord then He tells us why!
God actually tells us in the second part of v15 to be ready to explain why Jesus Christ is our Lord to us. But God warns us how we are to share – with gentleness and respect. Why does God have to tell us this when it’s the truth???
Christians are called to do good to others. Our sinful natures can lead us to boasting and pride which is ungodly. The truth about Jesus Christ is to be shared but not forced on people! Jesus is to be shared with love!
What are we to share and why should we revere Jesus Christ as Holy Lord in our own hearts?
Look again at v18: Jesus Christ was perfect, always right, but He suffered and died for the unrighteous (every person in the world – you and me)!
According to v18, why did Jesus allow himself to suffer and die?
Jesus took the pain and suffering to death to bring people back to God!