I profess that I DO NOT like to watch the TV show, “Survivor”. I admit the concept, though with I’m sure some exaggerations, is pretty cool! It seems as 16 people are dumped out in the middle of nowhere with no food or water and have to figure out a way to survive on their own.
But according to Entertainment Tonight that’s not entirely true.
1) a supply of water to get started
2) a supply of canned goods and rice to eat.
3) a first aid kit (bandages, ointments, personal items
Despite the appearance that these people are left to fend for themselves, CBS has given them provisions for survival.
We do need certain provisions to survive. Food, water and air are essentials. It’s been found…
1) can live for about 40 days without food,
2) 3 days without water and
3) 8 minutes without air.
Today, verses 3-12 of chapter 1. 1 Peter -- written to Christians throughout the Roman Empire
• to encourage and warn them of the impending persecution likely to face
• because of the Emperor Nero who disliked them because of their refusal to bow down.
Last week, Peter (Vs. 1-2) laid the foundation for this letter and its message by
• Reminded these Christians of their unique identity in Christ
• Also of the divine salvation that they possess through Jesus Christ.
In verses 3-12, Peter continues to encourage by telling them that ;
• God has given provisions to help them survive what they are about to face.
• God also provides the provisions for surviving life to – US – one of the “elected” (vs 1).
ILLUSTRATION: “Our Daily Bread”: Missionary -- Hudson Taylor wrote this in his journal:
Our heavenly Father is a very experienced One. He knows very well that His children wake up with a good appetite every morning... He sustained 3 million Israelites in the wilderness for 40 years. We do not expect He will send 3 million missionaries to China; but if He did, He would have ample means to sustain them all... Depend on it, God’s work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply.
In times of difficulty, there are days – weeks – months – sometimes years that you don’t know how you will survive.
Peter’s encouragement to the Jewish Christians, also gives encouragement to those who have also become one of The Elected. A lesson telling us that God has provided provisions for you to survive life and its trials and challenges.
[SCR] READ TEXT – 1 Peter 1:3-12
… 4 DIFFERENT SUPPLIES given by God to help us survive life in the real world.
[SCR] I. A LIVING HOPE – (Vs. 3)
“Hope” is the key theme in I Peter. Hope for the future in spite of current sufferings they are facing and will face. The hope that Peter is DIFFERENT - the “hope of salvation”.
[SCR] Vs. 3) “given us a new birth into a living hope”
It’s not a HOPE that includes doubt like, “The weatherman says there’s an 40% chance of rain and I begin to hope it rain.” Today, while I hope it rains I have a lot of doubt that it will.
The “HOPE” Peter is describing is “an anticipation with pleasure” – a “conviction of faith”. Hope motivates us to keep going and not give up. Without hope we don’t want to do anything.
ILLUSTRATION: Peanut’s cartoon:
Lucy and Linus were sitting in front of the television set when Lucy said to Linus, "Go get me a glass of water." Linus looked surprised, "Why should I do anything for you? You never do anything for me." LUCY responds "On you 75th birthday, I’ll bake you a cake." Linus got up, headed to the kitchen and said, "Life is more pleasant when you have something to look forward to."
[SCR] Hope in Jesus Christ not only opens the door to receive a touch from God, Hope moves you through the door. Like LINUS, when you have hope you’re willing to get up and do something.
Peter describes this hope as “a living hope”.
[SCR] Notice last part of 3) “through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Jesus died and was buried, but was raised to life and now lives. Because of HIS VICTORY OVER DEATH, WE (THE ELECTED) ALSO HAVE THIS LIVING HOPE!
God has provided us with a living hope, a hope for eternity, in the form of his Son, Jesus. God also provides us with 2nd supply to help us survive:
II. AN INVALUABLE INHERITANCE – [SCR] READ VERSE 4
ILLUSTRATION: INHERITANCES - Here’s a couple of interesting wills:
Mrs. Jones, 81, died without any survivors, that is, without any human survivors. She left three dogs to mourn her passing: Bozo, Dolly, and Skippy. She specified that her $72,800 should go for ‘the care and maintenance of the dogs.’ When the dogs are dead, what is left would be given to the Walnut Street Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky. A veterinarian says the three canines are in ‘excellent health’ and the church may have to wait as long as twelve years to receive the money.
A Philadelphia woman in her will, instructed the executor to take one dollar from her estate, invest it and pay the interest on this investment to her husband, ‘as evidence of my estimate of his worth’. Another Philadelphian woman bequeathed her divorced husband one dollar to buy a rope to hang himself.
God has provided for each one of us an “INVALUABLE INHERITANCE”. May Peter encourage you also in that no matter what we may lose in this life, may it be riches, homes, loved ones, or our very lives; we will gain a great inheritance in heaven.
Peter is painting a picture of the Israelites here and again identifying these Christians with the Israelites. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, sustained by the promise of their inheritance, the Promised Land that God had told them was theirs.
QUOTE: Edmund Clowney writes; “Like Israel in the wilderness, the New Testament people of God are aliens and pilgrims. They make their way through a world that is becoming more hostile. Yet they are not wandering beggars, cast off from their possessions. They hold a sure title to the inheritance God has given them.”
[SCR] This “inheritance” Peter says “will never perish, spoil, or fade”.
1) Will not “perish” – “incorruptible” - beyond the reach of change and decay
2) It will not “spoil” – it is “undefiled” – will never become unfit or become polluted by sin.
3) It will never “fade” – it is “pure” – will never find this inheritance to be received illegally.
As a Christian, you are a member of God’s family and an heir to the inheritance that God has “kept” for you.
[SCR] The word “kept”: Written in the GRK Perfect Tense. It expresses a ‘past activity’ with results that continue in the ‘present’. Once you became one of the “elect”, your inheritance has been reserved in heaven!
An Invaluable Inheritance; “sealed (as Ephesians 1:13-14 says) with the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession”.
A LIVING HOPE; AN INVALUABLE INHERITANCE; and now…
III. A PRECIOUS FAITH – [SCR] READ VERSE 7
Peter tells us that “our faith is of greater worth than gold.” It’s precious, it’s valuable. Our faith in God is what really sustains us throughout our lives and especially in troubling times. Peter tells these Christians that they have been “suffering grief in all kinds of trials”. However, these trials and the sufferings they are about to encounter will only strengthen their faith.
[SCR] James 1:3, “you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
Peter explains that our faith is compared to gold is “refined” (tested – proven) in a fire that does not destroy the gold but removes the impurities from it.
Times of trials and suffering strengthen our faith by removing the pride and dependence on ourselves and force us to trust in God even more and draw us closer to Him.
ILLUSTRATION: Taken “The Gift of Honor”, by John Trent & David Smiley (forgive its length)
True story about a soldier named David in the Vietnam War. David went through rigorous training to become part of the ultra elite special forces team the Navy used on dangerous search-and-destroy missions. During a nighttime raid on an enemy stronghold, David experienced the greatest trial of his life. When he and his men were pinned down by enemy machine-gun fire, he pulled a phosphorus grenade from his belt and stood up to throw it. But as he pulled back his arm, a bullet hit the grenade, and it exploded next to his ear.
Lying on his side on the bank of a muddy river, he watched part of his face float by. His entire face and shoulder alternately smoldered and caught on fire as the phosphorus that had embedded itself in his body came into contact with the air. David knew that he was going to die, yet miraculously he didn’t. He was pulled from the water by his fellow soldiers, flown directly to Saigon, and then taken to a waiting plane bound for Hawaii.
But David’s problems were just beginning. When he first went into surgery -- the first of what would become dozens of operations -- the surgical team had a major problem during the operation. As they cut away tissue that had been burned or torn by the grenade, the phosphorus would hit the oxygen in the operating room and begin to ignite again! Several times the doctors and nurses ran out of the room, leaving him alone because they were afraid the oxygen used in surgery would explode! Incredibly, David survived the operation and was taken to a ward that held the most severe burn and injury cases from the war.
Lying on his bed, his head the size of a basketball, David knew he presented a grotesque picture. Although he had once been a handsome man, he knew he had nothing to offer his wife or anyone else because of his appearance. He felt more alone and more worthless than he had ever felt in his life. He was told of what had happened to another soldier whose wife left her ring on the table with apologies for not being able to stay with her husband. David knew the same would happen to him. He had no hope.
Three days later, David’s wife arrived. After hearing what had happened with the other soldier, he had no idea what kind of reaction she would have toward him. His wife, a strong Christian, took one look at him, came over, and kissed him on the only place on his face that wasn’t bandaged. In a gentle voice she said, "Honey, I love you. I’ll always love you. And I want you to know that whatever it takes, whatever the odds, we can make it together." She hugged him where she could to avoid disturbing his injuries and stayed with him for the next several days. Knowing what had happened with the other man’s wife and seeing his own wife’s love for him gave David tremendous strength. More than that, her understanding and accepting him greatly reinforced his own relationship with the Lord.
In the weeks and months that followed, David’s wounds slowly, but steadily, healed. It took dozens of operations and months of agonizing recovery, but today, miraculously, David can see and hear. On national television, author John Trent, heard David make an incredible statement.
I am twice the person I was before I went to Vietnam. For one thing, God has used my suffering to help me feel other people’s pain and to have an incredible burden to reach people for Him. The Lord has let me have a worldwide, positive effect on people’s lives because of what I went through. I wouldn’t trade anything I’ve gone through for the benefits my trials have had in my life, on my family’s life and on countless teenagers and adults I’ve had the opportunity to influence over the years.
Our faith is strengthened by our trials. We become closer to God.
[SCR] READ VERSE 8a
We have a precious faith from God and a faith that is made stronger through times of suffering in our lives.
IV. AN INEXPRESSIBLE JOY – [SCR] READ END OF VERSE 8
God has provided us with a living hope, an invaluable inheritance and a precious faith which produces in us an inexpressible joy. Why? Because we know that God loves us and we have nothing to fear because we have a certain hope for life eternal after this life. We can rejoice because God has saved us.
[SCR] ILLUSTRATION: TRUE JOY (Quote taken from ‘Tasting the Fruit’)
“Joy is like the hidden note in the glass. Joy is tuning in to what God is doing around you, seeing the world through his eyes, picking up on his delight in us as his children. Anyone can find happiness for a while… Happiness depends on what is happening to you. Joy is different; joy goes deeper. Joy is when your whole being sings because you have caught a glimpse of God at work. Joy can creep up on you and surprise you in unexpected places.”
As Christians, there should be a smile on our faces so wide that people will wonder what is wrong with us. We should have joy in our hearts and in our lives because as Peter says in VERSE 9, “for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
This type of joy is contagious. It’s infectious. Others want to know why you possess that much joy. You can tell them that it’s because God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross for my sins and I’m forgiven -- Not only that but after Jesus died, God raised him back to life and he has promised to do the same for me. WHAT ABOUT YOU!
Verses 10-12 bring it application to our lives!
The prophets searched for the truths regarding the foretold salvation. But they had so little to go on. But now WE have a complete WORD from GOD!
[SCR] READ JOHN 16:12-15
We don’t know it all. We are to keep growing in grace and in the knowledge of Him. How can we do it? Just reading the Bible is not the complete answer; the Holy Spirit must be our Teacher.
The Spirit of God is the Spirit of Truth. He will lead and guide you into all truth. He guided the apostles just as the Lord said He would, and we find these truths in the Epistles. The Spirit of God came to these men at Pentecost (we’ve studied it each and every year), and He guided them in the truth both in their preaching and in their writing.
God has provided the provisions necessary for surviving life in the real world. As Christians, we possess these [SCR] four provisions that will help us make it through life’s demands:
1. A living hope,
2. an invaluable inheritance,
3. a precious faith, and
4. an inexpressible joy.
These will carry us through life’s trials that we have faced, may be facing, and will face. Be encouraged! Be Strengthened; Don’t let the devil hold you down through whatever trial, persecution, struggle, or temptation you may face. THESE ARE A PART OF LIFE! Instead allow your faith to be tested – proven through the fire – uplifted and refined by Christ!