Summary: Out of I Peter, this sermon focuses on the provisions God has given us in order to survive life in this world.
“Provisions For Survival”
February 9, 2002
I must admit that I like to watch the TV show, “Survivor”. I didn’t at first, but after I sat down and watched one episode I was hooked. They make it seem like they dump these 16 people out in the middle of no where with no food or water and they have to figure out a way to survive on their own. That’s not entirely true. They always give them a supply of water to get started as well as a supply of canned goods and rice to eat. They also give them a first aid kit that has bandages, ointments, personal items and other things in it. Despite the appearance that these people are left to fend for themselves, the people at CBS have given them a few provisions for survival.
We need certain provisions in order for us to survive. Food, water and air are essentials. It’s been found that man can live for about 40 days without food, about 3 days without water and about 8 minutes without air.
Tonight, we turn our attention to I Peter 1:3-9. As we talked about last week, Peter is writing to a group of Christians throughout the Roman Empire to encourage them and warn them of the impending persecution that they are about to face. Last week, we saw that Peter laid the foundation for this letter and its message by reminding these Christians of their unique identity in Christ and of the divine salvation that they possess through Jesus Christ. In I Peter 1:3-9, Peter encourages these Christians by telling them that God has made provisions for them to help them survive what they are about to face. God provides the provisions necessary for surviving life in the real world.
God always provides for our needs. We tend to get caught up in the material or monetary aspects of God’s provisions. Missionary statesman Hudson Taylor had complete trust in God’s faithfulness. In his journal he wrote: 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. Our Daily Bread, May 16, 1992.
I know that there are some of you tonight that are facing some very difficult things in your life. Sometimes you don’t know how you can survive these trying times. Peter’s message applies to you tonight. God has provided provisions for you to survive life and its trials and challenges.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” I Peter 1:3-9
Tonight, I want to look at four different supplies that God has given us to help us survive life in the real world.
I. A LIVING HOPE (vs. 3)
Hope is the key theme in I Peter. Peter is attempting to give them hope for the future in spite of current sufferings they are facing. The hope that Peter is writing about is the hope of salvation. It’s not a hope that is in doubt like, “The weatherman says there’s an 80% chance of rain and I hope it doesn’t rain.” The hope that Peter is talking about is more like a conviction of faith.
Peter describes this hope as a living hope. Our hope in salvation and eternal life rests in Jesus. Jesus died and was buried, but was raised to life and now lives. Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:20, “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.” Peter is able to testify to this on a first hand basis. He saw the empty tomb with his own eyes and he saw Jesus after he had been resurrected. Our hope for eternal life rests in Christ and it is a living hope because Christ himself is alive.