Summary: The dynamic of salvation and the reality of suffering in the believer’s life
Date Written: June 01, 2007
Date Preached: June 03, 2007
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in 1 Peter
Sermon Title: Salvation and Suffering
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen[a] you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
First Peter is a letter written to many different people who were suffering some form of persecution. They were facing dark and difficult days in fact, trials and temptations were the daily diet of their lives. So Peter wrote to encourage these scattered and confused Christians with the assurance of their salvation and suffering.
Have you ever thought long and hard about suffering? I want to take this time to talk about suffering for Christ. It’s something that a pastor thinks about and deals with on a daily basis, but rarely ever talks about. And whether you want to admit it or not it is something we all deal with, but for whatever reason, we may not talk about it either.
Now many of us will complain and murmur about our sufferings that we have to endure, but although complain, we never stop to really talk about it and look at the root causes and reasons we may be experiencing the particular difficulty at the present time.
For us to intentionally talk about our suffering tonight I want to share with you what I want to call “The Assurance of Our Salvation and Suffering.” So let’s begin by talking about:
I. The Assurance of Salvation verses 3-6
The first thing we need to be able to do in our suffering is to honor and praise God in our suffering because it’s in His mercy that He’s given us the privilege of being saved, of being born again.
God initially has held back the punishment of death we rightly deserve and He has provided us new life for our suffering souls! So with that in mind, whatever you may be going through as a child of God… you must remember that you have the assurance of salvation and nothing can change that! This is because of His power and His promise! Read v. 5 with me again…
In the assurance of salvation, God has given us new birth into:
A. A Living Hope verse 3b
In spite of the frequent suffering and persecution Peter refers to in his letter he assures us that we have been born again into a hope that is alive, sure, certain, and firm.
It’s a hope that’s grounded in God himself and in His promises. In fact, this letter could be called a letter of hope in the midst of suffering; a hope which is able to survive the various trials which you and I suffer.
Yes, suffering is sure to come, but don’t lose sight of the living hope we have been born into. And we must always keep our expectations and desires for better days ahead! Why?
Because, “thru the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” we have been resurrected with Him. That’s why it’s a living hope. We have hope that things will be better and that even if we die we will live on, we don’t really die in Jesus because we’ve already been resurrected with Him. Not only is there a living hope, but we can also see that the Assurance of Salvation is seen also in:
B. An Enduring Inheritance verse 4
Our inheritance is in Christ and in Him we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places. But don’t think that the term inheritance applies only to heaven in the future.
No sir, not only the future but it applies to our inheritance in Christ right now! Now you must understand that this inheritance is not a material inheritance as we may think about inheritances...
To emphasize this point, Peter uses 3 adjectives… and they are that our inheritance can never perish, spoil, or fade. That is, our inheritance is imperishable, it cannot be defiled or stained by filth, and it is unfading. Our inheritance is like a perennial flower.