Summary: We are called to love and live intentional towards one another in the church by using your spiritual gifts to serve, rather than for personal gain or recognition. Then, as you serve others, it is always God who gets the glory!

Serving in Love, Always

1 Peter Sermon Series, Part 11

1 Peter 4:7-11


- Peter now ties these two chapters (sufferings of Christ and living for Him)

-- There is a huge implication here about adopting the same attitude as He did

-- He suffered, was broken, and died because of the things we had done

-- APP: Implication is: Are we living to serve others in a like-manner?

- How do we do this?

• Have the same perspective on suffering that Jesus did

• We’ve spent enough time living in sin – abandon it

• God will judge sin and we should live for Him

Peter’s writing/command here is simple … will we apply it to our lives?

- Read 1 Peter 4:7-11

- Let’s examine how Peter commands the church to act

-- Focus: Living for the will of God in the church

-- Deeper: How we should be living for Christ, together in community

∆ Point 1 – Live focused

- Peter comes right to the point of something all Christians should know (v7)

-- Matthew 24:36, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

-- Everything God has planned to take place has already occurred

-- Mankind has been redeemed – the OT prophecies are completed

-- Therefore, we are now simply waiting for His return to rule as King

- 7 words give us a finality to stand upon and look forward to in our lives:

-- “The end of all things is near.”


-- If we are living with the expectation that Christ could return, should act like it

- Peter tells the church to live with a focus of purposeful prayer, but how?

- (alert); nēpsate; be purposeful in our living; means clear minded

-- That we would pray intelligently and be deliberate in how we live today

-- Our senses would be alert and we would purposefully come to God

- (sober); sōphronēsate; be of sound mind; means self-controlled

-- We are called to live with a calm mind as we contemplate praying

-- As well as how we act on coming before God to pray

-- Note: There are obviously times of panic when we pray frantically

--- This would be the exception, not the rule – live purposeful; intentional

- APP: Don’t take prayer casually; it’s communication with the Creator

-- IMP: Prayer was NEVER “our thing”; it is God’s gift to us

-- Through the shed blood of His Son we now have access to Him

-- We ought to come before Him remembering this; with reverence

- TRANS: Once we have the right frame of mind; we are ready for more …

∆ Point 2 – Show unconditional love

- Peter reminds us of the “how to” of living corporately (or together) - LOVE!

-- Most times, we see this word as “Philadelphia”; means brotherly love

-- If so, we would be seeing this incorrectly in this passage (v8)

- The love Peter uses here is actually the word “agape”; unconditional love

-- Why? Because it’s a decision of the mind that Peter calls us to uphold

-- It’s not a feeling we have because our feelings can ALWAYS change

- EX: I love the fact that a swimming pool is so refreshing in the summer

- EX: I really don’t love a pool after the rain because it feels so cold

-- This describes the changing feelings of love, in a matter of 2 sentences

-- Peter says that we are too live above feelings by using “agape” in this line

- IMP: The goal of agape love is ALWAYS to seek the good of another

-- The extent of agape love is ALWAYS self-sacrifice for another

-- True agape love is being stretched to the limit; to go past “just enough”

-- It is not exhausted when situations become difficult of tough to handle

- Two weeks ago I asked you to think of a time you’ve been hurt in church

-- To remember how it felt; ad asked you to think how you handled it

- Peter’s suggestion here is that we move past the hurt; live fully for God

-- Yet, we carry hurt around with us as a burden that just won’t let go

- Peter’s command is really right to the heart of that matter: to love DEEPLY

-- To let it go, to forgive, to move past choosing to be upset/angry

-- Why? BECAUSE love covers a multitude of sins!

- Now, let’s be clear about something … love doesn’t excuse/condone sin

-- We don’t just look the other way if there is correction needing to happen

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