Summary: The truth of redemption is that we were so changed totally and completely that we have all we need to live as an example of Jesus.
As we drove around Memphis during our Thanksgiving holiday, we realized that we were commenting when we drove by churches how many were struggling. That prompted us to begin a discussion about why isn’t the church stronger? It seems like so many folks are impacted by the world rather than impacting the world. We ought to be strong pictures of Jesus and forces for change. Doesn’t that seem to be what should happen?
People today are distracted instead of focused.
We are in financial bondage instead of building the kingdom.
We are hiding our sins rather than witnessing to sinners.
We vote our pocket books instead of kingdom principles.
Our bibles are laying in the back seat of the SUV rather than hidden in our hearts.
Title: Should Meeting Jesus Change Your life?
I Peter 2: 21 – 25
Read 2:9 to get a running start. Go through 12. Clearly, Peter believes meeting Jesus should change your life.
He then goes into applying this spiritual principle to each aspect of our everyday life. Peter hits citizenship(2:13-14), life integrity(2:17), wives & husbands(3:1-7), loving our brothers/sisters(3:8-9), and giving a defense for your observable faith and hope(3:15). So clearly, meeting Jesus should change us deeply and completely. It should provide the framework for completely and radically making us different from everyone else around us in every setting of life.
Peter gives us the why and how tucked away here in this passage. He explains that because we have been redeemed, we should focus on being different and have the power to be different.
Focus now on verses 21- 25, our primary text.
Outline: The Person of Redemption
The Price of Redemption
The Purpose of Redemption
The Provision of Redemption
I. The Person of Redemption
“Christ also suffered for us”
Being a Christian is a relationship, not a religion. Not based on rules, but a relationship. It is all about Jesus Himself. Explain here that it not a “power” that died for you on the cross, but the person of Jesus. He loved you and He died for you. He made a plan for your life and gave Himself for you specifically so you could be saved. He loved you personally and individually. When I learned how to memorize, my teachers fist taught us John 3:16. But here is how we learned it:
God so loved Greg, that He gave His only Son, that if Greg would believe Him, Greg would never perish, but have everlasting life.”
Illustration: I told the story of first meeting my wife Janet. I explained that I had “her on the brain.” I followed her around, chased her, thought about her until she would go out with me. Meeting Janet changed my life. Use illustration to show how meeting the person of Jesus should change your life as you realized how much He loved you and as you fell in love with Him.
We need to fall in love with Jesus all over again.
II. The Price of Redemption
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree”
There was a deep and terrible cost to redeem you and me. Jesus had to die for our sins. Moving into the Christmas season, here is the critical truth: w/ out Easter there is no need for Christmas.
Before making the next choice, ask yourself this question: what did this sin cost? Peter here focuses us back to the brutal nature of the cross by the visual image of the tree. He also reminds us of the graphic image of Jesus’ beatings – by His stripes we are healed. Remember during the heyday of the Passion of the Christ movie how everyone was offended by the brutality of the beatings? We hate thinking about that. Why? It forces us to realize just how terrible our sin is before a holy God. It reminds us of what Jesus had to go through for our sins to be forgiven.
Next time you face temptation, consider Jesus stripes. Did He go through that to heal me just so I could be free from hell, but free to watch that, log onto that, say that, or do that thing? No. This thought process would change our lives deeply.
The price then wraps back around to the person Himself who paid the price. Again, it was the person of Jesus. The price draws us back to the person of redemption.
III. The Purpose of Redemption
“that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness”
Today, churches focus on converts. But the Great commission is to make disciples and not simply converts. We view the fact of salvation as “fire insurance” and church as our premiums. Jesus commended us to be disciples and make disciples. How is that different than a convert? A disciple not only learns to follow a teacher, but then becomes a teacher of that truth as well. Your salvation is not only about you, but those to whom Jesus wants to take the message of salvation to through you.