Summary: This sermon looks at the nature of true passion for Jesus which involves suffering. The doctrine of suffering is covered with the teaching of the Apostle Peter on suffering being referred to.
The word used for ’suffer’used here in the Greek is ’pascho’ which is where we get the word ’passion’ from. Indeed, Christ’s suffering is often called ’The Passion’. We must ’arm ourselves with the same mind’ -
that is a mind that joyfully endures suffering for the sake of God’s glory. This is true Passion for Jesus!
"Not choosing to suffer, but choosing God’s will even if it means suffering." Oswald Chambers
There are three types of suffering:
(i) COMMON SUFFERING - Storms come to both righteous and wicked - because of the FALL, all of us have to endure certain sufferings that are common to all.
(ii) CORRECTIVE SUFFERING - This is suffering brought about due to our own personal sins and it Father God’s loving way of correcting us, disciplining us and putting us back on the right track.
(iii) CHRISTLIKE SUFFERING - This is suffering for the glory of God and is the type of suffering we are referring to here.
(2) THREE EFFECTS OF SUFFERING FOR GOD’S GLORY:
Suffering for the sake of Christ....
(a) Produces Tested Godliness (1 Peter 1:6-7) -
See also 2 Timothy 3:12
"It is sometimes only through suffering that we begin to have to listen to God. Our natural pride and self-confidence have to be stripped away painfully and we become aware, perhaps for the first time, of our own personal needs" David Watson.
(b) Portrays True Grace (1 Peter 2:19-20)
The term ’this is commendable’ is literally ’this is grace’(’charis’- derived from ’chara’ meaning Joy).
Grace = Gladly Receiving All Christ Endured.
Of those that gathered to write the Nicene Creed (that declares the Grace of God) less that 12 out of the 318 had not lost an eye, hand or limb for their witness to Christ!
(c) Powerfully Transmits Gospel (1 Peter 3:14-17)
See also 2 Timothy 1:8,12.
Illustration: Perhaps one Christian song that is still powerful in proclaiming Christ’s slavation message of Grace is ’Amazing Grace’ Even more amazing is the story behind it. Captain John Newton was a slave trader and lived a heathen life and at one time became a slave himself for a time. However, one time he was in a storm on his ship and had to strap himself to the wheel to save himself. On the wheel he remembered his mother’s songs about Jesus and began to cry to God for help. God saved him and after that John devoted himself to serve God, becoming a preacher and later writing the song ’Amazing Grace’ to thank God for saving him.
A life of suffering and being saved through his grace is a powerful witness to others of the saving power of Jesus.
(3) CONCLUSION: We will suffer if we are moving in God’s will.This will produce godly character, shining forth of the grace of God and the sounding forth of a strong witness to non-believers - IF we suffer for Him with Joy and full of glory.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR CELLS...
(1) What distinguishes suffering for the sake of Christ from all other types of suffering ? Discuss.
(2) Read 1 Peter 4:1-2 and share what it means to you.