Summary: A look at the lifestyle a Christian should have and how the church has such a tremendous role to prepare us for the world and it’s ways.
ILLUSTRATION: JUDGE NOT . . .
A small-town prosecuting attorney called his first potential juror to the stand in a trial -- a grand-motherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know me?"
She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Bryant. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?" She replied, "Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to babysit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him."
At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for contempt!"
Today, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT YOUR LIFESTYLE – particularly The Nature in Which You Live. Peter breaks out the different natures of each other in the letter he is writing to the small, scattered churches:
Verses 1-3 - The Nature of the Believer
Verses 4-6 - The Nature of the Un-Believer
Verses 7-11 - The Nature of the Church
1. THE NATURE OF A BELIEVER - Verses 1-3
1) ‘therefore since Christ suffered in the body’
- Going back to 3:18
1) ‘arm yourselves with the same attitude’
- Phrase “the same attitude” translates the same thought in Phil 2:5 - (READ)
- Attitude we are called to have is that described in Phil 2:5-8 - READ
- Notice Phil 2:12b-13 - READ
1) ‘he who suffered in his body is done with sin’
? Done With Sin ?
The Thought of the Verse is this:
- The Spirit of God using the Word of God will produce a son of God.
- And the son of God, because of the work of God, develops a new nature.
- That new nature will not LIVE in sin. (doesn’t mean one will not sin but will not live in it.
ILLUSTRATION USING THE PRODIGAL SON from Luke 15
- The son got down in the pigpen – but he wasn’t a pig.
- He had the nature of his father who lived in the beautiful mansion with servants
- Having the nature of his father, he didn’t like eating out of a trough.
- He enjoyed sitting down at a nice table with steak, prime rib, all the delicacies.
- He didn’t care for the pigpen b/c he had the nature of his father.
- Likewise, being born again, we are given a new nature
- Having the nature of God, we will now CEASE to LIVE in sin.
YOU CAN’T BE A CHILD OF GOD WITH HIS NATURE – AND LIVE IN THE PIG PEN. If you do, you are still PIGS. Pigs live in pig pens doing what pigs do, but SONS OF GOD do NOT continue to live in the PIG PEN but instead … (VERSE 2)
2) ‘but rather for the will of God’ – WHATEVER THAT WILL IS!
3) Peter get’s very specific on the PIG PEN
- ‘debauchery’ – no regard for control regarding sexual appetites
- ‘lusts’ – a longing for what is forbidden
- ‘drunkenness’ – excessive intake of wine (loss of control)
- ‘orgies’ & ‘carousing’ – wild parties that are completely out of control sexually, drinking, etc.
- ‘abominable idolatries’ – disgusting idolatry
While we are no longer under the PUNISHMENT of the LAW, we are NOT to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR FREEDOM!
1 Corinthians 6:12 (NIV)
12 "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything.
WEDNESDAY: ‘BEING FRIENDS WITH GOD’
One of the questions asked was this: Would Christ look at your ‘lifestyle’ and be able to call you His Friend?
ILLUSTRATION – YOUR LIFESTYLE
A Sunday school teacher was trying to impress on a class of young boys the importance of living a Christian. In talking about a Christian’s lifestyle, He asked, “Why do you think people call me a Christian?” One boy replied back, “Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.”