Summary: Suffering is a part of the Christian life no one really enjoys. In the book of 1st Peter, the apostle explains to us why suffering is a part of our life, and God’s purpose in it.
Passage: 1Peter 1:1-9
Intro: number of months, been intrigued with the topic of suffering.
1. few things produce more frustration, few things produce such amazing growth in Christlikeness
2. my journey towards understanding has involved a few of you, class on Job
3. that class served to open up other questions.
4. found that I Peter a letter filled with references to suffering, so begin a look at that book today
4. we avoid suffering; it hurts.
5. when we are in it, we want it to end.
6. Jesus, when face to face with it, asked God if perhaps there wasn’t another way.
7. but I am convinced that suffering, and especially unjust suffering, is a tool of tremendous power in the hands of God
8. 1st Peter not all about suffering, but written to believers who were experiencing it.
9. and beginning right in v1, Peter begins to explain in a very encouraging way why we suffer, and what God is doing thru it.
I. We Have a New Set of Values
1. Peter didn’t have the acceptance problem that Paul did in the church.
2. the leader among the original 12, the main spokesman after Jesus returned to His Father.
3. writing here to a group of unknown churches in what is now Northern Turkey
4. group of small, rural churches?
5. look at how he refers to them
6. God’s chosen, saved at the initiation of God
7. v2 states “foreknowledge” why He chose, but not just that He knew about them.
8. word =God’s special relationship before creation. “Foreloved”.
9. but next word in v1 very powerful, sets tone for whole book
10. “strangers in the world”=”those who are temporary residents. People who have a deep attachment and a higher allegiance to another sphere.
Il) heard of a lady who wears an embroidered shirt, “Texan Living in Exile”
Il) guy down the street has a giant Nebraska Conrhusker logo aboe his garage. Some of us used to be Cub fans
11. Peter calls us people who have a whole different focus, people who don’t belong here.
12. later in this chapter, “peculiar”
13. we have been set apart (sanctified) to a purpose stated in v2
14. “obedience to Christ”=saved to serve. World hates idea of submission
15. “sprinkling by His blood”
PP Exodus 24:8
16. the whole point that Peter is making is this: We have been called, chosen, set apart, given a whole new set of priorities and values to live by.
17. what excites the world doesn’t excite us, what lures the world doesn’t lure us, what the world values we don’t value, what the world makes as it’s goal we reject.
18. because we have a whole new set of values, eternal rather than temporary, heavenly instead of earthly, spiritual instead of physical.
19. this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy baseball or a good meal or great secular music.
20. but it’s not what really rings our bell. We have new values
II. We Have a New Set of Realities
1. values change when the realities of our life change.
2. a great example of this is parenthood. Marriage changes things, but having that first child really changes things!
Il) garage saling, used to stop at the ones piled high with baby clothes, cribs.
3. nothing will turn a grown man into a babbling idiot faster than the sight of his kid.
Il) informed a few weeks ago that one of our more precocious toddlers can spell her name! Nothing like it!!
4. realities change our values, and as the people of God, our realities have changed in ways we can hardly comprehend.
5. v3, “new birth into a living hope thru resurrection of Christ” Wow!
6. “new birth”=regeneration, cause to be born again. The word itself carries the idea of this being done to us from the outside, by God.
7. this new birth frees from the prison of sin and death, and replaces the old fruitless pursuit of things that are dying with what Peter calls here “a living hope”.
8. what is this? Notice it’s connection to the resurrection.
9. our “living future certainty” is none other that the Lord Jesus
il) “My Hope is in the Lord, who gave Himself for me, and paid the price for all my sins at Calvary”
10. He is our treasure. He is our righteousness, our certainty, our security
11. and we know He is certain because His tomb is empty!!
12. we have been given the greatest of all gifts, the certainty of knowing that we are reconciled to God thru Jesus Christ, and heaven awaits
13. our inheritance won’t come and go like a 401K, who thrill one minute and frustrate another like our cars.
14. vv4-5, never perish, …kept in heaven by the shielding power of God