I Peter Lesson 8: “When Ridiculed”
Motivation: Is it ever God’s will for us to suffer? We’ll explore that concept in this study as we see what role suffering and persecution play in the drama of the Christian life.
I. Expect Ridicule (12-14)
A. Recognize that Christians Suffer (12) “Don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you” (12) HCSB, p. 2154: 4:12-19 “Peter declared that believers are to rejoice in the test that suffering brings for being members of God’s household. Suffering for Christ in this world characterizes believers as strangers, with heaven as their future place of eternal residence.”
Why is suffering inevitable for Christians? Barclay believes it accompanies our role as “salt” & “light.” “To the world the Christian brings the standards of Jesus Christ. That is another way of saying that he inevitably is a kind of conscience to any society in which he moves; and many a man would gladly eliminate the troublesome twinges of conscience” (1 Peter, p. 257). The obvious conclusion is that persecution is the norm for every Christian. If we’re not feeling societies stare, then we’re not substantially different from them. (John 15:18-21)
B. Rejoice in the Midst of Suffering (13-14)
1. Rejoice Because of Your Identification with Christ “share in the sufferings of the Messiah” (13) Suffering for the name of Christ is one of the surest ways to know that you’re walking in His steps. How can we allow Jesus to bear His cross alone and expect to be free of suffering? (Matthew 10:24; Luke 9:23)
2. Rejoice Because of His Illumination “Revelation of His glory” (13) Every time we suffer for the name of Christ we can look forward to His glory. Paul writes in Romans “. . . we suffer with Him that we may also be glorified together.” (Romans 8:17-18). To Timothy: “If we endure (sufferings) we shall also reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12). Paul actually asked for the privilege of suffering with Christ (Philippians 3:10). All we do should be aimed at glorifying God (I Corinthians 10:31). In some special way, God is glorified when His Saints love Him enough to suffer for His cause. (John 17:5, 24)
3. Rejoice Because He is Your Inspiration “you may also rejoice with great joy” (13) Certainly we will be glad in the end when God sets all things right. But what about now? Paul writes “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything. . .” (Eph. 5:20). Giving thanks, even in times of suffering, acknowledges that true joy must come from God. (John 16:24) As the song says, “the world didn’t give it to me, and the world can’t take it away.”
4. Rejoice Because of Your Invocation “you are blessed” (14) Jesus promised a blessing for persecution in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5:10-12) “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
5. Rejoice Because of Immanuel “the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (14) Two dramatic biblical accounts of God being present at a time of persecution spring to mind:
a. Hebrew Children in the Fiery Furnace – Nebuchadnezzar said: “Look! I see four men loose walking in the midst of and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” (Daniel 3:25)
b. Stoning of Stephen - Stephen said “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:55) Jesus said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5b) Especially in times of persecution or suffering we feel the presence of Almighty God.
II. Represent Jesus Well (15-16)
Peter reminds us that there are different kinds of suffering; he is specifically writing of suffering for the cause of Christ.
A. Natural Suffering – Some suffering occurs because we are humans living in an imperfect world. If you choose to live in “Tornado Alley,” tie your trailer down tight. Those of us along the Gulf coast face unpredictable hurricanes. If you choose to drive, don’t be surprised by an occasional accident. These things, along with sickness and high humidity, are all a part of life. Jesus said, “…those eighteen on whom the Tower of Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:4) We’re all going to die except for the soon return of Christ. Proverbs 27:1: “do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (James 4:13-15)
B. Moral Suffering – Some suffering is caused by the wrong or even evil choices of others: crimes against your person, drunk drivers, or even intentional persecution. Peter writes that we must always stand on the high ground morally. If someone persecutes you, don’t seek to retaliate and slip to their level. To do so would be to suffer as “a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busy body…” (15) A Christian should have a strict moral code of conduct; to stray from that code could take us out from under God’s umbrella of protection.
1. Christian Suffering “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian…” (16) Believer’s were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26). The term literally means “little messiah”; we can only speculate whether it was first used to commend or to criticize. By the time of this letter (AD 63-64), it was obviously used proudly throughout the church. We are to be so identified with Christ that when people observe us, they are reminded of Him.
2. Our Condition “let him not be ashamed” (16) We naturally seek approval from our coworkers, family, and friends. However, we must understand that our ultimate significance does not come from the praise of people, but rather from our relationship with Christ (I Cor. 6:19-20).
3. Our Commendation “let him glorify God in this matter” (16) God tells us that we can actually glorify Him:
a. Through our obedience “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
b. Through oneness “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 15:5-6)
c. Through obeisance (Praise). “You who fear the Lord, Praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him…” (Ps. 22:23)
d. Through outreach “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.” (John 15:8)
When we glorify God even during persecution, we’re actually doing several of these actions all at once!
III. Focus on the Creator (17-19)
A. Our Correction “For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household” (17) Persecution was growing. Very soon each Believer would be faced with the choice of renouncing the faith or suffering criminal penalties. Such persecution surely purifies the church. Just as water forced underground emerges downstream all the clearer; so the underground church (in China for instance) grows because of its very purity.
Sometimes God doesn’t strike down our enemies immediately because opposition makes us stronger. The word is judgment not punishment. God allows trials to bring us closer to Him.
B. Our Conviction “And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” (18) HCSB, p. 2154: 4:18 “Because Christians suffer (v. 16) and will be judged (v. 17), they live out their salvation with difficulty (Pr. 11:31).
C. Our Creator (19)
1. God’s Calling “who suffer according to God’s Will” We don’t like verses like this! We’d like to study John 10:10 instead. Yet, here it is in black and white. Does God really intend us to suffer?
a. Context –Peter has been careful to narrowly define this suffering: “For the name of Christ” (14) “suffers as a Christian” (16). We’re not looking at all or even most suffering, only that which comes from religious persecution. (Mark 10:28-30)
b. Call – God has a plan to redeem humanity. We’re a part of that plan as witnesses (Acts 1:8). Witness is based on the Greek word that we transliterate as martyr. When we do our job in God’s plan, some suffering is inevitable (12). In that sense, our sufferings for the cause of Christ are in God’s Will.
2. Good commitment “entrust themselves to a faithful creator” The word “entrust” is the same word used by Jesus on the cross “Father into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46) William Barclay comments: “The word he uses for to entrust is paratithesthai, which is the technical word for depositing money with a trusted friend. In the ancient days there were no banks and few really safe places in which to deposit money. So, before a man went on a journey, he often left his money in the safekeeping of a friend. Such a trust was regarded as one of the most sacred things in life. The friend was absolutely bound by all honor and all religion to return the money intact.”
This is an assurance verse that speaks of security of the believer. We don’t keep ourselves saved by works (Galatians 3:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10); God alone is trustworthy to keep our souls. The result is good works in our lives.
Works don’t lead to eternal life
Faith plus works don’t lead to eternal life
However: Faith leads to eternal life and works
3. Gracious Creator “to a faithful Creator” God made us; He knows us. We can trust Him to keep us!
1. Christians can expect persecution when they do God’s Will.
2. Christians can glorify God during times of suffering.
3. God is faithful to keep us and bless us.
Explore the Bible Leader Pack Item 8 Poster: Key Passages on Suffering”
Illustrator: p. 94 “The House of God: A New Testament Understanding”
Notes: **You may access David’s Lesson Preview in MP3 format at: www.hfbcbiblestudy.org
Dates: 2016 – 10/15 – Celebration Tickets go on sale; 10/16 – Lord’s Supper; 10/16 – SPF B-day Bash; 10/21 – MS Bonfire @ the Farm; 10/29 – Summit Hoedown; 10/31 – First Fest; 11/5 - Men: Serve; 11/7-8 – Grow Team Retreat; 11/11-12 – HUB As We Go Wknd; 11/13 – SPF B-day Bash; 11/13 – DTW Appreciation Luncheon; 11/20 – Make It Your Church Orientation; 11/20 – Christmas Store Gift Collection; 11/24-25 – Thanksgiving Holidays; 12/4 – HUB Christmas Palooza; 12/7-11 – Celebration; 12/18 – SPF Birthday Bash; 12/24 – Christmas Eve Candlelight 2, 4 & 6; 12/23 & 26 – Christmas Holiday – offices closed; 12/25 – NO LBS – 5:00pm Service only; 12/31 – Summit NYE Party; 1/1/17 – No LBS – 10:00 am Service only.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 October 2016 22:32)
Esther’s Eulogy for David Phan
Esther’s Eulogy for David Phan
Hi, my name is Esther if you don’t know me. I never thought that I would have to stand here today before all of you and to give this speech. I never thought that in 6 days that I won’t be able to celebrate my brother’s 25th birthday. I never thought that in 7 months I would graduate college and he wouldn’t be there to celebrate with me. I never thought that I would never be called an aunt or have any nieces and nephews. But what I do know is that David lived a full life. What I do know is that I had the privilege and honor to be David’s little sister for 21 years.
David Phan’s Eulogy from His Best Friend – Joshua Wilson
David Phan’s Eulogy from His Best Friend – Joshua Wilson
Dphan, phannypack, phanD, dphaniel, chach, permanent pledge, the universal wild card, son, brother, my friend, David. I don’t quite remember the first time I met David, it was almost certainly at some BYX event, but I didn’t get to know him until my sophomore year. We were in the same cell group, our fraternities way of creating smaller bonds of people for bible study, prayer, accountability, and just doing life with. They say you can tell if you like someone in the first five seconds (or something like that) of meeting them, I’m going to be perfectly honest because he is well aware of this, I didn’t like David when I first met him. If you knew him, he could be annoying, frustrating, self-imposing, and could say and do some things that really left you guessing what he was thinking, but it is now those same flaws that I will miss, and I know that they will never be replicated in another human being, he was too unique. I never would’ve guessed coming into college that one of my closest friends would end up being an asian guy who loved dancing, guns, and motorcycles but God works in mysterious ways and knew I needed a friend like David.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 19 October 2016 13:42)
I Peter Lesson 7: “Equipped to Live”
Motivation: Living for Christ involves two sides of the same coin: avoid sin/advance righteousness. Peter supplies some specifics to flesh out this fully devoted follower of Christ – we are to be people of purity, prayer, and purpose which involves love, hospitality and service.
I Peter Lesson 6: “Always Ready”
Motivation: It’s been said that many church members share a common ailment with the Arctic River: they’re frozen at the mouth. How do we become comfortable talking about our faith? Peter writes that we’re under an obligation to be prepared - to know what we believe and to be able to verbalize it. Of course, we must learn to depend on the Holy Spirit and Christ’s resurrection power in witnessing.
Last Updated (Thursday, 29 September 2016 03:58)