Staying Steady in an Unsteady World 1 Peter 3:13-16- EBC 7/26/09
In the 1970’2 author Francis Schaffer wrote, In ancient Israel, when the nation had turned from God and from his truth and commands as given in Scripture, the prophet Jeremiah cried out that there was death in the city. He was speaking not only of physical death in Jerusalem but also a wider death. Because Jewish society of that day had turned away from what God had given them in the Scripture, there was death in the polis, that is, death in the total culture and the total society. We live in a culture that seems to be constantly dying.
Peter gives us some ways we can be steady in an unsteady world:
I. To Have a Desire for Goodness (13)
A. Christians have an incredible contribution to make to the society in which they live by breaking the cycle of people returning evil for evil.
1. What a marvelous ministry- at every call I am going to seek to return evil for good. It probably called Christ likeness. . Just as people tend to return evil for evil, they usually return good for good. Indeed, when you do good, blessing comes to everyone involved
a. 1 Peter 2:23- when he was reviled……
B. In every instance we, as Christians, ought to seek to do the right thing.
1. 1 Thess 5:15-
2. Gal. 6:9-10-
3. 1 Peter 2:12-
II. To Have a Willingness to Suffer (14)
A. Acts 14:22-
B. Phil. 1:29- Christians today should not be surprised or afraid if such suffering comes, because that becomes a means by which we are blessed.
1. 1 Peter 5:10-
2. James 1:2-4-
a. The blessings of suffering is that we grow as Christians in endurance and grace.
3. 2 Cor. 4:16-18-
C. Christians should not fear unbelievers nor be intimidated by them. Suffering must be views as a means of accepting blessings. Christians today should not be surprised or afraid if such suffering comes, because that becomes a means by which they are blessed.
III. To Have a Dedication to Christ (15)
A. Sanctify- to set apart, consecrate- we are to set Christ apart as our primary source of love and reverence. When I sanctify the Lord I turn everything over to him.
1. This honoring of Christ starts first in the heart. Alexander Maclaren wrote, “Only he who can say, The Lord is the strength of my life¯ can go on to say, Of whom shall I be afraid.
IV. To Be Ready to Defend the Faith (15b)
A. Not only do we need to suffer thru persecution but we also need to defend the truth when persecuted.
1. Be ready always- be constantly prepared.
2. Answer(apologia)- a verbal defense, a reason for why you believe what you believe. It is important that we give a reason why we have faith in Christ.
3. Hope- expectation of good, joy, confidence. The lost world knows only dying hope (I hope it’s not as bad as I think it will be). We need to base our hope on the assurances we have. What are those assurances?
a. Believer’s Bible Comm- . People often ask us questions which quite naturally open the door to speak to them about the Lord. We should be ready to tell them what great things the Lord has done for us. This witnessing should be done in either case with gentleness and reverence. There should be no trace of harshness, bitterness or flippancy when we speak of our Savior and Lord
4. Meekness- gentleness. This isn’t weakness nor is it being overbearing. It is speaking the truth in love.
5. Fear- reverence. Christians need a biblical clear view of their salvation.