A Symphony To Take Note Of
The Blessings Of Christian Submission
May 19, 1996
Scripture: 1 Peter 3:18-22
I. The Blessings of Christian Submission in the Church:
Living in harmony with one another.
A. What we are to do: Live in harmony with fellow Christians before a watching world.
8* Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
B. What we are not to do: The things which cause discord in any human relationships.
9* Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
C. Why we are to do it: The blessings from God which come from the harmony of a submissive life.
1. The blessing of contentment coming from the harmony of graciousness.
10* For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech.
2. The blessing of peace coming from the harmony of reconciliation.
11 He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it.
3. The blessing of acknowledged prayer coming from the harmony of righteousness.
12* For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
II. The Blessings of Christian Submission before the World:
Living in harmony with unbelievers.
A. The blessings which come from the harmony of a submissive life are certain no matter how others react to us.
13* Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?
14* But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened."
B. These blessings are certain because we have already received them.
15* But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
C. Because we have already received blessing we are free to give blessing even in the face of adversity.
But do this with gentleness and respect,
16* keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
D. The harmony of our lives in the midst of the discord of the world may be God's way of drawing others to the same music we hear.
17* It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
III. The Blessings of Christian Submission through Christ:
Living in harmony with His example.
A. The blessing of spiritual life through harmony with the example of Christ in His sacrifice on the cross.
18* For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,
B. The blessing of salvation through harmony with the example of Christ in His preaching through Noah.
19* through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison
20* who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,
1. Noah and his family were a minority surrounded by hostile unbelievers.
2. Noah was righteous in the midst of a wicked world.
3. Noah witnessed boldly to those around him.
4. Noah realized that judgment was soon to come upon the world.
5. In the unseen spiritual realm, Christ preached through Noah to unbelievers around him.
6. At the time of Noah, God was patiently awaiting repentance from unbelievers before he brought judgment.
7. Noah was finally saved with a few others.
C. The blessing of a good conscience toward God through harmony with the example of Christ in His power over sin.
21* and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also-- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
22* who has gone into heaven and is at God's right hand-- with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.