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Keeping Our Commitment to Christ

Notes & Transcripts

Keeping Our Commitment to Christ

1 Peter 2:18-25

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Dec. 30, 2012

*On February 23, 1836, General Santa Anna's Mexican army arrived in San Antonio to begin the 13-day battle for the Alamo. The commander of the Alamo was Colonel William Travis. Legend has it that on the 8th day, Colonel Travis drew a line on the ground and asked any man willing to stay and fight to step over. All of them did but one. (1)

*That story may be a legend, but in these verses God surely calls us to cross over the line with Jesus. -- How can we keep our commitment to Christ?

1. First, we should follow the steps of our Savior.

*In vs. 18-22, the Apostle Peter calls us to follow the Lord. Here Peter said:

18. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.

19. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

20. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

21. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

*Christians: We are called by God to follow the steps of our Savior, getting close to Jesus and staying close to Jesus.

[1] Notice that following the steps of our Savior means practical, everyday service.

*In vs. 18, Peter talks about how Christian servants should serve their masters. This reminds us that Christian service is not just something we do on Sundays and Wednesdays. It’s not just something we do in these buildings. Christian service should touch our lives 24/7. It should definitely touch the way we act at work, at home and at play.

*Steve Brown tells a story that comes down to us from the 11th century. King Henry III of Bavaria grew tired of court life and the pressures of being king. For this reason he applied to the local monastery, and asked to spend the rest of his life there as a secluded monk.

*The head of the monastery was a wise man named Richard, and he said to the king: “Your Majesty, do you understand that the pledge here is one of obedience? -- That will be hard because you have been a king.”

*“I understand,” said King Henry. “The rest of my life I will be obedient to you, as Christ leads you.” “Then I will tell you what to do,” said Richard. “Go back to your throne and serve faithfully in the place where God has put you.” (2)

*King Henry did exactly that, and so should we. God has planted us here, and He wants us to be a good teacher, truck driver, grandparent or whatever.

-Following the steps of our Savior means practical, everyday service right where the Lord has placed us.

[2] But following the steps of our Savior also means patient service.

*This is Peter’s message to us in vs. 18-20, where he said:

18. Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.

19. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

20. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

*Servants submit yourselves to your masters, not only to the good and gentle ones, but also to the harsh, overbearing and unreasonable masters.

*Have you ever had a bad boss? -- For several years, author Jim Miller sponsored a national hunt for the worst boss. One entry was called “Horrible Hilda.” One of Hilda’s employees was just getting over heart surgery, when she made him carry a 20-pound bag of cat litter up some steep stairs.

*And there's this front-runner: The boss who called the hospital on the day a worker was scheduled for major surgery. This boss told the employee to get his clothes on and come back to the office right away! He was screaming and throwing such a fit over the phone that the nurse hung up on him. (3)

*As Christians, how should we handle things like that? -- I’d highly recommend praying for a new job! And start looking for one too.

*But as long as you are in that situation, God says to be patient.

20. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

-Following the steps of our Savior means patient service.

[3] But it also means pleasing service.

*This is another point Peter makes to us in vs. 19-20, where he said:

19. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

20. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer for it, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

*The wonderful news here is that we can live lives that are pleasing to God! -- We can be the servants Jesus talked about in Matthew 25:21, where He said: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”

-Following the steps of our Savior means pleasing service.

[4] And it means pure service.

*This is one of Peter’s points to us in vs. 21-22, where the Apostle said:

21. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

22. “Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth.”

*The Last part of vs. 22 refers back to Isaiah 53, where the prophet described our Suffering Savior. Here’s part of what Isaiah said:

8. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

9. And they made His grave with the wicked but with the rich at His death, because He had done no violence, nor was any deceit in His mouth.

*In these verses Peter and Isaiah are reminding us of the Lord’s perfect purity. And the Lord’s perfect holiness was an absolute requirement for the cross. Jesus couldn’t die for our sins, if He had to die for His own.

*But Jesus did die for our sins! -- So Isaiah went on to say:

10. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

11. He shall see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied. by His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities. (Isaiah 53:10-11)

*Christians, when Jesus died on the cross for us, He carried our sins away as far as the east is from the west. And He could do this because of His pure and holy life. Now, God calls us to serve the Lord with a pure life. As Peter tells us in vs. 21-22, Jesus left us an example that we should follow the steps of Him “who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth.”

*Following the steps of our Savior then means a life of practical, patient, pleasing and pure service to our Lord. We can keep our commitment to Christ by following the steps of our Savior.

2. But we should also be willing to suffer like our Savior.

*This is a very personal and painful truth Peter shares with us in vs. 21-23. Please notice the Lord’s suffering and our suffering in these verses:

21. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:

22. "Who committed no sin, nor was guile found in His mouth'';

23. who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.

*Peter will talk about our suffering for the Lord again in chapter 4. This was something always close to Peter’s heart. In 2 Peter 1:14 he urged believers to grow in godliness and love, knowing, he said, “that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.”

*This statement goes back to John 21, where Peter and the other Apostles met with our Risen Lord. They had breakfast on the beach with our Savior. Then Jesus and Peter took a walk on the beach, and the Lord asked that all-important question three times: “Do you love me?”

*Of course, Peter said “Yes.” -- And he did love Jesus. But things took an unexpected turn as Jesus talked to Peter in John 21:18-19. The NIV shows Jesus saying:

18. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself (or tied on your belt) and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you (or tie you up) and lead you where you do not want to go."

19. Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!"

*Notice that Jesus did not say, “Peter, I know you love me. And you are going to do some great things for me. When all of that is over, you are going to get a sweet book deal. And that vacation home you always wanted in Hot Springs.”

*And Jesus did not say, “Peter you are going to glorify God by preaching on the Day of Pentecost. 3,000 people will get saved! Peter you are going to glorify God by working miracles in my name, by leading the first Gentiles to faith in Me, by being a leader in the church, and by writing Scripture.”

*Jesus knew that all of these great things would happen, and surely they did bring glory to God. But Jesus stressed Peter’s suffering. Jesus said, “Peter, you are going to glorify God by doing something you don’t want to do: Suffer on a cross for Me.”

*Living here in the USA in 2012, we are used to getting what we want. But God is not always going to give us what we want. And there are some great reasons for this.

-One reason why is because we don’t always want the right thing.

-On top of that, we are not the center of the universe. Bigger things are going on than what we want.

*Plus, as Paul Powell once said, “God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. His goal is not to pamper us physically but to perfect us spiritually.” (4)

*The best we can do is hear Jesus say, “Follow Me,” and then surrender our wants to God. Peter surrendered to even suffer wrong treatment for the Lord. And here he challenges us to do the same. Again in vs. 21: “To this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”

*How can we keep our commitment to Christ? -- We should be willing to suffer like our Savior.

3. And we must depend on divine deliverance.

*This is another great truth Peter has for us in vs. 23-25: We must depend on divine deliverance. This is what Jesus did in vs. 23, where Peter explained that when Jesus “was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

*What does it mean to depend on divine deliverance?

[1] First, it means choosing God’s righteousness over our own rights.

*That’s what Jesus did for us. He could have stood on His rights and refused to go to the cross, but He didn’t do it. Jesus gave up His rights for us.

*In today’s society it’s easy for people to be overly concerned with our rights. We don’t want anybody taking advantage of us! -- But there will be times that God asks us to give up our rights because of our love for Him and our trust in Him.

-Depending on divine deliverance means choosing God’s righteousness over our own rights.

[2] It also means choosing Heavenly intervention over human instinct.

*When someone mistreats us, our natural inclination is to strike back at them. But in vs. 23, when Jesus “was reviled,” He “did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten.”

*And here God is telling us to live like our Savior. God wants us to depend on His divine deliverance. And why shouldn’t we depend on God? -- Look what Jesus Christ has already done for us in vs. 24: He “Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.”

*This is the most amazing thing to stop and think about. Two thousand years before we were born, Jesus knew about every single one of our sins. And He literally took those sins in His body when He died on the cross for us. Now He gives divine deliverance to all who trust in Him as Savior and Lord.

-Depending on divine deliverance means choosing Heavenly intervention over human instinct.

[3] It also means choosing a relationship with God over rebellion against God.

*As Peter says to believers in vs. 25: “For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer (or Bishop) of your souls.” Peter used two great words to describe our relationship with God.

1-The first word is the most familiar: Jesus is the Shepherd of our souls. We remember this great truth most from Scriptures like David’s 23rd Psalm, where he opened by saying: “The Lord is my shepherd.” There’s a relationship.

*Then Isaiah 40:11 says: “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.” And in John 10, Jesus called Himself “the Good Shepherd” who “lays down his life for the sheep”

2-The second word Peter used to describe our relationship with the Lord is “Bishop” or “Overseer”. This is much less familiar to us, but William Barclay explains that in ancient Greek times, the Bishop was the guardian of the city, the protector of house and home, the one who brings justice, the one who supervises our conduct.

*So then, to call God our “Overseer” or “Bishop” of our souls is to call him our Guardian, our Protector, our Guide, and our Director. We can always count on Him! (5)

*Col. William Travis drew that line on the ground and asked the defenders of the Alamo to step over the line with him. In a much greater way, Jesus Christ stepped over the line for us when He died on the cross for our sins.

*And in these verses, God calls us to step over the line with Jesus. Live the committed life.

-By following the steps of our Savior.

-By being willing to suffer like our Savior.

-And by always depending on His divine deliverance.

*As we bow for prayer, let’s ask the Lord to help us do these things.

(1) thealamo.org

(2) SermonCentral illustration contributed by James Dunn - Source: Steve Brown, Key Biscayne, Florida

(3) David Holwick illustration #4185 - CATEGORY: Worst Boss; Leadership; Management - SOURCE: Online USA Today - TITLE: Worst Boss, Best Boss - DATE: 9111997

(4) SermonCentral illustration

(5) BARCLAY'S DAILY BIBLE STUDY SERIES (NT) by William Barclay, Revised Edition (C) Copyright 1975 William Barclay. First published by the Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland - The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - TWO PRECIOUS NAMES FOR GOD - 1 Peter 2:18-25 (continued)

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