Called to Suffer I Peter 2 pm service 2005 & am 2007
1 Peter 2:21-25
Should Meeting Jesus Change Your life?
Read 2:9 to get a running start. Go through 12.
Clearly, Peter believes meeting Jesus should change your life.
He then goes into applying this spiritual principle to each aspect of our everyday life.
>>Peter hits citizenship (2:13-14),
>>life integrity (2:17),
>>wives & husbands (3:1-7),
>>loving our brothers/sisters (3:8-9),
>>giving a defense for your observable faith and hope (3:15).
So clearly, meeting Jesus should change us deeply and completely.
It should provide the framework for completely and radically making us different from everyone else around us in every setting of life.
>>Peter gives us the why and how tucked away here in this passage.
…He explains that because we have been redeemed, we should focus on being different and have the power to be different even in times of suffering/trials/testing.
Jesus: our example in suffering
In 1986 two brothers who live in a kibbutz near the Sea of Galilee made an incredible discovery. As these two Israeli fishermen monitored their equipment on the beaches of Gennesaret, they noticed something they'd not seen before. Something covered with mud glistened in the sun. Upon examination, archeologists determined that what the brothers had discovered was a fishing boat dating from the time of Jesus.
The only reason the artifact was discovered was because of a three-year drought, resulting in unusually low water in the lake.
**The Bible tells us that in times of spiritual dryness, God may uncover something of fabulous value within--his presence (2 Cor. 4:7-12).
God whispers to us in our pleasures ... but shouts in our pains.
C. C.S. Lewis in the Problem of Pain. Christianity Today,
I was standing up to leave a restaurant and solidly hit my head on a lamp hanging above the table. Grimacing, I staggered away, but still heard these words--intended to comfort--from an older gentleman sitting nearby: "It will feel better when it stops hurting."
Suffering can never ultimately be meaningless, because God himself has shared it. Philip Yancey,
Suffering is the heritage of the bad, of the repentant and of the Son of God. Each one ends in the cross. The bad thief is crucified, the repentant thief is crucified, and the Son of God is crucified. By these signs we know the widespread heritage of suffering. -- Oswald Chambers
-- Peter Marshall,
It is a fact of Christian experience that life is a series of valleys and peaks. In his efforts to get permanent possession of a soul, God relies on the valleys more than the peaks. And some of his special favorites have gone through longer and deeper valleys than anyone else.
Are you going through a hard time?
Kristine Wyrtzen will help you like they helped me.
The song is called The Fire:
I've been through a fire that has deepened my desire, to know the living God more and more.
It hasn't been much fun, but the work that it has done in my life has been worth the hurt.
You see sometimes we need the hard times to bring us to our knees, otherwise we do as we please and never heed him.
For he always knows what's best and it's when we are distressed that we really come to know God as he is.
Suffering is central to Christian living. Jesus is our example - in suffering for the right reasons and handling it properly.
The word 'Copycat' is often used negatively of those who have nothing original to say or do.
In tackling the subject of Christ's 'example' he goes right back to the cross.
The two cannot be separated.
In 1896, a man by the name of Charles M. Sheldon penned the words of what has become a classic, inspirational and best-selling novel, "In His Steps. Sheldon asked his congregation that for an entire year, do not do anything without first asking the question, "What would Jesus do if He were in my place?" Following Christ’s example brought great joy to this small-town congregation. It also brought misunderstanding, conflict and difficulty. It meant entire dedication of money, talent, career and influence to the cause of Christ.
One hundred years later, "In His Steps" swept the world like wildfire and became responsible for one of the most widely recognized acronyms in Christian history: WWJD.
The central concept is found in 1 Peter 2:21, where Peter says that Jesus left us an example, that ye should follow his steps
Today, I am less concerned with what Jesus would do, and more concerned with what Jesus did do--and is still doing today.
· Following in Jesus' footsteps is all bound up with experiencing the gospel to begin with.
· Peter poses two questions: WHY - HOW
The 'Why?' of suffering For us the basic reason is that: 'Christ suffered for you' (verse 21).
· This phrase does not refer to his suffering for our sins on the cross (as 2:24).
· Rather, the meaning is the sufferings he faced during his lifetime.
He is our example, both in the reasons for suffering and in the way to handle it.
· Suffering is tied up with our calling as Christians.
· Jesus experienced it on the path to glory (Lk. 24:2626 did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"
We too have been called to 'eternal glory in Christ' (5:10) by the same road!
Not viewing suffering as intrinsically good in itself, but instead going through it in the way Jesus did. Mimicking him.
They make us aware we are not alone (5:9).
9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Here Christ him-self is the example - a high standard, but possible to emulate.
Peter gives two pictures of how we learn to 'copy' Christ:
· 1. By following his 'example' (verse 21): children often learn the alphabet by copying a sheet provided by their teacher. To get it exactly right they use tracing paper, and produce an 'example' from the original work.
· Christians don't suffer exactly as Jesus did or for the same reasons, but he does provide us with a pattern to follow in our response to suffering.
2. By following 'in his steps' (verse 21): people and animals often 'leave their mark' when traveling through mud or snow. We can 'track' them by following their footprints.
Þ Jesus has gone before us and we can plant our shoes where he has already been.
Þ Jesus, then, is our model for suffering.
Þ Jesus' sin was not the reason for his suffering because he committed no sin (verse 22 quoting Is. 53:9).
Word and deed matched up perfectly.
Þ He was consistent even while suffering.
We are to check that our feet are going firmly into his 'tread-marks'!
The 'How?' of suffering The most natural thing to do when suffering unfairly is to fight back. Following Jesus, though, means two things:
1. Not returning fire (verse 23a): Insults are often met with a dose of the same medicine (3:9) and if this doesn't work, the next step is usually threats: 'I'll get even some day!' This is not Jesus' way!
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.
2. Entrusting ourselves to God (verse 23b): How do we entrust ourselves to God?
Þ Jesus didn't look across at his enemies but up to his Father. He suffered injustice humanly but appealed to a 'higher court of law', to God, the impartial judge (1:17).
And for us?
¨ Peter doesn't recommend venting our anger when wronged or burying it inside us. We are to give ourselves repeatedly into God's hands (verse 23b).
He can 'take it' when we express our real feelings.
Peter goes on to talk about Christ's sufferings in a way we could never 'copy': his death for us (verses 2~25).
Significantly, he includes himself:
'He... bore our sins' Peter's thoughts here are based on Isaiah 53:5-7
Jesus had nothing on the debit side of his 'account' with God (verse 22) and yet our sins were registered there and paid for
The account was totally closed through payment of death.
We can liken Jesus' action to that of a 'stand-in' at the theatre: an actor steps in and takes complete responsibility for someone else's part.
Christ 'stood in' for us, but this was no 'play-acting'. He bore God's wrath against our sin
2 Cor. 5:21). God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
¨ This was not merely a 'spiritual' event though: it occurred 'in his body', in real human history.
I. The Person of Redemption
Being a Christian is a relationship, not a religion. --- Not based on rules, but a relationship.
It is all about Jesus Himself. --- not a “power” that died for you on the cross, but the person of Jesus.
He loved you and He died for you.
He made a plan for your life and gave Himself for you specifically so you could be saved.
He loved you personally and individually.
When I learned how to memorize, my teachers fist taught us John 3:16. But here is how we learned it:
God so loved Mike that He gave His only Son, that if Mike would believe Him, Mike would never perish, but have everlasting life.”
II. The Price of Redemption
“who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree”
There was a deep and terrible cost to redeem you and me. Jesus had to die for our sins.
Before making the next choice, ask yourself this question: what did this sin cost?
Peter here focuses us back to the brutal nature of the cross by the visual image of the tree.
He also reminds us of the graphic image of Jesus’ beatings – by His stripes we are healed.
Remember during the heyday of the Passion of the Christ movie how everyone was offended by the brutality of the beatings? We hate thinking about that. Why? It forces us to realize just how terrible our sin is before a holy God.
Next time you face temptation, consider Jesus stripes. Did He go through that to heal me just so I could be free from hell, but free to watch that, log onto that, say that, or do that thing?
No. This thought process would change our lives deeply.
The price then wraps back around to the person Himself who paid the price. Again, it was the person of Jesus.
III. The Purpose of Redemption
“that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness”
Today, churches focus on converts. But the Great commission is to make disciples and not simply converts.
We view the fact of salvation as “fire insurance” and church as our premiums.
Jesus commended us to be disciples and make disciples.
How is that different than a convert?
A disciple not only learns to follow a teacher, but then becomes a teacher of that truth as well.
Your salvation is not only about you, but those to whom Jesus wants to take the message of salvation to through you.
The difference Jesus makes in us in us is to make a difference in the world.
See again verses 11-12, 13-14, 3:1-8. Why put the application of our faith into the real life experiences of work, citizenship, home, and friends if it is isn’t supposed to impact others. It is! God specifically tells us that in verse 24. “That” makes a clear statement of purpose. He saved us and made us whole “so that” we might live for righteousness.
We must begin to own this truth of redemption. Illustration: I was witnessing to a man and he was almost ready to receive Jesus. The he paused and asked me this question. But Mike, I know people who are supposed to know Jesus, some even in your church. They go the same places and do the same things, and they have the same struggles I am asking you about. How do I really know this is true if it isn’t true in their lives?
Your life makes an impact.
- What is the impact?
- Are you living for righteousness in a way that helps or hinders those around you in coming to Jesus?
IV. The Provision of Redemption
Peter explains in verse 25 that when we were saved, we received everything that we needed to see this life change occur.
He explains here the spiritual provisions that were provided when we were saved.
Note: you do not ask for these as a Christian trying to live a changed life, they are already yours.
**They happened to you completely when you were saved. We just need to learn to realize them in our lives.
- preservation: “overseer of your souls”
¨ Morally and spiritually we were like wayward sheep each going our own way.
A lady visiting the Holy Land came upon a sheepfold located high on a hilltop. Her attention was drawn to one poor sheep lying by the side of the road bleating in pain. Looking more closely, she discovered that its leg was injured. She asked the shepherd how it happened. "I had to break it myself," he answered sadly. "It was the only way I could keep that wayward creature from straying into unsafe places. From past experience I have found that a sheep will follow me once I have nursed it back to health. Because of the loving relationship that will be established as I care for her, in the future she will come instantly at my beck and call."
The woman replied thoughtfully, "Sometimes we poor human sheep also want our stubborn ways and as a result stray into dangerous paths until the Good Shepherd sends sorrow and pain to arrest us. Coming then into a sweeter and closer communion with our Savior, we at last are conditioned to hear His voice and follow His leading."
25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
I Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you.