The Rock’s School Of Ministry (1 Peter 5)

It’s common in ministry schools to have an experienced Pastor come in and lecture on the ministry. In the closing chapter of First Peter we get to sit under the Apostle Peter’s teaching as he instructs us in ministry.

As we sit in Peter’s lecture we will learn about our ministries as pilgrims.

Peter begins his lecture in verses 1-4 four by addressing those called into leadership.

1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:

Elders are also known as the Pastors and assistant Pastors. There would be a lot of elders addressed in this passage because chapter one says that these believers were scattered through various areas of Asia Minor.

Pastor’s are given a number of names or titles in scripture. They are called Elders as we learn in this passage (1 Pet.5:1), this does not describe their age because Timothy was an elder and he was a younger man. Elder refers to the fact that these men are in a position of leadership. There is the title of Bishop (1 Tim.3:1) which means overseer. There is the title of Pastor-teachers (Ephesians 4:11) this describes the main function and responsibility of the elder or bishop, they are to shepherd God’s sheep, by feeding, protecting and leading.

Notice even though Peter was exhorting these Pastors as an Apostle of Jesus Christ, he was humble he recognized that he was called to the same work as them. This is an encouragement!

While God might call some men to bigger ministries, nevertheless at the end of the day we are all doing the same work. We are all serving the same crucified Christ who suffered for us and we are all going to receive our inheritance which is reserved for us in heaven.

2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

Here’s some practical exhortations that these ministries leaders were to heed to have a dynamic Jesus style ministry.

First they were to remember they were given a stewardship; they were to shepherd the flock of God serving as an overseer.

Peter reminds the Pastor that the church and the people are God’s people, He bought us with the precious blood of His own Son the Lamb of God. The Pastor has the responsibility of serving as an appointed shepherd or steward serving under the chief shepherd Jesus.

Second they were to shepherd the flock of God: this can sum up responsibilities of the a Pastor. What does this entail? A lot more than you can put on paper. Basically you can say that a shepherds job is to do whatever needs to be done to care for the sheep. It is like saying what are the responsibilities of being a parent? This is why the ministry of Pastor teacher is a supernatural calling.

While the list can be endless depending on the need, there are essentials to the work of a shepherd such as feeding the sheep the word of God, protecting the sheep from predators whether it be people who want to stumble the sheep or present some false teaching. They are to lead the sheep in the direction that the Chief Shepherd commands, caring for the sheep that are hurting and correct wayward sheep, so they don’t go off and get hurt.

After describing responsibilities Peter goes to ensure that these Pastors serve in the correct manner and with the right mindset.

The main point of these verse was to encourage those in the ministry. That is those persecuted Pastors who have already been in the trenches serving in the ministry.

Peter’s first encouragement is don’t serve by compulsion, but willingly. Serving by compulsion means because you have to. Yes, all Pastor’s have responsibilities as all employees have the responsibility to go to work.

Sometime we are just not excited to go to work. In these time we need a reminder that we serve not because we have to but we get to.

Second ministry is not to be done with a hidden agenda which in reality is being dishonest to the Lord. It looks genuine outwardly, but if ministry is only done for money, fame, power its done for the wrong reason. Ministry must be done eagerly for Jesus.

Third Peter says nor as being Lord’s over the flock but as examples. Peter sat under Jesus’ teaching and learned this first hand. Jesus told them that the Gentiles Lord over the people, but not so among them. The greatest must be a servant. Jesus demonstrated this daily. Jesus did not sent commandments from an exalted palace, but He taught truth and lived it out in front of people.

How are to we to keep this Bible mindset and manner of ministry? Look at verse 4.

4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

These Pastors were to stay the course by looking unto Jesus’ coming to resurrect the dead and rapture the church. After the rapture the Pastor will get to stand at the reward seat of Christ and receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

The world teaches that we are to strive after high positions of power, fame and money, but in the end this will fade away and be forgotten. The humble job of even the unknown Pastor off serving the sheep will end by being crowned with a crown of glory by the creator of the universe.

Now Peter in verses 5-14 addresses the ministry of believer’s in general.

5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “GOD RESISTS THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”

Peter begins by talking about ministry in light of relationships. The first relationship addressed in this verse are the believer’s relationship to the leadership. Peter Specifically addresses those who are younger. Those who are younger can refer to those who are both young in age and in the Lord.

Peter teaches these believers that while Elders or Pastors are equal to all believers in their salvation and walk, nevertheless they have been given a God ordained authority to lead. This authority must be respected and obeyed.

I believe Peter addresses those who are younger because those who are mature in their faith should already be following this command and setting the example to those who are younger.

Next Peter deals with our relationship and ministries one to another. All believers are to be submissive to one another and clothed with humility.

To be submissive to means to render to each person proper respect and love. To be clothed with humility means to serve one another as a servant was called to serve those in his or her household. This word I’m told that the word be clothed refers to the apron that identified a person as a servant. Jesus was clothed in humility and demonstrated it y washing His disciples feet and laying down His life for our sins.

Besides being commanded to walk in humility, Peter says that the Bible says we are blessed for doing so. Peter quotes Proverbs 3:34 which clearly shows that God resists the proud but He gives grace to the humble.

6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Therefore or as a result of the fact that we are commanded to walk in humility and God blesses and exalts the humble, we are to humble ourselves before God.

To humble ourselves before God means to recognize who God is and to remember who we are. Humility implies not only attitude but behavior, If I am submitted God I will obey God’s word and follow the examples that we are given in the word, despite our lot in life.

Walking in humility also includes casting your cares on God. Often we try to care for ourselves and live independently. Humility, or as Jesus called it being poor in spirit means I am bankrupt of any good or power.

God wants us to live dependent on Him, to cast all our struggles, our burdens, all our cares on Him. We don’t have to worry about being a burden in doing so because God cares for us. He wants them and we need to give them up.

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

While believers are to cast all our cares on God, this does not mean we just let go and check out. We can’t because we are in a war zone and with an adversary who is continually looking for a way to attack. Satan is like a hungry lion always looking for lunch.

Because of this we must be sober. To be sober refers to having a proper mindset. Vigilant refers to our behavior in light of recognizing the fact that we have an enemy and in a spiritual battle.

Some of the ways we can remain vigilant is by resisting temptation, standing firm in our faith; that is we are believe and how we are to behave in line with God’s word and we are to keep a proper mindset on suffering that all who live godly will suffer persecution. Beware of discouragement that it is only you that are suffering, this is a lie.

10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Rather than be discouraged by suffering we are to keep in mind that our God of all comfort and the one who can empower is in His grace to press forward even in suffering will perfect us, establish us, strengthen us and settle us.

Each one of these these terms can have a sermon in and of themselves. Trials perfect or mature us, they establish us means or make us more stable in your faith and in your beliefs, they strengthen us which means they make us stronger and they settle us, I’m told that this word is related to the word foundation in Greek. Trials cause us to keep close to Christ which is our foundation for life.

11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

All glory and dominion belongs to God forever and ever. All glory and dominion will be established by God when Jesus comes back and sets up His Kingdom on this earth. Amen means so be it.

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

Silvanus is another name for Silas. Silas served as the writer of this epistle as Peter dictated the words to him. Silas gives us an example on ministering by being faithful.

Peter gives us the purpose of his letter, it was to write a brief letter to encourage them and demonstrate the grace of God which can give us power to stand as a believer in any trial or tribulation.

13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

The church in Rome which Peter wrote from greeted these believers as well as Jon Mark who was there with Peter. These believers were to continue to walk in love and hospitality to each other.

In closing, you and I are pilgrims traveling through this world on our way to heaven. Along our roads we will experience trials and tribulations. We can be encouraged because God has given us grace to walk as saints and servants for the glory of God.

Time For Your Spiritual Check Up (1 Peter 3:8-12)

Are you a person that dodges their physicals? After all, “It’s going to the doctor that’s the problem, that’s when everything goes wrong.” While going to a physical can leave us with bad news they also can be helpful and maybe even life saving.

Tonight I want to approach this passage tonight as a spiritual physical. Tonight as we spend time in the word and at the Lord’s table the great Physician Jesus and His Spirit will examine us.

Tonight this physic consists of a check of our mind, heart, reflexes and our mouth and tongue. After our check up we are given some great advice and an amazing prescription to help us live a spiritually healthy Christian life which verse 10 describes as, “loving life and seeing good days.”

As we work through this spiritual physical we will learn two things.

1. The status of our spiritual health.
2. Practical advice to maintain a healthy spiritual life.

Let’s begin our checkup tonight, in verses 8-9 by looking at the status of our spiritual health. As we work through these two verses we will go phrase by phrase with the Great Physician and He checks us.

The first the Lord looks at our minds at the beginning of verse 8.

8a Finally, all of you be of one mind…

Finally does not mean that Peter is done with his epistle. Nor is Peter like one of those Bible teachers who says he is closing and then 45 minutes later he concludes.

Finally refers to back to Peter’s theme of Christian conduct that began in chapter 2. Peter since the beginning of chapter 2 has taught us Pilgrim’s how we are to conduct ourselves in this world. We have seen that we are to walk in holiness and submission so we can be a witness and a worshipper.

Peter before he turns his attention to suffering in the world for righteousness sake which begins in 13 gives us one last thing to think about concerning our Christian conduct.

The focus of Peter in these verses is our relationship with other believers the body of Christ.

Concerning our relationship with others Peter points to our minds, he says, All of you be of one mind. The word, “of one mind” in Greek I’m told implies a deep unity of thought and feelings. The thoughts and feelings that we are to share are expressed in this verse.

For now we can say that the unhealthy spiritual mind is the one that forgets God’s commands by not applying them. James spoke of this man when he talked about the person who looks at himself in the mirror and then forgets what he looks like.

James also spoke of another spiritual mental condition of having divided or double mind concerning the things of God. James gives the assessment of this man and says this man is unstable in all his ways.

God tests the mind, the place where God wants our minds spiritually is focused on Him and conceded for the needs of others.

Second in the rest of verse 8 the Lord looks at our heart.

8B. having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous;

The first check of our heart has to do with our compassion. The word compassion can also be translated sympathy means to suffer with. Sympathy implies a closeness of sharing one another’s burdens and blessings.

Paul in Romans 12:15 and 1 Corinthians 12:26 teaches us that believers are to do the same, we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.

How am I doing on sympathy? I do well in playing my own little violin and showing sympathy to myself, but how about to others. Christ our sympathetic High Priest was our greatest of what this looks like. Christ cared for people, He put others needs before His own.

Now God through the same Holy Spirit is calling us to walk in His steps.

The second heart check has to do with my love for other believers. Peter commands that we are to love fellow believers like brothers and sisters.

This might be a hard concept for some of you because you don’t really love your own biological brother and sisters. Think about it this way, how would you want a brother or sister to love you?

This is how we are to act and think about each other in the body of Christ. We need to be careful not to fall into the common thinking that the church is just a club I join, like Costco. I come get what I need say hi to some people I know then be on my way. The church is a body, a spiritual house, a family

Our love for other believers is very important, it shows the world that we are Christ’s disciples and it also shows the state of my heart. We know this because when you read the letters of Paul the churches that were on fire were ones that expressed brotherly love by caring for each other and Paul. They expressed their love to Paul through prayer and ministering to each other with their resources.

Our third heart check has to do with how tender our heart is. The tender heart is in contrast to the hard heart, the callous heart, the cold heart and the cynical heart.
This sounds really bad but living in this world it is easy for our hearts to fall into one of these conditions, especially after we have been hurt, or had our hearts broken by a brother or sister.

that is sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. The tender heart

But our hearts should not and cannot remain in this condition, we need to repent and be loving and sensitive to the feelings of others. Through abiding in the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, God keeps our hearts sensitive.

Our fourth heart check is whether we are courteous. If you have a newer translation such as the ESV, NASB, or the NLT, they have the word humble.

William MacDonald does well in tying these two words together to bring out what Peter is saying concerning the courteous heart and mind. MacDonald

says, “Essentially it means humbly thinking of others, putting others first, and saying and doing the gracious thing. Courtesy serves others before self, jumps at opportunities to assist, and expresses prompt appreciation for kindness received.”

Once again this is seen revealed through the life of Jesus. Especially when He washed His disciples feet. Christ was quick to jump when the need was there to put others before Himself.

When you hook your heart up to a machine such as an EKG, there are certain things that you want to see. The same is true for our heart which is the center of our spiritual being. When we are tested by the Lord we want to see these characteristics come from our heart. If these are not our characteristics we can ask God to change and strengthen our heart.

Third in the first part of verse 9 the Lord looks at our reflexes.

9a not returning evil for evil…

Evil in this verse refers to evil actions or deeds that are done to us whether it be from a Christian or non-Christian. The healthy reflex to this tap must not be to return evil. In the previous verses we learned we are to love believers, now we see we are to render love to both believer and nonbeliever.

Paul teaches the same truth in Romans 12:19-21 when he said,

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now in the rest of verse 9 the Lord looks into our mouth.

9B. or reviling for reviling on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.

Reviling means to speak evil, as a Christian we should not be shocked when someone speaks evil to us or about us, whether it is gossip, lies, backbiting.

Whatever the evil might be we are to respond not like the world in kind, but like Christ as we learned in chapter 2.

We are to bless which means do good. We are to respond with the love and humility that we would to the person who blessed us. This is not a choice of our but a calling of ours. It is our ministry.

Also as we will see in the up and coming verses these verses are not only a spiritual check, but they are the way to stay spiritually blessed. By walking in love we inherit a blessing from God.

This brings us to our second point in verses 10-12; in these verses we are given practical advice to maintain a healthy spiritual life.


Peter in verses 10-12 quotes from Psalm 34:12-16. By quoting this passage Peter gives a proof text to support what he has been saying. I love Peter use of scripture in this epistle. Peter as the other early Christians were men of the word of God.

Peter in verse ten begins by letting the believer know that whether we are spiritually healthy and blessed is based on our own choice. You and either chose the junk of the world to fill us or we can chose to the word of God.

Those who desire to love life and see good days.” are those who seek after God and apply His word. To love life means, means to see God’s hand in working through the circumstances of our life. To see good days does not mean to live a pampered life free from life’s problems. Obviously not because this is not the context of this Psalm.

To love life and see good days means to experience God’s help and blessing because of life’s problems. It means to experience answered prayers because of alighting your heart with God’s, it means that you will taste that the Lord is good and He is near to you ready to help in time of need.


Those who desire to live a spiritually blessed life are those who turn to God and away from Sin. We are to forsake evil and do good, both in general and to others. We are to be peace makers, who are not seeking to sire up strife, but to walk in love.


Beside turning from sin and living a blessed life, Peter reminds us that our walk of righteousness determines our intimacy with God. The person who is living in sin is living a spiritually unhealthy life because they are seeking to turn from that which they need to grow and thrive.

In closing, physicals can be informative. As we spend time at the Lord’s table let’s allow God to search us so that we can walk a spiritually healthy and blessed life.

I Know Who Wrote The Book Of Love

Are you a person who reads the instruction manual before or when assembling something? I really don’t like following directions, but after a number of times of almost having to break something to correct what I have done wrong I’ve come to appreciate them.

The Bible has rightly been called an instruction manual for life. B-I-B-L-E breaks down as, Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. One of those areas that you and I as a believer are given instructions is in is how to function as a believer in the marriage relationship.

In our culture today there is a variety of material on marriage. The reason is because marriage is something that is common to all mankind. Since marriage is common there are all kinds of different opinions and redefinition soft what marriage is. If you narrow it down there are really have two options when talking about being instructed in marriage. You have man’s instruction and you have God’s instructions. The right answer that leads to life and godliness is God’s instructions. We know this for at least two reasons.

First God is the creator of marriage, listen to Genesis 2:21-24 says,

21And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

The first marriage ceremony was preformed in the Garden of Eden by God. God on the sixth day after He created man from the dust of the ground, put Adam to sleep and took one of Adam’s ribs and then created Eve. When Adam awoke from his sleep he saw Eve and it was love at first sight, he understood that Eve was designed perfectly for him. God sealed their love in an eternal covenant of companionship which we call marriage. For life these two these two were to be looked at as one.

Marriage in the beginning was perfect because Adam and Eve were innocent, then something happened that would affect their marriage and all future marriages, that something is called, “Sin.” In Genesis 3 mankind fell there we see that if Adam and Eve were to function in marriage try need to deal with their sin and follow the instructions of God on how to walk as a married couple.

The same is true for all future married couples. The institution of marriage is perfect, but those who function in it are not. Therefore we first need to be saved and second we need God’s instructions to know how to love our spouses as sinners saved by grace.

The Bible, specifically the New Testament Instructs you and I on how we are to do this. Tonight we will see some of those instructions from the Apostle Peter to the pilgrims of the first century. As we look at this text we will learn two things.

  1. Wives are to submit to their husbands for the glory of God.
  2. Husbands are to love their wives for the sake of their intimacy with God.

First in verses 1-6 we learn that wives are to submit to their husbands for the glory of God.

The instructions of Peter in these verses apply to all wives, but the context specifically speaks to those women who had non believing husbands. Not that these Christian women married unbelievers but they got saved and their spouse did not. Peter’s audience was made of if both Jew and Gentile there the women that Peter spoke to would have had husbands who rejected Christ and remained in Judaism or paganism. These wives needed instructions on how to function as Christian wives their home.

1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

Peter begins this chapter by saying, likewise be submissive to your own husband.

The word likewise draws our attention back to the previous chapter where Peter talks about the believers responsibility to be under the authority of the government and your bosses. The believer is to respect and obey them. Marriage is another institution that God has established with it’s own structor and order.

Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:3 says, But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

God has established the man as the head of the household therefore the wife is to submit to the leadership of her husband. It’s important to note that the basis your submission is not because you are inferior or not equal to your husband, but it is because it’s the order that God has established.

Look at Christ! We learned in chapter two that Christ submitted to the word of God and will of God, yet Philippians 2:5-6 says that Jesus was equal with the Father. In the same way, the wife in the order and function in the home is to lovingly submit to your own husband.

Two question arise from this:

First what does it mean to submit? It does not mean that your husband comes before God and His word. Nor does it mean that the wife has no opinion and part in decision making.

To submit means that you recognize that God has established the husband to lead his wife and the family, therefore the wife’s responsibility is to let him do that.

The second question is; what if the husband is not a believer? Peter addresses that in the rest of this verse until verse

Once a women becomes a Christian her husband and children become a mission field for Christ. The mission that the Lord has called the believing wife to is not an apologetics conference or a harvest crusade, but a drama of redemption. Don’t get me wrong you need to know what you believe to answer questions and preach the gospel which is how a person believes.

But in the home the witness of the wives conduct, is what is going to be the effective tool to touch the husbands heart. Even if the husband is disobedient to the word, that is a continual rejector of Christ, through your walk without works you can glorify God by your submission.

2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear.

As you live out Christ in the home you have a captive audience. Your husband will not be able to help but to observe your chaste conduct and your fear for God.

Chase conduct is a life separated for God and His word. In context this will specifically be demonstrated in your submission to your husband. Your fear is your reverence for God and His word which is what gives you the motivation and drive to live the way you do.

Peter now expands on these two things. In verses 3-4 we see the chaste conduct of the wife and in verses 5-6 we see godly fear.

3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—
4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

The focus of the wives chaste conduct is not the outward appearance. Peter described the modern style that was popular in the Roman culture.

It is important to note that Peter did not say it was wrong to dress up, but don’t make that your only focus to show a changed life before your husband. Rather than focusing on a makeover, you need to show your new spiritual nature in Christ.

The real you is the spiritual you. You are a new creation in Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit. You have the opportunity to shine this incorruptible beauty from your life as a witness to your husband.

In verse 3 Peter gave some outward examples of corruptible beauty in their day and in verse 4 he gave two examples of incorruptible beauty. The characteristics of incorruptible beauty is a gentle and quite spirit.

The word gentle is the same word as meekness. Meekness means strength that is under control. Meekness is not weakness, Jesus was called Gentle or meek (Matthew 11:29) yet He was the all powerful king of the universe. Meekness is to understand the power of God and your position in God.

A quite spirit is on that submits peaceably which is in contrast to strife and contention. Proverbs does not speak to fondly of a contentious wife. Five times it speaks of the contentious women, the grand finally being Proverbs 27:15 A continual dripping on a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike;

The Christian wife who trusts in God and the fact that He works all things together for our good and His glory does not need to strive over position can live by faith the position in which you were called.

These two qualities are not only good tools to be a witness in the home, but they are precious offerings that touch the heart of God. I’m told that the words very precious can be translated extremely expensive or costly.

This reminds me of the offering that Mary gave to Jesus when she anointed Him with oil before His death. That act of obedience was costly but it was worth it.

In the same way to submit to God as a Christian wife is costly but it is worth it because God will be pleased. The world may look on and shake their head and maybe even some Christians will also. After Mary was ridiculed by Jesus disciples when they ask why such a waste? Nevertheless you need to know that your life is Christ’s and your life is to be lived for the glory of God.

5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands,
6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.

If you live a life of chaste conduct and godly reverence you are involved in a better wives club then one that wears cool hats, sows, crafts or exercises. You become a member of the Biblical wives club.

Peter points to Sarah the wife of Abraham one of the honorable alumni. Sarah’s life of faith, submission and reverence for God is doom stated that she called Abraham Lord. The word Lord is similar to our word sir. Peter’s point is not in what Sarah said, but how she lived as a wife with Abraham.

Sarah was willing to follow the lead of her husband as he was lead by God. Yes, neither Abraham or Sarah were perfect. But in the end they were blessed by obeying God’s will and walking in their designed roles.

In the same way wives, your husbands might not be perfect, he might be a bone head, but there are tons of Biblical examples to show that in the end a life surrendered to God is worth it..

Now we come to our second point in verse 7, in this verse we learn that Husbands are to love your wives for the sake of your intimacy with God.

7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Peter again begins this instruction with likewise. In other words he is saying that we men also have responsibility. Our responsibly is to love our wives, to make them want to follow our lead.

Concerning the responsibility of the husband Paul in Ephesians 5:25-28 says,

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

The husband is to love his wife like Christ loves the church. What does this look like?

Peter gives husbands three ways that we are to live our wife.. First we are to love our wives physically (we are to dwell with them). To dwell means more than just live with our wife. But to dwell implies that we are a companion to our wife.

This includes our second Way we are to love which is emotionally. emotionally (we are to dwell with understanding). Men we are to understand that women can be more emotional then me, we are to not joke about that but to honor them by living them and listening and communicating.

Third way we are to love our wives is spiritually (we are heirs together of grace). Marriage is a spiritual companionship. We are to minister to each other. Men we are to specifically wash our wives with the word and protect them and our homes from ungodly influences.

These things are all essential for spiritual growth. To neglect your marriage is to hinder your prayer life and therefore your relationship with God.

In closing all people need instructions on marriage. You have two choices you can choose the world who is seeking to redefine marriage and its roles. Or you can chose the Bible. Let’s chose the Bible so we can glorify God and grow in intimacy with Him.

Ready For Your Employee Eval?

Have you ever had an employee evaluation? In the evaluations I have been through the supervisor usually has different things that they grade you on and they normally can write something either good or bad about your over all performance. After that comes the meeting in which they describe your performance.

Tonight in this passage the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Peter gives us two tips for us as Christian employees and servants so we can be ready for our future evaluation which will happen at the judgment seat of Christ.

The two things we will learn that will help us to be commendable Christian employees are:

  1. Your work is commendable to God when you walk in His word.
  2. Your work is commendable to God when you walk like Christ.

First in verses 18-20 your work is commendable to God when you walk in His word.

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

Peter begins this passage by addressing servants. The word servant I’m told in Greek means household or domesticated servant. In the Roman culture slavery, specifically house servants was common. Paul, Peter and the other New Testament writers wrote to these believers in this cultural context not because they condoned this practice, but because they were concerned about how these pilgrims could most effectively represent Christ and preach the gospel.

Obviously the context is a little different for you and I as Americans employees. Nevertheless there still are some very important precepts we can learn that will make our work commendable to God. People in these verses give us three ways that we an walk in the word as employees.

The first way that we can walk in the word is to work joyfully and with excellence.

Paul in Colossians 3:22-24 says,

22Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God.
23And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Whether a believer was a household servant or bondservant they were to recognize that God had allowed them to be in this circumstance for His glory. Wherever the Lord has placed us we are to work joyfully and with excellence.

The second thing that makes our work commendable to God is to be submissive to those who are in authority.

The word submissive means to rank under and to obey. Peter addresses our attitude and motive with which we are to submit, it is to be with all fear.

The fear that we are to have is for God. Since we reverence, honor and love God who has established authority and called me to my job I am to submit to my boss as unto the Lord.

In saying this, because we fear God and His word we can’t obey sinful orders that would cause us and others to sin. Apart from causes us and others to sin we are to submit in all circumstances.

Notice whether the boss himself is good or evil, or whether he or she is gentle or harsh. The character of the person does not determine whether or not we submit to them. Our submission is based on our love for God and our obedience to His word.

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, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

Submission to your master or boss in the fear of God simply is commendable to God. The word commendable means favorable, or pleasing.

A third thing way that we can walk in the word is as we just saw submit to your boss even when they don’t deserve it.

Peter gives one example of something that was going on in the work place. Christian servants with harsh non believing masters were enduring grief because they were seeking to follow God and His word. These believers were suffering wrongfully, they did nothing to deserving punishment.

Just like King Saul in the Old Testament did to David their masters did not always treat them fairly and justly.

Have you ever been persecuted at work or treated differently because you were a Christian? Or for some other reason that was not wrong? It’s not a good feeling. Even after a great Sunday it is easy to get angry and revolt against that person in our hearts and actions.

Peter tells us in these verses while our natural reaction is to rebel and revolt yet because of our conscience before God and our witness of Him we are to submit.

Before we move on and look at Christ’s example we have an important public service reminder in verse 20. The reminder is you get no kudos for suffering patiently for something that you did wrong.

Modern examples would be; we can’t rejoice because we suffer at work or our management has it out for us because we come to work late because of a Holy Ghost hangover, or because we took an extended lunch break because of our Bible study, or because you are not doing your job but always standing around and talking to people.

Yes, we should preach the gospel at work but we also must make sure we are a good employee and get our job done.

If we are to be commendable Christian employees and have a good eval at the judgment seat of Christ then we must walk in the word as peter laid out.

Second in verses 21-25 we learn that your work is commendable to God when you walk like Christ.

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

Peter continuing the topic of suffering wrongfully and enduring it joyfully says that we were called to this. This verse is a good reminder that we should not be so quick to flee our job because of persecution or opposition. God has called us to be lights and that requires darkness. We are called to be salt and that often includes decay. We are solider and that often includes warfare.

Because God has called us to this, we can have the assurance that God will empower us and give us peace to remain and glorify Him. As we all know God’s calling comes with His enabling.

Not only is the believer enabled by the Holy Spirit to endure this treatment, but we are given an example to look to, to show us how we are to walk and serve. Our example is no other than the Messiah Jesus the God man.

We are to follow in His foot steps. Just think about that phrase for a moment, “That you should follow in His steps.” This is a good mandate for life, I am to walk like Jesus.

If I am to walk like Jesus then I might have to endure suffering at work to walk in the will of God and to do the work of God.

First I might have to walk in Christ steps and suffer to walk in the will of God.

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;

The specific example that Jesus left us was the fact that even though He committed no sin, nor did He speak a lie or anything false, yet He was reviled and suffered. This is illustrated in the gospels at the trials and suffering of Jesus.

While Christ did noting wrong yet He was willing to submit Himself submit to the evil to authorities because as the end of verse 23 says He committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. Jesus placed the will of God above His temporary please because He knew that it was for His good and God’s glory.

The second in walking in the steps of Christ I might have to suffer patiently to represent God to others.

24 who 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.

Not only did Christ submit during suffering because He recognized the authority of God, but He also realized that there was greater and more important purpose behind His present personal injustice and suffering.

Peter explains that greater and important by describing our great salvation that was paid for in full at the cross at Calvary. Notice how Peter explains Christ’s work of redemption and the blessed state of the believer in Jesus.

Jesus Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree. The tree is a way that Peter refers to the wooden cross of God. In the Old testament a Jew was stoned for their sin, in some circumstances they were stoned and then hung on a tree to show the consequences of their sin.

Jesus was placed on the cross and took the sin of the world. Jesus died for the curse of the law and in so doing died as man’s sacrifice and substitute for sin.

Since Christ paid the price for sin all who come to Christ die to sin and become alive to righteousness. Thorough our faith in Jesus death and resurrection the believer is given the imputed righteousness of Christ and given the indwelling Holy Spirit to walk in righteousness like Christ. All this came about through Jesus’ suffering, by His suffering we were healed of our sins and made alive to God.

25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

As a result of our faith in Christ we are now like sheep who have returned to their Shepherd and the Overseer of our souls. Without Christ people might feel free but they are really foolish lost sheep being stocked by Satan who is a roaring lion.

Only by returning to the Good Shepherd can a person have direction in life, only by obeying the overseer of our souls can we truly be confident that we are where we are supposed to be.

Peter says all this about our great salvation I believe to give us a reminder that if Christ would have act in the flesh which He could not have all this would not have been possible. Our lives were changed because Jesus choose to suffer patiently.

How about you and I? Will be follow Jesus example or demand our rights. Just remember God has you in this circumstance as such a time as this. Glorify your great salvation in front of them so their lives will be changed.

In closing we all have an employee evaluation coming at the reward seat of Christ. Let’s heed Peter tips as Christians employees so we can be commendable before God and hear those words from Jesus, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

When Did You Call Me? (1 Peter 2:4-10)

Nicknames are common in the sports world. Out of the top 25 athletes that held the most nicknames former NBA Star Shaquille O’Neal holds the most nicknames with 25. The top three being, “The Big Shaqtus, The Diesel, Shaq Fu.”

As the church of Jesus Christ we might not be able to beat Shaq one on one. But we could give him a run for his money when it comes to nicknames or titles.

With in this passage alone Peter gives us six names that we bear because of our position in Christ. We are called “Living stones,” “A spiritual house,” “A holy priesthood,” “A chosen generation,” “A royal priesthood,” “A holy nation,” “His own special people.”

As we work through this passage and look at these names we will learn two things. First our names show us the importance of our intimacy with Christ and second we see the implications from our identity in Christ.

First in verse 4 we learn the importance of our intimacy with Christ.

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,

The basis of the Christian life is coming to Him (Jesus). This was the focus of the message of John the Baptist and Jesus.

This was the message of the Apostles and prophets. This is our message, “Come to Jesus and be saved.”

Yes, we came to Jesus to be saved but we are to keep coming to Jesus. I’m told that the way this verse reads in the Greek language implies a personal, habitual approach to Jesus. We would call this your daily walk.

Jesus saved us so we could have a relationship with Him. We do this simply through prayer and the word of God. This is healthy and essential for our Christian life. It is through daily communion that we are reminded of our hope, strength, joy, wisdom, everything we need for life and godliness.

Notice Peter calls Jesus by another name or title. Jesus actually has all of us bet with hundreds of names. The name that Peter calls Christ is, “A living Stone.”

Christ is living! I love that Peter in this epistles teaches us that Christianity is not a dead religion but a living relationship. Peter talked about our living hope (1:3), God’s living word (1:23) and now daily we are to come to Christ, “The living stone.”

This name implies that Jesus is eternal and that Jesus is Jewish Messiah spoke of in the Old Testament. The Messiah in the Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel and in Matthew is spoken of as the Stone. Every person must make a decision concerning God’s living stone will you except Him or reject Him.

To those who except Him He becomes your foundation on which you can build your life on. Jesus said those who hear His word and obey it are like those who built their house on the rock.

Second those who reject Christ will face Him as the stone that judges and crushes the nations (Daniel 2). Christ is the final judge of all mankind.

While Jesus came and revealed Himself as the Messiah by many infallible proofs He was rejected and He is continued to be rejected today by many. The world turns their back on Jesus and mocks Him and Christians as fools who are wasting their lives.

Peter reminds us to not be discouraged at the fact that Christ was rejected or is being rejected because He is chosen by God and precious.

Jesus in eternity past was chosen by God to come to this earth to die as our substitute and sacrifice. God knew that men would by their wicked hand reject Christ, yet as Peter said in Acts God by His determined purpose and foreknowledge sent Jesus to die on the cross.

Jesus is also precious because He is God the Son second person of the Trinity. For all eternity the Father, Son and Holy Spirit dwelt in perfect unity and relationship. Our evidence that Jesus was chosen by God and precious in His sight is His resurrection and ascension into heaven (Philippians 2:5-10).

Second in verses 5-10 we see the implications of our identity in Christ.

5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Peter now turns his attention from Christ to you and I. “You also,” refers to all who come to Christ the living stone for salvation and fellowship. Like Christ you and I are also a living stones. Through Christ we are made spiritually alive to God (John 1).Also in Christ we find our identity and stability.

Concerning our identity we are in Christ and have a special position and purpose in this world. This is revealed through the two names mentioned here plus the others mentioned in verse 9.

Our stability is Christ the foundation for life and for the church. Notice on Christ our foundation stone Christ is building us as believers in a beautiful building a spiritual house we know as the church.

Here’s how the New Testament says God does this. First it begins by saving people and making them temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). Second Christ is foundation of all believers who come together which is the church. The foundation of the church was laid through the preaching and teaching of the Apostles and prophets in the first century (Ephesians 2:21-22). Third all believers who come to Christ are like unique stones that are used by God to build His house (Hebrews 3:16).

Not only are we a beautiful temple that brings glory to God, we are also the holy priesthood that serves God.There is no teaching in the New Testament that says that there are is an elite group of priests, rather the New Testament teaches that all believers are priests who serve under the great High Priest Jesus (Revelation 5:10).

One of our functions as holy priests are to offer up sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament the two things that made offerings and sacrifices acceptable to God wad position and the offering.

Anyone in the Old Testament could offer a sacrifice to God but if you are not in the right position and offer the right offering it is not acceptable to Him. Just ask Cain, Nadab, Abihu, Saul and Uzziah.

God excepts our sacrifices because we are in Christ, we have a position in the High priest therefore we can boldly approach His throne of grace with worship.

Second God accepts our worship if we follow His word and offer those things which He has prescribed.

We are given five sacrifices in the New Testament that we can offer as God’s Holy priests. They are:

• The offering of our body daily by living a holy life (Romans 12:1). • The fruit of our lips in prayer and praise (Hebrews 13:15).
• Good works unto God Hebrews 13:16.
• Giving financially to the work of God (Philippines 4:17-18).
• Preaching the gospel and winning souls for God (Romans 15:16).


After Peter gives us the application of our position in Christ He gives scripture to back up what he is saying. The scripture that Peter quotes here is Isaiah 28:16. The context of this passage was God was speaking through Isaiah to the leaders of Jerusalem about their political alliances. God said in contrast to their weak alliances He Himself was to be trusted and depended on because what He was doing would be sure and true.

In the same way you and I as believers can have confidence that because we are in Christ we will not be put to shame. While the world might mock us and reject us for being Christians, we will be blessed because our lives are built on Christ the cornerstone.

First Jesus is called, “A living stone,” now He is called,“The cornerstone.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary says concerning this term “A cornerstone is the visible support on which the rest of the building relies for strength and stability.”

Because our lives are built on the elect and precious Son of God, we can rejoice and that God promises us strength and stability.

7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED HAS BECOME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE,”
8 and “A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.

Peter quotes from Psalm 118 and presents a contrast between the outcome of those who receive Christ and those who reject Him.

First Peter addresses those who believe Jesus is precious. To believe is an action word, it means to daily submit your life. Jesus is precious means that we believe who He is and what He came to do. Those to whom this describes will not be disappointed.

Second those who reject Jesus will be disappointed. First they will come to realize that He was the chief corner stone that they should of built their life on. Also they will stumble to which they were appointed. The phrase to be appointed does not mean that God has determined some to go to hell. What this verse means is that those who reject Jesus will be determined to stumble, that is receive the judgment that they deserve. Every knee will bow and declare Jesus is Lord. After they stand in front o the great white throne they will be cast alive in the lake of fire.

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.

Peter turns his attention back to believers in these two verses. Peter speaks of the blessed position both Jew and Gentile have through Jesus Christ.

God in Exodus 19:5-6 told Israel, 5Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’

Sounds familiar? This does not mean God is done with ethnic Israel or that we are now spiritual Israel. No God for a time has set Israel aside and turned His attention to the church of Jesus Christ. Because of our faith in Jesus we are a member of the church and therefore have a special place in the plan and purpose of God.

You and I as Gentiles were once not in a special place, but we have been grafted into the promises of God through the New Covenant.

From these names and the ones that we have seen so far I want to close with some implications that we can apply.

First our response to our position is to be used by God and faithful. God has a special work for each believer in the church. The church is called in other places a body, you are a unique member with a special purpose.

The second implication we can glean from our identity is unity. If we are to be a beautiful structure for God, we must dwell in unity with one another. This brings us back to verse 1 of this chapter. We must put away all evil thinking and speaking and love one another fervently from a pure heart.

Third we are to live a holy life for God’s glory. We are called to shine as lights in this dark world. Let your light shine so people can see your good works and glorify God who is in heaven.

In closing you and I have been given special titles and names through our faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s live up to these titles so Christ we can shine the light of God’s grace and love on this dark world.

The Incorruptibles (1 Peter 1:22-2:3)

We’ve all seen or are familiar with the Pixar movie “The Incredibles” who is a family superheroes born with super human abilities such as strength (Mr. Incredible), elasticity (Elastigirl), disappearing and force fields (Violet), speed (Dash) and the baby, Jack-Jack, who can change into all kinds of crazy things. This family is pretty awesome.

While this family is pretty incredible, there is a family that is even more awesome. It is the family of God, of which you and I belong by our faith in Jesus Christ. If we had to be given a name we could be called “The Incorruptibles.” Notice Peter three times in this first chapter tells us that through Christ we partake in an incorruptible salvation and its promises. Those three places are:

Verses 3-4 says that God has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Verses 18-19 says, knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of lamb without blemish and without spot.

Verse 23 says, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.

These three incorruptibles are an incorruptible inheritance, an incorruptible redemption and an incorruptible word by which we are born again.

Just as “The Incredibles” from birth those superheroes can do some amazing things, the same is true for you and I. Because we are born again we are empowered to do supernatural things. Things that are impossible for someone who is not part of the incorruptibles.

We have seen a couple of these things so far, we learned that we can bless God and have joy even in the midst of trials and tribulations. We are to be holy as God is Holy. Tonight we learn that we are to love one another fervently with a pure heart.

Tonight as we focus on walking in love as pilgrims of Jesus Christ well learn two things.

First the basis for walking in love and second our motivation to walking in love.

First in verse 1:22-3:1 we learn the basis for walking in love.

22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

Peter begins with a command to love one another with a pure heart.

Notice the basis of our love comes from our salvation which he already explained previously in this chapter.

In these verses Peter described our salvation as the purification of our souls. Before we were saved we were dead in sin, we were filthy and stinky based on the fact that our souls and spirit were dominated by our decaying flesh. Paul called it a wretched man!

The means of our purification is obedience to the truth through the Spirit. Obedience to the truth does not imply that we are saved by works, rather it refers to putting our faith in the truth refers to the gospel. The gospel as we will see in verses 23-25 comes from the eternal word of God.

For now we know that Peter has faith in the gospel in mind because in Acts

15:8-9 he said, So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them (Gentiles) by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

It is by faith or obedience to the gospel that our souls are purified. But this act of faith or our salvation is not originated or accomplished by man, but it is by the Spirit (John 1:12-13). From beginning to end our salvation is a work of God’s grace and Spirit.

We are drawn to Christ by His Spirit and grace. We are convicted of sin righteousness and judgment. We are made alive and cleaned by the indwelling Holy Spirit now which lives in us (John 14,16).

The result of our salvation is for the sincere love of the brethren. We are not saved by loving others, we are saved to love others. In other words loving others is evidence that we have obeyed the truth through the Spirit.

This truth is not unique to Peter we are taught this through out the New Testament.

Jesus says in John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Paul says in Galatians 5:22 that the fruit of the Spirit is love.

Also the Apostle John says three times in his epistle that loving others is evidence of our salvation.

1 John 2:9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

1 John 3:14 says, We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

After Peter in verse 22 gives the nature of our salvation, the means and the result he gives a straight forward command in light of what we just learned. The command is to love one another fervently with a pure heart. I love that the result of our salvation and the command that we have in light of our salvation is basically the same thing said a different way. Which means that we have the conviction and ability to accomplish this command.

Let’s take a moment and explore this command. Put simply Peter says we were born again to love so we are to get to it! We are to love one another in sincerity which means which means without hypocrisy. Our love is not to phony but real and genuine.

Also our love is to be from a pure heart. This obviously implies loving others without wrong motives. Rather we are to love because we have been purified by Christ who loved us so much.

Loving from a pure heart can also be used as a way to point us to Christ who was the greatest example of what it was to love from a pure heart.

This love from a pure heart is seen in 1 Corinthians 13 in which we learn that love suffers long, is kind, does not envy, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but in truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things endures all things. Love never fails.

This is the love that Christ demonstrated when He walked this earth. This love was not something that He worked up, but it was something that flowed out of Him. It was a result to the abiding of the Spirit of God.

You and I are not God, nor will we be perfect as we walk this earth as a human like Christ. But we do have the abiding Holy Spirit like Christ. God like He did in and through Christ wants to fill us with His love and cause us to overflow to love others.

This is something supernatural something that only our family of incorruptible can do, because you must be born again.

Peter at the beginning of verse 22 talked about the truth or gospel that saved us, now in verses 23-25 he is going to expand our understanding of the gospel.

23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

All human life is conceived by natural processes through man’s corruptible seed. Starting with our grandfather Adam sin is passed on through man, this is called the inherited sin nature. As a result of our inherited sin nature all men are born with a depraved nature and destined to die.

Peter gives an illustration to support his statement in verse 23. Peter’s illustration was Isaiah 40:6-8 that would have been familiar to his Jewish audience.

The corruptibility of man is described as the withering of a beautiful flower and the grass of the field. Whether we are talking about natural beauty or worldly accomplishments just like a flower they have their time under the sun yet over time they fade and are blown away and not remembered any more.

Just like the grass of the field human life springs up but like a vapor, life goes by and it is soon gone.

Yet in contrast natural birth the gospel which is found in the word of God is the incorruptible and eternal seed. Faith in the gospel gives us eternal life, is causes us to be born again and have a relationship with God.

1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

Once again we see based on our eternal salvation we have a reasonable response. Peter begins chapter 2 by saying, “Therefore.” This means that Peter is summing up and apply what was previously said.

Because we have an eternal salvation and are born again to love others let’s live it out practically. A couple of ways that we love each other is by not thinking evil of them or hoping they fall (malice), To speak the truth to them in love (deceit), to be real and not fake (hypocrisy), not to covet another persons life or be jealous of them (envy) and don’t speak anything evil about a Christian brother or sister.

This is the basis for our love for others, we are to love others based on our eternal salvation and by the commands found in the eternal word of God.

Now we come to our second point in verses 2-3 we see our motivation to walk in love.

2 as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

You and I as believers are to be growing. One of the ways that we grow is by continually feeding on the word of God.

Knowing that the word of God is what causes us to grow we should be like newborn babies who long for it every moment. If we have seen what God has done for us already by His grace, it should cause us to even more to hunger and thirst for righteousness.

I can’t help but see a warning in these two verse as a reminder and a motivator to love others, because not loving others or holding bitterness, hatred or unforgivness in our hearts is going to hinder that growing process which God wants to do in our lives.

Yes, we should love because we are loved. Yes, we should love because we are commanded in the eternal word of God to love. But we must also not forget that loving God and others is how we grow in our Christian walk.

In closing, remember your position in Christ. We are a partakers in the incorruptible things of God. This is awesome stuff! With this amazing position comes a responsibility we are to love others as Christ as loved us.

Our Reasonable Response (1 Peter 1:13-21)

It’s not a foreign concept that certain positions require a response in moral behavior. Think about the position of our President, a respected person who holds a position in ministry (Billy Graham) or the royal family in England.

You and I might not feel like we have an important position as pilgrims passing through this world, but Peter encourages us in this letter and says we do!

So far in this chapter we have been called, “Elect.” We are also said to have been begotten again to a living hope, to an inheritance that is eternal and is reserved in heaven right now for us who are kept by the power of God.

In our passage this evening Peter gives us more insight into our position in Christ by calling us the children of God (14). We are able to call on God who is our Father (17) and we are the redeemed by the precious blood of Christ who is God’s lamb foreordained before the foundation of the world (18-20).

Just like any other important position our position comes with a proper response in our behavior. The first response that I want to focus on tonight is given to us in verses 15-16. Peter says,

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Because we are the redeemed Child of God our proper response to our position is walk in holiness. Tonight as we work through this text we will learn three things about holy living. Those three things are: First our preparation for holy living, second our example for holy living and third our motivation for holy living.

First in verse 13 we see our preparation for holy living.

13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

The word “Therefore” in this verse as you know sums up what was previously said. In other words Peter is saying because we are born again and have an eternal inheritance reserved for us in heaven, we are to gird up the loins of our mind.

Notice the place Peter begins in addressing the holiness of the believer is not in our appearance, but with our mind and the act of our will.

We are to gird up the loins of our mind… The phrase gird up carries the idea of getting ready for activity. Just as in the first century people who wore long robes would gird them up so they could be ready to move or ready for action. Today we would say, “Roll up your sleeves.”

We as a believer need to make holy living our mindset. It begins with a conscience decision to walk in holiness. Notice Peter does not saying that holy living is only for an elite few that try real hard. The way Peter wrote assumes that all believers in Jesus because we are in dwelt by the Holy Spirit are called and therefore enabled to respond to God in this way.

The proper mindset is not only one of action, but it is also one that thinks soberly. To think sober means to be steadfast in our thinking, to use self control in what we allow to dwell in our minds. This mind come as a shock but the Holy Spirit who is actively working to renew our minds, has also given us power to take our thoughts captive. What Peter is saying is we have the power reject intoxicating thoughts.

The mind seems like a small thing to begin with when it comes to behavior, often we think only of behavior. But that thinking Jesus says is the fallacy of the Pharisees who did not understand that all behavior is an outflow of the heart and mind.

Satan understood this which is why he attacked Eve’s mind when he tempted her in the Garden. This is still the tactic of Satan today who is seeking to intoxicate us with lack of contentment, bitterness, discouragement, temptation apathy. We need to be clear headed and reject these things when they come into our minds.

Rather than dwell on things that are intoxicating we are to set our minds on things above as Paul says in Colossians. We are to understand our glorious position in Christ as we learned on Sunday and with that comes the assurance of our glorification and the coming of Christ.

We are to rest our hope fully upon the grace of Jesus Christ which will be revealed. To rest in hope means to live with the assurance. The grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ, could referred to the fact that one day after Christ’s second coming we will reign with Christ in glory.

Setting our minds on the coming of Christ is a good way to be prepared for holy living. The Apostle John gives a big amen in 1 John 3:2-3 by saying,

2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Prophecy specifically the hope of the fact that Christ will come back is not for entertainment, or argument but it is a practical encouragement and preparation for holy living as pilgrims of God.

Second in verses 14-16 we see our example for holy living.

14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;

The believer in Jesus Christ is a child of God therefore we have the responsibility and ability to live Holy by the in dwelling Holy Spirit. While this all sounds doctrinal is very practical and devotional. I want to please my Father, I want to hear Him say well done. If that is the case then I need to be obedient to the things He tells me to and I need to follow His example.

This verse illustrates well the fact that believers are not without sin. Yes we are children of God in dwelt by the Holy Spirit but we are not perfected, nor will we ever be until we get to heaven. We still have the evil propensity to sin, this is called the flesh. We also live in a fallen world that is controlled by Satan and his demons. This is all the back drop for the holy life we are to live.

To walk in obedience to the Father daily we must guard our heart and even at times fight to not be conformed to our former lusts. Our former lusts deals with the unbiblical motives, desires and live styles we had before we were believers. Notice all that was done in ignorance.

Now that we have the Spirit to teach us, a relationship with the Father and the word of God, we know what are sinful lusts. Peter says were are to recognize these things and not be conformed to them, this means to fashion or fashion your life to the example of the world.

The example of the world is to live selfishly, to live for personal gratification. To give in to the appetites and passions of the flesh. To conform yourself to the opinions and customs of what is popular. To make the sole purpose of your life security, wealth, pleasure, pride or fame.

These things and more are the things that the world teaches us is the model for life. As we walk through this world as pilgrims we are taught and encouraged to live like this. We must reject this philosophy and influence and look to God.

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Rather than becoming more like the world, we are to become more like our God and Father. It is only reasonable that we seek to become like God since He is the one who called and saved us from our sins. Because the God we serve is holy we must also be holy.

The word holy means to be set apart to be different. One of God’s attributes is divine holiness, God is perfect and and cannot take part in evil and sin.

We who are now children of God who is holy must also imitate God by being born again and set apart from evil and sin.

The question arises in a changing world that is given to the philosophy relativism how do we know what is sin or evil?

Peter shows us how in verse 16, we look to the Bible which is God’s revelation of Himself. Morality which is what is right and wrong when it comes to behavior finds an absolute standard in our holy and unchanging God. Sin is an offense to God. The Bible is an outflow and perfect revelation of our Holy and unchanging God.

The Bible teaches us about God and how we are to relate to Him in specific areas of our lives (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

If we are to walk in holiness and please God then we must abide in the word of God and obey the things that God tells us regardless of what our culture and world is saying is right or wrong.

Third in verses 17-21 we see our motivation for holy living.

17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;

Since we are born again and have a personal relationship with God, we should have the understanding that God is holy and judges us according to our works. Just because we are Christians does not mean that God over looks sin. Nor does God show partiality based on anything.

This understanding it should affect the way that we live our lives on this earth as pilgrims. As long has God has us on our temporary journey on earth we are to live with the fear of God. The fear of God is expressed in the Old Testament book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 23:17 says, Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;

Proverbs 8:13 says, The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

To live in the fear of God is to live separated for God and depart from evil. Our motivation to live in the fear of God is not because we are worried about going to hell, but verse 18 says it is because of the grace and goodness of God.

18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

We need to remember our great salvation which God accomplished through the cross. No silver or gold, or any religion or tradition could accomplish our redemption, but only the Christ the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. Christ was God’s blemish free and spotless lamb, because He the perfect God man Christ was able to redeem all who believer on Him through faith in the gospel.

The redeem word redeem means to be purchased from the market place of sin. We have been delivered from sin, our response now is to serve Christ and not return to the slavery that Christ redeemed us from.

In closing we have been appointed to a blessed position through our faith in Jesus Christ. We are the redeemed children of God. This position comes with a proper response, we are to be set apart for God and His glory alone.

A Blessed Reminder (1 Peter 1:3-12)

Reminders are important!

I have come to realize that there are two types of people, those that use reminders and those that should use reminders.

Reminders are not only helpful for everyday life, but also they are helpful in spiritual things. This truth is seen throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament you have the feasts of Israel and the constant reminder in the law, poetry books and prophets to worship God.

One example is Psalm 103:1-5 which says,

1 A Psalm Of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

David was a worshipper and a man after God’s own heart yet he realized as he journeyed through life he needed a reminder to bless and worship God for His faithfulness, goodness and grace.

We see reminders in the New Testament such as the ordinance of communion. Also the writers remind to worship and serve God. We have an example in our passage this evening. Peter in these verses is going to give these believers four reminders of why they should bless God even in the midst of their trials and tribulations.

We see our first reminder in verse 3, we see were to bless God because we are born again.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Peter begins this verse with the word blessed. This word is an encouragement to worship God at all times, even in the midst of our trials and tribulations.

The reason we are to worship God is because of His great love and abundant mercy. The word mercy means not getting what we deserve. Justice is getting what we deserve. Rather than getting what we deserve, God gives us grace. He gave us what we don’t deserve.

That grace and mercy is revealed in the fact that God has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will talk about this living hope in verses 4-5 for now let’s discuss God’s abundant mercy to cause us to be born again.

God’s mercy and grace has been poured out on all mankind through the cross of Jesus Christ. Because of the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden all mankind are born with sin. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. All mankind are separated from God and are enemies of God by our wicked works.

Yet while we were still sinners God sent Christ to be our sacrifice and substitute for sin. God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us. Jesus became our penal substitute, which means not that He literally became sin but that Christ bore the full punishment for our sin. The cross of Christ is not the end of God’s mercy. God gave objective proof of His mercy by raising Christ from the dead. The resurrection shows that Christ’s work which was done on the cross is sufficient.

A person is begotten again or born again when they realize that they are a sinner and that Jesus has died on the cross in their place and then rose again from the dead. If they are willing to turn from their sin and believe that Jesus did this for them then God causes you to be born again.

To be born again means that God comes and lives in you and makes you spiritually alive. Before faith in Christ all people are dead in trespasses and sins, we are separated from the things of God and are spiritually blind to the things of God. But through God’s grace, His spirit and the gospel God has made it possible for all to believe and be saved. Those who believe are made a new creation in Christ.

Not only are we saved and made alive in Christ, but we are also given a living hope in Christ. What is this hope?

This brings us to our second reminder is in verses 4-5, we are to bless God because we have a reserved inheritance in heaven.

4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

It is a great honor to have someone famous reserve something for you whether it be the President or some senior official. We have that beat through our faith in Jesus Christ. When we check in to heaven we will be granted our full inheritance that is reserved in heaven for us.

Notice it is reserved in heaven. This means that it is not our rewards. It probably refers to the full revelation of our salvation and glory.

Whatever it is, it is Peter tells us it is something eternal that anything on this earth can’t come close to. Listen to this description; it is incorruptible which meaning it can’t corrode, crack or decay. It’s undefiled; it will always remain in perfect condition. It will never fade away; it will never diminish in it’s value and glory.

While we can be certain that this inheritance can’t change or fade away, how about us? Can those believers who Peter was writing to be certain that everyone who is born again will go to heaven and receive their inheritance? The answer is yes, look at verse 5.

5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

The believer has a living and certain hope that they will receive the full blessing of their salvation because we are kept by the power of God. The word kept I’m told is a Greek military term which means, kept safe, guarded and carefully watched. The phrase through faith does not mean that we have to work to maintain our salvation, after all we did not work to attain our salvation, it is by grace, therefore we don’t have to work to maintain our salvation. This phrase means that we are to believe and trust God that He can and will keep us.

The purpose of God’s powerful hold on a believer is to complete the work that God began in Christ. You and I are saved but our salvation is not yet complete. You were saved from the penalty of sin in the past when you received Christ, you are presently being saved from the power of sin as you are being sanctified and made into the image of Christ and you will one be saved from the presence of sin when you are glorified with Christ in the future. All along the way God is working in you an through by His grace and power.

Our third reminder is in verses 6-9, we see were to bless God because He is able to work all things together for good.

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

Notice four things that Peter teaches us as believers about the trials and tribulations we face as we journey this earth as pilgrims.

First it is possible to rejoice and worship God in the midst of them. These pilgrim’s that were scattered through out Asia minor were praising God even in the midst of their trial.

Second trials and tribulations are for a little while. “Little while,” can imply a time when we are on earth or the whole time we are alive on earth. A little while I believe is looking at our life on this earth which is like a vapor in light of eternity that is awaiting us.

Third God is still on the throne in our trials, notice Peter says, “If need be.” God allows trials for various reasons, we need to always fall back on the fact that God is our good and a loving Father, God knows what is best for us.

Fourth we can be honest trials are real and not fun, they are a grief. Jesus wept over Lazarus, Paul talked about his thorn in the flesh as a messenger of Satan, the believers in Thessalonica were sorrowing over their dead loved ones. Trials hurt, but we are not without hope.

Fifth God is able to work in our life through trials. God is the master craftsman who is able to refine our faith like pure gold. Just as gold is refined and purified through heat. Even so our faith is made stronger as we are put through fiery trials. One of the ways our faith is made “genuine” is confirming to us God’s power and faithfulness.

Notice the phrase much more precious then gold. Think about the attention that a craftsman puts when refining gold. Even so God is involved in our life, He cares about us and wants our best. God wants us to be found to praise, honor and glory when Christ comes.

8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

It is easy to think of the people in the Bible in the first century are like the Avengers or some kind of supper heroes. These verses show us that these believers are just like us. They had not seen Jesus, but they meet Him through the gospel and they had were walking by faith in the word of God.

Yet while this was so God’s grace and word was sufficient to cause these believers to be dynamic pilgrims who forsook the things of this world and looked forward to the on of their faith and the salvation of their souls. This hope Just like for us can give us joy as we walk in the will of God.

The fourth reminder is seen in verses 10-12, we see were to bless God because of our privilege to know the mysteries of God.

10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.

The church of Jesus Christ which was started on the Day of Pentecost has been blessed to know the mysteries of God. The mysteries of God were things that were hidden and are now revealed.

Peter in verse 11 gives us one of the mystery that we have been blessed to know, which is the relationship between the sufferings of the Messiah (first coming and the glory the Messiah (resurrection, ascension, rapture, second coming and Millennial Kingdom).

The Old Testament prophets were told spoke by the Spirit of God, therefore they studied their own writings to determine what God was saying concerning the Messiah or Christ. They sought to determine who the Messiah would be, what time would He come, what does it mean He will suffer, what does it mean He will reign.

You and I have been blessed to know all these things and experience the salvation that Jesus has brought. Not only that but the things that were written in the Old Testament were written for us, for our encouragement.

This reminds me f what Paul said in Romans 15:4-6

4For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
5Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,
6that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The entire word of God from the beginning to end is to encourage and remind us as Christ to love others and to bless and glorify the God and Father of Jesus Christ.

In closing let’s pay attention to these reminders that Peter has left for us. Let’s bless God regardless of the circumstance or situation we are in. As we do we will be filled with joy and have victory in our pilgrimage for Jesus Christ.