Responding to Challenges God’s Way Part 1: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Occasion: Sunday Worship 5th October 2014

Text: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Purpose: Peter wants these Christians to respond to pressure in a Christ-like way; therefore, he explains that godly responses start in a humbly trusting heart, ultimately pointing them to Christ-like character.

Proposition: God wants you to respond in a Christ-like manner in all circumstances.

Interrogative: How can you effectively do this?

Truth 1: Fear God not man: 3:14 do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

Why give this command?

Psalm 34:20-22 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all…and redeems the soul of His servants.  None of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

  • Some people will not trouble you, because you do not threaten them: Christians are gracious, trustworthy people, which preserve them from many problems in life. 3:13 Who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
  • Others will hate and attack you, because your life threatens their conscience or ways: 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake you are blessed…

Solomon taught this: Proverbs 23:9 A fool despises wise words.  Proverbs 9:8 A scoffer will hate those who correct him.

Christ experienced this: John 7:7 The world hates Me because I testify that its works are evil.

Christ prepared His followers for it: Luke 6:22 Blessed are you when men hate, exclude, revile, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. 2 Timothy 3:12 All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

  • The righteous are always blessed: 3:14 You are blessed…

Philippians 1:21-24 Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death…to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain…if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.

What does a fear of man look like?

Their situation:

  • Going to pagan festivals and parties.
  • Being involved in Roman religious life.
  • Continuing in compromising relationships.
  • Continuing in compromising jobs.
  • Being unwilling to identify with Christ through baptism.

Our Situation:

  • Being dishonest for sake of convenience.
  • Being afraid to evangelize.
  • Not breaking off compromising relationships.
  • An unwillingness to forsake old habits.
  • Compromising in our work situation.

Two Questions:

  • What do your decisions say about who you ultimately fear?
  • How much has the gospel really changed the way that you live your daily life? What have you lost or forsaken now that you are in Christ?

Ill: Pastor’s wife in Ghana who went to get a dress made, but the lady refused to make it because she believed it would not be modest.

Truth 2: Submit to Christ’s Lordship: 3:15 Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts,

Matthew 10:35-39 He who loves father, mother, son, or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me…and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

  • Set apart Christ as the Lord of your life.
  • Submit to His right to rule

In what ways do we submit to Christ’s Lordship?

  • First: Trust His rule with your heart: Sometimes, God’s ways are confusing and even discouraging, yet His ways are always best!

Consider God’s Providence in the lives of some of the prominent saints in the Bible:

  • Providence allowed Job to experience the loss of his children, health, and possession.
  • Providence allowed Joseph into to be sold as a slave, false accused, and imprisoned for close to 15 years.
  • Providence allowed Daniel to be forced into captivity.
  • Providence allowed Abraham to wait till he was 100 years old to have the promised son.
  • Providence allowed Israel to wander in the desert for 40 years.
  • Providence restored Job.
  • Providence preserved and promoted Joseph.
  • Providence preserved and promoted Daniel
  • Providence gave Abraham the son he was promised.
  • Providence gave Israel the Promised Land.
  • Second: Do what He says:

1 Samuel 15:22-23 Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD…rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry

Ill: Corrie ten Boom forgave her torturers and trust God even when He allowed her to experience the pain of Nazi concentration camps.

Two questions:

  • How are you responding to God’s sometimes confusing ways?
  • Are you submitting to his will in all things?

Conclusion: All men suffer, but Christians should suffer with grace and a steadfast confidence in God’s loving providence.

  • Do not fear men, but rather fear God.
  • Submit to Christ’s Lordship in your heart.
  • Submit to Christ’s Lordship in your actions.
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