Responding to Challenges God’s Way Part 2: 1 Peter 3:13-17

Occasion: Sunday Worship Fall 2014

Illustration: University game eating a covered apple and a covered onion. Both look the same; until you take a bite, then you realize the difference.

Text: 1 Peter 3:13-17

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

Truth: Fear God not man: 3:14

Truth: Submit to Christ’s Lordship: 3:15

Truth 1: Be prepared to answer questions: 3:15 “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…”

  • Godly living will cause people to ask questions:

1 Peter 4:3-5 We have spent our past doing the will of the Gentiles– when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.  They think it strange that you do not run with them.

  • Christians must be prepared to give a logically reasoned Biblical defense

Apologetics: a verbal defense by reasoned statements or arguments

Know what you believe and why you believe it, and make sure what you believe is Biblical.

  • The motive for Christian living is our resurrection to glory, which motivates us in two practical ways:
    • Judgments Seat: We will be rewarded or lose reward; be rebuked or commended; and we will be beaten or crowned.
    • Eternal State: We will receive rest from all our labors, temptations, and pain; living in a glorified body free from sin’s presence.

Truth 2: Have a humble spirit: 3:15 “With meekness and fear…”

Proverbs 3:3 Let not mercy and truth forsake you.

Ephesians 4:15 Speak the truth in love, so that we may grow up in all things into Christ.

  • Our defense should be without offense.
    • Meekness: Gentleness and humility
    • Fear: Obviously, based upon what he said just a few verses earlier; the fear is focused on God, not the person we are answering. We will not only answer to God for what we say, or do not say, but we will also answer to God for how we say the things that we say.

Truth 3: Have a Biblically cleared conscience: 3:16-17 “Having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.  For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

  • What is the conscience? Found 32 times in the NT. 3 times in 1 Peter: The part of our inner man that separates between what is morally good and morally evil. It either condemns or commends us.
  • Why is it important?
    • God will hold us accountable for what we knew was right in our conscience.

Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…so that they are without excuse.

    • It is meant to warn us when we are doing wrong.

Romans 2:15 All men show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, accusing or else excusing them.

    • It is meant to restrain us under temptation.

2 Corinthians 4:2 We have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully.

2 Corinthians 1:12 The testimony of our conscience is that we conducted ourselves in simplicity and godly sincerity.

    • It can cripple us if it is constantly violated.

Romans 14:22 Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats,

    • It can make us bold and persistent in damaging sins.

Romans 1:22-26 Professing to be wise, they became fools, Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies…who exchanged the truth of God for the lie…for this reason God gave them up to vile passions.

  • How can we damage it?
    • It can stay immature: We feel guilty about things that are not condemned in scripture.
    • It can become a sense of pride: We become proud because our convictions are more strict that those around us.
    • It can become desensitized: We no longer feel guilt when we sin.

1 Timothy 4:2 Some speak lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron.

    • It can become perverted: We start thinking that evil is good and good is evil.

Titus 1:15 To those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled.

  • How can we keep a good conscience?
    • Be constantly under the ministry of God’s word.
    • Have a healthy personal walk with God.
    • Do not sin against it.
    • Be quick to admit your faults and make things right.

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

  • Are you living in a godly way, which will certainly bring questions?
  • Are you ready to answer those question in a Biblical, logical way?
  • Are you answering people humbly?
  • Are you serving God with a Biblically clear conscience?
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