God gives Christians grace to live a godly life.
Just as it is natural to grow physically, so it should be natural to grow spiritually. It is God’s desire that we continue to grow in Christ from the moment we are saved. Growing up in Christ is a process that begins when we are saved by him, and will come to complete fruition when we are made like Christ at his coming again. Spiritual maturity is not a plateau we reach as Christians, but an ongoing journey. It is a continuing daily response to Christ’s grace in our lives. This divine grace keeps us secure in Christ through the storms of life, and it empowers us to reject the allure of the world and the desires of the sinful nature. Peters message in this lesson is both practical and simple. God, by his grace, wants to make us into the image of his son.
SUFFER ACCORDING TO CHRIST’S EXAMPLE
A. Be Good Witnesses of Christ
1Pe 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
…….What a challeng here! The Apostle Peter commands for Christians to respect the authority of all men who have authority over us. Not only to the ones who treat us good, but also to the ones who treat us bad. My mind immediately goes back to the example Jesus gave in the garden before His arrest. When the guards came to seize Him, Peter pulled out his sword and went for Malchus’ neck! Jesus commanded Peter to put away the sword and healed the man who would soon assist in causing Him much pain. What a love for people!!! It is the consistency of our relationship with Christ that is going to change people.
1Pe 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
…….He says here that it is a privilege to suffer wrongdoing for the sake of Christ. The strength that is provided for enduring grief is sent straight from the throne room, and is beyond any strength that can be worked up by man alone!
1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.
1Pe 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
…….This is why we should never gripe and fuss when we feel that we are treated wrong. There is glory for patiently enduring persecution (vs 20). When it seems that the enemy is attacking and also using people around us as weapons, look to Christ in the middle of it all! If we fight back in the flesh, we prove that the Spirit is not abiding in us. But, when we rely on the Spirit for patience and endurance, the Spirit proves itself inside of us, and the enemy will either change or flee! Too many times has the Spirit proven himself faithful in being my comforter in times like these!
1Pe 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile (craft, deceit) found in his mouth:
1Pe 2:23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
…….Jesus never pushed back. When He was punched, spit on and beat for innocence, He never broke commitment with God! I’m sure Peter could easily refer to the time He broke commitment after making the promise to die for Jesus before the baptism of the Spirit. So many of the church are looking for a reason to lay down the torch when Christ never loosened His grip. We have got to stay committed through it all!
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
…….Because Jesus endured, we can endure!
B. When Suffering for Christ
1Pe 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
…….There will be a time that severe persecution will come, and it may be soon. But, no matter how the enemy injures this body, he can never harm the soul! There is nothing that any man can do to rob your soul from the grips of God!
1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
…….When you suffers do the sake of your relationship with Christ, take it as being in battle with the most powerful forces on your side! No matter how hard it gets, your team wins in the end! “Neither be troubled” because the won’t always be like this!
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
…….When the flames gets higher, the attention of man grows stronger. The way you fight back is the testimony of who fights with you! Fighting spiritual battles with spiritual weapons makes others desire who fights for you!
1Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
…….When you hold your peace even in the times of false accusation, God will see you through and the accusers will be revealed by all men!
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1Pe 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
…….Just as Christ in verse 13 was quickened by the Spirit for suffering, we too are filled with the power of the Spirit which makes us more in His likeness and causes us to move further away from sinning.
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
…….That is the purpose of the Spirit, to draw us closer to the likeness of Christ. If it takes suffering to produce the Spirit that creates sanctification, we can find joy in its presence!
MOVE FROM DEATH TO LIFE
A. Holy Living
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
…….When something is “girded” up, it is referred to the same manner of pinning up to get it out of the way. The Spirit of God will purify is, but it is up to us to keep away from the exposure of sin. We must eliminate the distractions that keep us on this straight path! Guard yourselves!
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
…….If it caused you to stumble in the past, chances are it can happen again! The Spirt shouldn’t have to convict a man over and over about the same situation! I’ve heard it too many times, “I’ve been doing it this way since I was saved”. I have literally had conversation with people about times that the Lord convicted them of something in the past, but they continue doing the same things. That mindset will never grow in Christ! We can’t fall into repetitive struggles.
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
…….As the scripture says, we must be Holy in “all” manner of conversation! Our conversation can be described as our entire lifestyle! The way we lives is revealed by the tongue!
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1Pe 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1Pe 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
…….Our redemption wasn’t paid for (vs 18) with riches that slip through the cracks of the fingers of man, but was paid for with the precious blood of Christ!
1Pe 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
…….From the very beginning of time He considered His children and knew what it would take to redeem us!
1Pe 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
1Pe 1:22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
…….Where does purification come from? Obedience! Out of all of this the message still points to UNITY!
B. A Separated Life
1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice (satisfy) us to have wrought (perform) the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
…….Because they (the acquaintances of the past) have not taken advantageous the grace of God, they cannot understand how we who are saved live in the truth of he Gospel.
1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
…….Those that remember you from your past (vs 4) who continue in the same lifestyle at times may continue to hold your previous sins over your life. But we are encouraged to not let their judgmental views of our past effect the life of the present or future! The Lord will be the final judge of those alive in this world, and for those who have died in Him.
LIVE THE LIFE OF GRACE
A. Grace Exhibited
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
…….”Sober”. Such a word that carries so much depth. Many think because they aren’t drunken with wine that they live in complete sobriety. The must dangerous intoxication isn’t by wine or drugs, it is the intoxicating of things that make you think you are still okay! We must stay Spiritually focused on the Lord and His desires! The key to staying sober comes directly from a life of worship and obedience!
1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent (intense) charity (love) among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
…….If we love our people, we will SHOW the love for our people. In this, we won’t gossip, sow seeds of discord or backbite on another. You love for people will eliminate the sins against them! Even when people leave you in wonder by their mistakes, love concours all! By loving those within, those who are without will desire that relationship and be drawn to Christ! That’s the way the church grows!
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
B. Grace Endures
1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.