Monday, February 19, 2018

1st. Peter - Continuation

2 primary themes in First Peter - 1)  submission (20% of the text)
                                                  2) suffering (verb "to suffer" = used 11 times)

Because:  (1) we live in a fallen world - suffering is going to take place
               (2)  we are to practice our Christian Faith in a fallen society (opposition - example:  Peter executed for his faith shortly after writing this)
               (3) we're often called to submit to fallen people, authorities.
Peter is writing to Christians in a Pre-Christian society.  (would expect opposition).  Was very relevant in his time.
WE read it --- living in an increasingly Post-Christian society.    Slowly people are rejecting the Christian faith.  Turning into Neo-Paganism.  (New pagan)

So-- additional words from 1 Pet. 3:13-18 - We're not where they were ---- yet, but we're getting there.

I.  1Pet. 3:14 - do not fear - (what they [non-believers] fear)  Refer to text from Isaiah 7-9  (Rezim/Pekah/Ahaz/Tiglath Pileser)
So--- Isa. 7:4, 8:12-13   (with Matt. 10:28, Rom. 8:31)
Point:  don't fear man ... Trust Christ!!!

II.  1Pet. 3:15 - Set apart Christ as Lord - Note "set apart" = (1) your decision  (2) your Action - more than words.  Something must DO!! - Matt. 7:21-23, 2 Tim. 2:19   (3) an often repeated decision/action

Greek word that translates to apologetics = defense, reason, answer, reply

Question:  Do you believe?  hope/trust in Him?
Question:  WHY????  

(help) for most it begins with (1) exposure to the gospel (followed by) (2) an experience, encounter with God/Holy Spirit
called PERSONAL TESTIMONY  (=1st. line defense/answer)  - Example:  John 9 - the blind man

Note:  apology begins here!!  it does not END here!!!  (God/creation/evil & suffering/miracles/reliability and authority of Scripture)

IV.  1 Pet. 3:15 Answer with Gentleness and Respect 
Because:  (1)  is the right way to treat people (for whom Christ died), and
               (2)  the point is NOT to win an argument - point is to win people/souls - Prov. 15:1

Remember:  Your best argument is ineffective without the Person and Presence of the Holy Spirit

Do all this ... "so that"... 1 Pet. 3:16
A good answer serves to:
(1) evangelize (pre-evangelize) - tool for the Holy Spirit to use.
(2)  encourage ' believers
(3) shame ("ashamed of their slander")

Quote from John Calvin:  "to shut the mouths of the Obstreperous". - People who are unruly, disorderly, loudmouth, stubbornly resistant

NOW - return to Peter's often repeated theme:
1 Pet. 3:17 - IF you suffer, Be certain (1) it is Not due to evil behavior (on your part)
                                                          (2)  You are in God's will

Because:  1 Pet. 3:18 - Christ suffered for doing good according to God's will.

And.... it was very Efficacious - (effective, produced Much good!!)

AND .... your suffering, your submission, your apology (answer) - can also be efficacious!!

Summary Conclusion?  1 Pet. 4:19

Closing Scripture:  Matt. 5:13-16

Monday, February 12, 2018

1st. Peter - Submission

Book of 1st. Peter = what He's done, doing, gonna do...

__This_____   Therefore      ____This____

So - now - lengthy section on Submission - (1st. Pet. 2:13 - 3:12 = 26 verses - nearly 20% of the letter)

Question:  Why so lengthy?  such emphasis?

#1.  Submission is a major component of the Christian life!  
Example:  the fall came because of refusal to submit to God.  And before that, the refusal of Satan to submit.
Salvation, redemption comes through willingness to Submit, ie:  surrender to Jesus Christ
(the Christian faith is largely defined by a willingness to submit)

#2.  Submission is a struggle for all of us  (Christian and non-Christian alike)
A)  our natural tendency is to resist (not submit) - example:  a two year old.
Example from scripture = Peter.  He knows about submission first hand.
B)  we tend to pressure others to Submit to us!!  (ie:  we promote the idea to our benefit!!)
Example:  oppressive governments, slavery, sexual exploitation, marital relationship.  People in power try to make other people submit to them.

Note:  even in light of New testament teachings - the concept of submission is often misinterpreted, misapplied, misused - example:  slavery sermons
OR:  Eph. 5:22 - without reference to Eph. 5:25

DEFINITION:   for concept of Submission
(1) literally = to line up under" or to ARRANGE UNDER (military term) (rank)

(2)  more exactly = to subject oneself - to yield, acquiesce, defer to.
Contrasted with:  resist, rebel, defy  )= pride, obstinence, aloofness, haughty spirit)

(3)  NEW TESTAMENT USAGE = to voluntarily assume a position that
A) is in accord with God's will, desire, plan.
And that
B)  best serves those around you.  (your society, family, friends, church, etc.)

This Position may be Subordinate!!  (though not necessarily!)

It may mean Submission to a person.  It may mean Submission to a position. (including leadership!!)
(whether it's uncomfortable or not)

in New Testament sense it's always Self-Imposed  submit,subject oneself!!)
(Exception = those who Christ will put in subjection at His return)

Notes from 1Pet. 2:13-3:12

Submit yourself - voluntary thing - for the Lord's sake.
Submit yourself to authorities - doesn't mean always do what authority orders.  Example:  Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach, Abendigo

[Quote from Martin Luther:  "A Christian is a free lord;  subject to no man.  A Christian is a dutiful servant; subject to all men."
The irony - on one hand, obligated to none - Rom. 1:14.  However, obligated to all because I serve Jesus Christ.]

Will often suffer in submission.  We live in a fallen world = fallen masters.  Example:  death of Christ had efficacious (positive) effects.


1)  Biblical Submission begins with Submission to God - (then to Christ - make Him Lord)

2)  It is an attitude that must be chosen - often contrary to feelings AND Chosen over and over again!! - feelings may be screaming, but do what IS right regardless.

3)  It is a matter of the heart FIRST 
Example:  little boy set in corner by his mother as punishment.  He kept getting up, she kept setting him back down.  Finally, he stayed seated but told her - "Well, I may be sitting on the outside but I'm STANDING on the inside."  This is NOT proper submission.

4)   (But) it is an internal attitude that finds external expression.   Heart leads to hands.

5)  It is essential to salvation, growth, ministry and service.  You can't accept Christ if not in submission to Christ.

6)  You are going to struggle with it. 

7)  Press on.  Do what's right!  - 1 Pet. 2:21  - "to this you were called"

Closing Scripture:  Rom. 15:1-6

Monday, February 5, 2018

1st. Peter - 2nd. "Therefore"

1 Peter - all about what He's done, doing, going to do .... for us.

The 1st. "therefore" - 1 Pet. 1:13-16 - last week

Now - 1Pet. 1:23-25 - the 2nd. "Therefore" -  seed that results in spiritual birth/life is imperishable - will not die.
1 Pet. 2:1-3 - therefores altered a bit -  example:
 This    therefore    put off This
 This    therefore    put on This
The Christian life = both!!!  If you want to grow spiritually, need "spiritual milk" - God's Word
This concept very common throughout New Testament.  As Christians, many things are to be put off, and then right stuff to be put on.
Comparison parallel -  Paul - Eph. 4:20-24

Now 1 Pet. 2:4-10
THE LIVING STONE - the One on whom the church built, our faith rests
(may be Foundation stone, Corner stone, Cap stone, Rock ...  BUT always THE ONE!!!

Note:  when ppl encounter this Stone ... either .. (1) stumble  or (2) embrace.  There is NO middle ground.
When you encounter the claims of Christ in life, these are the only two ways to go.

Stumble is more than irritation = an offense
Embrace is more than appreciation = believe, receive, accept, follow

May not be immediate response, may not necessarily be an irrevocable response - example: Paul
BUT Scripture leaves no room for a 3rd. option of indifference!!

Those who believe (accept/embrace) become part of:  1 Pet. 2:9
a) a chosen people
b) a royal priesthood
c) a holy nation - separated unto God
d)  a people belonging to God

Compare this to Israel (a) in description  (b) in purpose
Isa. 42:5-7 - God speaking to Israel - chose them to be a light to the Gentiles
1 Pet. 2:9 - what Israel used to be, you now are.  Peter not talking to Israel but to the church.  New era, new time.

You must choose to be one of the chosen!

You must choose to act like it!!!

Which leads to the 3rd. "therefore" - (implied) - 1 Pet. 2:11-12

We ought to be representing God to this world.