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

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