Sermon Notes for Sunday, April 5, 2020

April 2, 2020

Fiery Trials and Faithful Living
1 Peter 4:12-19
April 5, 2020
“Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first He suffered pain and entered into glory before He was crucified:  Mercifully grant that we, walking the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.”  Book of Common Prayer
  1. The Presence of Suffering in the Lives of Believers
  1. We get to heaven and the new heaven and the new earth by the grace of God that comes to us through the Gospel of Jesus Christ applied to our lives by the Holy Spirit but we do not get from earth to heaven as believers apart from suffering.
  1. What follows in 1 Peter is a passage about the lives of those who lead the church and the lives of those who are in the church; what comes before this passage is the necessity and the urgency of the church being the church in the world:  set apart from the world not saturated in who we are by the ways of the world.
  1. Suffering for the people of God at this time was coming from social exclusion, verbal attack, and malicious mocking of those who followed Jesus and thus were a part of the church; Being put in prison or being put to death had not yet come to any great extent.
  1. The Purpose of Suffering in the Lives of Believers, 4:12-14
  1. Peter wants them as one who has failed and one who is flawed to know that they are loved by God
  1. Peter is saying what James says, 1:2-4, 12 and what Paul proclaims about the place of suffering, Romans 5:1-5; we should not be surprised at suffering.
  1. Peter wants believers to know that God has really good purposes in the midst of really bad circumstances:
  1. To Test us so that we will know who we are and where we are in relationship to God;
  2. To draw us closer to God;
  3. To deepen our communion with Jesus;
  4. To cause us to rejoice and be glad as we anticipate the glory to come to us in the future, Matthew 5:11-12
When people make fun of our devotion to Jesus we should receive it as a blessing because it is an assurance that the Spirit of God “rests” upon us, 4:14
  1. The Perspective from God on Suffering in the lives of Believers, 4:15-18
  1. We must know the difference between reprehensible sins and respectable sins and the ones that should most concern us are respectable sins; what are some of these in your life, your family, your church, your community?  The one here employs a word that is only used here in all the Greek language prior to 1 Peter.  It paints a picture of a person who wants to know all that is going on with others around him or her and fix it for them.  Like a pyromaniac!
  1. Suffering that comes to us as Christians should not bring us shame but we should seek to honor God through our suffering because judgment must begin from the people of God; it is so demanding and difficult to live our lives in devotion to Jesus, Proverbs 11
  1. The Practice of Life in the midst of Suffering, 4:19
  1. We must make sure that our suffering is tied to a way of life that is seeking to honor God and to obey His Word
      B.  We must trust the God who rules and reigns and we must seek in all our ways to do what He says