Faithlife Sermons

1 Peter 4b

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts | Handout
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Introduction

So, last week we started into chapter 4 and got not quite halfway through.

We stopped at verse 12.

Chapter 4 is really a continuation of chapter 3, as Paul looks back to what he has already said to advance his point.
That is … the vindication of suffering for righteous reasons.
And his purpose in chapter 4 is to prepare the Christian.
Peter prepares the Christian with right attitude … that is, as Peter says in verse 1, “arm yourselves with the same mind” … that is the mind of Christ who suffered for us.
In this newness of life which we have in Christ, the will of God is so much better.
And so, while we are NOT condemned for our sins (there is no condemnation in Christ), we also do not condone sin … and we desire to be done with sin in our own lives.
Do not read below:
Romans 8:1 NKJV
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Without Christ, we were all in the same sad situation … sinners desperately in need of saving.
Without Christ, they were all in the same sad situation … sinners desperately in need of saving.
Saved from what?
With Christ we are forgiven, but also done with sin …
Saved from the judgment due for our sins, for sure.
But also saved out of the judgment of the world.
We are also saved out of slavery to sin.
Having believed and received Jesus, we are identified with Christ in His suffering and death, and therefore there is victory over sin.
Now, having believed and received Jesus, we are identified with Christ in His suffering and death, and therefore there is victory over sin.
And Paul wrote to the believers in the Roman church:
Romans 6:5–6 NKJV
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
Of course, we do still have our sin nature … and there is still an attraction to the fleeting pleasures of sin for us.
And the world would like for us to participate in the sinful things it does.
And so, as we have noted, Peter says, “arm yourselves with the same mind.”
That would be the mind of Christ.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church:
1 Corinthians 2:16 NKJV
For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Having the mind of Christ means several things.

For one, we understand God’s plan in the world - to bring glory to Himself, restore creation to its original splendor, and provide salvation for sinners.
It means we identify with Christ’s purpose “to seek and to save what was lost.”
It means we share Jesus’ perspective of humility and obedience, compassion, and prayerful dependence on God.
Specifically, Peter here speaks of the way that Christ approached His own suffering.
The author of Hebrews in chapter 12 wrote that Jesus, “for the joy that was set before Him” endured the cross.
Do not read below:
Hebrews 12:1–2 NKJV
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews
Outlook often has bearing on outcome.
The right attitude of a believer helps him to live a right life.
So often, outlook has bearing on outcome, and a believer having the right attitude helps him to live a right life.
We can all probably sit in church and not be tempted to sin … we are hearing God’s Word, being reminded of God’s will, and we are seeking the LORD’s face.
But things get much harder as soon as we step out that door.
The world, which wants us abide in it’s standards, starts to assault us with temptations.
And our flesh nature remembers that sin has temporary pleasures.
We might remember feelings and sensations from our old life.
And we might also feel pressure from others to conform to their standard of living and behaving.
Those to whom Peter was writing were enduring physical persecution that would soon become even more violent … as if a “fiery trial” (v12).
It would be very tempting for them to give in and give up believing to fit in and avoid persecution.
Paul addressed something similar with the Galatians believers who were being pressured by the Judaizers to lay aside grace for works.
To them, Paul wrote:
Galatians 3:3–4 NKJV
Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
Galatians 3:3
They had already suffered at the hands of the Judaizers for their faith … were they now going to let all of the things they have suffered come to nothing?
They had paid a price already for receiving the Gospel … was it all in vain?

Salvation has a cost.

Friends may not like the “new you” … and you may lose their friendship.
Or maybe not … but there is almost always something of the old life that can no longer be a part of the new life.
The cost may be a particular temptation that you always have to deal with left over from your previous life … and you suffer under it.
This is not new … early believers also suffered.
They suffered due to temptations of the flesh.
The Galatians and much of the early church would suffer under the pressure from the Judaizers to turn back to law keeping.
The church in Jerusalem would suffer under the persecution of the religious leaders (of whom Paul once was.)
Believers all over the Roman Empire would also suffer under persecution from their neighbors who found them to be strange.
And they would suffer official persecution under the authority of the Roman Government.
But proper outlook would help them to endure.
In suffering they would identify with Christ in a deeper way.
In suffering they would be reminded that this life is short and not to be wasted in sinful behavior.
And in suffering we are reminded that the unrighteous judgment of the world is nothing compared to the righteous judgment of God.
Vengeance belongs to the LORD … The unsaved may judge us, but one day, God will judge them.

There are people now dead physically, but alive with God in the spirit, who were judged by the world. But they heard the Gospel before they died and they believed. They suffered and died because of their faith—but they are living with God! It is better to suffer for Christ and go to be with God than to follow the world and be lost.

There are people now dead physically, but alive with God in the spirit, who were judged by the world.
But they heard the Gospel before they died and they believed.
There are people now dead physically, but alive with God in the spirit, who were judged by the world. But they heard the Gospel before they died and they believed. They suffered and died because of their faith—but they are living with God! It is better to suffer for Christ and go to be with God than to follow the world and be lost.
Like the martyr Stephen, they suffered and died because of their faith - but they are living with God!
It is better to suffer for Christ and go to be with God than to follow the world and be lost.
It is important that Christians “arm themselves” with the same attitude toward the world, sin, and suffering that Jesus had while on earth.
iidentified with Christ in His suffering and death, and therefore can have victory over sin.
If we face suffering without a spiritual attitude, suffering might cause us to sin, embitter us, or cause us to renounce our faith.
Belief is important … And it is important that we do keep believing, as most of the writers of the New Testament expressed.
So then, what we have been studying and are about to study in the second half of chapter 4 has great bearing on our lives.
So then, paying close attention and taking good notes would be the order of the day.
Prayer: Lord, as we embark to study your Word, we ask that our hearts would be open to receive all that You have to say to us. We desire to be hearers and doers and for You to lead us in Your ways. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

v12

v12

Every Christian who lives a godly life experiences a certain amount of persecution.

At the workplace.
At school.
From neighbors.
Maybe even from the family.
Paul wrote to Timothy, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”
Do not read below:
2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
And Jesus said, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.”
Do not read below:
John 15:20 NKJV
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
The world will hate Christians because the world hates Christ.
If Christians were like the world, the world would not oppose them.
It should always give us pause when the world embraces a particular Christian ministry or glorifies it … the world should be hating it.

Christians do not belong to the world.

And so, the world engages in Christian persecution.
And that will increase more and more leading to the time of the tribulation.
So, while persecution that we are enduring now might be more of the “expected, normal” kind … we should know that it will one day ramp up drastically.

There are people who resist the truth and oppose the Gospel.

And no matter what a believer says or does, these people will search to find fault and criticize.
Having the right perspective of suffering could greatly help us to overcome this kind of “expected persecution.”
But it’s also important in regards to greater persecution.
In this section, Peter begins to address the greater persecution that was coming … what Peter refers to as a πύρωσις pyrōsis or “burning ordeal.”
This pyrōsis was about to overtake the church.
No longer would persecution be occasional … it would now be official … the policy of the Roman Empire.
This But in this section, Peter explained about a special kind of persecution—a “fiery trial”—that was about to overtake the entire church. It would not be occasional personal persecution from those around them, but official persecution from those above them. Thus far, Christianity had been tolerated by Rome because it was considered a “sect” of Judaism, and the Jews were permitted to worship freely. That attitude would change and the fires of persecution would be ignited, first by Nero, and then by the emperors that followed.
To this point, Christianity had been tolerated by Rome because it was considered a “sect” of Judaism, and, for the most part Jews were permitted to worship freely.
That attitude would change and the fires of persecution would be ignited, first by Nero, and then by the emperors that followed.
Paul would die as a result of this new persecution, and so would Peter.
But for now, in expectation of this persecution, Peter writes to give some instruction to these believers … and I think we should pay attention to what he says.
----
Peter gave the believers four instructions to follow in the light of the coming “fiery trial.”

First, and we’ve already kind of hit on this, but Peter says we should expect suffering.

Expect Suffering ()

Persecution is not something that is strange to any Christian … whether back then or today.

The people of God have always suffered at the hands of the unbelieving world.
Christians are different from unbelievers, as Paul expounded on to the Corinthians in “Righteousness … lawlessness … light … darkness … believer … unbeliever … having come out from among the people and are separate.”
A DIFFERENT KIND OF LIFE.
2 Corinthians “Righteousness … lawlessness … light … darkness … believer … unbeliever … having come out from among the people and are separate.”
Do not read below:
(2 Cor. 6:14–18), and this different kind of life produces a different kind of lifestyle.
2 Corinthians 6:14–18 NKJV
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.” Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
This different kind of life produces a different kind of lifestyle.
Lies, pride, pleasure, and the desire to get more however you can … these define the world.
But a Christian builds his life on truth, humility, holiness, and the desire to glorify God.
A dedicated Christian builds his life on truth, humility, holiness, and the desire to glorify God.
There are examples of this all through the Bible.
For instance, Cain from was a religious man, and yet he hated his brother and killed him.
Why Cain killed Abel is explained in : “Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”
Do not read below:
1 John 3:12 NKJV
not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
The world does not persecute “religious people,” but it does persecute righteous people.
This was the danger for the Galatians that Paul confronted … going back to depending on works of the law would have saved them from the persecution of the Judaizers.
But Paul, seeing that some of them were doing that to avoid persecution asked, “Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth?”
Do not read below:
Galatians 3:1 NKJV
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?
Galatians
To turn from grace to works to appease the Judaizers was a denial of Christ.
Why Cain killed Abel is explained in : “Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.”
The Pharisees and Jewish leaders were religious people, yet they crucified Christ and persecuted the early church.
Jesus warned His disciples saying, “Beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.”
Do not read below:
Matthew 10:17 NKJV
But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues.
“But beware of men,” Jesus warned His disciples, “for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues” ().
God declared war on Satan after the fall of man in .
Satan has been attacking God by attacking His people since that time … and many of those attacks are by those who claim to be Christians but are preaching doctrines outside of God’s Word.
Believers are “strangers and pilgrims” in this world.
Christians are “strangers and pilgrims” in an alien world where Satan is the god and prince (; ). Whatever glorifies God will anger the enemy, and he will attack. For believers, persecution is not a strange thing. The absence of satanic opposition would be strange!
That is because this is a world where Satan is the ruler.
Jesus said this in and also Paul in .
Do not read below:
2 Corinthians (; ).
John 14:30 NKJV
I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
2 Corinthians 4:3–4 NKJV
But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Whatever glorifies God will anger the enemy, and he will attack.
So again, for believers, persecution is not a strange thing.
Instead … The absence of suffering and persecution should be strange.
Again, Jesus in His prayer in said:
John 15:18–19 NKJV
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15:
And Jesus also offered His disciples an encouraging promise - “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Do not read below:
John 16:33 NKJV
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
So then, when Peter wrote, “Do not think it strange” … he was alluding to suffering and persecution in varying degrees as being the norm for believers.
----
Jesus explained to His disciples that they should expect opposition and persecution from the world (). But He also gave them an encouraging promise: “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (). It was through His death on the cross of Calvary, plus His resurrection, that He overcame sin and the world (; see ).

In the Old Testament, fire was a symbol of the holiness of God and the presence of God.

Such a picture we see with the burning presence of God in the bush before Moses.
And later the burning presence of God upon Mt. Sinai.
Also of judgment.
alludes to this saying:
Hebrews 12:28–29 NKJV
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
Fire could also speak of God’s judgment, just as the sacrifice is consumed on the altar.
A picture of this is found in when Abraham is leading his son Isaac up Mt. Moriah.
Abraham lays the wood for the sacrifice on his son’t back and then he himself takes the knife and the fire.
But before Abraham could sacrifice Isaac, God provided a substitute … a ram.
Isaac = The sinner who must be judged with his sin.
Fire = God’s wrath
Wood = The cross of calvary
The Ram = Jesus who took the place of the sinner and died in his place

But Peter saw in the image of fire a refining process rather than a divine judgment.

Remember how Peter used the imagery of fire back in chapter 1:
But Peter saw in the image of fire a refining process rather than a divine judgment (see ; ).
1 Peter 1:6–7 NKJV
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 1:7 NKJV
that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Now, we should note that not all of the difficulties of life are necessarily fiery trials.
It is important to note that not all of the difficulties of life are necessarily fiery trials. There are some difficulties that are simply a part of human life and almost everybody experiences them. Unfortunately, there are some difficulties that we bring on ourselves because of disobedience and sin. Peter mentioned these in and 3:13–17. The fiery trial he mentioned in comes because we are faithful to God and stand up for that which is right. It is because we bear the name of Christ that the lost world attacks us. Christ told His disciples that people would persecute them, as they had Him, because their persecutors did not know God ().
Some difficulties are just a part of life … everyone experiences them.
And then also there are some difficulties that we bring on ourselves … often because of disobedience and sin.
Peter mentioned these earlier in and 3:13–17.
Peter spoke of these kinds of things earlier in chapter 2 and 3.
In chapter 2, he wrote:
1 Peter 2:20 NKJV
For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
And in chapter 3:
1 Peter 3:17 NKJV
For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
1 Peter 3:
But the burning ordeal of verse 12 in chapter 4 is because of being faithful to God, standing up for what is right.
It comes because we bear the name of Christ that the lost world attacks us.
Look back to verse 12 … that word “happened” does not speak of a coincidental occurrence or accidental happening, but of things coming together … one thing leads to another.
In other words, they are a part of God’s plan, and He is in control.
The word “happened” is important; it means “to go together.” Persecution and trials do not just “happen,” in the sense of being accidents. They are a part of God’s plan, and He is in control. They are a part of and will work out for good if we let God have His way.
They are a part of what Paul wrote in … things that will work out for good if we let God have His way.
Do not read below:
Romans 8:28 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

v13

Rejoice in Suffering ()

We might have expected sorrow over trials, but Peter exhorts his readers to “rejoice.”

Peter mentioned joy in one form or another 3 times in these verses.

He says, “rejoice,” and “be glad with exceeding joy,” and “blessed (or happy) are you.”
That difficulties could produce such a reaction in Christians is a mystery to the world … because the world has never experienced the grace of God.
The world cannot understand how difficult circumstances can produce exceeding joy, because the world has never experienced the grace of God (see ).
In verse 13, Peter says, “You partake of Christ’s sufferings.”
In other words, our suffering means fellowship with Christ.
Peter expresses that it is an honor and a privilege to suffer with Christ and be treated by the world the way it treated Him.
Our suffering means fellowship with Christ (v. 13). It is an honor and a privilege to suffer with Christ and be treated by the world the way it treated Him. “The fellowship of His sufferings” is a gift from God (; ). Not every believer grows to the point where God can trust him with this kind of experience, so we ought to rejoice when the privilege comes to us. “And they [the Apostles] departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” ().
Paul wrote to the Philippians:
Philippians 1:29 NKJV
For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
And later in , he refers to it as “The fellowship of His sufferings.”
Do not read below:
Philippians 3:10 NKJV
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
Proper perspective … what we might call the “same mind” that Christ had when suffering according to the will of the Father … is to consider it a privilege.
The Apostles, as they were departing from the presence of the council who had beaten them, expressed joy “That they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.”
Do not read below:
Acts 5:41 NKJV
So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
Not every believer grows to the point where God can trust him with this kind of experience, so we ought to rejoice when the privilege comes to us.
Jesus said that He would never leave us nor forsake us … and that He would be with us, “To the end of the age.”
Do not read below:
“And they [the Apostles] departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” ().
Matthew 28:20 NKJV
teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Christ is with us in the furnace of persecution (; ).
And so He is with us in the furnace of persecution, just as He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego
and so He is with us in the furnace of persecution, just as He was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego
Paul, in , wrote:
2 Corinthians 12:9–10 NKJV
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
The Lord was with Paul in all of his trials.
And Jesus, when speaking to Saul on the Damascus Road, said that when Saul persecuted Christians, he was really persecuting Jesus.
Do not read below:
In fact, when sinners persecute us, they are really persecuting Jesus Christ ().
Acts 9:4 NKJV
Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”
----
Now notice the end phrase of verse 13 - it says, “That when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
“Suffering” and “glory” are twin truths that are woven into the fabric of Peter’s letter.
The world believes that the absence of suffering means glory, but

A Christian’s outlook is much different from the world.

The world thinks of suffering as shameful … not related to glory.

But the Christian is taught in scripture that the trial of our faith today is the assurance of glory later.
The trial of our faith today is the assurance of glory when Jesus returns ().
This was the experience of our Lord, and it shall also be our experience.
Peter wrote in chapter 5:
1 Peter 5:1 NKJV
The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
That being said, we should understand that God is not going to replace suffering with glory.
But it is necessary to understand that God is not going to replace suffering with glory; rather He will transform suffering into glory.
Instead, God will transform suffering into glory.
Jesus used the illustration of a woman giving birth in .
John 16:20–22 NKJV
Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
(
The same baby that gave her pain also gave her joy.
The same baby that gave her pain also gave her joy.
The pain was transformed into joy by the birth of the baby.
We already read what Paul wrote in about his “thorn in the flesh” … he wrote that what gave him difficulty also gave him power and glory.
----

Most people eventually learn that “postponed pleasures” are a part of life.

In other words, we pay a price today in order to have enjoyments in the future.

The hours and hours that it takes to learn a skill may not be pleasurable … but it is looking toward the pleasure of wielding that skill masterfully one day.
The piano student may not enjoy practicing scales by the hour, but he looks forward to the pleasure of playing beautiful music one day.
The athlete may not enjoy exercising and practicing his skills, but he looks forward to winning the game by doing his best.
Christians have something even better.
Our sufferings will one day be transformed into glory, and we will be “glad with exceeding joy.”

v14

This is a very strange phrase, but might be better understood in light of the Jewish idea of Shekinah.

The Jews believed in what was called the Shekinah, which is the luminous glow of the very presence of God.

Now, remember that Peter introduced this letter to Jewish believers in Jesus who were living in 5 Roman provinces … outside of Israel.
This idea shows up many times in the Old Testament.
The Shekinah appeared on Mt. Sinai, in the Tabernacle, and in the Temple.
In fact, to this day, observant Jews will pray and leave prayers at what is known as the wailing wall which they believe to be near where the Shekinah rested on the ark in the Holy of Holies.
It might be that Peter believed something of that glow of glory rests on those who suffer for Christ.
It is Peter’s conviction that something of that glow of glory rests on those who suffer for Christ. When Stephen was on trial for his life and it was certain that he would be condemned to death, to those who looked on him his face was like the face of an angel ().
A good example is when Stephen was on trial for his life and it was certain that he would be condemned to death, to those who looked on him says his face was like “the face of an angel.”
Do not read below:
Acts 6:15 NKJV
And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.
When preparing His disciples for suffering they would endure for their faith in Him, Jesus said:
Matthew 10:19–20 NKJV
But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.
It would seem that the Holy Spirit of God intervenes and empowers the believer who is suffering violent, life-ending persecution to endure.
This is a grace of our Lord that we may be able to glorify Him.
And perhaps they are able to perceive and even experience some of the glory they would inherit.
This is the “joy unspeakable and full of glory” that Peter wrote about in .
Our suffering brings to us the ministry of the Holy Spirit (v. 14). He is the Spirit of glory and He has a special ministry to those who suffer for the glory of Jesus Christ. This verse can be translated “for the presence of the glory, even the Spirit, rests on you.” The reference is to the Shekinah glory of God that dwelt in the tabernacle and in the temple (; ). When the people stoned Stephen, he saw Jesus in heaven and experienced God’s glory (; ). This is the “joy unspeakable and full of glory” that Peter wrote about in .
This explains how martyrs could sing praises to God while bound in the midst of blazing fires.
It also explains how persecuted Christians (and there are many in today’s world) can go to prison and to death without complaining or resisting their captors.
----
Now, look at the back half of verse 14 … “On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”
Jesus promised that believers would suffer because of His name.
John 15:21 NKJV
But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Few people will mind if you tell them you are Baptist.

And the same with Presbyterian … Methodist … or if you say you are agnostic.

You will find little opposition in that kind of identification because most people identify in those or similar ways.
But if you tell them you are a Christian … that you identify with Christ … opposition is more likely to arise.
Satan hates the name of Christ because His is the Name of Authority.
And every time our identification with Christ brings reproach to us, we are given an opportunity to bring glory to Him.
Every time we are reproached for the name of Christ, we have the opportunity to bring glory to that name.
The world may speak against His name, but we will so speak and live that His name will be honored and God will be pleased.
The word “Christian” is found only 3 times in the entire New Testament.
We will see it in verse 16 of our chapter.
It was used in .
And Agrippa referred to followers of Christ as Christians in .
The name was originally given by the enemies of the church as a term of reproach; but in time, it became an honored name.
Of course, in today’s world, the word “Christian” means to most people the opposite of “pagan.”
The Greek word Χριστιανός Christianos carries the idea of “a Christ one, belonging to Christ.”
Certainly it is a privilege to bear the name and to suffer for His name’s sake.
But identification with His Name is not only calling ourselves Christian … anyone can do that.
It is also doing things that glorify and please the LORD … actions that testify of our identification with Him.
And Peter now makes that point starting with verse 15.
He was arrested for his faith and threatened with death if he did not recant.
“Eighty and six years have I served Him,” the saintly Bishop replied, “and He never did me any injury. How can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?”
“I have respect for your age,” said the Roman officer. “Simply say, ‘Away with the atheists!’ and be set free.” By “the atheists” he meant the Christians who would not acknowledge that Caesar was “lord.”

v15-18

The old man pointed to the crowd of Roman pagans surrounding him, and cried, “Away with the atheists!” He was burned at the stake and in his martyrdom brought glory to the name of Jesus Christ.

We spoke of the glory to come to those who suffer for the name of Christ.

But there is a condition … one must be suffering for His name … that is suffering for identifying with Him and doing things that glorify Him.

If we deserve to suffer for doing wrong … even at the hands of unrighteous people … it is to no account.
But remember how we noted from chapter 1 that Peter was looking at fire as a purifying force.
Suffering brings light to the situation.
And in this way, the fiery trial is a refining process, one that God uses in our lives to remove the dross and purify us.
It often motivates us to examination.
If we suffer because we have sinned, we know we need to repent.
because we have sinned, gives opportunity for repentance and change.
A Christian that breaks the law and gets into trouble, or becomes a meddler into other people’s lives, ought to suffer as the law of the land dictates.
The fact that we are Christians is not a guarantee that we escape the normal consequences of our misdeeds.
We may not be guilty of murder (though anger can be the same as murder in the heart), but what about stealing, or meddling?
BUT if our suffering is because of our identity with Christ, then we know we are on a right path and God is glorified.
Peter wrote in 2 Peter that one day, a fiery judgment will overtake the whole world.
2 Peter 3:7 NKJV
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2 Peter 3:7–16 NKJV
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
However, as verse 17 says … judgment begins “at the house of God.”
As we know from chapter 2, that house is the church.
Do not read below:
1 Peter 2:5 NKJV
you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
(
Meanwhile, God’s judgment begins “at the house of God,” the church (). This truth ought to motivate us to be as pure and obedient as possible (see for an Old Testament illustration of this truth).
This truth ought to motivate us to be as pure and obedient as possible.
This truth ought to motivate us to be as pure and obedient as possible (see for an Old Testament illustration of this truth).
In the furnace of persecution and suffering, we often have more light by which we can examine our lives and ministries.

Let’s be sure we are suffering because we are Christians and not because we are criminals.

Peter, at the end of verse 16 says, “Yet if [any Christian] suffers, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.”
Of course, Peter could not have written this without thinking of his own denial of Christ recorded in .
says that Jesus Christ, “Is not ashamed to call [believers in Him] brethren.”
Do not read below:
Hebrews 2:11 NKJV
For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
Many times Jesus surely could be … and yet He is not.
, speaking of the Father says that, “God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
Do not read below:
Hebrews 11:16 NKJV
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews
Jesus Christ endured the cross, disregarding the shame … for us.
So then, Peter writes ... surely we can disregard shame and glorify God in our suffering.

After all, we are not bearing the sins of the world, we are bearing the Name of the One who did.

The warning in is worth pondering.
On the cross Jesus Christ despised shame for us (), so surely we can bear reproach for Him and not be ashamed. The warning in is worth pondering.
And in this case we would be remiss if we did not consider what Jesus said in :
Mark 8:38 NKJV
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
If we seek to glorify God, then we will not be ashamed of the name of Jesus Christ.
“Not be ashamed” is negative; “glorify God” is positive. It takes both for a balanced witness. If we seek to glorify God, then we will not be ashamed of the name of Jesus Christ. It was this determination not to be ashamed that encouraged Paul when he went to Rome (), when he suffered in Rome (), and when he faced martyrdom in Rome ().
It was this determination not to be ashamed that encouraged Paul in his ministry.
He wrote in :
Romans 1:16 NKJV
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
It encouraged him when he was imprisoned by Rome:
Philippians 1:20–21 NKJV
according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
And it encouraged him when he faced martyrdom in Rome:
when he suffered in Rome (), and when he faced martyrdom in Rome.
2 Timothy 1:12 NKJV
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
2 Timothy
----

Back to the point - Suffering brings light to the situation … motivating us to examination.

It often motivates us to examination.
Meanwhile, God’s judgment begins “at the house of God,” the church (). This truth ought to motivate us to be as pure and obedient as possible (see for an Old Testament illustration of this truth).
There are several questions we should ask ourselves as we examine our own lives.
Let’s be sure we are suffering because we are Christians and not because we are criminals.

Verse 17 expands the meaning of verses 12-16.

We now find that the ‘fiery ordeal’, or ‘refining fire’, of verse 12 is also a fire of God’s judgment.

puts verses 12 to 16 in a broader theological context. ‘What is going on in the world?’ the readers might wonder. ‘Why are God’s people suffering and evildoers going unpunished?’ Peter explains that the ‘fiery ordeal’, or ‘refining fire’, of verse 12 is really a fire of God’s judgment. Yet this word for judgment (krima) does not necessarily mean ‘condemnation’ (which would be katakrima) but is a broader term which can refer to a judgment which results in good and bad evaluations, a judgment which may issue in approval or discipline as well as condemnation. The picture is that God has begun judging within the church, and will later move outward to judge those outside the church. The refining fire of judgment is leaving no one untouched, but Christians are being purified and strengthened by it—sins are being eliminated and trust in God and holiness of life are growing.
But the word here for judgment, κρίμα Krima does not mean ‘condemnation.’
“Not be ashamed” is negative; “glorify God” is positive. It takes both for a balanced witness. If we seek to glorify God, then we will not be ashamed of the name of Jesus Christ. It was this determination not to be ashamed that encouraged Paul when he went to Rome (), when he suffered in Rome (), and when he faced martyrdom in Rome ().
Yet this word for judgment (krima) does not necessarily mean ‘condemnation’ (which would be katakrima) but is a broader term which can refer to a judgment which results in good and bad evaluations, a judgment which may issue in approval or discipline as well as condemnation. The picture is that God has begun judging within the church, and will later move outward to judge those outside the church. The refining fire of judgment is leaving no one untouched, but Christians are being purified and strengthened by it—sins are being eliminated and trust in God and holiness of life are growing.
Condemnation would be katakrima, a broader term which can refer to a judgment resulting in good and bad evaluations as well as condemnation.
The picture is that God has begun judging within the church, and will later move outward to judge those outside the church.
The fire of judgment is leaving no one untouched, but Christians are being purified and strengthened by it - refined.
The world - that is “those who do not obey the gospel of God” will be condemned by it.
If God sends a “fiery trial” to His own children, and they are saved “with difficulty,” what will happen to lost sinners when God’s fiery judgment falls?
When a believer suffers, he experiences glory and knows that there will be greater glory in the future.
And that should be a concern for us … that some are rejecting the gospel to condemnation.
After all, it is a concern for God.
He sent His Son to die for our sins … and even now Peter says in God is longsuffering, “Not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Do not read below:
2 Peter 3:8–10 NKJV
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
So then, instead of being concerned only about ourselves, we need to be concerned about the lost sinners around us.
Instead of being concerned only about ourselves, we need to be concerned about the lost sinners around us.
Our present “fiery trial” is nothing compared with the “everlasting destruction” that says will punish the lost when Jesus returns in judgment.
Do not read below:
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 NKJV
and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
---

In verse 18, Peter quotes from Proverbs 11.

The phrase “scarcely saved” means “saved with difficulty,” but it does not suggest that God is too weak to save us.

The idea is expressed in —“If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!” (niv)
The phrase scarcely be saved means “saved with difficulty,” but it does not suggest that God is too weak to save us.
Peter is thinking back to the rescue of Lot from Sodom in Genesis 19.
God was able … but Lot himself made it difficult until he had to be taken by the hand and dragged out of the city.
And yet Peter wrote in his 2nd letter that Lot was righteous and was being oppressed by filthy conduct of the wicked.
Do not read below:
2 Peter 2:7 NKJV
and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
2 Peter 2:
1 Corinthians 3:9–15 NKJV
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Lot was living in Sodom, but was not participating in the wickedness of Sodom, making him a light to those who oppressed him with their wickedness.
The idea is that times of persecution are times of opportunity to witness to those who persecute us.
Of course, in the case of Lot as well as Noah, only a few (their families) were saved.
By no means does that diminish their testimony. Another example It was not the earthquake that brought that Philippian jailer to Christ, because that frightened him into almost committing suicide! No, it was Paul’s loving concern for him that brought the jailer to faith in Christ.
As Christians, we do not seek for vengeance on those who have hurt us.
Rather, we pray for them and seek to lead them to Jesus Christ.

v19

Commit Yourself to God ()

Christians do not suffer accidentally or due to random forces or blind fate.

And we can commit ourselves into His care …
Christians do not suffer accidentally or due to random forces or blind fate.
To the contrary, they suffer according to God’s will.
Everything else that we do as Christians depends on this.
The word is a banking term; it means “to deposit for safekeeping” (see ).

And that is good to know when suffering comes.

The word is a banking term; it means “to deposit for safekeeping” (see ).
God is the faithful Creator.
Of course, when you deposit your life in God’s bank, you always receive eternal dividends on your investment.
And we can commit ourselves into His care.
This picture reminds us that we are valuable to God.
He made us, redeemed us, lives in us, guards, and protects us.
And that word “commit” is forceful … like “must commit” or “always be committing.”
And how?
In days of financial unsteadiness, such assurances are necessary to depositors.
In doing good.
But when you “deposit” your life with God, you have nothing to fear; for He is able to keep you.
As we return good for evil and do good even though we suffer for it, we are committing ourselves to God so that He can care for us.
This is different from the way the world responds to the same thing and stands out to the world.
Both our present and our future are controlled by the the LORD.
This commitment involves every area of our lives and every hour of our lives.
Given what preceded verse 19, Peter could have referred to God as “faithful judge” or as a “faithful Savior” but Peter chose “faithful Creator” instead.
If we really have hope, and believe that Jesus is coming again, then we will obey His Word and start laying up treasures and glory in heaven. Unsaved people have a present that is controlled by their past, but Christians have a present that is controlled by the future (). In our very serving, we are committing ourselves to God and making investments for the future.
That is because he wanted to draw our attention to how God meets the needs of His people.
So then we can be confident in committing ourselves to God in whatever situation we are in.
Why did Peter refer to God as “a faithful Creator” rather than “a faithful Judge” or even “a faithful Saviour”? Because God the Creator meets the needs of His people (). It is the Creator who provides food and clothing to persecuted Christians, and who protects them in times of danger. When the early church was persecuted, they met together for prayer and addressed the Lord as the “God, which has made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is” (). They prayed to the Creator!
Our Heavenly Father is “the Lord of heaven and earth” ().
With that kind of a Father, we have no need to worry!
He is the faithful Creator, and His faithfulness will not fail.
Let’s stop here and pray:
Prayer: Lord, we thank you for this time we have had together worshipping You and studying Your Word. We thank you that You are faithful and Your mercy endures forever. You are our faithful Creator … help us to commit ourselves to Your faithfulness. Increase our love for one another and for all, establish us in all things. Keep our minds and our hands from evil and protect us from the deceptions of our enemy the devil. Thank You for the trials that You graciously see us and grow us through. May You be glorified in our trials. Thank You for being our Great High Priest. Lord, we place ourselves before you to do Your will. Lead us in victory, and use us to spread knowledge of Jesus Christ to the unsaved world.
Related Media
Related Sermons