A Special Obligation
Text: 1 Peter 1:17-25
A Special Obligation
Introduction: Writing to God’s chosen people, scattered around the empireStrangers in a strange, hostile land with hostile people.Some are elect, but don’t know it yet. They are there to reach them.Suffering is their lot, but they are assured of eternity with ChristGod has chosen them for a great mission, with eternal rewards.They are surrounded by enemies and they need each other.Their service, their redemption from the slavery of sin was costly. They are incredibly blessed.We can learn corresponding lessons in the 21st Century – that’s why the Lord left us this letter.
i. We are God’s chosen people, a small minority scattered abroad.
ii. The world around us is hostile and becoming increasingly so
iii. There are others who need to be saved around us, or we would not be here.
iv. We are surrounded by hostility and need each other.
v. God redeemed us from our life of depravity at great price.
vi. We, too, are incredibly blessed and privileged by the mission God has given us.
The world should recognize us for who we are, and who’s we are. Interrogative: Who’s child are you?Imperative: You are a precious child of the most high God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Act like it. Transition: Once saved, God expects us to get moving, not let go and let God. We have favored place with Him for a reason.We are the light of the world. The apostle tells us, in the next few verses, how we are to light up the world. First Point: Watch your conduct. 1 Peter 1:17-18Explanation:
i. Don’t be casual about your relationship with God the Father
ii. Privilege to be adopted
iii. If you own the great God as a Father and a Judge, you ought to live the time of your sojourning here in his fear.” Matt Henry
iv. He judges. Showing no favoritism. God is no respecter of persons, James 2. Has nothing to do with election. He does not choose us because he likes us. He chooses us because He chooses some for glory. He is merciful.
v. What He has done overall, what He did for you.
vi. What He has done for others - reprobation
vii. You inherited nothing of value from your forefathers. Earthly goods will rot and decay.
viii. Silver and gold- snare to salvation.
ix. Redeemed from a vain conversation received by tradition.
x. Your blessing and relationship with the Father will endure for ever – you cannot break it if you truly have faith.
Illustration: Ungrateful or ill-behaved children don’t bring glory to their parents. Grateful, well-behaved children do. Argumentation:
i. Low view of God.
ii. Saved so you can sin like you want
iii. Dress like you like, talk like you want, act like you feel is good,
iv. God has forgiven you and will keep right on doing so.
v. What if God were one of us? Song
vi. Misunderstand the image of God
Application: If you don’t take your relationship with the Lord seriously, perhaps, as Anselm said: You have not yet considered the greatness of the weight of sin.
i. What would Jesus do?
i. Gratitude – we must reflect it.
ii. We are God’s children, bought with a terrible price. Our public and private conduct must reflect our parentage.
Second Point: You are precious to God. 1 Peter 1:19-21Explanation:
i. Foundation of the world, Father, son, Holy Spirit
1. Father initiated, Son took the punishment, HS opened our eyes.
ii. “for the sake of you, who are believers in God.
1. Not for the rest of the world – only His elect.
2. believers in God Romans 10:9
iii. raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory
1. just like He will for you.
2. He was dead, you were dead.
3. We cannot revive ourselves.
4. Glory due God to Christ.
iv. “for the sake of you, who are believers in God.
v. God has paid everything for you.
Illustration: Manzanita bush.Argumentation:Contemporary world:
i. People turn to Christ of their own volition.
ii. God is too nice and loving to require a sacrifice. If God is so loving, He couldn’t do this to His son.
iii. Sinful man did it, but it was still a part of God’s plan. Father, Son and Holy Spirit conceived and implemented the plan.
Application: The HS compels us ever so gently
i. Opens our eyes to our sin
ii. Opens our understanding of the gravity of that sin
iii. Opens our understanding of the mighty, thrice holy, frightening nature of a just God
iv. Opens our eyes to the jeopardy we are in.
v. Directs us to the Saviour.
Exhortation: If you are a Christian, you get this. If not, you need to compare your present and past experience to what the Bible is saying. God is calling you – He extends the call to everyone. Look what He did to save His people. Repent of your terrible sin and turn to Christ. Third Point: Right response to God’s blessing. 1 Peter 1:22-25Explanation:
i. As obedient children you have obeyed
ii. Purified your souls
1. repented/turned to Christ
2. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Jas 4:8
iii. love one another
1. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
2. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Jn 13:34–35). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
3. The word of God is the seed of your rebirth and it is eternally permanent
4. On this earth, we are like the grass and the flower – we thrive physically for at time, and then our bodies whither away and we die. But we will live eternally because the basis of our rebirth is eternal.
5. This is the word that was preached to you… (and you heeded)
a. Romans 3:3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 10:9-13
b. you are chosen
c. you will suffer
d. you are redeemed
e. you will be glorified
f. Apostles and prophets preached the same doctrine, throughout history.
Illustration: We live in a world that is deceptively dangerous, like living in a fortified area with hostiles all around. It appears peaceful and harmless outside, but at any moment we are subject to attack and we don’t know where it will come from. This is why followers of Christ need to love one another and be loyal to one another. The saddest thing is when attacks come from within the church. This is why church discipline is important. Argumentation:
i. Christians are like a cult or a sect
ii. We must be open to all (regardless of their loyalties)
i. We need to strive to be safe from the enemy outside, but we also must be concerned about the enemy within.
ii. Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.
Exhortation: We must be tough, resilient, vulnerable, just like our Lord. Conclusions:Lessons for Christians
i. Privileged and blessed to call God our Father, not everyone can do that. We are not all God’s children.
ii. When we are feeling self-righteous, we need to remember what our sin has cost us and cost the Lord.
i. This is the Gospel that was preached to you.
ii. It can be good news or bad news.
1. Bad news – eternity under God’s wrath
2. Good news – eternity in heaven with God/each other.
3. Romans 10:9-13that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
iii. Let today be your day of salvation and assurance in Christ.
 Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 2424). Peabody: Hendrickson.
 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Jas 4:8). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.
 New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. (1995). (Mt 10:16). La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.