Good Stewards Of God’s Grace
I. Do not be controlled by the past (1–6)
· Verse 1-2:
· Some people will do anything to avoid pain.
· Sin loses its power when we focus on Christ and what he wants us to do.
· When our bodies are in pain our real values show clearly; and sinful pleasures seem less important.
· Verse 4: A person whose life changes at salvation may experience disapproval from old friends and family.
· You may be scorned because you refuse to participate in certain activities, but also because your priorities have changed.
· Mature Christians should help new believers resist such pressures by encouraging them to faithful to Christ.
· Verse 5: The basis for salvations is whether we believed in Jesus (Acts 16:31); but the basis for judgment is how we have lived.
· Many people in the early church had concerns about life after death.
· We should be willing to do God’s will and suffer for it if necessary.
· People who have been born again should not allow the old life to control them.
· The past has been buried, and they are new creatures in Christ.
· 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new.
· Life is too short to waste it on godless living, especially when you realize that one day we will all stand before God.
II. Be serious about the present (7–11)
· Vs. 7-9 Live today like Jesus is coming
· No matter how difficult life may be God has a job for us to do.
· It is important that we pray regularly.
· Also it is Important to reach out to those who are in need.
· Invest your time and talents where they will make an eternal difference.
· Everyone has some abilities. Find yours and use them for God.
· Our abilities should be used to help others.
· Peter here mentions speaking and helping for example.
· Paul lists these and other abilities in Romans 12:6-6; 1 Cor. 12:8-11; and Eph. 4:11.
How is God glorified when we use our abilities? When we use them as He directs, to help others, they will see Jesus in you and praise Him for the help they received. Peter reminds us of Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
III. Be prepared for the future (12–19)
· Vs. 14-16
· Again Peter brings to mind Jesus’ words, Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
· Christ will strengthen us and the Holy Spirit will comfort us.
· This does not mean that all suffering is the result of good Christian Conduct.
· Sometimes a person will grumble, “This person is picking on me because I am a Christian”, when the real reason is that the person’s unpleasant behavior is the cause of the problem.
· Peter wanted us to use it as an opportunity to witness for Christ.
· In all things, seek to glorify God.
· So what can we learn from verse 16 this morning? It is not shameful to suffer for being a Christian. Peter & John were persecuted for preaching the Gospel. How did they react, they rejoiced because such persecution was a mark Gods Approval (Acts 5:41).Don’t seek out suffering, keep on doing what’s right regardless of the suffering it might bring.
· This is not the final judgment but God’s refining discipline , Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
· Why does God allow us to sin and let it runs its course?
I believe there are 4 reasons:
1. To show us our potential for sinning.
2. To encourage us to turn form our sin and depend on Him.
3. To prepare us for even stronger temptations in the future.
4. To help us stay faithful and keep trusting on God.
God created the World, and he has faithfully ordered it and kept it since creation. Because we know that God is faithful, we can count on Him to fulfill His promises to us. If God can control the universe, surely He can see us through the trials we face.