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Easter Sunday  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  49:43
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Enduring Suffering

In my experience, there are times when I read the bible that my heart will be drawn to particular characters more than others. It usually correlates with what season of life God has brought me. When life is difficult, like many of you, I am often drawn to Job.
Job was a righteous man who loved God and loved his neighbor. The bible says, “He was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God and turned away from evil.” He was very wealthy, both monetarily and with his family. In Job 1:3, it says, “His estate included 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very large number of servants. Job was the greatest man among all the people of the east.” In our day Job would be considered a “one percenter”. Then one day his life be changed forever.
He woke up one day and was going about his business as normal. At some point, he is confronted with one of his servants telling him he has been robbed. Sabeans swooped down, killed all of his servants but one, and stole all of his donkeys. Seconds later, just as this servant was done speaking, another showed up an said that lightening struck a field and burned up all his sheep and servants but one. Then just as he was done speaking another showed up and said Chaldeans raided all of his camels and also killed the servants but one. And finally, as he was done speaking, another servant came running in to tell him that a powerful wind struck that house where all of his children were having a banquet. There all dead. To top it off, a short time later, Job is stricken with a terrible skin disease that causes boils to form all over his body, from the sole of his feet to the top of his head (Job 2:6-8). To say the least, Job was bombarded with suffering.
The bible says, “in all this Job did not sin” (Job 1:22; 2:10). That is, he never lost his faith. he never turned against God. He kept his hope. In Job’s suffering, we learn that Satan wanted to test Job to show that Job would deny God under hardship. God put limitations on how far Satan could go, but Satan brought everything he could against Job, and it hurt. Peter describes Satan as a Lion that is prowling around looking for anyone he can devour (1 Peter 5:8).
In peter’s context, he is writing to a group o Gentile Christians in Modern day Turkey who are being persecuted by a pagan Roman culture. Because they serve a different King (Jesus), and not the Emperor, they are being handed over by their friends and family to Roman officials. These Christians were losing their wealth, like Job, their health, like Job, and their family, like Job.
Jesus told his disciples, and he tells us as well, in this life you will suffer. The world hated Me, it will hate you. Paul reminds believers that in this life there will be trials and tribulations. God never promises us that we will not have suffering. He does promise that we will be able to endure it, even with joy.
How does the Christian endure suffering without loosing your joy?
Peter wrote his letter in part to remind Christians that the resurrection of Jesus gives us full assurance that God has empowered us to live faithfully now and that He will keep His promise to do good to us in the future.
The resurrection of Christ gives us an empowered hope to live faithfully until he returns.
How does Peter unfold this truth in
1 Peter 1:3?
3 movements

God caused us to be born again.

What does it mean that God caused us to be born again? The term Peter uses is ἀναγεννήσας. It means to beget again, cause to be born again. Peter sheds a little more light on the idea in 1 Peter 1:23 when he says, “since you have been born again —not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God.” The word “seed” points us to the role of the Father producing children. Being born again is an act of God. It is God’s directive and initiative to produce children. How does he do it?
Jesus speaks of being born again when he speaks to Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus tells Nicodemus,
John 3:3 HCSB
Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:5–7 HCSB
Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again.
Jesus is referring to Ezekiel 36:25-27.
Ezekiel 36:25-27
Ezekiel 36:25–27 HCSB
I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.
Jesus is saying that the only one who can wash the heart clean and give it life is God. God regenerates the heart, that is he gives it life. Paul describes our hearts in
Ephesians 2:1
Ephesians 2:1 HCSB
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins
Dead meaning we have no moral ability to please God on our own, just like a corpse has no ability to do anything for you. He goes on to say
Ephesians 2:4-5
Ephesians 2:4–5 HCSB
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
God is the one who causes us to be born again. He is the one who gives spiritual life to the dead heart. The heart can only confess Jesus Christ as Lord if the Holy Spirit has given it life.
1 Corinthians 12:3
1 Corinthians 12:3 HCSB
Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
How does God capture the heart? He does so by his word.
1 Peter 1:23 HCSB
since you have been born again —not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God.
Peter says you have been born again through the enduring word of God. The word of God is the gospel message that is preached to your heart. Paul says
Romans 10:14 HCSB
But how can they call on Him they have not believed in? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher?
The preacher proclaims the good news of Jesus Christ. That is, God has sent His Son to die on the cross in place of sinners like you and me. And he offers this sacrifice on your behalf, to make peace between you and God. If you will repent of your sin, put your faith in Jesus’s death on the cross and believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess with your mouth that He is Lord, you will be saved. You ask for God’s forgiveness. He gives it to you in Christ. You ask God to come into you heart and live forever. He gives you His Spirit to dwell with you forever.
If your heart is drawn to the message of the gospel, it is because God is drawing you to himself. If you are experiencing repentance and faith and love for Christ, it is because God has given your heart life. No one takes credit for being born. It is something that just happens to us. Just like we cannot take credit for being physically born on this earth, so we cannot take credit for being spiritually born. It is God’s initiative to produce life.
Why did he do this? Purely out of His mercy. That is the motive Peter exposes in verse 3. God caused us to be born again from his mercy. Mercy has to do with kindness and compassion; it is often spoken of in the context of God’s not punishing us as our sins deserve.
1 Timothy 1:13 HCSB
one who was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an arrogant man. But I received mercy because I acted out of ignorance in unbelief.
God is merciful. and Peter says that God desires none to perish (2 Peter 3:9). But that does not mean that you are not without responsibility. You must respond by faith. You must make the decision to put your trust in Christ. I beg you this morning to call out to Him. he will save you and give you a Living Hope.

God gave us a Living Hope.

Worldly Hope vs Living Hope
Worldly Hope is looking forward to a desired outcome with uncertainty.
The very essence of hope is rooted in uncertainty. BEcasue we cannot contro the future nor predict the outcome of decision making, we are left with uncertainty. Hope is looking forward to a desired outcome not realy knowing if it will come to pass. It is uncertain.
Illustrate: I’m a Cubs fan. For 108 years we would say, “I hope the Cubs win the World Series this year.” We set out at the begining of the season with a desired outcome; win the World Series. For 108 years, after every season season our hope was dashed and we said, “Well, there is always next year.” Our hope was that the Cubs would get it done, however, there was always lots of uncertainty.
Why is there so much uncertainty with worldly hope?
1 John 2:15-17
1 John 2:15–17 HCSB
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.
Nothing remains in this world. Everything passes away, and in John’s context, He is saying that one day the worldly system that is cursed by sin will one day be no more. That is why Peter reminds us that we do not have a worldly hope. We have a living hope.
The bible defines hope differently. The bible says that hope is being fully assured of a future reality that is absolutely certain. Consider
1 Peter 1:13
1 Peter 1:13 HCSB
Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be serious and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Peter is saying you are to put your confidence completely (as if it was certain) on the grace that God is going to give you when Jesus returns. Jesus returning is a guaranteed future reality. Our permanent citizenship in heaven is a future reality. The grace we have now and will have when the judgment of the world comes is a future reality. We are filled with hope because in Christ we will be given blessing and honor, not judgment and condemnation.
Hebrews 6:11 ESV
And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,

hope, in the New Testament sense, as full assurance, or strong confidence that God is going to do good to us in the future.

Living Hope brings the power of the resurrection into our lives today. Living hope has its roots in a living faith. The bible speaks of living by faith. That is living by a faith that is truly alive. I like the way Caitlin Williams describes living faith.
She says, “ Living Faith is dynamic, active, growing, good fruit-producing, full of love, full of conviction, and full of repentance.” Living faith is going to demonstrate its life in bearing fruit. Jesus told his disciples
John 15:8 HCSB
My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples.
James also says that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Dead faith is unproductive and fruitless, without hope and without God in this world.
The word “living” in Peter’s use means to be life-productive, to offer life. The same word in this same sense is used in Hebrews 4:12 when it says the “word of God is living and effective.” Our hope is filled with effective life producing power. Living hope has the power to change lives today. It is able to empower people t live boldly in the face of hardship.

God secured our hope with the resurrection of Jesus.

You will notice the preposition “through” in verse 3. God caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection. The resurrection is the ground, or the “because” of our living hope. We are born again because of the resurrection. We have a living hope because of the resurrection. The resurrection is the thread that weaves through our salvation and our hope that binds them together and keeps them from unraveling. If Jesus did not overcome the grave, Paul says we are fools.
1 Corinthians 15:12–19 HCSB
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ—whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone.
Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 15:32, “If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” There is no hope if Christ is not raised from the dead. Without the resurrection, there is no hope because there is no salvation or future reward. But Paul reminds us that Christ did rise
1 Corinthians 15:20–28 HCSB
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; afterward, at His coming, those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when He abolishes all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He puts all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy to be abolished is death. For God has put everything under His feet. But when it says “everything” is put under Him, it is obvious that He who puts everything under Him is the exception. And when everything is subject to Christ, then the Son Himself will also be subject to the One who subjected everything to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Our confidence is not based on some ideology or political philosophy or economic policy. It is grounded and secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

How does the resurrection secure our hope?

The resurrection ensures our new birth.
Peter connects Jesus’ resurrection with our new birth in 1 Peter 1:3. When Jesus rose from the dead, as Wayne Grudem puts it, “he had a new quality of life, a “resurrection life” in a human body and human spirit that were perfectly suited for fellowship and obedience to God forever. In his resurrection, Jesus earned for us a new life just like his. We do not receive all of that new “resurrection life” when we become Christians, for our bodies remain as they were, still subject to weakness, aging, and death. But in our spirits we are made alive with new resurrection power.” That is what Paul was getting at in Ephesians 1:19-20, when he speaks of the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is within us, and when he says in Ephesians 2:4, that God made us alive in Christ. The power of the resurrection ensures our new birth.
The resurrection ensures our justification.
Romans 4:25 HCSB
He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
Justification speaks of us receiving a deceleration of not guilty before a righteous God. To be justified is to be made right with God, having not sin or guilt. Jesus went to the cross to be the perfect sacrifice for our sin. The bible says without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sins. For life is in the blood. At the cross Christ becomes our substitute, if we accept His gift. he exchanges his righteousness for our sin. The only way he can do this is if the Father approves of Jesus’s sacrificial death. The resurrection proves that God without hesitation approves God delighted in Christ’s work of suffering and dying for our sins. When God raised him from the dead, he said, “I am satisfied with Christ's work to pay the penalty of sin, and everyone who accepts his gift, I will be satisfied with them as well.”
Ephesians 2:6 HCSB
Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens,
Wayne Grudem once again points out, “ by virtue of our union with Christ, God’s declaration of approval of Christ is also his declaration of approval of us. When the Father in essence said to Christ, “All the penalty for sins has been paid and I find you not guilty but righteous in my sight,” he was thereby making the declaration that would also apply to us once we trusted in Christ for salvation. In this way Christ’s resurrection also gave final proof that he had earned our justification.”
The resurrection secured our physical resurrection.
The bible teaches that those who are in Christ will be raised from the dead and given new bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:14 HCSB
God raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.
2 Corinthians 4:14 HCSB
We know that the One who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and present us with you.
The most extensive look at our resurrection is found in 1 Corinthians 15:12-58. Paul calls Christ the “first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” 1 Corinthians 15:20. He i using an agricultural metaphor to explain that Jesus’ resurrection was the first of the harvest of many resurrections. What he means is that the way Christ was raised from the dead and was given a new body that is able to live forever in heaven, is the same way our bodies will be.
The resurrection secured your inheritance.
Peter says in 1 Peter 1:4, that those who are in Christ have an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, being kept by God for us in heaven. In the Old testament, the promise land was the inheritance God promised. It was a physical place with the benefits of a benevolent God. Peter understood this and applies the same idea in verse 4. The exception is that it is not only in Israel, it is a physical new heaven and new earth.
2 Peter 3:13 HCSB
But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.
Revelation 21:1–5 HCSB
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed. I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away. Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” He also said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”
God will give us His kingdom. he is the one keeping it for us, and therefore it is absolutely certain we will inherit it.
The resurrection empowers us to live boldly today.
Because Jesus was resurrected, You have the power to live boldly, confidently, faithfully today. After Jesus was raised from the dead he promised his disciples you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends[b] of the earth (Acts 1:8).” When Jesus ascended into heaven, he fulfilled that promise at Pentecost ten days later. every person who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. They will also receive the Holy Spirit to empower them to testify of Jesus.
Jesus do not leave you as orphans in this world. He came to live inside His people. It is through His power we can testify, even through tears, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but blessed be His name (Job 1:21).
That is Jobs testimony after the catastrophe he experienced in losing everything. Do you know what sustained him in his suffering? The resurrection.
Job 19:25–27 HCSB
But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last. Even after my skin has been destroyed, yet I will see God in my flesh. I will see Him myself; my eyes will look at Him, and not as a stranger. My heart longs within me.
The resurrection of Christ gives us an empowered hope to live faithfully until he returns.
God caused us to be born again, raising our souls to life by the same power he raised Jesus from the dead. He has given us a full pardon for our sin, the promise of new life today and in the future, where we will live in perfect harmony with him and each other. He promises us new resurrected bodies that will never fee the sting of death, the fear of disease, nor the pain of grief. Our bodies will be suited for heaven to work, play and live in a new creation that is ours. All of this is guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus.
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