Faithlife Sermons

2020-06-24 1 Pet 3.13-14

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1 Peter 3:13–14 CSB
13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated,

I. Let’s define being devoted to good.

1 Peter 3:13 CSB
13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good?

A. To understand the good Peter is calling us to we must look at context.

1 Peter 3:13 CSB
13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good?
Illus: Context always matters with scripture because we can take one verse, interpret it in a way that fits our agenda all the while completely divorcing it from the way God wrote it.
So we can take a verse that says “Who will harm you if you are devoted to good?”
We know the “good” we stand for.
You consider that the political platform you stand for is importantly good.
You consider that standing for the morals of scripture is essential.
You consider that standing against the rising secular tide is non negotiable.
I grew up in a generation that taught me to take a stand. It taught me that living for Jesus should be done radically.
My generation was taught that faith should be lived out loud.
I don’t think many can accuse Christians of being quiet about what we believe in. We are loud, proud, and bold about what we believe.
The problem is, being devoted to good in this passage is not about what you believe, but instead how you practice what you believe.
Look at the context...
1 Peter 3:8–9 CSB
8 Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, 9 not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing.

B. Peter is advocating for a different way of standing up for Jesus.

1 Peter 3:13 CSB
13 Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good?
1 Peter is written to a church living in a pagan, secular world under a pagan secular government.
The church had no freedoms, in fact they were persecuted to the point that Peter needed to remind the people that this earth was not their home.
To people who saw moral depravity around them and a government that abused them, peter had the audacity to tell them to submit to the government and honor the emperor.
If were were there I can imagine us arguing back to peter, “But peter, how will our voices be heard! How can we advocate to good if we submit to and honor those who do evil.”
The direction of the book though teaches that the way you respond to others gives you the opportunity to explain how God has worked in your life.
When you live in a post christian world, submitting to the government, honoring the emperor, loving others, building others up, while they scream and persecute you, the gospel takes on life. Your God honoring response gives you the chance to give them the gospel.
It is the gospel which is God’s power to change people’s heart and lives. It is the gospel which altars nations.
Perhaps the reason we have seen so little gospel power in our nation is that we don’t display and stand for it in the way God designed.
God never designed the world to be transformed to bitter yelling. He designed the world to be transformed through men and women sacrificing themselves as their savior did.
1 Peter 2:11–17 CSB
11 Dear friends, I urge you as strangers and exiles to abstain from sinful desires that wage war against the soul. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that when they slander you as evildoers, they will observe your good works and will glorify God on the day he visits. 13 Submit to every human authority because of the Lord, whether to the emperor as the supreme authority 14 or to governors as those sent out by him to punish those who do what is evil and to praise those who do what is good. 15 For it is God’s will that you silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16 Submit as free people, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but as God’s slaves. 17 Honor everyone. Love the brothers and sisters. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

II. How are you blessed when you suffer?

1 Peter 3:14 CSB
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated,

A. Your hope should not rest in the way people treat you.

1 Peter 3:14 CSB
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated,
Illus: Notice, scripture in this passage affirms that you may face persecution even if you live out the self sacrificing life God has called you to.
Does’t the bible say all who desire to live Godly in christ Jesus will be persecuted?
There is an assumption that sinful people will treat you sinfully .
That said, far too often Christians have acted rashly, spoken recklessly, and purposely offended others. In response to our “boldness” people have responded in anger. At that momet we say, look, I’m being persecuted for christ.
No, your’e not being persecuted for Christ. You have been a jerk and have gotten the response you deserve.
When the bible talks about persecution it means that when you “Honor everyone, love the brothers and sisters, fear God and honor the emperor”, “all of you are like-minded and sympathetic, loving one another, and are compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing” and then face the sinful acts of people, then it is persecution.
Our passage says “even if you should suffer for righteousness”. It means that you suffer not just for believing the right things, but for living the right things out.
It is time we stopped acting like we are persecuted for our faith when we face the world’s natural reaction to our own sinful screaming.
Instead, in genuine persecution a believer finds joy, life, and identity in christ when they suffer for doing good.
1 Peter 4:12–16 CSB
12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you, as if something unusual were happening to you. 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name.

B. Our eternal citizenship defines how we endure our earthly citizenship.

1 Peter 3:14 CSB
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated,
Illus: How are we blessed when we suffer… espesially is we don’t comback with a retory, but instead endure suffering?
The answer is simple, we endure because we know suffering is temporary and glory is eternal.
We endure because we know that God is soverign over the things we constantly worry about.
We endure because we know that God is just and not one evil act is overlooked.
We endure because by faith we trust God.
We endure because Jesus endured. When he should have given every sinneer what they deserved, he embraced the pain.
When we feel we need to defend ourselves, fight back, or stand up for ourselves, we are saying we deserve rights Jesus himself did not demand.
Look at the hope we stand on…
1 Peter 1:3–7 CSB
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. 5 You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials 7 so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

III. Do not fear, do not be intimidated, BUT respond righteously.

1 Peter 3:14 CSB
14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear them or be intimidated,

A. The way we respond in a broken world should be the starting point of evangelism.

Illus: I want to take a peak at what’s next. The question is, if we are not in fear or intimidated, what should we do…
1 Peter 3:15–17 CSB
15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 Yet do this with gentleness and reverence, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
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