Date: 17 December, 2017
Text: I Peter 3:16-4:6
Title: Die to Live
ill. Speaking with 17 year old. It's going to be tough if you want to come to church and find out about God. Your friends are going to make fun of you. THERE IS A SUFFERING THAT COMES FROM IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST.
However, Jesus died as a thief on a cross for our sin. The least we can do is live our lives for Him.
We need to suffer (by identification) with Christ. Are you willing to suffer for Jesus?
It is inescapable if we identify with Jesus we will suffer.
2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
OUR TEXT - 1 Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
notice: Human nature does not like injustice. We will say things like, "I was wronged. That isn't fair. I've got my rights...."
app. But, we HAVE TO SET THAT ASIDE and be prepared to suffer wrongly "falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ" IF WE ARE GOING TO FOLLOW AFTER JESUS.
WE NEED TO SUFFER (BY IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST). Why should we suffer?
I. Suffer because if you are suffering for Jesus it pleases God.
17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
exp. Wrong doing - sin - brings suffering - we understand that.
ill. Sad Christmas for the families of the 15/16 year olds who arsoned the school buildling in Loanhead. They made a big mistake which hopefully will be a turning point in their lives. They made a sinful decision to destroy property and raise a fire and it has hurt them.
ill. Speaking with a woman who said her son-in-law found his brother hanging. Suicide is a sinful decision which has hurt a family.
ill. Police report at council meeting - drunken 13 year old, 2 drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol..... bad decisions have hurt them and their family.
note: Wrong doing - you expect to suffer - BUT IT IS HARD WHEN YOU DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND YOU SUFFER.
exp. The only crime (which is not a crime) committed by those to whom Peter is writing is that they love Jesus Christ and chose to obey Him.
ill. 16 year old Margaret Wilson in the Solway Firth, chained to a stake at low tide - Older Margaret McLachlan, chained further out where she would die first. The younger Margaret died because she refused to swear an oath declaring James VII to be the head of the church.
Col 1:18 And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
exp. Why would God allow a young lady to die for the faith? Many believers and unbelievers have been deeply impacted by the obedient suffering of a young lady who would obey Jesus at any cost. God was faithful to her.
1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
app. It is a privilige when God so ordains that we suffer for the cause of Christ. (Peter and John) Act 5:41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.
II. Suffer because Jesus suffered.
ill. When someone has done something very nice for you, what do you desire to do? Something nice for them or for somebody else.
exp. If you really understand what Jesus suffered for you, wouldn't you want the privilige of suffering for Him.
ill. Simon - honored to carry the cross for our Lord up to Golgotha. Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea - honored to carry his body down from the cross.
A. He suffered because of our sin.
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins,
ill. Jesus wasn't killed because of Jewish envy or Satan's power. Jesus died because of sin.
ill. Close to 40 percent of people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Praise God some of those will not succomb to their cancer. Cancer is a great killer.
note: The greatest killer ever - is SIN. It is worse than cancer - cancer kills the physical body - sin kills the eternal soul.
question: What if to provide a cure for cancer - someone had to sacrifice their cancerless son and allow them to die in an agonizing way to provide the remedy? Would you give the cure?
app. Sin is so bad that to provide a remedy - THE EVERLASTING FATHER HAD TO GIVE THE ETERNAL SON OF GOD TO DIE. Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
B. He suffered in our place.
the just for the unjust,
exp. Just means (righteous - obedient) unjust means (unrighteous/ disobedient)
ill. As Jesus died He prayed a famous prayer. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." They were ignorantly putting to death the Son of God.
note: Every person around the cross ought to have been on that cross except Jesus.
ill. Listening to Pastor Jackson - Soldier who lost an arm in conflict. Chapelain - "Son, I'm sorry you lost an arm." He said, "Sir, I didn't lose an arm. I gave my arm. A grenade was thrown into our area, I jumped on it to save others.
app. Jesus jumped on the cross to save us from the punishment for our sin - THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST.
C. He suffered so that we could live with God.
that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
exp. Sin separates wicked man from a holy God. GOD IS COMPLETELY SEPARATE FROM SIN. To dwell with him you must be righteous.
ill. Leperosy - picture of sin in the OT. If you had leperosy, you were unclean and could no longer be inside the camp. No more time with family and friends - you were an outcast.
app. Sin has made man an outcast from Heaven and took Him away from God's presence. You are unclean. Jesus suffered and died to provide the cleansing agent (His blood) so that we can walk again with God.
D. He suffered to set the captive free.
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
exp. There are differing ideas as to what this means. I believe in the context it is speaking about "spiritually dead" and "spiritually imprisoned." Regardless of whether I'm correct - that is Biblical.
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
ill. We claimed that verse in college - went to two prisons. Lawrence county and Anderson County detention centres. I saw the "chains" that bound these men in prison as we walked through security doors and coridors that opened and locked behind us. (Spoke through the food tray slot with men in solitary.)
exp. There is bondage far worse than prison walls and doors. It is the bondage of men's sin that will hold them in hell for all eternity.
app. Jesus suffered to set us free.
final app - Since Jesus suffered for our sin, in our place, to bring us to God, to set us free - SHOULDN'T WE BE WILLING TO SUFFER BY IDENTIFICATION WITH HIM?
III. Suffer because others need your witness.
ill. The young man I to whom I spoke - (Dale) I told him that Jesus did so much for us that we should do as much for Him - AND THAT HIS FRIENDS HAVE SOULS AND THEY ARE GOING TO HELL - IF YOU REALLY CARE FOR THEM YOU ENCOURAGE THEM TO ALSO TURN AND FOLLOW AFTER GOD.
A. OTHERS need to realize the mercy of God.
20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing,
exp. We're studying the Flood on Thursday nights just now - 100 years a preacher preached (while suffering through identification with Jesus) in God's mercy to those who were wicked.
question: If Noah had been unwilling to identify with God (OT) what witness would the world have of the TRUTH OF GOD? Should he have stopped preaching because the suffering was more than he was willing to give for those outside of God's mercy?
App. What amount of suffering is more than we should give for the 1,000's of people who are still in their sin and standing against a Holy God?
B. OTHERS need to know that judgment is coming.
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
exp. The saddest truth about the flood is that despite 100 years of preaching the only people who go on the boat were inside the immediate family of Noah. BUT THE FLOOD WOULD COME DESPITE THEIR UNBELIEF.
ill. Witnessing to a young woman on Wednesday - I don't care. It doesn't bother me. I don't believe. I SAID TO HER - NONE OF THAT CHANGES ANYTHING. If you are right, I go in the grave. If the Bible is right, you go to Hell. She said, I'm on my way to Hell then and I'll party there.
app. The judgment of those who refuse to obey God is coming and the OTHERS need to be warned. Mat 25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
final app - Can't you suffer by identification with Christ for the sake of OTHERS?
IV. Suffer because it is worth it to be right with God.
exp. He is going to speak about baptism in the following verses in the context of suffering (because it brings one into CLEAR IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST.)
ill. Witnessing to a man this week. He called me - John the Baptist and we joked about Ben the Baptist. And I told him that we were having a baptismal service this Sunday and a young woman was being baptized. He made a common mistake as he said, "Better late than never." (Pray for ______________ to visit our church I really enjoyed speaking with him.)
ill. When Pentecost took place it was mostly adults being baptized - certainly no babies were put under the water. (SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES - INFANT BAPTISM IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND - NOR IS SPRINKLING. IT IS ALWAYS BELIEVER'S BAPTISM BY IMMERSION.)
Their identification with Christ in that day - cost them their business, their life, their health, their family....
app. It is no wonder that speaking about dying to self and suffering for Jesus - the Apostle Peter now includes baptism.
A. The inward reality becomes an outward testimony.
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us ....
exp. Noah didn't become righteous when he got on the ark. He was righteous and He found grace in the eyes of the Lord. IT WAS AFTER THIS HE WAS GIVEN INSTRUCTION THAT WOULD MAKE HIM A PUBLIC TESTIMONY TO THE WHOLE COMMUNITY.
ill. Before building the Ark the Bible says....
Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
exp. Salvation in the OT was the same as the new in that the person was given righteousness by God based on their faith in God. In the NT our faith is specifically in the death and resurrection of Jesus who died for our sin. NOAH WAS ALREADY "SAVED."
THEN GOD SAID, 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of:
App. Because of what Noah had inside - Noah had the opportunity in obedience to God to exhibit that before his whole community.
B. The outward testimony is an act of obedience toward God.
(not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,)
note: Building the boat was not earning salvation or righteousness - it was an act of obedience to God that was humbling, separated him from the world around him, and led through the water. (LIKE BAPTISM)
exp. Baptism does not put away the filth of sin. It is an act of obedience (the answer of a good conscience toward God.) It is humbling to publicly confess that by obeying God in going through the waters of baptism.
ill. Noah obeyed God (preacher of righteousness.)
Build a boat.
Genesis 6:22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
Get the animals.
Genesis 6:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
exp. Can you imagine the pressure put on Noah by his extended family? Noah - you have made us the laughing stock of the whole community. They say that you are daft. Stop being an embarrassment to us or we will distance ourself from you.
app. Noah decided to please God instead of others. Many a person has struggled with believer's baptism by immersion because of the cost in suffering by identification with Jesus.
C. The outward testimony will not be forgotten by the Highest power in eternity.
exp. Should I really care today what somebody who unless they repent will be in Hell for all eternity thinks or should I care about what God in Heaven thinks?
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
1. The One, who lives, will not forget that you identified with Him.
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:
exp. Jesus after suffering for our sin - rose from the dead.
song: Death could not keep it's prey, Jesus my Saviour, He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord, Up from the grave He arose.
app. He lives and He is fully aware of any suffering we face because of our obedience.
2. He has been given all authority in Heaven.
22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.
exp. This morning we are talking about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Not only will he reward those who suffer for Him, he will vindicate them as well.
ill. The tribulation martyrs in Heaven....
Rev 6:10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
app. Who do you want to please today? Someone who will sadly perish in the fires of Hell or the Righteous Son of God who will reign over you for all eternity?
IV. Suffer because it will change your life.
ill. Wrote and article for the Advertizer in Feb - Views from the Pews. "popular christianity" Biblical Christianity expects to be treated as Jesus was treated (suffering.)
exp. There is no better way to be like Jesus than to enter into His suffering (not by any weird or foolish religious ritual) but simply by believing the Bible and obeying it.
A. It will change your activity.
exp. Suffering changes a sinner into a saint.
1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
exp. If you stand for Jesus you won't fall for Satan.
ill. If I've invested incredible amounts of time, effort into a football club, I'm not going to cheer for the other side.
app. When you decide to take a stand for Jesus (and suffer) it changes your life - from a sinner into a saint.
B. It will change your purpose.
exp. Suffering makes men pleasers God pleasers.
2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
ill. Sam - town drunk became the preacher at the church.
exp. Before he got saved, Sam's life was about pleasing himself. After salvation and suffering (identification) Sam's life was about pleasing God.
app. If your life is still about the lust of the flesh, PERHAPS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER IF YOU HAVE EVER REALLY IDENTIFIED WITH JESUS - WHO'S SIDE ARE YOU ON. YOUR PURPOSE WILL TELL YOU.
C. It will change your lifestyle.
exp. Suffering changes a life of crime to a life sublime.
3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
ill. George Minsick - his life so changed that they burned his record.
song: The things I used to do, I don't do them anymore. The things I used to say, I don't say them anymore....
app. What has changed in your life since salvation? God's Word says that those who suffer (by identification with Jesus) have a lifestyle change.
D. It will change your testimony.
exp. Suffering takes you from world number 1 in popularity to world number 1 in inferiority.
4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
have you noticed - people are shocked if you tell them that you don't drink and that often they mock that position.
ill. Peter - upset that some girl friend of his got saved. She stopped drinking and telling filthy stories. That made him upset. I left praising God for her testimony.
app. Do you have a different testimony since you've been saved? Those who suffer do.
Is suffering for Jesus too big a sacrifice for you to make? I'm glad that our Lord didn't hold back in suffering for us.
1.) Is that suffering (identification with Christ) keeping you from accepting Him into your heart?
2.) Is that suffering keeping you from following him in Believer's baptism?
3.) Is that suffering keeping you from Holy living?
We ought to suffer if it be God's will - It is worth it - IT PLEASES HIM.
We ought to suffer - It is worth it for Jesus who suffered for us.
We ought to suffer - it is worth it for others.
We ought to suffer - it is worth it to be right with God.
We ought to suffer - it is worth it to change our life.