1 Peter (Program #27) – The Mighty Hand of God and Its Goal (2)
1 Peter is a book written with a specific view to God’s governmental dealing with His people. It also lays out very clearly as God’s people we should expect sufferings and persecution from time to time in our Christian life.
But Peter did not just leave us with a sober realization that God will measure to us sufferings and trying circumstances in order to discipline us. Actually the book opens with and concludes with grace. In fact all throughout the book Peter encourages the believers with grace, not a superficial religious expression but marvelous expressions that convey to us four divine acts of grace to be our supply, our strength and our empowering, to be kept in perfect peace regardless of the outward situation we are faced with.
1 Peter (Program #26) – The Mighty Hand of God and Its Goal (1)
The apostle Peter says “to gird yourself with humility toward one another because God resist the proud.” Then he says “to be humble under the mighty hand of God.” Well, humility is a striking virtue in a Christian and genuine humility bears an unmistakable fragrance, a sweet aroma of Christ being expressed in a person’s living. False, religious humility also carries an identifiable fragrance as well, but not one that attracts and drives man to it. Of course the greatest humility in the universe is that of the Lord Jesus Himself who humble Himself for our benefits, putting off His own glory and even becoming a slave for us. God’s desire today is not for us to try to imitate such humility but rather to submit ourselves to His mighty hands, receiving Him not only as our Savior from sin but even as our humility.
1 Peter (Program #25) – The Elders’ Shepherding and Its Reward (2)
We all know that Peter was first a disciple of the Lord Jesus. A disciple is a follower, a learner. Then Peter received the commission from the Lord and became chief among the apostles. An apostle in the New Testament is a sent one. It’s in this capacity that Peter is most often referred to. But in addition to being a disciple and an apostle, Peter was also an elder of the church in Jerusalem. It is in this status as an elder that Peter writes to the other elders in his first epistle.
Elders are the overseers of the church and as Paul also tells us, these are the leading ones who has been charged by the Lord with a solemn and sober responsibility to care for His most precious possessions, that is His people, the flock of God. It’s in this charge that Peter brings the attention of all the elders past, present and future that their responsibility must extend even to the risk of their own lives.
1 Peter (Program #24) – The Elders’ Shepherding and Its Reward (1)
Peter, we all know was one of the original disciples of the Lord Jesus. He also became an apostle and was very much used by the Lord to bring the church into being in both the Jewish world and the gentile world. But in addition, he was the elder in Jerusalem. It was on this basis that he wrote personally to all the elders in various churches in chapter 5 of his first epistle. His words of exhortation surely were helpful in instructing the elders of various matters concerning how to govern the church. But if you consider his own life and experience, they are also words of tremendous inspiration as well.
1 Peter (Program #23) -Christian Life and Its Sufferings (11)
1 Peter 4:17 say “For it is time for the judgment to begin from the house of God.” If first from us, what would be the end of those who disobey the gospel of God? The judgment spoken of in this verse surely cannot be the judgment for eternal perdition reserved for those who disobey the gospel. What then does the judgment of the believers spoken of in the New Testament refer to? We will explore this and the big topic of God’s depositional judgment in our life study of 1 Peter.
1 Peter (Program #22) -Christian Life and Its Sufferings (10)
As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have received as part of our full salvation, an escape from the eternal perdition that awaits the disobedient and rebellious. But many believers mistakenly take this to mean that Christians face no manner of judgment at all from the righteous and holy God. Regardless of how popular such a thought might be, the Bible does just not support it. Take for example Peter’s word in his first epistle in chapter 4. In verse 12 he says “Beloved do not think that the fiery ordeal among you coming to you for a trial, is strange.” Then in verse 17 he adds “For it is time for the judgment to begin from the house of God;“ These verses made very clear that our righteous and loving Father does judge, discipline and purify His children will never putting our eternal destiny in jeopardy.
1 Peter (Program #21) -Christian Life and Its Sufferings (9)
The Old Testament record is one that includes many accounts of God’s judgment. He not only judge rebellious and evil persons but even cities were condemned and judged by God. Today many people believe that the time of God’s judging has passed and that is New Testament believers we need to have no fear of God. But this kind of thinking reflects not only an inadequate understanding of the truth of the Scripture but also a totally inaccurate one as well. In fact God is still judging. But what is striking to know and most often overlooked in this age of comforting words is that His judgment in this age begins with His own household.
1 Peter (Program #20) -Christian Life and Its Sufferings (8)
1 Peter 4:1-2 say “Since Christ therefore has suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same mind (because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin), no longer to live the rest of the time in the flesh in the lusts of men, but in the will of God.“
1 Peter (Program #19) -Christian Life and Its Sufferings (7)
The apostle Peter said that the water of baptism saves us and he referenced the picture in the Old Testament of Noah’s family being saved in the Ark from the judging water and separated from the condemned world of that time through the water of the flood.