“Why Do We Have To Suffer?”

Posted: September 7, 2016 in First Peter, Resurrection, Salvation

1 Peter 2:21-25

Had they known the extent of the suffering and sorrow they would bring on themselves and on us, Adam and Eve would probably have avoided Satan’s suggestion to eat the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3). But it appealed to her desire to be like God and know good from evil (i. e. what would bring them happiness or be detrimental to them) without having to consult with God every day. All of man’s suffering today came as a result of one act of lawlessness (Romans 5:12).

God had made it clear to Adam that if he ate the forbidden fruit, he would die two types of death: spiritual and physical (Genesis 2:17). He didn’t know what death was, having never seen or experienced it. But as soon as he and Eve ate the fruit, their garment of light was stripped from them (1 Corinthians 15:49) and they were separated from fellowship with God. They recognized that they were naked and sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). Physical death wouldn’t come for many years (Genesis 5) but their comfortable life in the Garden of Eden came to an end and they had to work hard to get their food (Genesis 3:17-19).

The penalty for sin also involves spiritual death and eternal separation from God in the lake of fire (Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:41, 46; Revelation 21:8). To make it possible for mankind not to have to go there forever, One of the members in the Godhead volunteered to add to His deity a true human nature and body (Hebrews 10:5-7). He would be born of a virgin so He wouldn’t have a sinful nature passed on to Him (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He would live a sinless life (Hebrews 4:15) and then go to the cross to die as a Substitute for all of mankind’s sins (1 Peter 3:18).  We do not believe in “limited atonement.”

His suffering at the hands of sinful men was horrific (Matthew 27:27-32). But He experienced His greatest suffering when His Father in heaven forsook Him from noon until 3 P.M. as He hung naked on the cross in our place (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46). It was during this time that God the Father laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).  We are the ones who should have been hanging there.  He was our Substitute.

Unjust suffering? It certainly was. But in addition to making it possible for us to be saved, by His suffering He set an example for us to follow when we suffer unjustly too (1 Peter 2:21). We can’t die for the sins of others as Jesus did for our sins.

“[The Apostle] Peter had seen firsthand the yoke of unjust suffering placed upon Jesus’ shoulders. He saw the rejection of society and the retaliation of the Sanhedrin. He saw Jesus betrayed by a friend and brutalized by an empire. Peter himself had denied Him. Yet in the Savior’s innocent eyes was no windswept harbor of revenge. They were placid under the storm of unjust suffering. And they offered the cool drink of forgiveness for friend and foe alike.” – Chuck Swindoll, Hope In Hurtful Times, p. 51

Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). He serves as an example of One who never compromised with His words to avoid mistreatment (John 14:6; Ephesians 4:15). He didn’t revile or threaten those who were mistreating Him but committed Himself into His Father’s care as He suffered at their hands (Luke 23:46). He did all this to take our place and die for our sins to satisfy God’s outraged holiness against our sin nature and our sins (1 John 2:2).

But His offer of salvation and eternal life would have been of no value to us had He not risen from the dead. His bodily resurrection demonstrates to us that God the Father was satisfied with His payment for our sins (Romans 4:25) and would accept us into heaven if we would place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone who died for our sins…and rose again from the dead on the third day (Acts 16:31; 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4).

There is nothing to “crow about” if we suffer for doing what is wrong or sinful (1 Peter 2:20). But if we should suffer for doing what is right, we can/should submit ourselves to God and let Him be the One who takes vengeance on evil doers (Romans 12:19).

All believers who desire to live godly lives will suffer persecution from time to time (2 Timothy 3:12). But the suffering of this life is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall follow (Romans 8:18).  Do you know the difference between suffering “for Christ” as opposed to suffering “with Christ?”  If n0t, ask about it.

The Apostle Paul was willing to suffer all things for the salvation of God’s elect (2 Timothy 2:10).  If you think you’ve suffered for Christ, consider his sufferings (2 Corinthians 11:23-33).  All whom the Father has given to the Son are going to come to Him, and anyone who comes to Him, He will never cast out (John 6:37). When that number is complete, Jesus will come back for His bride (the true Church – not the apostate Church) and take us to the home that He has been preparing for us (John 14:1-3). Will you be in that group?

Have you come to Christ for your salvation (deliverance) from hell to heaven? If not, why not come to Him right now? Now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). There are no opportunities to be saved once you’re physically dead (Hebrews 9:27).

If you need spiritual help, we’re here to assist you and to help you come to have assurance of your salvation (1 John 5:13). Don’t delay! Today could be your last day on earth.  Don’t boast about tomorrow (James 4:15; Proverbs 27:1).

We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. If this article has helped you, we’d like to hear from you. Would you share this with someone else too? To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.”

Clear Gospel: http://www.cleargospel.org/wp-content/uploads/English-Display-Pkg-2014.pdf

 

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