“Our Show & Tell Faith”

Posted: September 30, 2016 in First Peter, Lordship Salvation, Replacement Theology

1 Peter 3:13-17

As a general rule, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7). But we all know that there are times when life isn’t always fair to those who do what is right and especially those who desire to live godly lives (2 Timothy 3:12). Our response to adversity is very important because others are watching and listening to us whether it’s other human beings or spirit beings (1 Peter 1:12). We might want to take matters into our own hands and get even or we might choose to look at things from God’s perspective (Isaiah 55:8, 9). His eyes and ears are on the righteous and his face is against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:12; See Romans 12:9). Nothing escapes His notice because He is omniscient (Isaiah 46:10; Psalm 10:11; John 2:24, 25). Does this fact encourage or alarm you?

Blessed. When we suffer for doing what is right, we should consider ourselves to be uniquely blessed by God (1 Peter 3:14; See James 1:2). Every true Christian will suffer to some degree with Jesus. Therefore, we also will be glorified and reign with Him (Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6). In comparison with other believers around the world, most of us in our country have suffered very little for Christ. But some early Christians rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for His name (Acts 5:41; 9:16). The “Martyr’s Crown” is given to believers who die physically for the cause of Christ and for those who resist temptations up to the point to death if necessary (Revelation 2:10; James 1:12).

Unafraid. We don’t need to be afraid or troubled by those who can only take our physical lives from us (Matthew 10:28) if the Lord permits them to do so. Today He holds the keys of death (Revelation 1:18; See 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 2:14). God restrained the devil from taking Job’s life even though He didn’t restrict him from taking the lives of Job’s ten children (Job 1, 2). God used an angel to deliver Peter from King Herod’s sword (Acts 12; See Hebrews 1:14). He delivered Daniel’s three friends from the fiery furnace (Daniel 3) and Daniel from the den of lions (Daniel 6). However, many other believers suffered torture and death (Hebrews 11:36-38).

Years. Christians have “potential years” and “actual years.”  Do you know what can reduce the number of your days on earth (See 1 Corinthians 11:30; James 5:19, 20; 1 John 5:16)? What is a spiritual Christian supposed to do with a fellow believer who has a bad attitude that could lead to sin (Galatians 6:1)? What assurances and promises does God give to His children (See Romans 8:17, 18, 35-39; 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Philippians 1:21; 3:20, 21)?

Sanctify. As believers, we’re supposed to set aside and elevate the Lord God in our hearts (1 Peter 3:15; See Isaiah 8:13). This verse is not teaching “Lordship in exchange for salvation.”[1] God alone deserves our worship and praise (John 4:24; Revelation 4:11; 5:12) and the most exalted place in our lives. But as Christians we still have an old sin nature that rebels against God and His Word (Romans 7:15-25; 1 John 1:8). Believers, not the unsaved, are exhorted to “present [their] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is [their] reasonable service” (Romans 12:1). If you’re a Christian, have you done this yet? Don’t waste your whole life pursuing fame, fortune, power, and pleasure as King Solomon did only to regret it when he came to the end of his life (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 14; 12:1). Our primary purpose in life should be to glorify God by making Him known to those around us (1 Corinthians 10:31). If you’re a Christian, are you doing this?

Ready. God allows some of His children to suffer from time to time to give them an opportunity to display the “Fruit of the Spirit” (Christ likeness) before others (Galatians 5:22, 23). Sometimes they will ask how we are able to endure such hardships. Our answers should be given with meekness (strength under control) and with fear of displeasing God or grieving Him (1 Peter 3:15; Ephesians 5:30; 2 Corinthians 5:9). Consider the responses that Peter, Stephen, and Paul gave to those who asked them about their hope and faith in Christ (Acts 2, 7, 22).

Hope. This is the confident expectation that we have as a result of believing a promise from God who is able to do what He says He will do (Romans 15:4; Ephesians 3:20; Revelation 1:8). When God promises to do something, and we believe it, that settles it. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Jesus said, “I am the [only] way, the [absolute] truth, and the [One who gives eternal] life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6; See Acts 4:12; 16:31). We are not saved by our good works (Ephesians 2:8, 9). How many promises do you know that you are claiming? Not all the promises in the Bible are for Christians to claim (2 Peter 1:4). Keep Israel and the Church separate. We don’t believe in “Replacement Theology.” [2]

Good Conscience. In order for the conscience to be a useful tool to assist us in life, it needs to be regulated by God’s Word that is addressed to Christians. All Scripture is to be believed, but not all of it is to be believed and practiced (Titus 1:9; 2 Timothy 3:16, 17). We must “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).  (The “Seven Dispensations” found in the Scriptures are the result of a normal, literal, grammatical, historical interpretation of the Bible. They are not different ways of salvation as some have said. For more information, see our “Dispensations Chart.”) A Christian’s conscience may be evil (Hebrews 10:22), weak (1 Corinthians 8:7), or possibly seared (1 Timothy 4:2). This could lead to a premature death (Romans 8:6).

So What? Unjust suffering is always better than deserved punishment (1 Peter 2:20; 4:19). The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:18). “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Hebrews 6:10).

Help. We’re here to assist those who are teachable and willing to change when they are presented with the truth from God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:2). We can be reached at 805-238-3549 or through our website: www.kelseypeach.com.

[1] Lordship Salvation. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/salvatio/lordshrq.pdf

[2] Replacement Theology. http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/reformed/replace.pdf

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

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