“The Believer’s Suffering”

Posted: November 24, 2016 in Christian Life, First Peter

1 Peter 4:1-6

“And it came to pass…” Yes, if you are a Christian, your sufferings in life didn’t come to stay but to pass. They are only temporary. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18; See Revelation 21:4). The Apostle Peter knew about suffering for the cause of Christ too (Acts 5:40, 41). So do most of the Christians in other parts of the world. Thus far, not many Christians in the United States have suffered very much for Christ. But maybe you are suffering or being persecuted because you’re trying to live a morally pure (holy) life as a Christian should (1 Peter 1:15, 16). “Yes, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

The Sufferings Of Christ. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to have to go to Jerusalem to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised on the third day (Matthew 16:21-23). When Peter tried to prevent this from happening to Jesus, the Lord had to rebuke him. On the night before He was crucified, Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray to His Father. But His suffering in agony there had no redeeming value for us (Luke 22:42). Not long after this, Judas came with a band of men to betray Jesus. “The hour” had come when Jesus would allow Himself to be taken by sinful men for them to do with Him as they were determined to do (Luke 22:53; John 2:4; 18:12). The religious, Jewish rulers engaged in three unlawful trials with Jesus. Then they took Him to Pilate and demanded that He be crucified (John 19:6). After scourging and examining Jesus, Pilate declared three times that he found no fault in Him (John 18:38). Then He was taken to King Herod who mocked and humiliated Jesus. But finally Pilate gave in to the Jews’ demands and gave permission for Him to be crucified.

Cross. Jesus was placed on the cross at 9 A.M.  From noon until 3 P.M. God the Father forsook Him (Psalm 22:1; Matthew 27:46) because He couldn’t look with approval on His Son who was bearing the sins of the whole world (Isaiah 53:6; 1 Corinthians 15:3). Yes, this included your sins and mine. Only God who is omniscient could see ahead of time all the sins we’d ever commit in life and then put them on Christ so He could pay the penalty of death for all of our sins (Romans 6:23). Christ’s payment was made once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). We don’t re-crucify Christ every time we observe the Lord’s Supper. It is a memorial of Him (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25). At 3 P.M. when Jesus cried out, “It is finished” (John 19:30) His separation from the Father was over and then He died physically and went to Paradise that was located in the heart of the earth at that time (Luke 23:43). Today it has been removed to the edge of the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:4; Ephesians 4:8-10).

The Sufferings Of Christians. Jesus told His disciples to expect the same kind of treatment He had received from His enemies (John 15:18-21). Before we were saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ, we were dead in trespasses and sins and in the devil’s family (Ephesians 2:1-10; John 8:44; 1 John 3:9, 10). We suffered from spiritual blindness (1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 11:25). At conception we received a sin nature (disposition) from our parents (Psalm 51:5). Contrary to what many people are being taught, we didn’t lose it when we got saved (1 John 1:8; Romans 7:15-25). As Christians we have the potential to engage in the “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:19-21) but can be victorious over our sin nature if we “walk by means of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25). We will have a sin nature until we die or the Rapture takes place (1 John 3:2). To enter God’s family, we had to be born again from above (John 3:3-5; 1 Peter 1:23). We needed a new nature (disposition) that would enable us to please God (Romans 8:8; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; 2 Corinthians 5:9). True Christians are a part of the new creation called “The Christ” (Ephesians 2:15; 2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus is the Head of the Church, and Christians from the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) to the Rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51, 52) make up the “Body of Christ” that becomes His “Bride” (Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:32; Revelation 21:9).

Pain/Suffering. Believe it or not, “There is good in pain, privation, suffering, and bereavement. They correct evil, prevent evil, develop character, produce sympathy, promote enterprise, and prepare us for eternity.” – Source unknown. Jesus endured the cross so we could be saved (Hebrews 12:2). The early Christians and many Christians even to this day have suffered and are suffering in a different way so others can be saved from the lake of fire and enter heaven (2 Timothy 2:10). The “Crown of Rejoicing” awaits believers who have a part in the salvation of other people (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20). Will you earn it?

Questions. If you are a Christian, are you living a morally pure (holy) life (1 Peter 1:15, 16)? Are your know sins confessed to God (1 John 1:9) and to others whom you have offended (James 5:16)? Are you experiencing persecution for living a godly life (2 Timothy 3:12)? If so, are you responding as Jesus did (Isaiah 53:7)? Is it your aim in life to glorify God and be well pleasing to Him (1 Corinthians 10:31; 2 Corinthians 5:9)?

Help. We’re here to assist those who would like answers from the Scriptures. 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. Please share it with others. 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

Clear Gospel – Audio: http://www.duluthbible.org/the-gospel-audiobook/

 

 

 

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