Outrageous Hope Extravagant Joy | Week 7
Week 7 of our Bellevue Women study features Donna Gaines teach on 1 Peter 4:1-11.
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Until He Comes - 1 Peter 4:1-11 - Week 7
I. Learn to think like Christ – (v. 1-3)
“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want” (1 Peter 4:1-3 MSG).
A. W. Tozer said, “Everything in the universe is good to the degree it conforms to the nature of God and evil as it fails to do so...through the work of Christ in atonement, justice is not violated but satisfied when God spares a sinner. Redemptive theology teaches that mercy does not become effective toward a man until justice has done its work. The just penalty for sin was exacted when Christ our Substitute died for us on the cross” (The Knowledge of the Holy, p. 87-88).
The beginning of all true mortification lies in the mind, not in penances and hardships upon the body. The mind of man is carnal, full of enmity; the understanding is darkened, being alienated from the life of God, (Ephesians 4:18). Man is not a sincere creature, but partial, blind, and wicked, till he be renewed and sanctified by the regenerating grace of God. (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 2430.)
Hebrews 9:28 – Christ’s first appearing was to deal with sin; His second coming will be to bring salvation to His followers. Having done away with sin, His purpose was accomplished.
II. The pagan response (v. 4-6)
J. R. Michaels writes:
“Peter’s assumption is that those who slander Christians for their changed lifestyle are in effect slandering (i.e., blaspheming) God Himself, the One who called these new believers ‘out of darkness into his marvelous light’ (2:9b). Whatever is done to, or for, a child of God is done to, or for, God Himself (cf. Luke 10:16; John 12:48; 15:18–25; Matt 25:41–46).” (I Peter, Word Biblical Commentary, p.234)
We cannot expect the lost to understand the things of the Spirit. In fact, as 1 Corinthians 2:4 states, “The natural man does not accept the things of the Sprit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
Instead of arguing with them, we should pray for them and live before them in such a way that they will desire what we have. We read in 1 Peter 3 that we are never to return an insult for an insult or to revile in return, but to give a blessing instead (1 Peter 3:8-9).
We are not to be bound to man’s opinion of us, but to God’s. As we seek to set our minds on the things of the Spirit, the things of this world will lose their grasp on our minds and thus, our actions.
III. Live expectantly - (v. 7-11)
We are to live in expectation of seeing Christ. We will see Him in the rapture or as we enter His presence through the doorway of death. As Warren Wiersbe says, “The important thing is that we shall see the Lord one day and stand before Him. How we live and serve today will determine how we are judged and rewarded on that day” (The Bible Exposition Commentary, p. 421).
Peter outlines how we are to live in relationship to other believers. The foundation of the spiritual life is the Word of God and prayer. As we devote ourselves to prayer, the life of love that we are commanded to live will flow out of us to the degree that we have surrendered to Christ and crucified the flesh.
Be sober in prayer – keep your mind alert and steady.
Warren Wiersbe said, “The word ‘watch’ carries with it the idea of alertness and self-control. It is the opposite of being drunk or asleep (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8). This admonition had special meaning to Peter, because he went to sleep when he should have been ‘watching unto prayer’” (Mark 14:37-40) (The Bible Exposition Commentary, p. 422).
Be loving – we are to be known by our love for one another.
This love is not based on feeling but is an act of the will. As we choose to love, our feelings will eventually line up with our actions. As stated in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, “Agape love is capable of being commanded because it is not primarily an emotion but a decision of the will leading to action” (p. 246).
Be hospitable – with a cheerful heart, as serving the Lord. We are simply stewards.
“In a culture where busyness is prized, where isolation is rampant, and where ‘blinking devices’ replace genuine relationships, hospitality offers a beautiful and countercultural rebellion...One of the most countercultural things you can do is have an entire conversation with someone without checking your phone.” (The Simplest Way To Change the World: Biblical Hospitality as a Way of Life, pp. 56 & 59)
Entertaining vs. Hospitality – “Entertaining says, ‘I want to impress you with my beautiful home, my clever decorating, my gourmet cooking.’ Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, ‘This home is not mine. It is truly a gift form my Master. I am his servant, and I use it as he desires.’ Hospitality does not try to impress but to serve.” (Open Heart, Open Home, Karen Mains, p. 29)
Be a servant – with the spiritual gift or gifts you have been given for the glory of God and the building up of the church.
All our lives should be a doxology unto the Lord: “so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen" (1 Peter 4:11b)
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“I will not change the world. Jesus will do that. I can, however, let Him use me to change the world for one person.” (Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie, p. 230)