Always Be Ready (1 Peter 3:13-18)

Sunday 31/05/2020

I’m fascinated by stories about people in witness protection. They arrive in town with new identities, hiding their real lives out of fear for their own safety. Christian, are you in witness protection? Do you think you can follow Jesus but not talk about it?

Maybe you’re afraid that if people know you’re a Christian, they won’t like you or will make life hard for you.

Or maybe you think, “If people ask me about being a Christian, I won’t know what to say.”

Is that you? It’s me sometimes. But God tells us that we don’t have to be in witness protection. We can be ready to speak about Jesus. And we should be!

So, can you and I speak about Jesus in a way that’s natural and persuasive, and won’t just get people angry at us?

Here in 1 Peter 3, God tells us that we can be ready to speak about Jesus. He tells us how we can be ready and how we should speak.

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Loving Life (1 Peter 3:8-22)

Sunday 24/05/2020

Have you been enjoying the isolation of the past couple of months too much? Even before the arrival of COVID-19, the statistics showed that around 10% of Australians of all ages were socially isolated.

Why does that happen? There are no simple answers, but a lot of the time it’s a breakdown in relationships. ‘I’ve been hurt so often, even when I haven’t done anything wrong.’ But if we cut ourselves off from everyone who hurts us, who will we have left?

You might not disconnect completely. You hide in plain sight. You just go along with whatever people say so you won’t get hurt.

Or you can give as good as you get. But that makes you no better than them. And Christians are called to be different.

‘I know I shouldn’t take revenge, but how can I resist it?’ We should treat others the way we want to be treated (Leviticus 19:18 & Mark 12:31). But that’s hard. It’s much easier to say, “Well, they did it to me! I’ll do it back!” But repaying evil with evil makes me evil.

God promises us the solution to our suffering and help to escape the cycle of revenge.

Are Christians doomed to being mistreated? It might feel like it. But God tells us something different. He says ‘You were called to inherit a blessing’. That’s why we must never repay evil with evil: because God blesses us in Jesus!

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Love and Respect (1 Peter 3:1-7) Part 2

Sunday 17/05/2020

Here in 1 Peter, God has been showing us that He changes all of our relationships when He makes us citizens of His worldwide, eternal kingdom (2:9-10). We’ve seen how that changes our life in society and at work. Now it’s about marriage. So, how should a Christian’s marriage be different?

We saw last time that the responsibility for good and Godly relationships belongs to both husbands and wives.

Wives need to respect and honour their husbands. They help their husbands honour God in the way the lead the family, and they help their husbands be honoured by God by helping them follow Christ.

We noticed last time that even though there were 6 verses about women, but there’s only 1 about men. But there will be more about men’s role in the home when we get to the qualifications for elders in chapter 5.

So, if you think they men get off lightly here, just wait! And the reality is that the bar is set very high for husbands (and for all men). So, what do husbands need to hear? Husband, love and honour your wife (v7).

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Love and Respect (1 Peter 3:1-7) Part 1

Sunday 10/05/2020

We all want good relationships. And that’s especially so with marriage.

We know good relationships when we see them. And we experience many relationships that are not good. And if we’re honest, we have to admit that we’re to blame at least some of the time.

Here in 1 Peter, God has been showing us that He changes all of our relationships when He makes us citizens of His worldwide, eternal kingdom (2:9-10). We’ve seen how that changes our life in society and at work. Now it’s about marriage. So, how should a Christian’s marriage be different?

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Serve by Suffering (1 Peter 2:17-25)

Sunday 03/05/2020

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Summary

The work lives and study lives of most of us look very different to what they did a 4 to 6 weeks ago. You might be working or studying from home. Or you work might be suspended or over completely.

But whatever work situation we’re in, there are basic questions we all have. How should I live as a Christian at work? Do I have to tell people at work or school that I’m a Christian? Should being a Christian change how I work?

(And if you’re not working now, this still applies to you, because you still do business with people: retailers and tradesmen, etc).

We’ve been seeing here in 1 Peter that Christians are citizens of God’s worldwide, eternal kingdom (v9-10). But that around us, people are ignorant about God and foolish in the way they live (v15). So, how should we live as Christians at work?

We saw last time that we’re to live as free people (v16). But our freedom is freedom from sin, not freedom from responsibility (v11-14). So, we should live Godly lives and do good (v12). And what that looks like is submission: putting ourselves under the authority of those God has appointed over us (v13-14).

So, what does that look like at work? Peter gives us three keys:

  • Live Before God (v17-20)
  • Live Like Jesus (v21-24)
  • Live In Jesus (v24-25)

That’s how we can live as free citizens of God’s kingdom while we work, study, and do business with others.

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