“Stand firm regardless of the persecution”. This is the title of Pastor Doug’s sermon for Sunday, Ocober 27, 2013. Based on 1 Peter 4:12-19, part of a series based on 1st and 2nd Peter, Pastor Doug text can be notes can be read below or downloaded here. Please join us for worship at the Merryman Performing Arts Center at -0:00 a.m. Sunday School for all ages begins at 9:00 a.m.
-Trials of all types are never fun….. Persecution for believing in Christ and standing for
what He stands for is hard to fathom. It seems no matter what a believer says or does
people find fault and criticize the Christ follower. Persecution ensues….
-Peter dealt with the “Normal” persecution that we all face in the first section of the
book of 1 Peter. Now though in chapter 4:12-19 he is dealing the persecution of the
Christ followers, not from the individuals around them but the authorities above them.
-Christianity in the early church had been tolerated but now the tides had changed and
the Roman govt began to persecute publically. Peter calls this a “fiery trial” and he
teaches them how to respond when this “fiery trial” begins to happen.
-Background of 1 Peter
-Hope: Confident assurance of future glory and blessing
-Prayer “Four things to learn about trials”
1. 1 Peter 4:12, “Expect them”
-From the beginning good people have suffered at the hands of the unbelieving world.
-Much of what goes on in the World depends on, pride, lies, self pleasure, and the desire
To get more. A dedicated believer builds their life on truth from His Word, humility,
Holiness of life and the desire to glorify God. This is in direct conflict with the world!
-Expect trials—Be ready “beloved” loved of God—“Know my love and care for you!”
-1 John 3:12, why Cain killed his brother Abel. “Because Cain’s works were evil and
His brother Abel’s were righteous.” Darkness does not like the light—persecution!
-Peter wanted them to expect what was happening, and was going to happen. The Govt.
Blamed Christians for the burning of Rome. So Nero to punish Christians, covered them
With tar/pitch and used them as living torches to light his imperial gardens at night.
-Don’t be surprised, when that kind of persecution happens. Expect it. These fiery trials
Happen because the Christ follower is faithful to God and stands up for what is right. It
Is because we bear the name of Christ the lost world attacks us. Christ told His followers
That they would be persecuted as He was, because their persecutors did not know Christ!
2. 1 Peter 4:13-14, “Rejoice in them”
-You gotta be kidding Shada…..Rejoice in suffering…..James 1:2-4.
-The World has never experienced the grace of God so they can’t understand how a
Christ follower could rejoice in trials. Yet through suffering the Christian shares
With Christ and it results in:
-Joy with Christ, 1 Peter 1:6
-Fellowship with Him, Phil. 3:10
-Being glorified with Him, Rom. 8:17
-Reigning with Him, 2 Tim. 2:12
-The NT is clear that those who take part in the suffering of Christ also will take
Part in His glory when it is revealed. HOPE—while going through present
-Vs. 14, In other words suffering Christians do not have to wait for heaven in order
To experience His glory. Through the Holy Spirit, we can have the glory now!
-This explains how martyrs could sing praises to God while bound in the midst of
Blazing fires. How persecuted Christians could go to prison and death without
-This also explains how the Christ follower undergoing severe persecution and
Trials can glorify the name of Christ….The Spirit of God dwells within and is
Revealed in and through Him!
3. I Peter 4:15-18, “Examine your life”
-15-Not all suffering is from the Lord. Some suffering happen because of sin in one’s
Life….Get it taken care of before God, making sure that is not why your suffering.
-Let’s make sure we suffer because we are Christians not criminals!
-16-The opposite, when we suffer for the glory of Christ—His truth and call on our
Life—God is not ashamed of us, in fact we “Glorify God.” We further His cause in
By honoring Him and not our self centered desires!
-17-18—Peter has taught us that trials, when responded rightly to, refine and prove
Our faith 1 Peter 1:6-7 and 3:17.
-We need to be concerned about the lost sinners who are headed for an eternity of
Fiery trials apart from God in Hell. When a believer suffers, he experiences glory
And knows that there will be greater glory in the future!
-How we respond to the fiery trials before a lost and dying World is a testimony
To the Gospel of Christ’s impact on our life!
-Matt. 5:10-12, 43-48, Times of persecution are times of opportunity for a loving
Witness to those who persecute you as well as the non believers around us!
-“As Christians, we do not seek for vengeance on those who have hurt us. Rather,
We pray for them and seek to lead them to Jesus Christ.”
4. 1 Peter 4:19, “Commit yourself to your faithful Creator”
-Who or what we commit ourselves to in the midst of suffering unjustly makes all
The difference in the World.
-Vs. 19, is a banking term, “Entrust your souls”-To deposit for safekeeping.
“When you deposit your life in God’s bank, you always receive eternal dividends on
–Q—Why does Peter use the word Creator here? It reminds us that we are—
-Valuable to God
-He made us
-He redeemed us
-He lives within us
-He guards us and protects us
-God the creator meets the needs of His people (Matt. 6:24-34)
-This commitment of Lordship—is not a single action but a constant attitude. “Be
Constantly committing” is what Peter is saying.
-“In doing what is right” As we return good for evil and do good even though we
Suffer for it, we are committing ourselves to God so that He can care for us!