Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Best Taste Yet! (1 Pet. 2:1-2)

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1. Introduction:
They say that folks these days don’t like negative things to be said in sermons. If that’s true, then Peter blew it! Suppose 1 Peter 2 is a new sermon. Would you believe how he started? Check out the words, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (v. 1). Some of the folks would already be upset that the Pastor had been following them around that week. Oh, well.

Apostle Peter is being his direct self. Remember that his purpose is to shake us up a little and make us uncomfortable with anything that is not holy in our lives. The word “therefore” refers to his discussion of being purified by obeying the truth and loving our brothers. He doesn’t want us to miss the point his by being too ambiguous.

2. We Have Some Things to Get Rid Of:
Aside from the fact that things are plain old sin and need to be gotten rid of anyway, let’s view them from the perspective that, when we are indulging in these things, we lose our appetite for righteous things.

Monday, August 13, 2012

What’s The Big Deal of Being Chosen by God? (1 Pet. 1:1-2)

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1. Introduction:
As we walk into this first letter from Peter, we must understand that he did not casually write to a bunch of friends in Asia Minor to pass the time of day. He purposed to communicate hope, holiness, and life to people struggling for survival, spiritually and physically. Peter did not write to these folks, asking them to flee for their lives. He sent instructions we all need, for we have a strong tendency to flee from the uncomfortable to the comfortable, i.e., schools, cities, politics, family, and sometimes even the church. We forget that we are called to be uncomfortable (1Pet.2:20-21).

Peter knew that if these folks were going to make it, they must know who they were in Christ. You find strength in knowing who you are! The people needed to know their identity, which in turn would give them a sense of purpose and a reason for the things they were experiencing. If a person falls spiritually, it generally happens because he forgets who he is as a child of God. He begins to let other things identity his life.

Perhaps one of the greatest needs in the Church today is for a renewed sense of identity as Christians. Then, when negative issues confront us, we let them bounce off, not of our emotions or feelings, but rather off of our identity as Christians, as children of God. Only then does life make sense.

What’s the big deal? The big deal is that God’s reputation is at stake as people watch to see how we confront life on a daily basis. So we better know who we are. Peter identifies seven dynamic characteristics in these first two verses, which, if fully understood, will help you face every issue in your life. These words give hope; they promote holiness, and they define life. Let’s see who we are as God sees us.

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