Temple Baptist Church - 1-18-2017
1 Peter 1:17-21
A. Peter’s epistle to the “strangers scattered” (the dispersed Jews) is a work of Art that only the Holy Ghost could set forth.
1. They are estranged from their homeland because they turned to Christ while Israel rejected Him. They are “strangers” because of the hatred of the Gentiles. (It is the same today as every nation votes against Israel—the only true democracy found in the middle east and our closest ally in that region).
2. They are “scattered” because to group up would call attention to their existence and persecution would follow.
3. They are hated because they follow Christ. They do not understand why that after they came to Christ by faith that troubles followed. They are persecuted because of the world’s hatred of Jesus Christ! We too live in a Godless nation! The most “looked down upon” people in America are those who are truly born again through faith in the finished work of Christ alone. We suffer the reproach of Christ!
B. The words “reproach” or “reproaches” and the word “Christ” are only found in three verses in the Bible. Reproach means to revile, rail, or taunt.
Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. (In this verse, we find Christ reproached.)
Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. (In this verse, we find the reproach of Christ.)
1 Peter 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. (In this verse, we find being reproached for the name of Christ.)
C. In order to fully understand these three instances, I want to: 1) look at the in the order of their mention 2) look at their relevance to the true believer in Christ.
1. Christ Reproached. The world and religion hated and continues to hate Jesus Christ. It needs to be noted that the Christ of the Bible is not the “Christ” of the world. The most hated man in all of history was the Biblical Christ! The “Christ” found in most religions and denominations of our day (called “another Jesus” in 2 Corinthians 11:4) bear little or no resemblance to the Biblical Christ.
Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. This is a quote from the Old Testament.
a. They hated Him because of who He was: Lord!
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (If He is Lord, then He alone is to be bowed to and worshipped.)
b. They hated Him because of what He said: God’s Word!
John 7:43 So there was a division among the people because of him. (If it is God’s Word, then it is right. If it is God’s Word, then it is the final authority and must be followed.)
c. They hated Him because of what He did: the Gospel!
Luke 23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. (They wanted a King, not a sacrifice. The Lamb of God was crucified: a propitiation for sin but a reproach unto the self-righteous Jew.)
1) In one form or another, most religions or denominations add human merit to the Gospel. The Gospel or Good News is that salvation is a finished work through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord.
2) The Gospel condemns all mankind as helpless, hopeless sinners. The Gospel declares that salvation is through Christ alone! People add human merit to grace when they believe that they can be good enough to be saved. People add human merit to grace when they believe that they can live good enough to stay saved.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them
2. The Believer Reproached! We are mocked and often taunted.
a. Because of who we are: Christian! One who is like Christ. They hate us because they hated Him first. We remind a lost, religious world of the One whom the lost, religious world rejected.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
b. Because of what we believe: King James Bible! The Word of God is our final Authority for both our faith and our practice or doctrine.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
c. Because of what we do: Separatism! Separate from the world. We do not mix and mingle with false doctrine. We do not mix and mingle with sinfulness.
1 Peter 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
3. The Believer’s Choice: Hebrews 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; (25) Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; (26) Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward. (In this verse, we find the reproach of Christ. Esteemed! Esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all that the world can offer. Deny self and take up the cross. For to me to live is Christ.)
Hebrews 13:12-13 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (13) Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
a. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him” is the choice that we will always have to make.
b. “Without the camp” is the place where we will always find Him.
c. “Bearing His reproach” is the price that we will always have to pay.
John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
Conclusion: Salvation is reconciliation. Christian is identification.