Temple Baptist Church - 11-30-2016
1 Peter 1:1-9
A. Preaching through the books of the Bible, we look at these verses through the “eyes” of context.
1. So much preaching is done in a topical realm and these messages are both good and needed but they often do not pick the intended message of the context.
2. Topical preaching is needed but, the older that I get, the more that I feel the necessity of preaching line upon line, precept upon precept.
3. To whom is it written; what was the reason for its writing; proper interpretation of the verses within the realm of their context; and then making a practical application.
B. Several of the New Testament Books of the Bible are written specifically to the Jewish believers to transition them from the Old Testament economy to the New.
1. From the sacrificial system of atonement and the priesthood to the fulfillment that is now found in the finished work of Calvary. Instead of the Kingdom, they are now persecuted and scattered.
2. They are without a home in this world. Hated by the Jews because they are followers of Christ and hated by the gentiles because they are Jews.
C. Peter, an apostle to the Jews, is encouraging them in their trials. Trials are a part of life! Life can be hard at times for all of us as it was with these Jewish believers. This open up two question in the minds of these Jewish believers that have continued in the hearts and minds of God’s people in our day.
1. If God loves us, why does He allow suffering?
a) God loved and continues to love the nation of Israel and these believers were Jews. Jeremiah 31:1-3 At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. (2) Thus saith the LORD, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest. (3) The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
b) God loved us, shown at Calvary, and continues to love us. John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2. If God controls our circumstances, why does He allow suffering?
a) 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. (8) For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (9) And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (10) Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
b) Nahum 1:3-7 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. (4) He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. (5) The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. (6) Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. (7) The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
D. Hard places in life have both negative and positive aspects to them. The negative aspects are easy to identify but there is also a positive side of trials!
1. Some trials are tougher than others and can run from not so bad but aggravating to ones of deep sorrow. Problems vary in their depths but not one of us like valleys of any description! Ecclesiastes 3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
2. Some trials are short and some are long! There is a place out west called Ten Sleep Canyon. It took an Indian 10 days to get through it. Valleys always take the long way around the mountains because they are an indirect route. The shortest way is usually over the mountain. Psalms 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. (Job went from seven days and nights to 42 chapters!)
E. Though we normally concentrate on the negative aspects of valleys in life, there are some positive things that come out of them.
1. NUMBER ONE is that God is sovereign and controls our trials.! “The trial” Job 1:9-10 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? (10) Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. (Trust in the Lord with all thine heart! God loves us and controls everything that touches us. When you cannot track God, just trust Him. God cares!)
2. Trials reveal of what sort our faith is. “The trial of your faith” Matthew 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; (21) Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. (A faith that cannot be tested is a faith that cannot be trusted. Someone once said that troubles do not build character; they only expose it. A right faith in the Lord will get you through the valleys in good shape spiritually.)
3. Trails are places with the potential for Spiritual Growth. “being much more precious than of gold that perisheth” 1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. (We grow in the knowledge that when God is all that we have, it is then that we find that He is all that we need. We grow in the knowledge that God’s grace is always more than sufficient. We grow in the knowledge that He will never leave us nor forsake us.)
4. Trials cause us not to take the good times for granted! “though it be tried with fire” Job 29:2-4 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; (3) When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; (4) As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; (It is in the valley that we remember the mountains! Too often, we take good days for granted. Most of life is good and we should rejoice when it is.)
5. Trials give us opportunity to glorify God before the eyes of the world! “might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ” Isaiah 24:15 Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. (It is easy to be a good Christian when all is well but the world watches us closely when we are in trouble. It is in the hard times that our little lights become big ones as the world fastens their eyes upon us and glorify our Father in heaven.)
6. Trials deepen the child of God’s love for Him! “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” 2 Corinthians 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. (Hard times in marriages either “make them or break them!” When a couple truly love one another, they will cleave to each more in the hard times and their love deepens. Thus it is with the Lord. When we walk with Him in the hard times our love for Him deepens.)
7. Without trials, there would be no deliverances! “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” 2 Timothy 4:16-18 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge. (17) Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (18) And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Without valleys, there would be no mountains climbed or to be climbed. From the valleys, we view the mountains and from the mountains, we view the valleys. Both, when viewed from a distance become things of great beauty.)