Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Christian, you know that Christ came to set us free, but what does it look like to live as people who are free?
Are we freed only from the consequence of our sin and left to figure out the rest on our own? How does our new identity change the way we view hardship, relationships, and life purpose? This is the beginning of a study through the book of 1 Peter titled, Live as People Who Are Free. Rich starts our series in 1 Peter 1, 1-2, where Peter reminds us where we belong. You're listening to the third and final part of this message titled, Where You Belong.
First preached July 10, 2022. What Peter is saying to the people, what you're experiencing is not outside of God's good and loving purpose for you. Elect exiles of the dispersion. Let's look at the word exiles. The word exile means alien or a stranger, a temporary resident.
As I said, the word elect means God's looking at you and says, you are mine. When God calls you an exile, look at me and he says, you're not home yet. You don't belong here.
You are a temporary resident. You're a stranger among all these people. We may feel displaced than the people in the first century probably felt very much displaced because of the slander and the reviling that they were receiving. And we today may feel displaced and marginalized and like we're becoming strangers in our own country, even slandered because you're committed to God's revealed truth in today, when the society is fast moving in a in a direction that has completely changed the definitions of marriage and gender and sexuality.
And we who stay faithful to God's self-disclosure, we're starting to feel more and more marginalized and like strangers in the culture. God says you are mine. You're not home yet. You're a temporary resident here. But you're here for a reason. You're here not just to survive. You're here to thrive. You have a purpose here. Your hope and your motivation is anchored in your homeland. Let's look at a good example of that.
We know it very well. Hebrews Chapter 11. These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. And so as we walk this journey, this pilgrimage, this temporary brief journey on this globe, which is a tiny speck in the whole universe, as we are walking this brief journey, our hope and our motivation is anchored in our homeland, not here, where you belong.
It's anchored where you belong. As Andrew and I were driving home, we had been recommended a book by our daughter, Lindsay, and the book is entitled Home by Elise Fitzpatrick. Has anybody read that? I am convinced this book entitled Home by Elise Fitzpatrick will be a Christian classic. It's good. Very, very well written.
I strongly encourage you to read it. Another point I want to say also, because we see our country fast moving is becoming a very secularized country. I want you to know something, Christian, and we'll talk about this more later on, OK? But the secularization of our country, listen to me, the secularization of our country is not necessarily a bad thing for the church. Now, some of you might be scratching your heads right now, but I want you to know that. It's not necessarily a bad thing for the church.
The church doesn't need a Christian or a godly government to thrive, not even close. And the fact that we are exiles, first of all, it means we're strangers, we're aliens, we're temporary residents. Secondly, our hope is motivated and anchored in the homeland.
Thirdly, you have guaranteed passage home, guaranteed. You're not going to get stuck here. The last time I was in Haiti, the flight was canceled and there were just hordes of people up at the ticket booth waiting to get on the last flight out of Haiti. Guess where I was?
Way in the back of the crowd. And I had already resigned myself that, you know, I'm just going to have to go find a hotel. I wasn't excited about that. Haiti is not a place where I would choose to go for vacation. But thankfully, because I knew somebody and they were in first class, they had seats already given to them on the last flight out of Haiti. And they said, we're not getting on unless he's with us.
I'm like, thank you, thank you. Truly, though, I had already resigned myself to thinking, OK, I started looking for hotels near the airport. You're not going to get stuck here. You have guaranteed passage home.
Home where you belong. So he's writing to elect exiles of the dispersion. The dispersion is used biblically, first of all, of the people of Israel who are scattered because of exile. Because of God's judgment, God's people in exile, the dispersion is all is referring first of all to that in scripture. And so Peter uses the dispersion and now he's applying it to the church, the people of God in the church. God's people, the church Christians scattered around the world. Now, whether it was people that were fleeing because of the fire at Rome, we don't know that for sure. But we know at least the people were being slandered and reviled because of the fire at Rome. But whenever God's people are scattered, it's God uses that to spread the gospel, doesn't he? And it's spreading the light.
Get this from David Helm. Exiles of the dispersion has a title. Exiles of the dispersion depicts the normative state of any follower of Jesus, so long as he or she remains in this world. Loved ones, we need to learn to see ourselves this way. Because if we get comfortable here, if we find, if we start looking for our ultimate satisfaction and our comfort here, if we look for our identity here, we're going to be missing it royally. So who are the free people?
The free people are identified. Verse 2, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for the sprinkling of the blood. Three points I want to bring out from this. According to the foreknowledge of God, and that links back to the elect exiles of the dispersion, according to the foreknowledge of God.
Here's a very, very, very important point I want you to remember about this. This is what Peter's bringing out to the people. You and I, we who belong to God, are objects and have been objects of his loving concern from eternity. I, Rich Powell, have been an object of God's loving concern from eternity.
That's powerful. That will set you free. But he also says, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ, we are set apart and commissioned. We are set apart and commissioned. And it begins with entrusting yourself to him and following in his steps. Entrusting yourself to him and following in his steps. And then lastly, we are marked for obedience of Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood. Now that's a reference back to the temple, the tabernacle, the Holy of Holies, where the blood, the high priest on the Day of Atonement takes the blood in and sprinkles the blood.
God said it is there that I will meet with you. You and I are the ones that have been reconciled to God. We have access to the Father.
We stand in this grace. We are a marked people. We are a marked people. We are the people who are reconciled to God.
We are covered by Christ's finished work. I can say I am accepted by God. I can say that.
It has nothing to do with how good I am. But I can say I am accepted by God. That's liberating. And because I am free, I can flourish and I can help others flourish. That's the calling on the church this morning.
That's what we're going to be studying in this book of 1 Peter. Free people flourish and can help others flourish. So let's remember that we are elect exiles of the dispersion.
That's who we are. Think about what that means. God says you are mine. You're not home yet. But your hope and your motivation are anchored in the homeland.
Yes, there is a vulnerability, but there is a security as well. We acknowledge this morning that from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. You are the one who measures the universe with a span of your hand.
And yet you carry a lamb close to you in comfort. We confess this morning, Father, that this blue orb in the solar system is a tiny blip on the radar screen of eternity. And we confess that we are too easily led to find our meaning and our satisfaction here, though we know all of it will pass away. We thank you, Father, that you have communicated hope, that you have given us hope in your Son and by your Spirit. And so we pray, Father, this morning that you would guide us by your Spirit to live with our hope anchored in our homeland. Direct us away from distraction and fear that we may live as people who are free for your kingdom and your glory. In Jesus' name, amen. We're so glad you've joined us for Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. You can hear this message and others anytime by visiting our website, www.delightingrace.com. You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, Seven Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. Seven Words That Can Change Your Life is available wherever books are sold. As always, tune in to Delight in Grace, weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-01 17:35:17 / 2023-03-01 17:39:50 / 5