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More Precious Than Gold, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2023 10:15 am

More Precious Than Gold, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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March 9, 2023 10:15 am

How does the freedom Christ bought for us change the way we face hardship? Genuine faith in Christ endures through trials.


Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem.

This series from 1 Peter is titled, Live as People Who are Free. Today we want to consider how the freedom Christ bought for us changes the way we face hardship. On a visit to Egypt, Rich spoke to a man selling leather wallets at an outdoor market. The man held a lighter up to the wallet to prove its quality.

Because it was genuine leather, the flame didn't ruin it. Like leather, genuine faith in Christ endures through trial. 1 Peter 1, 6-9 delves into the beautiful work God accomplishes in His people through hardship.

Let's listen in on this message titled, More Precious Than Gold. This is the second part of the message which was first preached on July 24, 2022. Christians were blamed.

Now this is historical fact. Christians were blamed for the fire of Rome that burned 70% of the city because the attention was starting to go to Nero and he wanted to divert the attention off of himself so he blamed the Christians and started burning Christians. As a result of that, Christians throughout the Roman Empire were slandered and reviled and often displaced from home. So here we're talking about now the paradoxical reality of the Christian experience. What does he say of them?

He calls them in chapter 1 verse 1, to those who are elect exiles. Here's the paradoxical reality of the Christian experience. We must understand that as we are faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we will and ought to experience and expect at the same time security and vulnerability.

Security and vulnerability. That's why the term elect exiles, security elect. We are in his grip and nothing takes us out of that. There's great comfort in that. That's why that doctrine is in scripture.

He says you are mine and nothing changes that. But the vulnerability, we are elect exiles, meaning we're not home. This is not where we belong. We are on a journey headed to home, but we're not there yet. Our hope, we proceed on this journey, we persevere in this journey, with our hope in the one who promised that he will make all things new. What a tremendous hope that is.

And you know what? He gave us glimpses of that. That's why he gave us his son. And when Jesus was walking on the earth and he ministered on the earth, and before his passion, his death, barren resurrection, Jesus did miracles. Just to give us little glimpses that he in fact is the one is the only appropriate object of our faith.

Why? Because he can make all things new. And he gave us little glimpses of that.

The greatest glimpse of course was the resurrection from the dead. And so the anchor of our hope is alive. And that's why he says that we who are in Christ are new creations. The one who makes all things new has started right here, inside me.

I am a new creation. What a beautiful, beautiful hope and promise that that is. The deepest joy that we can experience is independent of circumstance. The deepest joy that we can experience is independent of circumstance. Therefore, joy can be experienced even in sorrow.

You say, Rich, how on earth? How can you be experiencing sorrow and joy at the same time? Well, let me ask you this. Are you an elect exile? Are you secure and at the same time still vulnerable to the evils of this current existence under the sun?

We are. So we can experience joy and sorrow simultaneously. And that's in the groaning that we experience that Paul talks about in Romans chapter 8. This creation order groans and we even groan within ourselves waiting for the redemption of the body. He says, if necessary, here verse 6, If necessary, you have been grieved by various trials.

It's an interesting use of words there. It does say in scripture that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of heaven. Paul said to the Philippians, not only have you been called to believe but also to suffer for his name. We are called to share in the sufferings of Christ. It was Jesus who said, in this world you will have tribulations. He said that, didn't he? Let's not discount that. But be of good cheer.

Why? I have overcome the world, he says. Now he says, if necessary, you've been grieved by various trials. A common word in scripture for trials is the word tribulation. I'm not talking about the prophetic term. I'm talking about the tribulation that you and I can experience. Trials, testings, tribulation, all of those are used kind of synonymously. And the word tribulation is a word that comes from, it's a Latin word that comes from the word tribulum.

You know tribulum is a device. If you lived in biblical times you might see something like this where there was wheat. And the wheat, it's in bunches and sometimes people would go in front of it and kind of scattering it a little bit. And then this kind of sled-like thing and you can see on the right side there's stones underneath and what that does is the ox or the mule pulls it over these stacks of wheat and it separates the grain head from the stock. Now there's a purpose for that.

Now I'm sure if the wheat had feeling it wouldn't feel very pretty, would it? To have this thing rolling over you like that. But that's where the word tribulation comes from. But there is a purpose in that, isn't there?

It's not just because God's a killjoy and he doesn't want you to have too much fun. There is purpose in this. Now here's a fact. If you're going to see the beauty of a diamond, that diamond must have experienced a great deal of friction. That's how it is.

How many of you remember Walter Cronkite in the CBS Evening News? That's the way it is. That's life, folks.

If you're going to enjoy the beauty of a polished diamond, that diamond will have had to experience either a great deal of friction or pressure. That's the way it is. That is life. And so let me remind you of a song that we sing, The Perfect Wisdom of Our God. One of the verses goes like this, Grant me wisdom from above to pray for peace and cling to love. And teach me humbly to receive the sun and rain of your sovereignty. Each strand of sorrow has a place within this tapestry of grace. So through the trials I choose to say, Your perfect will in your perfect way. That's good stuff worthy of meditation. That's why we sing the songs we do.

The lyrics are so important. Now let's talk about the aim of Christian adversity. There is an aim to it, a purpose for it.

If necessary you have been grieved by various trials. What are the first two words of verse seven? So that. There's purpose there. So that. And it says you may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

This is the so that. Now what I'm not going to do right now is just give you a whole exposition on God's purpose in suffering. That's going to come later. Actually what Peter does is he tackles that in chapter four beginning at verse twelve. So we're going to have a whole sub-series in the whole first Peter series. One of the series of this is going to be how free people suffer. Now that's going to come in chapter four.

Bad news, we're not going to get there till January. So you know how things go here. Two things I want to mention today. The aim of Christian adversity. Number one is to prove. Look at verse seven, so that the tested genuineness of your faith more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire. May be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

To prove. Years ago I went to Egypt to teach some graduate students over there. And we were going through the marketplace in downtown Cairo.

It was Cairo before we got up to Alexandria. And you go through this open marketplace. Booths everywhere and everybody is vying for your business. And this guy he says, come here, come here. You need to spend money with me.

They actually say that, okay. I'm not making that up. So he's luring me in. He wants to sell me a product. He works with leather. So he pulls out this wallet. And he says, this wallet is made of genuine leather.

And I want you to know it is. And he was going to prove it to me. How do you think he proved it to me that it was made of genuine leather?

He said, well he tried to anyway. He took out his cigarette lighter. And he put the leather wallet up. And he put the fire to it just like that. He put the fire to the leather.

Meaning if it was genuine leather it wouldn't what? Melt. Right. And it didn't melt. There it was. I was impressed. Genuine leather.

Unfortunately, I already have a wallet. And it's genuine leather. So thank you very much. So, but it was a fun interaction. But he put the fire to it just like that. He put the fire to it. And it stood the test. It was genuine leather. If it was not genuine leather. As they call today, vegan leather. That's really what they call it. Vegan leather.

It means there's no animal product in it. What would happen to it? It would melt. Now, Jesus said something similar to this, didn't he? And remember the parable of the sower and the seed? And some of it falls on stony ground.

What does he say? Luke chapter 8 verse 13. And the ones on the rock are those that have no root. And in time of testing fall away. They melt.

When the sun gets hot, they melt. When trial comes, when you put the fire to them, they melt. They say, I didn't sign up for this.

I'm not going through with this. It's one of the parables of Jesus in Luke chapter 8. 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, You can also check out Pastor Rich's book, 7 Words That Can Change Your Life, where he unpacks from God's Word the very purpose for which you were designed. 7 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 / 2023-03-09 14:17:04 / 2023-03-09 14:21:59 / 5

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