Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In today's message titled Overcome Evil with Good, Rich will show how our acceptance into God's eternal community equips us to love and bless our earthly community. We can love because we have been fully loved, and that love allows us to build bridges into the lives of others.
Our passage 1 Peter 3, 8-13 reminds us to love regardless of how others treat us in return. This is the second part of the message which was first preached on November 13, 2022. You have not arrived at full and complete Christ-likeness.
You're still on the path. Keller uses the term self-forgetfulness when he talks about humility, self-forgetfulness, which is thinking of yourself less and thinking of others more. Do you want to know how you're self-preeminent?
A quick little exercise here. When you get into conversation with somebody and they tell you something about themselves like from this last week, oh, you know, I felt kind of sick this week. If your first response is, yeah, I was sick too, you're self-preeminent because you're making the conversation about you.
Let's talk about that. Think of others. Think of yourself less. In other words, you don't perceive everything in terms of how it relates to you, your performance, because our fallenness drives us to comparison, doesn't it? That's where pride comes from. That's where jealousy comes from. And he's already told us earlier in this letter to not live by the former passions of your flesh.
Comparison. Think less of comparing yourself with others. Think less of what dignity you deserve. Think less of other people's opinions of you.
Think less of how people are perceiving you. Think less of how your rights are being violated because for the Christians that was the case. They were being reviled and maligned. They were being hated. They were being passed over for opportunities.
They were being driven out of their homes. To think less of yourself, humility, humble mind. In other words, you are a person as one who is free and one whose identity has been confirmed and affirmed because you have a received identity in Christ. You are one who lives for the opinion of one. Because when it's all said and done, there is only one before whom you will stand. And it's not anybody else walking on this earth. What Tim Keller, he has a tiny little book. It's called The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness. It's a little booklet.
Over 500,000 of those have been sold because it's so powerfully good. And he said the way he interprets it, 1 Corinthians 4 verse 3, he says, it's no big deal to me that others judge me. Here's how Tim Keller translates that. I have a low opinion of your opinion of me.
That's good, isn't it? But he also says I have a low opinion of my opinion of me. There's only one opinion that I have a high opinion of, and that's God's opinion. What does God think of me? I am who God says I am. What am I in Christ?
Now, I'm starting to preach another message now, so let's move on from there, okay? You live for the opinion of one, therefore you live to please Him. And when you live for the opinion of one, you will live as one who is free. You will have a humble mind, and that means that you will put the needs and the concerns of others above yourself. You serve His purpose, because that's what Jesus did in Philippians 2, isn't it?
Others are more important than you, which that is the mind of Christ, Philippians 2. Now, what he's described, what Peter's done here in verse 8 is he's described a beautiful community, which is the church. Like I've said before, when the church is being the church, she's beautiful.
Like a bride adorned waiting for the groom. Is that who we are? Can Grace Bible Church be described as beautiful? I hope so.
I hope you're participating in that. But one way that the church is beautiful is when she is a blessing to the community, not just as a beautiful community within the community, but as a blessing to the community. We are called to minister to each other, to walk alongside each other, to disciple each other, but we are also called to be a blessing to the community.
Remember, as we get into this, the context in which Peter writes this. Christians are being mistreated. A Christian's walking out in public, they might be in the marketplace, and somebody sees them, ah, you're a Christian. You can't buy at my store. Get out of here.
It's probably common in those days. Now what he says here in verse 9, look what he says, do not repay evil for evil, reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless. For to this you recall that you may obtain a blessing. And then he goes in to quote Psalm 34 verses 12 to 16. Psalm 34, 12 to 16.
Do not repay. First, Titus chapter 3 verse 8. The church is called to be a blessing. Remember what Jesus said? He said to his disciples who were listening to him, you are the what? Light of the world.
You are the light of the world. Titus chapter 3 verse 8. I want you to insist, this is Paul, this is Apostle Paul writing to Titus. I want you to insist on these things that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. The church exists in part to be a help and a blessing to the community. That's why we're here. We don't just exist for ourselves.
We're here to be profitable for people. Zealous for good works, Paul says as he writes to Titus in chapter 2. Now he starts that with a negative.
Let me tell you what that doesn't look like, he says. It doesn't look like repaying evil or reviling. So we put off the filthy garments from which we've been redeemed and that's Repat's vengeance. It's an attitude of disposition of you smack me, I'm going to smack you.
Right? We are free in Christ as forgiven, those who are forgiven, those who are loved, accepted, and destined to be with him and enjoy him. So you don't need to protect your rights or your dignity. All that's done in Christ, all that's done.
That's why you're free. And so remember what he says in chapter 1 verse 14. If you want to look back at there, I think I have it up on the slide 114 as obedient children do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. What are the passions of your former ignorance?
I've already talked about that a little bit. The passions of your former ignorance are vengeance and the necessity, the requirement that other people affirm me. I require you to affirm me. That is a passion of my former ignorance when I engage in that. And what he says, instead of doing that, instead of repaying evil, and when people revile you, then you revile them back.
That's the flesh doing that. You've been rescued from that. You're free from that. Because that is in fact bondage when we repay that like that. Instead, and now here he gives us an option.
And why can we have this option? Because Christ has suffered for us in our place to rescue us. But he's given us steps that we can follow in his steps. So he's now calling us to follow in the steps of Christ.
He left for us an example to follow in his steps. What can you do? Instead of repaying evil, instead of reviling those who revile you, here's two things that you can do. Number one, trust God's justice.
Number two, rest in God's goodness. That's that satisfaction I keep talking about. Are you satisfied in God?
The more you're satisfied in him, the more he's glorified in you. To trust God's justice means you're keeping the end in view. God has given us enough of a glimpse of the end to see that there is an end, and that's where we're headed. And Jesus Christ stands right there with open arms ready for our embrace, ready for us to enter into his embrace. Read Psalm 37 when the psalmist was about to give up on following God and trusting God because he saw how many wicked people were just, they seemed to be just flourishing and thriving in life, and they gave no thought to God. He says, what's the point of me following your commands when all these wicked people are doing just fine and they give no thought to you? He says, it was about to overwhelm me until, what? I considered their end. I went into the temple of God and I considered their end.
Where is this all going? Remember when I said at the end of the day, there's one before whom you and I will stand. And that's not true of just us.
It's true of everyone. So trust God's justice and rest in God's goodness. So what Peter is saying here is it says, verse nine, do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless to this you were called that you may obtain a blessing. He says, instead of vengeance, instead of protecting your dignity, he says, you need to be governed by something higher, better, and more beautiful than your fleshly impulse.
This is the same thing James says in one 20, the wrath of Ben does not produce the righteousness of God. 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 / 2023-05-23 14:08:36 / 2023-05-23 14:13:03 / 4