Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. Today's message titled Boldly Unfurl Hope pulls from 1 Peter 3, 14-22. As Rich digs into this passage, he challenges us to champion what is right, true, and good, regardless of what it may cost. Because of our reality in Christ, our position before God, and the promises that become ours in Christ, we can face suffering and ridicule with calm assurance and trust for the sake of the Gospel. This is the third part of the message, which was first preached November 20, 2022.
It is before him and him alone that I stand, and I will give an account. That's the fear of God. So what does that mean for my life? It means that in my life, day by day, moment by moment, I live for the opinion of one. That's the fear of God. And in our hearts, we need to replace the fear of man, what others will think of us or what they might do to us, and most of the time that's imagined, and we replace the fear of man with the fear of God, that I live for the opinion of one.
As Peter continues, he is quoting, not quoting exactly, but referencing Isaiah chapter 8 verses 11 and 12, and that's what he's doing when he starts writing 1 Peter 3 18, which is a very well-known verse, isn't it? But in your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and respect. In your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy.
What does that mean? He's speaking of the inner person. The inner person. The heart is the seat of affection and attitude.
We can advance one slide, I believe, right? In your heart, set apart Christ. What does it mean to set apart Christ? It means this, he alone is on the throne.
That's what it means to set him apart. He alone is on the throne of our affections and our attitudes. Therefore, if Christ alone is on the throne, if he is indeed preeminent in my life, everything, listen, are you with me? Listen to this, if he alone is on the throne of my life, everything I do is what? Worship. That's why we, one of the staples of our teaching here is work as worship.
Work as worship. If Christ alone is on the throne of my affections and my attitudes, everything I do is worship. Everything I study is worship.
It's a means to discover the beauty and the awesomeness of God and his character and his purpose. Everything I do is worship. So my work is worship. My study is worship. My play is worship. There is room for recreation in the heart of the one who is a follower of Jesus Christ. And I can use that word, that play, as a means of worshiping God because he is a God of joy and gladness. Here's one. Some of you are really gonna like this. Shop as worship.
You like that? But think about it. Where are you spending, where are you investing your resources? Shop as worship. If Christ indeed is alone on the throne of my life, of my heart, of my attitudes and my affections, then everything I do is worship. I need a glass of water, please. Thank you.
Somebody back there near the end. And when that is true, that everything that I do is worship, you're gonna stand out. It's not because you're intentionally being weird or eccentric of some sort, but you're just gonna stand out if everything you do is worship. It's going to get people's attention. You're a gentleman and a scholar.
Thank you. And as you stand out that way, and we're gonna see an example from the Old Testament, as you stand out that way, you're going to encounter pushback. And so the first appropriate response of people who are free is appropriate fear. The second response is confident hope. When you receive pushback for being a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, the second response is confident hope. When you experience the brokenness, the sin of others, we're not called to alarm or outrage. Listen, alarm and outrage are not the fruit of the Spirit.
Please write that down. They are not the fruit of the Spirit. So if you're sensing them, you need to overcome them by the fruit of the Spirit, by walking in the Spirit, by letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, by drawing near to God and abiding in Christ. Confident hope means that I have a confidence and a calmness where the peace of Christ rules my heart.
A confidence and a calmness, and it requires looking beyond the immediate. It requires living with the end in view. Here's another axiom for today's message. Much, and Peter bears this out very clearly, much is accomplished through suffering. Much is accomplished through suffering. When that suffering is directed towards God. What Peter is writing about to his readers, it is a people who are indeed are suffering because they are faithful followers of God. There is a lot of suffering that we experience in this world that is not necessarily because we are followers of God.
It could be natural calamity like sickness. Often people suffer because of bad choices that they've made. But the suffering that we experience, if it's a physical calamity, or you're on the blunt end of somebody else's brokenness, all suffering, you can direct it towards God. And when you direct your suffering towards God, much can be accomplished through that.
That's how the economy of God's kingdom works under the sun, on this side of eternity. That's why the Psalms are in the scriptures. The Psalms are God's people praying and singing their emotions, calling out to God, being honest with him, invoking him. We need to focus and affirm God's character and his purpose, even in and through our suffering. Peter gives us an example of Christ. So our responses are anchored in the example of Christ and the triumph of Christ, is what he's going to be talking about in the balance of the text today. The example of Christ, look at verse 18. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit. The example of Christ, this is history.
Remember that, this is history. This is not myth, this is history. And Christ suffered, and he suffered for good. He suffered for good in two ways. He suffered for doing good. What was the good that he did? He revealed to us his Father, God. That's the good that he did, and he suffered for that.
He was slandered, he was beaten, he was crucified for that. He suffered for good, but he also suffered for good in this sense. His good produced, his suffering produced a lot of good.
You see that? His suffering produced a lot of good. Isaiah 53 says it well. He will see the travail of his soul and be satisfied.
You see, suffering is not the opposite of blessing. Verse 18 is the gospel. Look at it with me again, with gospel eyes. Verse 18, Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God. There it is, that's the gospel.
All of it right there. That he might bring us to God, that's the good for which he suffered. That is the good that resulted from his suffering.
Our reconciliation to God would not be possible apart from the sufferings of Christ. Suffering produces much good when it is directed towards God. As Michael Card wrote in his song, El Shaddai, God's most awesome work was done through the frailty of his Son.
Let's remember that. And the work that he got, the good that he brought out because of his suffering is our reconciliation. He rescued us from the necessary holy wrath of God.
That's a lot of good. So that's the example of Christ in history with all the theological implications in there. But then also the triumph of Christ, which is our hope. Christ has triumphed. And it is a hope that we can realize today, but it is a hope that we will more fully realize in the future.
And we live in that hope. 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, 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 / 2023-05-30 17:09:15 / 2023-05-30 17:13:32 / 4