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Boldly Unfurl Hope, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2023 11:41 am

Boldly Unfurl Hope, Part 4

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 31, 2023 11:41 am

The passage we deal with today is perhaps one of the most enigmatic of all scripture, 1 Peter 3:18-20 "For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, in which he also went and made proclamation to the spirits in prison who in the past were disobedient, when God patiently waited in the days of Noah while the ark was being prepared. In it a few ​— ​that is, eight people ​— ​were saved through water." Rather than spend time dealing with all the ways theologians have wrestled with this text over the millennia, Pastor Rich gets us right to the known point.

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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 through 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. We're listening to part four of a message first preached on November 20th, 2022. Now we come here now to probably the most enigmatic passage in all of scripture for scholars and exegetes, and I do not have the time to unpack it, nor do I think it is our purpose here this morning, but I'm going to present to you what I believe is the main theme emphasis of this particular passage. And I think what Peter is giving us here is a historic pattern of God's sovereign providence. A historic pattern of God's sovereign providence.

First of all, there is proclamation. God has never been without witness in the earth, ever. And it is the spirit of Christ who speaks through his witnesses, even in the days of Noah.

It is the spirit of Christ. And so there's proclamation, and then there's the patience of God. And today we have the long suffering grace of God. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

And he knows exactly who they are. So there's the proclamation, the witness of God, and then the patience. And then when that time is done, what comes?

Either judgment or people who are justified. And so it was back in the days of Noah. And so we see it was the spirit of Christ.

Turn, keep your finger there, turn back to chapter one. Look at verse 11. Talking about those who prophesied, verse 10, inquiring verse 11, inquiring what person or time the spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ. You see the spirit of Christ was at work in all of the Old Testament and all the Old Testament prophets. So Christ was in them and them and he preached through Noah. Look at these two verses.

They're on the screen. Hebrews 11 7. By faith Noah being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, the great flood of the earth, okay, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this, listen to this, by this he condemned the world and became an heir of righteousness that comes by faith. You either respond to the proclamation of God or you do not. Either way, you're responding. And for those who do respond to the proclamation of God, you are justified because the spirit of Christ prophesying. And for those who do not respond, they say, I don't need that. I've got my own way. I don't, I'm good, thank you.

You're an idiot for believing that stuff, you know, that kind of stuff. You face, you face the judgment of God. That's what happened in Noah's day.

Second Peter, Peter says the same thing. Second Peter chapter 2 verse 5. He did not spare, God did not spare the ancient world but preserved Noah, here it is, a herald of righteousness with seven others when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly. Harold was, Noah was at hand. Harold was, Noah was a preacher, a herald of righteousness. It was the spirit of Christ preaching through him to the people of that day who were generally unbelieving, disobedient people. They were a disobedient people and because they were judged by their disobedience, they are now in prison quarantined for final judgment. And Noah condemned the world, which I see that equal to verse 16. Look at verse 16, having a good conscience so that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. What is he talking about there? Just like Noah, when he followed God's command and he built an ark, nobody else around him understood what on earth he was doing.

It looked strange to them. But he followed God, he obeyed God, he was faithful to God. And because he was faithful to God, he went into the ark, the door was closed, the floods came and Noah and his family were saved and nobody else was.

And so it is today. Today, Christians proclaim, Christ proclaims through his followers as those who are rescued from judgment. And the ark kind of like has an equal symbol of baptism that Peter uses here. It's those who are identified. In other words, it's this. Noah and his family were saved because where were they?

This is not a hard question. In the ark, we are saved because we are in what? Christ.

There it is. And that's the whole picture of baptism, where we are, we die with him and we rise to new life. We are in Christ. That's what saves us. It is our faith that saves us.

And it was Noah's faith that saved him because he was in the ark. You see, that's a proclamation. And my being a follower of Jesus Christ is something where people who do not know Christ will look at me and they might even feel, I can't live up to that. I'm not good enough.

He thinks he's better than I am. I don't. But they might think that.

Or they might just outright be, that's nuts. I don't want that to be a part of my existence, they might say about me. And so I get pushback. But I'm a person of hope and I'm safe and I'm free. Why? Because I'm in Christ. Imagine all the people outside of the ark pushing back against Noah. But Noah was safe.

Why? Because he was in the ark. And he preached long and hard through the Spirit of Christ preaching through him to a people who are disobedient. And today yet God's long-suffering grace continues, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. Safety is in Christ. It's righteousness. His righteousness. I have his righteousness. I'm in Christ. Just like Noah was in the ark. And verse 22 makes it clear that the sovereign righteous judge who will judge all the disobedient is also the loving reconciling father.

Which means if I know him as my loving reconciling father I am what? I am free. I am a person of hope. I can be bold. Bold being confident and calm.

Not outraged and alarmed. So let's talk finally here. Let's talk about the bold hope of one who is free. Let's stop for a second and talk about the word bold or boldness. There's probably a particular image that comes to your mind when you think about somebody who is bold. And if you think about boldness as one who is assertive and in your face, you've got the idea of boldness completely wrong.

Let me tell you why. If somebody is in your face or they're alarmed or they're outraged it only shows one thing and that is that they're insecure. Boldness has nothing to do with arrogance. Arrogance is the opposite of genuine boldness. Boldness means confidence. So if I am bold I am two things. I am confident and I am calm. If I am bold I am confident and I am calm. I'm going to ask a question. What is boldness? Right answer, confident and calm. Ready for the question? What is boldness?

Yes. There's no alarm. There's no outrage. There's no in your face. There's no poking your finger in somebody's eye. That's not boldness.

That's insecurity. If I am bold I am confident and calm. And what does he say here? Let's go back to probably one of the most well-known verses for Christians at least in the New Testament.

But in your hearts verse 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord is holy always being prepared to make a defense for anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you yet do it with gentleness and respect. All right here they are characteristics of a bold hope. The bold hope of one who is free.

There are six of them here. First of all eager. The bold hope of one who is free is eager. It's an eager hope. Always being prepared.

Why? Because you are abiding in Christ and you are being equipped by that. You're not just simply memorizing a script for the event when you encounter an unbelieving person. You are abiding in Christ. His word is dwelling in you richly and that is equipping you. You are in fellowship with God's people.

You are listening to the teaching of the word of God and all of this abiding is equipping you. And you are always being prepared. It also means that you're expecting it. When you get the push back you're expecting it.

Not that you're looking for it. But it doesn't take you by surprise nor does it alarm you. But you see it as an opportunity. The pushback comes.

All right. I get to show them what the love of God really is. It's an opportunity. Eager. The bold hope of one who is free is eager. Secondly it is engaging. Prepared to make a defense.

Prepared to make a defense. Meaning what? You're not avoiding it. When the pushback comes you're not avoiding encounters with whoever's giving the pushback. But you are participating in conversation with them. You actually talk to people in normal conversation. Why? Because you're a normal human being.

Just like they are. Right? Bible doesn't call us to be weird. The unbelievers might think we're weird. I mean somebody said that about us once. Right? You know if I bring a guest into church what they they're gonna think what we're doing is weird.

I'm like yeah and because they're not used to this. They don't have an object of worship other than themselves. 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 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 / 2023-05-31 17:01:29 / 2023-05-31 17:06:10 / 5

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