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Boldly Unfurl Hope, Part 5

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
June 1, 2023 10:15 am

Boldly Unfurl Hope, Part 5

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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June 1, 2023 10:15 am

The Gospel is hope in a dark world. Apart from the suffering of Christ there would be no possibility that we could be rescued from the necessary wrath of God. This rescue is God's free gift of love to any who will accept it. Forgiveness of sin, reconciliation with our Creator, fellowship with God's people.

In Touch
Charles Stanley
In Touch
Charles Stanley

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. Today is the final part of the message, first preached on November 20, 2022. 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. 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 pushback, 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? The 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, 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. Another sermon for a different time. But engaging. The bold hope of one who is free is eager. Secondly, it's engaging.

Third, it's appealing. One who asks you. Always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you.

Why would they ask you? Let me make an affirmation against a repetition of something I said at the beginning of the service. Peter is not talking about passively living the Christian life.

And so somebody can read this and say, well, you know, if I'm just a good, obedient Christian person and I just do my job and I go about my life, somebody's gonna come to me and ask me, no, no, no, no, no. That's not what he's saying. What is he saying here?

He is talking about someone who in the context of suffering and pushback and reviling is intentionally gracious and kind and loving. That person, you're gonna get attention. Somebody's gonna ask you a question. What gives?

What is this? How do you explain this? How do you explain your behavior? How come you're not outraged? I wish Christians could be asked that today. How come you're not outraged or alarmed by how people are treating you? How come you're not sitting there fighting for your rights when people are slandering you and defrauding you?

How come you're not doing that? Now is when you have the opportunity to share with them the hope that is yours in Jesus Christ. You are Noah standing in the door of the ark talking to someone who's not come into the ark. To anyone who asks. Because, as he says in verse 3, 9, bless those who revile you, speak well of them, show kindness to those who do not deserve kindness according to the flesh. You see, that's not just passively living the Christian life.

That is an active Christian life of obedience. Fourthly, thoughtful. The bold hope of one who is free is thoughtful. Give them a reason.

The word there is logos. A reason. What is the reason for my hope? There is a reason for it. There is a foundation to it. And it's revelation in history. It's not just how I feel. It's not this wishful thinking that I have. There's a reason for it. There is a reasonable, logical foundation for this hope that I have. It's found in the example and the triumph of Christ.

And we find that in history and in revelation. Fifthly, it's respectable. Do it with gentleness and respect. Gentleness and respect. And listen, this is what true boldness looks like. Gentleness and respect. Confidence. That's what confidence looks like. As writer Huber says, we can boldly come before the throne of grace.

Meaning what? Humbly, thankfully, expectantly. No fear of judgment.

Do it with gentleness and respect. And when you do that, the opponents will be compelled to consider what you have to say. And we have many biblical examples of it. Think of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were threatened to have their lives removed by being thrown into the fire.

And they said, we will not bow. Think of Daniel. Think of Joseph. Think of Peter and John.

You determine, should we obey God or should we obey man? But let it be known to you, we will preach in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lastly, the hope of one who is free.

The bold hope of one who is free is real. Having a good conscience, he says. Having a good conscience. Verse 16. So that when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. Just like, just like Noah did. He faithfully walked with God and obeyed God. Even doing something that the world around him thought was absolutely nuts. Having a good conscience.

In other words, it's not a put-on. It comes from the core. Your bold hope in Christ comes from the core.

Why? Because it's anchored in God's revelation and in history. It's anchored in the example and the triumph of Christ.

Hebrews 9 14, what it says, the blood of Christ will purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. So let me bring this to conclusion. And I actually mean that. All right? Are you, are you potentially afraid of what your place in society will be in the coming days? Is this causing you a lot? Is this causing you anxiety?

Is it causing you fear? What your place in society might look like in the coming days? Where do I start? If I'm to be obedient, as Peter calls us to this morning in 1st Peter chapter 3, where do I start? Start where it starts in verse 15.

Where does it start in verse 15? Ask this question. Who's on the throne? Who's on the throne?

Do you fear God or do you fear man? Work on that. I don't mean that glibly. That's something, that is priority that you need to work on.

Who's on there? Make sure Christ is on the throne. That you indeed live for the opinion of one and you're not living for the opinion of other people. We need to deal with that every day. Draw near to God. Draw near to God and abide there.

Abide there. Practice the presence of God while you're working, while you're at home, while you're playing, while you're shopping. Practice the presence of God. And make sure that you are indeed, as you are abiding and practicing the presence of God, and fellowshipping with his people, make sure that you are being equipped in grace and truth. That's what we're about, being equipped in grace and truth. Loved ones, there is an unfinished task before us and that is to faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it will be our task until Christ returns. And we are called to that.

Are you prepared to do that at a cost? Are you prepared to boldly unfurl hope because we worship a God of hope and we are a people of hope because we are in Christ. Father, thank you for who you are. Thank you for what you have done, for the work that you have accomplished for us, for the example of Christ who suffered for good.

He suffered for doing good and he suffered to produce good. Father, may we not be fearful of suffering but recognize that much good is produced through suffering. So Father, may we rise up to be faithful followers of Jesus, to follow him even when it becomes costly. May we unfurl the flag of hope boldly, confident and calmly because we are in Christ. In whose name we pray.

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, 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 / 2023-06-01 17:14:59 / 2023-06-01 17:19:36 / 5

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