Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. For believers, our freedom is anchored in the cross of Jesus. Because of that, the way we process life must be cross-centered. As we surrender daily to Christ's work, our attitudes and affections will be transformed by Him. Only then can we do life well. A cross-centered life will look drastically different from the world system of living, but we can swim against the current with a confident expectation of a glorious future with our Savior. Even as Rich brings a message from 1 Peter 4, 1-6, titled Distinguished by Grace. This is the fourth part of a sermon first preached on November 27, 2022. Ours is a confident hope of a glorious future anchored in the triumph of Christ. That's why he says, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking. I'm not fixated on keeping my dot going.
I've armed myself with the same way of thinking, therefore I'm living for the line, not just the dot. Because there is a confident hope of a glorious future, and I consider the triumph of Christ. But get this, how did the triumph of Christ come?
Through suffering. Are you ready? Are you willing? Have you taken up your cross? Or is Jesus just something to you to make your life more comfortable?
I'm gonna say something really hard right now, okay? If Jesus is to you nothing but something to make your life more comfortable and pleasurable, he wants nothing to do with you. He worked hard to keep those people from following him. We find it in the gospel record. He is your sovereign, and the only appropriate response to your sovereign is surrender.
Total. His triumph came through suffering. And so we see here, I think what Peter is talking about in verse 6, the gospel was preached even to those who were dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. The gospel is preached. Peter is talking about the history of where the evangelism has happened. Pagan Gentile peoples were converted through the work of the word of God and the spirit of God. They were drawn to God, they were converted, and they are in Christ. And when they were converted, their lives were transformed. And then their Fran, the Fran of these people whose lives were transformed could not understand what was going on, and they became threatened by them. And then, ultimately, they ended up judging them saying, you don't deserve to live away with you, judged in the flesh the way men are.
I don't want to be around you, away with you, get out of my life. Even some of them, their lives being taken from them because they were followers of Christ. And so the gospel was preached to them. They were converted, they were followers of Jesus Christ, and their Fran could not understand it.
And they said, away with you. And some of them lost their lives for following Christ. And they think they've got, the unbelieving Fran believe that they've gotten the upper hand. Well, we showed him, but they don't realize that this one who was a follower of Christ worshiped a sovereign and holy God.
Because look who has the last word, though they were judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. That's resurrection. That's life.
That's real life. Live in the spirit the way God does, in the realm of the spirit the way God does. So in other words, this person whose life might have been taken away from them because they were a follower of Christ, and they were judged, we judge you unworthy to live, they stand before the sovereign Redeemer in his embrace who says, welcome to being fully alive with me, where there is fullness of joy and pleasures evermore. Irenaeus said, the glory of God is man fully alive.
That's what he's talking about. That's living for the line, folks. That's not being fixated with the tiny minuscule dot of your existence under the sun.
That's living for the line. Paul speaks to this in 2 Corinthians 5, 4, for while we are still in this tent, we groan being burdened, not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. The person who is free, distinguished by grace, living for the line knows what the meaning of that which is mortal may be swallowed up by life. There is so much more to your life than just your tiny dot-like existence under the sun.
Live according to the big picture, live with the end in view. That we may be further clothed, he says, and that is our glory. That will be our glory being with Christ fully like Christ. In fact, we will be, because we have the righteousness of Christ and we're with God eternity, with the righteousness of Christ.
I dare say that we will have it better. We will be at a more exalted level than Adam and Eve if they had never sinned, because then they would have their own righteousness. But we will have the righteousness of Christ.
We have the righteousness of Christ, and therefore enjoying God forever, just like Jesus. That's the line, folks. That's the line. Live for that.
Live for that. And you will say, you will find yourself liberated from the preoccupation of the dot. This is what Peter is calling us to. So we are a people who are distinguished by grace. And if we are a people distinguished by grace, that means that we will communicate hope boldly. Now this is quiz time. What do I mean by boldly? Two words.
And they begin with C. See, I've made it easy for you. Bold, it does not mean getting in somebody's face and poking your finger in their eye, invading their space. That is not boldness.
That is insecurity. Boldness means two things, confident and calm. Confident and calm. Even in the context of reviling, persecution, disdain, even being judged, deemed worthy, unworthy of life.
We communicate hope boldly, confident and calm. And if your life is taken from you and someday you will shed that body. You with me on this?
That body that's sitting in that red chair, it ain't gonna last. You will shed that someday. And when that happens, will you be one who stands in front of the sovereign creator, your redeemer, and will you hear him say, well done.
Think about what John said, abide in him so that when he appears, we may not shrink away from him in shame at his coming. You don't wanna be that. You wanna hear well done. Because now while you're running the race, you recognize that when the race is won, how many of you know Twyla Paris?
When the race is won, what? You'll run into his arms. Would you live that?
Would you keep that in view? And may God rescue us from our preoccupation with the dot. Because when he rescues us from the preoccupation with the dot, we will boldly manifest hope to a world that is so confused and dark and chaotic they have no idea what that hope looks like, except what they see in us. Let's be that.
Stand with me, please. Father, we are blessed to have a word from you that you have turned your light on into our darkness and rescued us from despair, from delusions, from darkness, from death. So Father, cause us to recognize the freedom that is ours. And as we live that freedom, we will be a people distinguished by grace, communicating hope boldly to a confused and chaotic world. Father, may we be the church and when the church is being the church, she is beautiful. And so Father, we ask that to be our identity, to be our mission, recognizing that we are people distinguished by grace under the grace of God.
Cause your grace is so free and so full. Father, thank you for what you have done and for what you will do. And if there's anyone here this morning who does not know Jesus Christ in this way, you have not received his forgiveness.
You are not a follower of Christ. I am willing to speak with you afterwards to introduce you to the one who created you, who loves you, who made you for himself and died for you to redeem you so that you too can live. Father, may your spirit work in our hearts. May your spirit take the word of God and place it and plant it deep in our hearts to shape and fashion us like your son, the Lord Jesus 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, 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 / 2023-06-07 14:17:58 / 2023-06-07 14:22:12 / 4