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The Same Kind of Different as He

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
August 2, 2020 6:00 am

The Same Kind of Different as He

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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Hey, Summit, Brian Loritz here. I am so excited to jump in on our 1 Peter series and bring the Word of God to you. So if you've got your Bibles, why don't you pull them out?

We're going to walk through all of 1 Peter chapter 4 today. Well, one of my favorite baseball players of all time is Yogi Berra, the iconic Hall of Fame catcher for the New York Yankees. Really one of the most unique, different, eccentric baseball players to have ever played the game. The name Yogi Berra is synonymous with different. In fact, if you just spent a few moments in conversation with him, you'd pick up right away how different Yogi was. These are actual things that he said, what many people call Yogiisms.

Will you look at them with me? He once said, you can observe a lot by watching. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. I love that. The future, Yogi once said, ain't what it used to be.

A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. I love this by Yogi. Yogi said, always go to other people's funerals. Otherwise, they won't come to yours. Nobody goes there anymore.

It's too crowded. And then he says, if you arrive at a fork in the road, take it. Finally, Yogi said, I never said most of the things I said. Those are actual statements from Yogi Berra.

And you can see how if you just spent a little bit of time with him, you would leave going unique, different. Again, you say the name Yogi Berra, and it is synonymous with different. Likewise, I think if you say the name Christian in the context of this world, it should scream different. In fact, the disciples were first called Christians at a town called Antioch. They were so unique, so different, the world didn't have a category to place them in, so they were called Christians or little Christs right there in Antioch. They were just unique.

They're different. If there's one word that sums up not just our text, first Peter chapter four, but really I think canvases all of the book of first Peter, it is the word different. In fact, Peter comes right out the gate and says in first Peter chapter one, verse one, he calls his readers, and not just in his immediate audience, but for all of those who are followers of Jesus Christ, I love it, he calls them the elect exiles, the elect exiles. Now, as we've learned, Peter's writing in a language called Greek, and the Greek word for exile literally means, here the paradox, the close stranger.

The close stranger. It is someone who's geographically close, but when you spend time with them, you get the sense that they're not from here. In fact, I think the best word that we have today to describe this idea of exile, the close stranger, it is really the word immigrant. Now, I understand many of you are watching this, and praise God, you're immigrants. You're geographically close, but you're from another place, and I just absolutely hate that the word immigrant has been politicized, and even among some, it's been demonized. In great courage, with great dreams, you left the comfortable and the familiar to come to this country. In fact, we all know the history of this country. It's filled with immigrants. So I thank God for you, and God has used you greatly, and we pray that he will continue to use you greatly to build into the beauty and the tapestry of our nation. But immigrants are exactly that.

They're people, again, who are geographically close, but the way they talk, their cultural preferences and norms, you just get the sense that while you're spatially close to me, it's obvious that you're not originally from here. That, my friends, is what Peter says fundamentally means to be a Christian. In fact, Paul would pick up on this sentiment. In Philippians chapter 3, Paul would say, hey, I want you to know, follower of Jesus, that your citizenship is in heaven. To be a follower of Jesus means that we live in the kingdom of this world, but it's obvious that we've got dual citizenship.

We're from another world, the kingdom of God. And because of that, this idea of exile, the close stranger, the fact that I've got dual citizenship, there should just be a sense in which people, when they're around us, they just think different. We're different. So college student, I've got to ask you, when you sit in your virtual classes this fall, do people around you, will they get a sense that you're different? Maybe when you go to the frat house at whatever point that can happen, or you hang out among your sorrowers, there should be a sense in which you're different. By the way we husband, or by the way you wife, by the way we parent, may there just be a sense in which we're different. By the choices we make financially, the way we steward money, and spend our time, may it just scream different.

Why? Because we are the elect exiles. We are the close strangers. Again, if you're taking notes, I want to encourage you either in your note app, whatever that may be, Evernote, or maybe you're physically writing in a journal or in the margins of your Bible, if there's one word that canvases all of 1 Peter chapter 4, it is the word different. In fact, I want to just matriculate our way through this whole chapter, and we're going to see that Peter says to follow Christ means to be different. That we're to be different in our actions among the world. Second, we're to be different in our affiliations to the world.

And then third, we are to be different in our aches in the world. But first Peter says that we are to be different in our actions among the world. Look at the opening six verses with me of 1 Peter chapter 4. Peter writes, since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh, no longer for human passions, but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.

With respect to this, they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you. But they will give account to him, Peter writes, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does. What Peter is saying is to be a follower of Jesus means that we are different in our actions among the world. Now we know Peter's talking about the world because he uses the term Gentiles. If you're new to the Scriptures, you need to understand that this term Gentiles, it's used in one of two ways predominantly in the New Testament. One way it's used is to speak of people who are ethnically non-Jewish.

Ethnically non-Jewish. This is the way Paul uses it in Ephesians 2 11 when he says, therefore now you Gentiles in the flesh. He's using it again to speak of people who are of a different ethnicity than the Jews. That's not how Peter uses it. Peter uses it another major way the New Testament writers use it.

It's used not in a physical or ethnic sense, instead it's used more of in a spiritual sense. It speaks of people who don't know or follow Jesus Christ as a way of life. It speaks of people who are really living for this world. Now that brings the question what is this world? When we're talking about different in our actions from the world, is Peter saying that we're not to care for our environment? Is he talking about trees and dirt and roads? What does he mean when he talks about world? He's not so much speaking of a physical place as much as he is speaking of a system that is antithetical or in contrast to the values of the kingdom of God. Now this brings up the age old question. How are we followers of Jesus to relate to the world?

This has led us to many kind of attempts to answer this question throughout world history. For example, early on in church history there were a group of people who said, you know what, the world is just all bad, let me pull out of the world and kind of create these enclaves where we are literally away from the world. We would know them as monasteries. Is this what Peter is calling us to do?

I don't think so. On the other extreme in recent years there's been kind of what's been called the emerging church movement. Now some of these churches have been led by pastors even cursing pastors who their idea of relevance is really the idea of mixing in with the world. And so how they talk to their philosophy of ministry, where they meet, you walk in going, I don't see much difference between the world and how you speak and act and navigate life.

Is this what Peter is calling us to? In fact, this emerging church movement would cause a bit of a fit among the fundamentalist Bible college that I went to. No embellishment at all here, but I went to a Bible college and they had all these long litany of rules. Couldn't play cards. There was no dancing. And so if you got married in the middle of the semester, couldn't dance at your reception.

However, they did give an amendment. If you got married on winter break or summer break, you can kind of let the DJ play Stevie Wonder and y'all can cupid shuffle your way the whole time. And so these are some of the rules. You couldn't go to the theater, but literally we could rent blockbuster videos that were rated R. Okay. Uh, blockbuster videos.

Some of you may be asking, uh, there are these little rectangular things that you could stick into a machine. Just have someone over 30 years old, explain it to you. One of our sister fundamentalist schools, a donor donated money for them to build a swimming pool, but actually earmarked some extra money that on the occasion men were caught in the same pool with women to fill that pool up with concrete. Is this how we're supposed to navigate the world? See this whole fundamentalist mindset kind of leads to legalism and moralism. And instead of placing my sense of value in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I now place my value in the fact that I don't cuss or chew or date girls that do.

I know that's corny, but literally that was a saying that I remember hearing growing up. Is this what it means to relate to the world? How are we to relate to the world? I believe Christians are to relate to the world the way boats relate to water. See, boats were built and designed fundamentally to interact with the water. A boat wasn't built or designed to stay in some big warehouse or a hangar.

No, it was built and designed to interact with the water. But while the boat is to be on the water, the water is never to be in the boat. That's what it means as far as Christians in our interaction with the world. God has created, called, and designed you and I not to stay in the hangar or the warehouses of this world, not to retreat or withdraw. He's called you and I to interact with the world. But he doesn't want the world to be inside of us.

We're to be different. Okay Brian, I understand what you're saying, that the world is kind of this system whose values are antithetical to the way of God and the kingdom of heaven. I understand that I'm to interact with the world without the world being inside of me, but can you give me a little bit more help as it relates to what worldliness is? Peter helps us when you look at verse 3.

Peter helps to press into this idea of worldliness when he says, for the time that is past suffices for doing, here it is again, what the Gentiles want to do. What is that? Living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. Couple things here. One, that's not a comprehensive list, so just because you don't see your thing on there doesn't give you a pass.

But two, although I don't have time to do a line-by-line audit of each word, please notice with me the common denominator to all those descriptions. It speaks of a person who's by way of life is obsessed and dominated by their appetites in this world. And so instead of enjoying God's good gifts, they actually replace God with God's good gifts. Is worldliness having a lake house? Absolutely not. Is worldliness going on a vacation? Is worldliness kind of enjoying life? Absolutely not.

But worldliness happens when God's good gifts, when our hedonistic pursuits take the place of our pursuit of God. Finally, if I could invite you into my home for just a few moments. Corey and I have three wonderful boys. They're all teenagers. The way Corey and I try to parent is we've always tried to parent with the idea that the default is yes unless you give me and Corey a really good reason as to why we should say no.

And so we've noticed a trend in recent years in teenagers. Kids, I want you to perk up here. You know, our kids will come to us and say, hey, Dad, can we download this kind of music? Can we download this album, this song?

Or can we purchase that outfit? Or can we stay out that late and hang out with this individual? And one of the kind of common denominators we've noticed on occasion with our kids is that when it comes to their questions, they like to push the limits, which is good. But we notice that sometimes they want to push the limits as it relates to how close they can get to the world instead of how close they can get to Christ. So teenagers, I encourage you to push the limits, but just push the limits in the right direction. A follower of Jesus Christ, college student, adult, single mom, whoever you may be, push the limits, but push them towards Christ.

Peter is absolutely clear. Followers of Jesus are to be different in our actions among the world. But not only that, secondly, Peter says that we followers of Jesus are to be different in our affiliations to the world. Pick me up in verse 7.

Peter writes, the end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly since love covers a multitude of sins.

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's very grace. Whoever speaks is one who speaks oracles of God. Whoever serves as one who serves by the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Fundamentally, Peter is saying the way we navigate relationships, our affiliations with other individuals should just look differently than how the world does.

What does that mean? Well, we have to remember that when Peter is writing in his first century world, he's writing to a very caste-driven, hierarchical society where rich did not hang with poor, where people of one social class did not hang out with another social class. In fact, mealtimes were times in which you either entrenched or enhanced your social station in life. Some of us can remember, in fact, if you read through the four biographies on Jesus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the constant criticism that Jesus is getting is, Jesus, why are you eating with that person? Jesus violated the norms of society. He didn't see mealtimes as a time to just kind of birds of a feather flock together. Instead, Jesus transgressed these hierarchical norms and boundaries. He ate with tax collectors. In fact, he invited himself over a tax collector's home named Zacchaeus.

They were regarded as being the lowest of the low. He hung out with a woman, a Samaritan woman at a well. And along the way, Jesus was known as the friend of sinners. See, while the world views relationships from a very much of a utilitarian kind of transactional perspective, what's in it for me?

And I'll invite you over the house, and I'll spend time with you because I think in some kind of a way you can be my trophy friend who can enhance my life. That's not how Jesus approached relationships. Jesus, the way he approached relationships wasn't transactional. I mean, he's God in the flesh.

What can he personally get out of it? But he looked at them as opportunities to bestow value on people regardless of their station in life. And in fact, Jesus calls you and I to kind of do relationships in the same way. For example, look at what Jesus says in Luke 14, verses 13 to 14. He says this, but when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. Jesus says the way that we're to do relationships isn't quid pro quo. In fact, he says if you want to really be blessed, do life with people who seemingly bring nothing to the table.

So can I ask you some questions? What relationships are you in that when people see you in that relationship, it literally turns heads? Because there's just the sense of that doesn't match. Who are you doing life with who is ethnically different than you? Who are you doing life with who can't afford to live in your neighborhood or is not in your own tax bracket? See, what Peter and Jesus were saying, birds of a feather flock together, that should never be true of Christians. That Christians in the way we do relationships transgresses all kinds of lines. Please notice, by the way, I didn't say who you're writing a check to. I didn't say who are you helping.

But who are you in peer relationship with? Well, Brian, exactly what does this look like? Peter presses into this. He presses into how we're to relate to one another. He says, for example, in verse 8, above all keep loving one another earnestly. I love this. Again, he's writing in Greek and the word earnestly was oftentimes used in ancient Greek literature to speak of a horse that was running as fast as it could to the point of exhaustion.

It's interesting. Peter is saying, listen, here's how we're to relate to each other, love, and not just love, but love to the point of exhaustion. Some of y'all are like, yeah, I got some people in my life right now wearing me out. Peter's like, good. Love, he says, to the point of exhaustion.

People who are ideologically different than you. See, love really pops in contrast. Like a diamond against the backdrop of a black velvet cloth makes it radiate a lot more. Love really pops when we're doing life with people who are just so different than us. And oftentimes those differences, they can wear us out.

And Peter says, good. Love to the point of exhaustion. Who do you need to do that with in your life?

Who's wearing you out right now? Yes, you know, there's kind of caveats to everything. And yes, maybe there's times in which you do need to set a boundary.

We understand all that. But who is God calling you to take the extra step with? To go that extra mile with?

Love, he says, to the point of exhaustion. Secondly, he goes on to say, verse 9, show hospitality. You know what that word hospitality means?

It literally means love of stranger. Notice he doesn't say just entertain. Yes, when we entertain, there's a sense in which sometimes entertainment is all about me.

I want to show off my home or show off this or whatever it may be. That's not hospitality. Hospitality involves leveraging the blessings of God that I've been called to steward for the good and benefit of others.

And hospitality can have a transformative effect on the lives of people. Her name was Marguerite Johnson, and she grew up this little African American girl in a small town in Arkansas. She went through horrific trauma as a young girl. In fact, the trauma was so deep, she actually stopped speaking. She became the town mute.

People were concerned about her, but nobody really did anything. Nobody could really get through to her except for the most well-respected woman in town, a woman by the name of Mrs. Flowers. Mrs. Flowers looked at young Marguerite Johnson and invited her over to her home for just some tea and cookies. She baked the cookies, served the tea, and she just asked questions and tried to get in young Marguerite's life. Next week she baked some more cookies and made some more tea, and next week more of the same, and next week more of the same. And finally, over time, young Marguerite Johnson began to speak and boy did she speak.

No, you don't know her as Marguerite Johnson, but you probably know her to what she changed her name to, Maya Angelou. What transformed a mute to a wordsmith? Hospitality. A little tea and cookies made all the difference in the world. That's why Rosaria Butterfield, who lives right here in the triangle, she would speak of the power of hospitality and how it is a deep apologetic, a defense of the veracity of Christianity. Hospitality done in the name of Jesus can transform lives. Finally, he says in how we're to just do different relationships, not just kind of love earnestly or show hospitality, but he goes on to say in verse 10, as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.

He begins to list what those gifts are. When you became a follower of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God gave you a gift. It is an act of grace, and that gift isn't to be used ultimately for your own edification, but it is to build up those around you specifically in the church of Jesus Christ. Why are we to love to the point of exhaustion? Why are we to show hospitality? Why are we to serve one another? Peter tells us at the start of verse 7, he says it's because the end of all things is at hand.

Why am I to relate differently to people? Because I have one eye on eternity and one eye on this life. See, when I live as if this life is all there is, I'm going to have a very narcissistic kind of utilitarian approach to life where people exist to pull off project me. But when I have an eye towards eternity, realizing I'm going to have to give an account, now I want to live like Jesus, and in the process I'll do good in our world.

This is exactly what C.S. Lewis is talking about. He once says, if you read history, you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The apostles themselves who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth precisely because their minds were occupied with heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at heaven, Lewis concludes, and you will get earth thrown in.

Aim at earth and you will get neither. See, when I think of the next life, now I'm thinking of Jesus. The fact that Jesus would stoop so low as to be with me should cause me to reach across the aisle. All of that's motivated by us looking to God. Let's stop right now, I think, and not just ponder these things, but to sing out of hearts of gratitude, God, I look to you. God, I look to you and I won't be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God, I look to you and you're where my help comes from. Give me wisdom. You know just what to do.

Sing that again. God, I look to you and I won't be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God, I look to you and you're where my help comes from. Give me wisdom.

You know just what to do. I will love you. And I will love you, Lord, my strength. And I will love you, Lord, my shield.

And I will love you, Lord, my rock. Forever, all my days, I will love you, God. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, our God reigns.

Believe, say amen. Hallelujah, our God reigns. Oh, hallelujah, our God reigns.

Forever, all my days. Hallelujah. Hallelujah, our God reigns. Forever, hallelujah, our God reigns. Hallelujah, our God reigns.

Forever, all my days. Hallelujah. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.

Oh. Hallelujah, our God reigns. Hallelujah, our God reigns. God, you reign forever on my face, hallelujah. God, I look to you and I won't be overwhelmed. Give me vision to see things like you do. God, I look to you and you're where my help comes from. Give me wisdom.

You know just what to do. Everything about first Peter chapter 4 screams different. Christians, we are to be different in our actions among the world, different in our affiliations to the world, and finally we're to be different in our aches in the world.

This is exactly what Peter gets to as we round third and head for home. Pick me up in verse 12. Peter says, Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you as though something strange were happening to you, but rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or an evildoer or a meddler, yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God, and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful creator while doing good. Amen.

I just want to go put my cards on the table here. This is probably the biggest disconnect between the world of the first century and our world in 21st century America. Peter is writing to a world where being a follower of Jesus Christ could literally cost you your life. That's why when Peter, when he's talking about suffering, he's not talking about a kind of suffering that's quid pro quo, us getting our just due. In fact, he would go on to say in verse 15, but let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.

Being a murderer thief in first century Rome actually was a capital punishment that could cost you your life. So he's not talking about the person who does bad things over here and and they're being reprimanded. That's not the kind of suffering he's getting at. And yet what does this mean for us as Christians? What does this look like for us when we go through the aches of this life, living in a world where as of right now is providing us with religious freedom? And I should hope we Christians not only value but continue to fight for religious freedom. But what does this mean for us?

I think we should broaden this a little bit and just talk about aches in general. Not the kind, again, that comes with me kind of getting punished for wrongdoing, but just living in a fallen world. Peter is clear that living this life and following Jesus Christ does not mean I won't suffer, I won't go through this.

It's kind of a death knell to this name it claim it prosperity theology that is just killing our churches. No, Peter says you can count on suffering. You can count on the aches of this world. In this world we will have trouble. We live in a world that has fallen. Where cancer and sickness and illness and rebellion and people attacking us and slandering and gossip, it's just part of living in this world. In fact right now some of you are just going through these things and I think it's important that we understand it doesn't mean that that you've done something wrong. So what am I to do when I find myself going through these things?

Let's wrap up with this. Number one, Peter would say, when you find yourself dealing with the aches of this life, stop and get some perspective. This is what he means in verse 12 when he says, Beloved, do not be surprised. I love that in the original language, that phrase do not be surprised, it literally means don't let it throw you. So when we go through something, this is hard because you and I kind of live in this land of happiness with this happiness ethic that wants to reduce God to some Disneyland dad or some cosmic Santa Claus who exists for my personal happiness. And so when bad things happen to us, it can throw us. Peter says don't let it throw you. Don't be surprised. Stop and gain some perspective.

Well what is that perspective? Look at what he says later on. He says in verse 16, Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him, here it is, glorify God. Alright, it's happening to me.

I just got the diagnosis I didn't want. I just experienced something from someone that that is unfounded. Peter says stop and look at it as an opportunity to glorify God. This idea of glorifying God is huge. In fact, the Westminster Catechism would say, what is the chief end of man?

The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. This idea of glorifying God means to make him bigger. Well technically you can't make God bigger, so what does this mean? Sort of like a telescope.

A telescope is an instrument that exists to bring faraway objects into clear view to the extent that we are left in awe and wonder. Peter's actually saying that your aches, used the right way with the right perspective, can become a divine telescope that brings the eternal weighty God into clear view so that others around you are awed by him. Secondly, he says, not only get perspective, but watch your attitude. Look at what he says in verse 13. He says, but rejoice. That word rejoice comes from the same family of words that means grace.

That when I when I'm in the middle of all this, I think of the grace of God that's on my life. It should trigger joy. Joy doesn't mean you can't cry. Joy doesn't mean you shouldn't sit with a therapist or lean into community and try to get counsel. Joy doesn't mean any of those things, but even in the midst of my tears, there can be tears of joy. In fact, joy is an act of protest. It is us, when we're joyful in the midst of life's harsh realities, it is us shaking our fists in the face of our circumstances, refusing to allow our circumstances to be dictator over our emotions.

In fact, I'm thinking about my grandparents' generation. They would march in southern streets for civil rights, and oftentimes when they marched, they sang as they were going through horrific things. John Lewis, who recently died, he says music were the wings to the bird of the civil rights movement. You take the music away, the singing away, the joy away, the bird wasn't gonna fly. And what wowed the world wasn't just us receiving the suffering, but the joy in the middle of it. Oh friend, whatever you're going through, don't let the enemy steal your joy.

As long as there's Jesus, there should still be joy. Finally, he ends by saying, don't just get perspective, and don't just have a good attitude, and rejoice. But thirdly, and finally, he wants us to entrust.

You look at verse 19, therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful creator while doing good. The idea of the word entrust, it means to turn over for safekeeping. This is exactly what we do when we take that picture of our check and deposit it in the bank account, or go physically into a bank and fill out the deposit slip. We turn that money over to safekeeping. We're not worried about what's happening to it.

We're not worried about it if it's gonna be there the next day, or the next day, or the next day. We've turned it over to safekeeping. Likewise, Peter says, whatever it is you're going through, turn your reputation over to God for safekeeping.

Turn that rebellious child over to God for safekeeping. Turn the health diagnosis over to God for safekeeping. You know what worry is?

Worry is me trying to take back what I've already turned over. And when I entrust, when there's joy, when there's perspective in the midst of life's aches, that's different. And that sends a resounding signal that our sense of well-being is not found in the stuff of this world, but it's in our resurrected Savior Jesus Christ.

You know, it's interesting. Jesus exemplifies all of these, doesn't he? No one lived a more satisfying, compellingly different life than Jesus.

God in the flesh, the way he navigated the world, the way he related to other people, and the fact that Jesus suffered well now means that you and I can live well. You know, I don't want you as we close to leave this message leaving, I gotta be different, I gotta be different, I gotta be different. No, that's performance-driven, that's behavior modification. No, you're already different. In fact, this is what Paul says to the Corinthians. He was worried about them that the water of this world was getting into the ship of their faith. And so Paul tells the Corinthians, look, here's what happened to you. Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit?

When you and I got saved, God put himself inside of us. That's what makes us different. All Peter is saying is, live in to what you already are.

We're already different because of the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Imagine an individual comes from a faraway country to the United States for the first time, and their first state that they go to is Virginia, and they find themselves in a long line outside of a home. And they're looking around going, why are all these people in this line? I've seen bigger homes, I've seen nicer homes, why are people paying all this money just to see this home? What's so different about this home? And someone in line says, what's so different? It's not the architecture, it's not the size. What's different is who used to live here.

And who used to live here is George Washington. What makes you and I different, friends, isn't our compliance to a list of do's or don'ts. It's who lives in us, and that's Christ. So if you're listening and you don't call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ, this stuff seems hard.

In fact, it's really impossible. But the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us a whole new way of navigating life. And today you can know Christ as Lord and Savior. You can follow this satisfying, compelling, different Jesus Christ who will give you meaning, value, and significance on a level you never thought possible. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-06 11:46:08 / 2023-09-06 12:01:15 / 15

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