RSS

Category Archives: I Peter 1

Clear Commands for the Believer (A Study of I Peter 1:13-25) – A Short Video

This video message was preached to the believers at Kenilworth Gospel Chapel on Sunday, September 6, 2020.  Comments welcome!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 17, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

Tags: , ,

CLEAR COMMANDS FOR THE BELIEVER (I PE. 1: 13-25)

As my friend Frank and I are working our way through I Peter, I couldn’t help but notice the very practical instructions that Peter gives in this first chapter. Here is the text —

Have you found that sometimes we just simply need to obey some commands? Our culture seems to demand explanations for everything. But the believer in Jesus learns — maybe very slowly — that our God doesn’t always explain the WHYS to His children.

In chapter 8 of The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis has Screwtape give the following advice to Wormwood, his understudy demon: “Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger, than when a human, no longer desiring, but intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.”

Here are five very clear commands which are for all believers at all times in all cultures facing any circumstances in life:

1. Set Your Hope on What’s Most Important! (v. 13)

2. Don’t Give in to Your Pagan Desires! (v. 14)

3. Be Holy in All You Do! (vv. 15-16)

4. Live Out Your Life as Godly Foreigners Here (vv. 17-21)

5. Love One Another Deeply! (vv. 22-25)

 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 7, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

Tags: , , , ,

Why Shouldn’t the World Think Us WEIRD? (A Study of I Peter 1:8-9) Part 4 Conclusion

My friend Frank and I are now going through I Peter. This is our read-the-same-chapter-every-day-for-a-week online Bible study which I’ve described here. We’re making great progress going through the epistles of the New Testament. But the following passage from I Peter really got me thinking:

Please forgive my underlining and bolding and changing colors, but these two verses kind of hit me between the eyes. And they help me not to be so surprised when the world looks at me funny and thinks I need medication or a lengthy stay in a mental hospital. Let’s continue our study of these two verses:

I. We Love What We Do Not See!

But others SAW Him — and used empirical language to describe their experience. We are to “walk by faith and not by sight,” but this doesn’t mean that our faith isn’t established on the facts!

We noticed a second truth in this text and it was that —

II. We Believe in Him! (v. 8)

We are not gullible to believe in Him! And there are so many benefits to belief in Christ (survey the gospel of John for a fascinating study!).

We then continued our study by noticing —

III. We Are Filled with an Inexpressible and Glorious Joy (v. 8)

Someone has said that “the mentally and emotionally healthy are those that have learned when to say Yes, when to say No, and when to say Whoopee!” (Willard S. Krabill, M.D.). If there is no contagious joy with the believer, something is wrong and someone needs to get filled.

Let’s conclude our study of these two amazing verses by seeing that —

IV. We Are Receiving the End Result of Our Faith — the Salvation of Our Souls (v. 9)

What is the conclusion, the pay-off if you will, of our faith in Christ? The salvation of our souls! There are other biblical texts that indicate that our salvation is not just of our souls (as we’ll see below), but here Peter’s emphasis is on that surviving-beyond-death aspect of our humanity.

Is salvation of our souls alone? Some believe that the body is the prison house of the soul (which is not a biblical concept). However, Scripture teaches that our natural body is to be resurrected and changed into an immortal body fit for eternity (I Cor. 15:35-58). In fact, our bodily resurrection is referred to as “the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:23-24).

Some Christians hold to the idea that we are three parts: body, soul, and spirit (trichotomy). Others (like myself) see the Bible as teaching dichotomy (that the terms “soul” and “spirit” are sometimes used interchangeably). I believe this is what I call a “distinctive” area of belief (in other words, there can be legitimate disagreement between believers without either falling into false teaching). I Thessalonians 5:23 does say, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As one writer puts it, man is a unified being divisible into two aspects, material and immaterial. “In the Bible these aspects are variously termed, body and soul [e.g., Matt. 10:28], body and mind [e.g., Rom. 12:1-2], body and spirit [e.g., 1 Cor. 7:34; James 2:26], flesh and spirit [e.g., 1 Cor. 5:5; 2 Cor. 7:1], flesh and heart [e.g., Rom. 2:28-29], and, of course, the outer man and inner man [e.g., 2 Cor. 4:16]. Human beings, though they were created to live in the physical world, are also capable of existing in the spiritual realm as disembodied souls or spirits [e.g., Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9-11]. See the article “Body, Soul, and Spirit: Monism, Dichotomy, or Trichotomy?” found at https://www.equip.org/perspectives/body-soul-and-spirit-monism-dichotomy-or-trichotomy/

One writer says, “The problem with trichotomy is that the words “soul” and “spirit” are used interchangeably throughout Scripture. Jesus says that his soul is troubled (Jn. 12:27), but a few verses later, we read that he became “troubled in spirit” (Jn. 13:21). Likewise, Jesus mother says, “My soul exalts the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Lk. 1:46-47). Moreover, dead believers can either be called “spirits” (Heb. 12:23) or “souls” (Rev. 6:9; 20:4). At death, either the “soul” departs the body (Gen. 35:18; 1 Kings 17:21; Isa. 53:12; Lk. 12:20) or the “spirit” departs (Lk. 23:46; Eccl. 12:7; Jn. 19:30; Acts 7:59). The “spirit” knows an individual (1 Cor. 2:11); therefore, the soul and spirit perform the same function. (see http://www.evidenceunseen.com/theology/anthropology/trichotomy-or-dichotomy/)

Conclusion: From our brief study of I Peter 1:8-9 we’ve seen that we are to love Him whom we do not presently see, are to believe in the One who is not visible to us right now, and that both those responses are to fill us with unbelievable joy! The bottom line is the salvation of our souls — and we should not be surprised if the world thinks us weird! God doesn’t!

 

 

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 4, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

Tags: , , ,

Why Shouldn’t the World Think Us WEIRD? (A Study of I Peter 1:8-9) Part 3

My friend Frank and I are now going through I Peter. This is our read-the-same-chapter-every-day-for-a-week online Bible study which I’ve described here. We’re making great progress going through the epistles of the New Testament. But the following passage from I Peter really got me thinking:

Please forgive my underlining and bolding and changing colors, but these two verses kind of hit me between the eyes. And they help me not to be so surprised when the world looks at me funny and thinks I need medication or a lengthy stay in a mental hospital. Let’s continue our study of these two verses:

I. We Love What We Do Not See!

In Part 1 we saw that believers presently do not see the Lord — but OTHERS have seen Him! And have testified (at the cost of their lives) of that fact. We looked briefly at I John 1 and noticed the empirical language John uses about having seen the Lord Jesus.

Let’s notice a second truth in this text and it is that —

II. We Believe in Him! (v. 8)

Belief is a big deal in the Bible! But BELIEF in the Bible is not gullibility! The evidentiary basis of the Christian faith is real. And we are not fools for BELIEVING in Him!

Let’s continue our study by noticing —

III. We Are Filled with an Inexpressible and Glorious Joy (v. 8)

Our world desperately needs joy-filled followers of Jesus! As a result of believing in Jesus, Peter tells us, “you are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”! Is that true of you, my friend? Right now? This joy is described as (1) inexpressible (we can’t really put it into words) and (2) glorious (a joy reflecting the glory of our God). How often should the believer pray, “Lord, restore to me the joy of my salvation!”? As someone has said, “Christians owe it to the world to be supernaturally joyful!” (to be continued)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

Tags: , ,

Why Shouldn’t the World Think Us WEIRD? (A Study of I Peter 1:8-9) Part 2

My friend Frank and I are now going through I Peter. This is our read-the-same-chapter-every-day-for-a-week online Bible study which I’ve described here. We’re making great progress going through the epistles of the New Testament. But the following passage from I Peter really got me thinking:

Please forgive my underlining and bolding and changing colors, but these two verses kind of hit me between the eyes. And they help me not to be so surprised when the world looks at me funny and thinks I need medication or a lengthy stay in a mental hospital. Let’s continue our study of these two verses:

I. We Love What We Do Not See!

In Part 1 we saw that believers presently do not see the Lord — but OTHERS have seen Him! And have testified (at the cost of their lives) of that fact. We looked briefly at I John 1 and noticed the empirical language John uses about having seen the Lord Jesus.

Let’s notice a second truth in this text and it is that —

II. We Believe in Him! (v. 8)

Following up on Peter’s “even though” (and his second statement that we do not see Him) — he says that we believe in Him. Our world has been deceived into thinking that only the visible deserves our trust and allegiance. And that is simply not the case. Everyday we exercise faith in things we do not see, like stepping onto an elevator or eating food prepared by a teenager we hardly know!

Belief is a big deal in the Bible! But BELIEF in the Bible is not gullibility! The evidentiary basis of the Christian faith is real. And we are not fools for BELIEVING in Him! (to be continued)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 31, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

Tags: , ,

Why Shouldn’t the World Think Us WEIRD? (A Study of I Peter 1:8-9) Part 1

My friend Frank and I are now going through I Peter. This is our read-the-same-chapter-every-day-for-a-week online Bible study which I’ve described here. We’re making great progress going through the epistles of the New Testament. But the following passage from I Peter really got me thinking:

Please forgive my underlining and bolding and changing colors, but these two verses kind of hit me between the eyes. And they help me not to be so surprised when the world looks at me funny and thinks I need medication or a lengthy stay in a mental hospital.

I. We Love What We Do Not See!

Jesus-followers love the One they presently do not see and have never seen. Visibility is over-rated, don’t you think? We so often “live by sight” and not “by faith.” We have many reasons to love the Lord Jesus, but the experience of seeing Him right now with our own eyes isn’t one of them. We have good historical evidence of others who saw Him and their view of themselves and the world was never the same. I think of John who wrote:

John is quite empirical in this text, isn’t he? He speaks of Christ as One “which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at.” He is “the life [which] appeared.” And he says “we have seen it” and it “has appeared to us.” And, once more for good measure, he says, “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard . . .” Though we presently are to walk by faith and to love the One we do not see right now, He WAS SEEN. John could not have given stronger empirical testimony to the reality of the Lord Jesus! And we are to love this One Whom we presently do not see. (to be continued) [you might enjoy my Calvin & Hobbes cartoon on this issue found here].

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2020 in I Peter 1

 

Tags: , , ,