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Living the Good Life

1 Peter 3:8-22. Peter explained that “living the good life” is about “living the right life.”

I.  LIVING THE GOOD LIFE

A. The right attitudes (1 Pet 3:8-9; 1:35; Matt 6:14-15)
B. The right hope (1 Pet 3:10-12; Psa 34:1-22; 2 Tim 4:6-8)
C. The right perspective (1 Pet 3:13-14)
D. The right response (1 Pet 3:15-16)
E. The right purpose (1 Pet 3:17-18)

II.  (1 Peter 3:19)

A. Christ’s victory over death (1 Pet 3:18; Col 2:9-15; Eph 1:21-22)
B. “Spirits now in prison” (Who? (?) All have bowed or will bow to Jesus; Phil 2:9-11)

III.  (1 Peter 3:20-22)

A. Immutable God:
1. Waiting for our repentance (2 Pet 3:9)
2. Condemning the disobedient (2 Pet 3:3-7; Matt 24:37-39)
3. Sparing the obedient (1 Pet 3:21-22)

B. Flood and baptism:
1. Washes away evil (Acts 22:16; Rom 6:3-4)
2. Saves the obedient (1 Pet 3:21)
3. Marks a new beginning (2 Cor 5:17)

To live the good life,we must have a proper attitude, and we must sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, and we must accept the salvation that God is offering to all.

Exchanging the Glory of God

The Church of Sweden voted to stop referring to God as “He” or “The Lord” and to use more gender-neutral language. The reason? To be more gender-inclusive. What is “The Church of Sweden”? It is a Lutheran church, and the largest religious institution in Sweden; well-known for its loose or liberal views of Scripture, and its advocacy of homosexuality.

Someone might argue that since God is genderless what does it matter? After all, He created the genders (two of them) to allow for the propagation of life on earth. In God’s abode, they “neither marry nor are given in marriage, … but are like the angels” (Luke 20:35-36), implying that angels are neither male nor female. Why then must we refer to God as “Him” or “He” or as “Father”, or to Jesus as “The Son” (for that matter), now that He’s returned to the spiritual realm of Heaven?

Is it appropriate to use genderless terminology when referring to God? The answer is an unequivocal “NO, it is not appropriate!” Scripture reveals, “the words of the LORD are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times” (Psa 12:6). Paul stated, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). So even the nouns and pronouns of Scripture are given for God’s purposes. In addition, when people “neuter” the pronouns, what’s to stop them from altering other words in Scripture that don’t suit their twisted view of gender equality? They do!

Reasons to Reject Gender Neutral Language Referring to God:

The gender of authority and responsibility: God created the male gender to represent authority or headship in the created world, and with that authority came responsibility (cf. Eph 5:22-24; 1 Cor 11:3). A woman committed the first sin, but A MAN was held responsible (Rom 5:12) – “for in Adam all die” (1 Cor 15:22). When Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek and received a blessing, “the lesser is blessed by the greater” (Heb 7:7) – Melchizedek was a great and holy man, but he was A MAN given authority and responsibility to minister in things pertaining to the worship of God.

The gender of God on earth: It was the male gender that God chose to represent His nature (Gal 4:4), and to bear our sins at the cross (1 John 3:8; 4:9). Jesus is not the eternal “child of God”, but the eternal “Son of God” reigning from Heaven (Heb 1:8). He is “the Son” not the daughter or spokesperson of God.

The gender specified when referring to deity: Jesus called God “my Father” dozens of times in the gospels. Jesus displayed “glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Jesus stated that “the Father is greater than I” (John 14:28). If Jesus referred to God specifically as “Father”, then who are we to call Him by any other (or lower in position) identifying term.

In the earthly realm, male or masculine authority doesn’t mean that the male is superior in nature to the female. Authority, and the responsibilities that follow, pertain to position, not nature – to role, not reward.

So, if the gender-specific terms in Scripture are altered, the teaching above are meaningless. That’s the reason we MUST NOT compromise the word of God, and subject it to gender-specific politically correct ideology. The eternal word of God (contained in Scripture) cannot actually be altered by the whims of secular people. In fact, the secular world, whether it admits it or not, is subject to the word of God and will be judged by it on the last day (John 12:48; Rev 20:12) Therefore, the word of God stands secure and superior to the prejudices of man or woman. – by B. Jennings

Living as Sojourners

1 Peter 2:1-25. Sojourners or aliens (exiles) in a foreign country need to know how to conduct themselves in their surroundings. For the Christian, it’s not the customs of the world that are important, but rather how we should relate to them as the people of God. That’s the issue Peter addresses in this letter.

I.   LIVING as NEWBORN BABES

A. Growing or Dying (1 Pet 1:22 – 1 Pet 2:1-3)
1. Different longings (Matt 4:4)
2. Different tastes (Heb 6:4-6)

II.   LIVING as LIVING STONES

A. Coming to Christ (1 Pet 2:4-6)
1. Precious One (1 Pet 1:7, 18-19; 2:4; 3:4, 7)
2. Eternal One (Matt 16:16)
3. House of God (Acts 15:14-18)

B. Precious Christ (1 Pet 2:7-8)
1. Value to believers (new birth, living hope, eternal inheritance, salvation, redemption)
2. Doom to disbelievers (Psa 118:22; Isa 8:15-22)

III.   LIVING as THE PEOPLE OF GOD

A. Proclaim His Excellencies (1 Pet 2:9-10)
1. Preaching, teaching, singing, praying
2. Excellent behavior (1 Pet 2:11-12)
3. Submitting to authorities (1 Pet 2:13-17)
4. Submitting to superiors (1 Pet 2:18-20)
5. Submitting in marriage (1 Pet 3:1-7)
6. Submitting to the Pattern (1 Pet 2:21-25)

When you obey the gospel of Christ, you begin proclaiming the excellencies of God.
Jesus was a pattern for us. He was willing to die to keep that pattern intact.

Minds Prepared for Action

1 Peter 1:1-25. The apostle Peter was writing to a people that could understand the cost of standing for truth much better we can (1 Peter 1:6; 3:14; 4:12; 5:9). 1 Peter is very relevant to us.

I.   ADDRESSEES

A. Chosen Sojourners (1 Pet 1:12)
B. Dispersed Sojourners (1 Pet 1:2)

1. All Christians (1 Pet 2:9-10)
2. Watchful Christians (Rev 22:20; Matt 24:42; Phil 3:20)

II.   CHOSEN SOJOURNERS: How? Why?

A. God and The Spirit (1 Pet 1:2)
B. Born again to a Living Hope (1 Pet 1:2)
C. Obedience, Sprinkling, Grace (1 Pet 1:2, 18-19; cf. Exo 24:7-8)

1. For hope, inheritance, heaven (1 Pet 1:3-4)
2. For protection by faith (1 Pet 1:5)
3. For rejoicing in trials (1 Pet 1:6-9)
4. For understanding and salvation (1 Pet 1:10-12; cf. Dan 8:27)

III.   OBJECTIVE

A. Minds prepared to act (1 Pet 1:13)

1. Sober in spirit (1 Pet 1:13)
2. Fixed in hope (1 Pet 1:13; cf. Heb 12:2)
3. Obedient like children (1 Pet 1:14; cf. 1:2, 22)
4. Holy like God (1 Pet 1:15-16; cf. Heb 12:14)
5. Reverent to God (1 Pet 1:17)
6. Futile earthly inheritances (1 Pet 1:18-19)
7. Knowing eternal redemption (1 Pet 1:19-21)
8. Purify your soul (1 Pet 1:22)
9. Sincerity of love (1 Pet 1:22)

– Proof of new birth (1 Pet 1:23)
– Futility of no love (1 Cor 13:1-3)
– Example of Jesus (John 13:34-35)
– Time is short (1 Pet 1:24-25)

Repent, Return and Be Refreshed

In every case of conversion, a change occurred, but in some cases the change was more apparent. Since change is what God expects in us (Rom 8:28-30; 12:1-2), what must we do to change? And, how can we help to change others too?

I.        CHARACTERS (Acts 3:1-3)

  • Victory: Peter and John (Acts 2:14-47 — Joel 2:28-32; Isa 2:1-4; Dan 2:44-45)
  • Defeat: Lame beggar (Luke 16:19-31; Mark 10:46-52)

II.        A CASE OF CHANGE

  • Focus: Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:4–6; — 2 Tim 2:14; 1 Cor 2:1-2)
  • Rely: Power of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:7–11)
  • Trust: Gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 3:12-26 — Rom 1:16; 1 Cor 1:21)

III.        HOW TO CHANGE

  • Yourself: Stay alert to your greatest need (salvation, focus, rely, trust)
  • Others: Stay alert to their needs (body and spirit)

Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

“Therefore, repent and return [be converted], so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).