Remembering Our Profession

As believers in Christ was must live in reverential fear because God judges, God judges impartially and God judges according to our deeds. In light of the fact that you’ve called on God as Father (who judges AND does so impartially and according to your life) Christians must conduct themselves with fear.

  • Deut 4:10 8:6 – why fear? Fear of the Lord informs all of life. D.A. Carson on how there isn’t enough fear in the church today. We don’t ignore God OR treat Him casually – fear of offending Him or living our Christian life in a sloppy manner.
  • Why fear God? God is gentle, compassionate, merciful, etc., BUT He’s also holy, righteous, just and He’s the Creator, King, Warrior, etc.
  • Not the fear of a ruthless master BUT a healthy and fervent respect a believer has for an all-powerful God

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:17-21; Matthew 25; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Deut 4:10, 8:6

Gospel-Driven Holiness

Gospel-Driven Holiness means we’re all in with Jesus and we work hard to look like Jesus.

The Christian needs to be willing to run from things that will lure them away from reflecting the character/person of God.

You have to be willing to run from thoughts that work to paint as beautiful what God has forbidden. You are going to have to run from desires that at times seem too powerful to resist. You are going to have to run from the seductive whisper of the enemy who will lure you with lies. You are going to have to run from situations and locations that play to your weaknesses. You are going to have to run from pride that tells you that you are stronger than you really are. You are going to have to run from selfishness that would allow you to use others for your own pleasure. You are going to have to run from things you would love to participate in but would expose you to things you cannot handle. You are simply going to have to run from anything, anywhere and from any person that is immoral in the eyes of your Savior. You have to be willing to run.

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:13-16

Praise God that He Has Saved Us!

Peter bursts out in praise for what God has done. What has he done?!? He’s brought new life to individuals through Lord Jesus Christ. This salvation (the truth that God saves sinners) gives us hope, joy and love amid adverse circumstances.

Our salvation (and our hope, joy and love) is anchored in Jesus.

  • Our hope is in the past – Jesus rose.
  • Our hope is current/present – Jesus lives.
  • Our hope is complete and sure – Jesus is coming.

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:3-12

Knowing Who We Are Through Difficulties

Peter wants to establish that Christians are people of hope — a living hope that is rooted in the resurrection of Jesus — so that as they go through suffering they’ll have a perspective that compels them to:

  1. continue to live obedient lives and
  2. not despair…as this is part of following Jesus.

No matter how disciplined, organized and faithful we are, the reality is that we are sinners living in a sin-cursed world with other sinners. Nothing we can do will ever change that reality. We are surrounded by discouraging, hurtful and sinful realities – Jesus is very candid about our diagnosis; it’s bad and we need help; we need a Rescuer AND he is that and so much more. All things need to be made new, but we are not the ones who will accomplish that renovation (Rev 21:3-5). We are exiles and strangers who see the promises from afar and believe them (Heb 11:13), but we are walking by faith now and not by sight.

Yes, a new day when everything will be put right, but in the meantime, while we’re living in the not yet, we need grace; we need Jesus; we need his help, his truth. And we don’t just need it a tiny bit; no, the truth is we are desperate for buckets of it. We need it every hour of every day. We need it when we remember that we need it AND we need it when all we can see before us is futility and trouble and disappointment, suffering, hardships. We need grace.

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:1-2

Doing Flows from Being

The Bible commands good behavior BUT good behavior flows from good character (Matthew 7:17). Doing flows from being—keeping this order is very important IF you want to understand the gospel well AND deepen in your love/pursuit of Jesus.

Our affluent society is an afflicted society for lack of love. Just imagine how many marriages would be spared the heartbreak of separation of divorce if there were true love in the hearts of men and women! Think of what comfort and encouragement would brighten the lot of the poor, sick, lonely and sorrowing, if only there were more love in this world. Who can tell what new vitality would stir the church, and draw others into its fellowship, if there were real love among the professed followers of Christ? It is love we need—Christian love.

Affection Breeds Activity

As we abide and understand the love of God poured out in the gospel of Jesus our affections we’ll increase and we’ll exude God’s love.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:5; Romans 12:17; Phillipians 2:4-11; Proverbs 25:28

Citizens of the Kingdom Reflect the King’s Love

The love we’re called to exude is a love that does patience, kindness and doesn’t do boasting or envy and doesn’t do arrogance.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:4; Exodus 34:6; Romans 2:4, 11:22; Ephesians 4:32; James 4:1-2

Love In Action

Our Christian culture has been caught “on their heels” with regards to the issue of love.

We’ve not loved well. Loving others (Christians & non-Christians) is hard, inconvenient and a pressing task and yet Jesus said people will know we’re his followers by the love we show.

Christians typically think love is a feeling and/or attitude BUT love is love when it is manifested in action.

He Who Calls You is Faithful

The promise of the Lord’s return gives us hope for the future and keeps us living for him and his kingdom in the present.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4-5

You Have Become Very Dear to Us

The bond between a Pastor and the congregation cannot be broken by distance.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2-3