This World is Where I Live

This world is not my home but it IS where I live.

We are citizens of Heaven...

Who live as strangers in this world...

Here's what we do while we're waiting to go home…

 

Sermon Schedule subject to change without notice. 
Sermon note pages can be found in each description and accompany the sermons found on our podcast (to be loaded weekly.) 

 

1 Peter 1:1-2 – Strangers in This World – 8/9/20

In this introduction to the book of 1 Peter, we immediate see the overarching theme of Peter’s letter to the now dispersed Church across Asia Minor.  They were strangers and foreigners in a literal sense.  But their alienation comes from an even greater source.  As followers of Christ, these Christians are citizens of Heaven.  Even still, they live in this world… surrounded by an unbelieving society.  How will this impact the Church?  What are the implications for how they ought to live as strangers and foreigners?  This is the very purpose of Peter’s letter. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 1:3-12 – Our Living Hope – 8/16/20

The Christian Life is a bit of a paradox.  There is suffering… yet through the suffering comes great joy.  The fact that we experience conflict with society is actually proof that our faith is genuine.  If people misunderstood Jesus, the same will happen to us.  But our suffering is secondary to the LIVING Hope that is ours in Christ.  This hope will be fully realized when Christ returns, but until then, our faith will bring us into conflict with the values and priorities of the society in which we live. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 1:13-21 – Be Who You Are – 8/23/20

In light of the suffering and the living hope we talked about last week, the question becomes, “HOW then, should we live?”  Peter answers this question by pointing to the character of God and our status as “children of God.”  Like Father, like son.  Our character should reflect our Heavenly Father’s character.  Not because we are striving to accomplish this in our own strength, but rather because this is now WHO WE ARE. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 1:22-25 – VINTAGE: What’s Old is New – 8/30/20

Peter looks back to the days of the Exile when God’s people were foreigner and strangers in the place they were living.  Peter looks at the current situation of the Christian church and he applies the word of God to ancient Israel (God’s people) to the scattered church of Jesus Christ (grafted into God’s people).   The Church has not replaced Israel, but the Church has become part of Spiritual Israel, and Peter applies the promises of God in the Old Testament to the New Testament Church.  Why?  Because even though the situation is different, God is the SAME.  The Church looks different in practice, but the underlying principles are the same. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 2:1-3 – Got Milk? – 9/6/20

Peter tells the scattered Church that certain practices will connect them to God and to one another, which will strengthen and encourage them as they live as strangers in this world.  Here, Peter points to the Word of God, telling them to CRAVE pure spiritual milk.  Peter’s thought is that the Word of God not only initiates our faith, but also sustains our faith.  It’s the source of life that we must continually come back to as believers.  It’s one thing to see that God is good… but it’s transforming when we TASTE and see. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 2:4-10 – Living Stones – 9/13/20

Jesus Christ is the dividing line for all humanity.  He is the Living Stone whom God has made the Cornerstone of the Spiritual Temple He is building.  We can either be part of this House… or not. We will either become living stones in God’s Temple, or we will stumble over the Cornerstone and reject Christ to our ultimate destruction. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 2:11-17 – Good Citizens – 9/27/20

“Let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and praise you Father in Heaven.”  Peter echoes the words of Jesus here, calling all believers in Christ to live good lives among their unbelieving neighbors.  By living in obedience to the authorities, and leading lives that even unbelievers would consider to be good… we can minimize objections to the Christian Faith and EARN the right to be a voice in their lives.  By removing obstacles to the Gospel, our very lives can be a tool to point a watching world to Jesus. (Notes)

 

1 Peter 2:18-25 – An Unlikely Paradigm – 10/4/20

Well, I didn’t see THAT coming!  That’s what the scattered Church must have thought as they first read this portion of Peter’s letter.  Peter points to slaves and holds them up as a paradigm for followers of Christ. Why?  Because Jesus Christ came to serve others.  Because Jesus was treated harshly and unfairly by the world.  Because Jesus did not defend Himself, but left judgment in the hands of the Father.  As followers of Christ, then, we must have the same attitude… accepting unfair treatment without fighting back… serving the people around us so that GOD will receive glory, and people will see the difference in our lives. 

 

1 Peter 3:1-7 – Winsome Family Relationships – 10/11/20

Obviously, it’s a wonderful thing when a married couple are BOTH raised in Christian homes and share the same faith in Christ.  But what happens when one spouse comes to faith later in life… after they are married?  This was the reality in Peter’s day, because NOBODY grew up in a Christian home. The Christian faith was brand new.  Most Christians had spouses who had not yet believed in Jesus.  Peter teaches them how to live in a winsome and understanding way that will not provoke the unbelieving spouse, and actually provide the best hope for them to come to Christ. 

 

1 Peter 3:8-12 – Speak Life – 10/18/20

As followers of Christ (1st  Century or 21st), we will always have our detractors.  While the world prides itself on defending it’s honor, for the Christian, it must be different.  With Jesus as our example, we are called to a different standard.  Not merely keeping our mouths closed or “holding it in”… but actually BLESSING those who slander us.  Every day we have a choice between speaking curse or blessing… let’s choose to speak LIFE.

 

1 Peter 3:13-22 – No Turning Back 10/25/20

Peter makes his point in several different ways in this passage.  Some of them are quite confusing… i.e. Christ preaching to the evil spirits during the time of Noah… what’s that all about?  In each case, however, Peter’s emphasis is that although life is hard, it is better to suffer for doing what is right than to turn our back on our faith.  Peter knows this from personal experience when he denied Jesus three times.  Peter points to baptism as a decision… not a get out of jail free card… but a promise that we will follow Jesus no matter what… No turning back!

 

1 Peter 4:1-11 – Living by Faith in the World & in the Church – 11/1/20

In light of Christ’s resurrection and eventual return, the Christian necessarily lives with His return in mind.  And this impacts the very way that we live both as a member of society and as a member of the Christian community.  In the world, we will be misunderstood due to our transformed values… and yet Peter reminds us that it’s better to suffer for doing good than for joining in the sinful behaviors of the world.  On the flip side, the Church ought to be a refuge for all believers… a place they can be loved and belong.  Our differences are not nearly as great as that which we hold in common.  Therefore, the Church should be characterized by love, hospitality, and service to one another. 

 

1 Peter 4:12-19 – Refiner’s Fire – 11/8/20

Everyone goes through difficult times in life.  Indeed, Christians may suffer more than most, because of their allegiance to Christ.  But there is more in these trials than meets the eye.  It actually reveals whether our faith is genuine or fake.  It’s easy to serve God when everything is good in life.  But to continue serving God faithfully through the trials is proof that our faith is genuine and that we can trust God in both good times and hard times. 

 

1 Peter 5:1-5 – Shepherd the Flock – 11/15/20

Last week, we began the very practical closing section of Peter’s letter.  Here is what we are to do while we are waiting for our Heavenly home.  First, Peter says we are to endure suffering, knowing that it serves as God’s refining fire which makes us more like Jesus.  This week, Peter looks to a very practical outcome of God’s Refining Fire.  The elder church members should Shepherd the Flock, while the younger should learn from them.  Peter reasons that the longer a person has followed Christ, the longer they have been in the Refiner’s Fire… hence the more Christ-like they should be.  As such, it stands to reason that those younger in the faith would do well to gladly follow these “elders”.  When we all look to Christ as we’re waiting, a beautiful picture emerges of what the Church ought to be. 

 

1 Peter 5:6-14 – Stand Fast – 11/22/20

Peter’s final instructions to the Church complete the thought of “what we are to do while we’re waiting”.  Allow God’s refining fire to make you more Christ-like.  As this happens, shepherd those who are newer to the faith.  And finally, Peter encourages us to stand fast in our faith.  Not only do we face difficult situations in this life, but we have an Enemy.  Peter tells us that the Devil paces about like a hungry lion looking for someone to devour.  For that reason, our faith must stand firm.  And Peter gives us a wonderful strategy for doing so.  Though we will suffer in this life, we have a glorious hope to cling to.  After we have suffered for a little while, God Himself will put all things right.  To Him be the dominion forever.  In other words, the Devil does not have the final word… God does.  So as we live in this world, Peter encourages us to remember that our HOME is in Heaven.