To Him Belong Glory and Dominion Forever
Scripture: 1 Peter 4:1–11
Good morning church Cold out there today, isn't it? Well, it is warm in here. Thank the Lord that we have Adequate heating and that sort of thing. So, my name is Michael. I'm the lead pastor here and it is so good to see all of you here today, especially knowing that my face hurt walking into from the, from the Muslim Academy where I parked.
I mean, it was just so frigid cold, but I'm really glad to be in here. We're doing a series on first Peter. Hope in the midst of suffering, so I can continue making the joke about how cold it is and we're suffering because, but I won't, I'll stop that. Hope in the midst of suffering is the theme of the book.
And by the way, we'll, we'll finish the book of first Peter in about a month or so. And you know, I, I talked to some guys and got some feedback and we just decided we'll keep trucking and just. Roll into 2nd Peter. We'll go through 2nd Peter whenever we finish 1st Peter. I mean, it's natural, right? So, that's what we're going to do after we finish 1st Peter.
Here's where we're going today. We're going to talk about how suffering for Christ proves that you belong to Him. How suffering for Christ proves that you belong to Him. Just as Jesus's suffering demonstrated his victory over sinful powers, so also our suffering can demonstrate our victory over sin that is, that is ours through faith in Christ.
So much of the suffering that we may encounter is from the world that is hostile towards us because of our faith. So, because we are Christians, then we are in the midst of an unbelieving world that can be very hostile towards us and that may lead to suffering. We live in the midst of people that that want us to participate in their sin and to celebrate their sin.
And because we're unwilling to do that, there may be suffering that we face as a result. So, they end up maligning us for our faith. And Peter tells us as we'll get in a moment, we should be prepared for that. They should like think in advance to be prepared in our hearts and in our spirit for the time that may come when we will have to suffer and even take comfort in it.
If we suffer for doing good, then that, that testifies to our hearts that we belong to God. It, it speaks to our souls and it, it shows that the power of Jesus's victory is, is at work in us. So that's where we're headed today. Suffering proves that we treasure Christ. So, let's dig in first Peter chapter four is where we are today.
First Peter chapter four, and we'll just, we'll go through 11 verses. We'll just walk through these one at a time, one or two at a time. So, 1 Peter 4:1,
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. We'll pause here. Arm yourselves is this phrase he has since Christ suffered in the flesh.
Arm yourselves. So, it's a, you have the sense of going into battle and you would be arming yourself. You have a weapon, and your weapon is the way you think. And so, so it's like, that's an offensive weapon to, to think a certain way can prepare us for spiritual battle. And so, he says, there's, there's this unusual phrase here, whoever has suffered in the flesh.
Has ceased from sin. This is taken by some to as though it teaches a sinless perfectionism. So, this idea that. You know, if, if you're a Christian, if you're a true Christian, then you'll never sin again. I actually I've, I've spoken to people like this and be like, yeah, I haven't sinned in 15 years. I'm like, let me talk to your wife.
I don't think that's true. But it can also discourage you if you see sin in your life and be like, well, am I really saved? It's like, this is, that's not what he's getting at. And I want to, I want to show you what he's talking about here. This phrase ceased from sin. Deceased from sin. It doesn't mean that you never sin again, but rather that you are finished with sin.
That may be a Some other translations. I think maybe the NIV says it that way that you're finished with sin finished in the sense of I’m done with that. I don't want that anymore. That's out of my life Not that it never happens, but your posture towards sin is I’m finished with it. I'm through with it. You see the difference?
One is like it never happens again. It's like you're perfectly sanctified. That's not true. But to say I'm finished with sin, that can be true even though you may still, you still may fall into sin and experience temptation. And then that the kind of suffering that Peter has in view in this sort of life.
So, if you have a person that's in a hostile world. And that person says, okay, the world is captive to the power of the devil and there's a world full of sin. But me, I'm finished with sin. I'm done with it. Then that person will find that they experience hostility from the world that would demand of them, you participate in sin, or you celebrate sin with us.
And so that's, that would lead to some suffering. If you don't do what the world wants you to do, then they will malign you, and you'll be you know, you'll experience whatever kind of discomfort or pain that comes from it. But if somebody is willing to suffer that, hostility from the world, so they're suffering for doing good from a hostile world, then that proves something about them.
It proves that, truly, they are through with sin. Truly, the work of God is alive in them. And it, that's something that you can be encouraged by. So naturally, we prefer comfort over pain. I mean, that's just the human disposition. So, if I have a, whenever I have a headache, I get headaches every once in a while.
I don't want a headache. I want the pain to stop, so I take Advil. And that, you know, helps the pain to go away. And that's, that's the natural way we are. But all of us will endure some pain if something we love more than comfort requires it. Right? If something that you love more than comfort requires you to endure pain, then you will.
Because pain proves what you love. So, for example, let's say there's a sick child, you know, parents have a sick child, seriously ill, their whole world stops and they, they enter into suffering with the child and they, they suffer financially to get the medical treatment that they have. They suffer inconvenience to, to take to appointments and whatnot.
I mean, it's. They'll do anything and everything. They will suffer personally because they love something greater than their comfort. They love their child more than the comfort. And so good parents will suffer even financial ruin to make sure their child gets the carry needs because they love the child more than comfort and suffering proves that the love is genuine.
So, if you say you love something. If you say you treasure something, if you say you're a Christian, you treasure Christ, you love Christ, and you aren't willing to suffer for it, then your love is disingenuous it. It's like it's, it's easy to love something if it doesn't cost you anything.
That's why Jesus tells us to count the cost. So, if you say you love something and you do suffer, suffer for it, then that proves the genuineness of the love, and in many ways, it actually reinforces the love. It can increase the love because you value something more the more it costs you. It's like you're more bought in, you're more invested.
It's like, I treasure Christ even more knowing that I had to suffer some dishonor or shame for my Christian testimony. That helps you love him more. And that's what Peter's driving at. They said if somebody, if Christ suffered in the flesh, he said, since what Jesus did, arm yourself with the same way of thinking for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
So, you're through with it. And so, for the rest of the time in the flesh, you no longer live for human passions, but for the will of God. So, the suffering can intensify your affection for the thing that you love that that caused you to suffer in the first place. So, arm yourself with this kind of thinking and be prepared to suffer.
And the suffering can come in, you know, two, two different reasons. One is because you avoid sin and the other is because you live righteously, you live obediently. So, you're avoiding sin and you're living obediently. And that will be the, the two big chunks that we're going to look at this morning as we go forward.
So, we'll look first at avoiding sin, avoiding sin in the next three verses, verses three through five talks about describes a life of disobedience. So, these are the kinds of sins that we would avoid as Christians, right? Verse three, for the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do.
So, if you've been involved in this before, well, you’ve had enough of it. The time has passed for doing those things. So that, that, that person is dead and gone, spiritually speaking, you're, you're done with that. Time has passed suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, which is living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness.
orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this, they're surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery and they malign you, but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. So pretty intense list here. Sex parties, drunkenness, idolatry.
Everyone is expected to join in this flood of debauchery. It sounds like a pride parade and that's. That's that would be pretty accurate because that's pretty much what it, what our modern pride parades are like. You look at 1 Peter 4:4-5. And that's like a modern-day pride parade that you could find, you know, in most cities in June.
And so, what is the response from them? It's like, well, they're, they're surprised that you don't want to join in, and they'll malign you for opposing it. Right. I mean, is that not what we experience all the time, but especially in June. So, there's, there's two things that's characterized here. One, there's a celebration of their own sin, but there's also a contempt for anybody who would live righteously.
A contempt for anybody who disagrees with them. They're actually surprised that everyone isn't as wicked as they are. So, he describes them as being given over to kind of animal type passions. He says they live in sensuality. Passions, drunkenness, and they're idolaters, meaning that ultimately, they're worshiping something in these fleshly indulgences that they're pursuing.
They make no attempt to restrain it. There's Joe Rigney is a, is a guy that is speaking at our conference in April actually, the Gender Virtue Conference. But he wrote a book. And in this book, he describes the passions. And he has some helpful insights here that I want to, a lot of what I'm talking about here, things that I've got from this book is super helpful.
But he says passions refers to the most immediate impulsive desires. So, two chapters earlier, 1 Peter 2:11, he says, these passions wage war against your soul. So, there are these passions, these things that, that might be our impulses or inclinations, and there, there's this war because our, we have a new identity, we have a new nature that which is spirit filled.
But there's still the flesh that we live in, which will experience temptation. And he said that they will deceive us. They'll lead us astray. People can even be enslaved to it. But all the passions, they, they're directional. They take you somewhere. Meaning so that if they're directional, that means that they're never satisfied where they are.
They seem like they're always pulling you somewhere. They're, they're, they're leading you in a direction and people that succumb to them, they are kind of pulled along with the desires of their flesh. And the passions can take a lot of different forms. So, there's external passions. They, they're kind of out in the open, things like this emotional, intense, aggressive kinds of outbursts.
So, you know what, what Peter describes here are the most, some, well, at least some of the most visible external expressions of these passions, but there's also ones that are more subtle and internal and they're still, we're still driven by passions, but it's not in the most, It's extreme externalized way.
It can be very, very internalized in ways that are very subtle, and you might not even detect them. And Rigney, Rigney calls these a kind of dogged passivity. It's a reactive passion. So, here's a, I'll read you a quote here. He says, we're led by our passions, both when we blow up and when we shut down.
When we get aggressive and when we get passive aggressive. Passions aren't always intense. They don't always operate at a fever pitch. They can be driving the show when they're on a slow burn. When our passions are on a slow burn, and when they're vague and general, we often call them moods or attitudes.
When we experience low-grade, long-term anger, we say that we're frustrated. When we experience low-grade, long-term fear We say that we're anxious or worried when it's vague or unidentified sadness. We say we're depressed, or we just roll it all together and say that we're stressed. Whenever we use the language of angst, frustration, anxiety, depression, or stress, we're talking about passions on a low boil, but often ready to erupt at the slightest trigger.
Now, if you think about that, that's the way a lot of us live. A lot of us may not be. You know, just angry outbursts and shouting in the streets or, you know, going to these drunken, debaucherous sex parties and stuff. It's like, you know, we don't do those things, but there are still other ways that we can be driven by our passions.
And it could be this sort of low-grade boil that is just below the surface. And we know how to mask them and camouflage them. But you got the right trigger event, and they can erupt either way Peter says we're not like the Gentiles The time has passed for being given over to those things. We don't let our passions drive us rather We live for God so Christians who rise above those passions and the power of the Spirit they may be subject to being maligned or ridiculed by the world who wants to justify their own behavior by recruiting others to behave in the same way.
So basically, the world wants sin to be normalized, right? I just, I thought I'd say the other day there's a, there's a billboard that's on, I think it's on Central Parkway. And I was driving through that part of town the other day and I think it says abortion is normal. Isn't that what it says? Those of you who live down there, abortion is normal.
And I was thinking like, you don't need to say that unless it's abnormal. You don't need to have a billboard that says eating is normal, breathing is normal, sleeping is normal. No, because everybody knows they're normal. Only when somebody is trying to gaslight you into normalizing something that's abnormal and wrong, would you need to put it on a billboard and say, accept it, celebrate it.
And so that's what's happening there. The world wants its sin to be normalized and the more people who do it and get on board with it, then the more normal it seems. And there's no sense of conviction or no sense of feeling shame or guilt. So then enter Christian, right? You are a Christian and you just, you disapprove.
You do not want to celebrate or affirm or participate in whatever sin is being celebrated around you. So, you disapprove of something and that interferes with their project of normalizing it. It's some kind of a reminder that It's not universally accepted what they're doing and I think the image of God within them It is it is a it is a trigger point of conviction It could say like there's actually a divine judgment here on this immoral behavior and they hate that Nobody wants a goody two shoes that they perceive to be, you know, just oh, you're so you think you're so much better You're above it all you will come in here and judge me for what I do I mean, that's kind of the attitude that they would have toward a Christian simply for not agreeing Even if you in no way judgmental or whatever, you just quietly disagree.
When you disapprove, when you disagree, they will malign and attack you. And when they disapprove or whenever we disapprove of those actions, we do so on the basis of a standard, a Christian morality that is revealed to us in the law of God. So as a Christian. Our disapproval of sin can be a reminder to people that there is a living true God who also disapproves of the sin, and we are merely his representative.
So, it smells like judgment. They'll call you judgmental, even though you may not be judgmental, but, but it does. There is a smell of judgment, but it's not yours. It's God's. A Christian who disapproves of sin will, will be perceived that way. So, they may turn and attack you, and you know, every nonbeliever has one memory verse, and that's judge not.
You know, it's like, well, at least you got one, but man you could do much better. But it's a, it's this, they'll say judge not, you know, and they, they'll like turn that and they use that as a, as a weapon against Christians. So, they'll, they'll tell you that you have that disapproval, that, that, that is a reminder that there is a God that you represent.
Peter goes on here in verse six. 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. Now we're going to need to kind of bracket this verse off and deal with it because there's a tripwire here that I want to talk about.
But just remember the big picture where we're going. There's suffering for being a Christian. And then Peter says, Hey, well. Let me just say, here's, here's another good point along those lines and you read this and I'm like, what does it have to do with anything? It can seem very strange. It is. It's not as strange as it may sound.
And I want to show you why. So, let's just look at it again. This is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead. Now the Greek word for dead is nekros, man, my handwriting is really bad, nekros. Okay. The judged in the flesh, the way people are. That is a reference to death, they might live in the spirit, the way God does.
So that is, that's life. Okay.
In the New Testament, we have this word for death, nekros. So, we have this phrase, the gospel was preached even to those who are dead. So that leaves us with there's two kinds of death: physical death and spiritual death. The word nekros can apply in both cases, right? So then that leaves us with three options of how to interpret what this verse means.
There's, it could refer to people who are spiritually dead and physically dead. It could refer to people who are spiritually dead and physically alive, or it can refer to people who are spiritually alive and physically dead. Those are the three options. So, hold those three options in mind, and I'll just walk through each one, and I'll tell you why the third option is the correct one.
Okay? So, the first option. People who are spiritually dead, they're unbelieving, and they're physically dead. They're no longer alive. They're dead and they're buried. So, this is an unbeliever who has perished. They've died. They're in the grave. They're buried. They're dead. The word, Peter uses the, that very word for death, nekros, just the verse prior to this one.
Speaking of unbelievers, he said they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. And then the Hebrews 9:27 says just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. So, here's the same, it's a different form, but same word. He's referring to physical death.
And the people he in reference to are also spiritually dead. So, some people take verse six here, they take that to indicate some kind of postmortem evangelism. So, they think like, well, if the gospel can be preached to dead people, then maybe. There's some way for people that have died, and they don't know Jesus for some way for God to send an evangelist to them and preach the gospel to them and they can be saved and rescued out of their judgment.
But if that's the case, then it undermines the point of the whole book. Why do we have to suffer and endure persecution and hardship for believing if we could just live a life of sin and then die and get saved after that? So, it undermines the whole point. So clearly, he can't be saying that. So, the, the, the point of the gospel, or the point he's talking about is that preaching the gospel to people that are dead in that sense would undermine his whole theme.
So, he can't be saying that the gospel was preached to those who are physically dead unbelievers. So, what about the next option? The next option is people who are spiritually dead, but physically alive. That's just unbelievers. You know, there may be people in this room that are, you're alive, obviously.
I hope so, but you're alive physically, but spiritually you do not yet believe in Christ. And so spiritually you're dead, but physically you're alive. So, could Peter be talking about those people? Let me just show you how this word is used. So, Paul, this is Paul using the word here. He says you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked.
So same word here, Nekros.
But he's writing a letter to people who could read it, so they're obviously still alive physically. But he said, back when you were dead, remember that? You're not dead now, but back then you were dead. Meaning you were spiritually dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked. But people that would have read that would have been physically alive.
So, if Peter is talking about the gospel being preached to the dead in this sense, then he's talking about just ordinary evangelism. But that doesn't fit the context. What Peter is talking about in the theme of this passage is not about doing evangelism to unbelievers, but enduring persecution from unbelievers.
That's a different message. And as another data point, every time Peter uses the word nekros, he's always referring to physical death. He never uses nekros to refer to spiritual death. So, we eliminate that as a possibility. So that leaves the third possibility. He's talking about people who are physically dead, but spiritually alive.
So, the saints, you know, Christian believers that have died and they're buried, and they've gone on to be with Jesus. And he's saying something about the gospel being preached to them. And what he says here is a reference to the past. The gospel was preached to them. So, he's saying there was a reason why those people heard and believe the gospel.
And there's something about the fact that they're dead now that applies to us in our discussion about enduring suffering from unbelievers, right? So those Christians that are judged in the flesh. But they are alive in the Spirit. Now, Paul also uses the word dead in this sense. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
So, the fact that they are in Christ means that they're alive spiritually, but the fact that they're dead means that they're physically dead. This is the sense that I think Peter is using. When he says this phrase, let me just pull the verse back up here. This is why the gospel was preached, even to those who are dead.
So, he's, in the context, the flow of his argument, he's saying, we can endure suffering, even from unbelievers. We can endure suffering as Christians, who are striving to obey God, knowing that Christ is alive in us. And that demonstrates that we treasure Christ above all. That Jesus is supreme in our heart.
In fact, even the people that you know, and this is where it gets into this verse here, the people that you know who are believers that have since died. That's exactly what happened with them. They believed in Jesus. They were regenerated by the Spirit, and then they had this hope within them, and they faithfully walked with God all the way to the end, and they endured the suffering and death, knowing that they had a hope of eternity that awaited them, which strengthened them and comforted them in the physical death that they endured.
Now, that's relevant at any time, but that's especially relevant 30 years after. Jesus's time when Peter wrote this, he wrote this in about 80s, 60s or something like that. You know, if you think, if you're one of Jesus's early followers, you might think, okay, we believe in a risen savior, and he got the promise of the resurrection.
So, you know, I guess none of us will die. But after 30 years has gone by, a lot of people have started to die and through outbreak of persecution, some of them have even been killed for their testimony. So, death is a really, it's this jarring thing that they, that would take a lot to process. And so, Peter is trying to encourage them that that you may be maligned as a Christian and even unbelievers would have used this as a point of derision.
You believe in a risen Messiah, do you? You believe in a resurrection? What about all your dead friends and family, where are they? And they would mock Christians and undermine their faith because of death. And so, Peter says, no, no, no, no. This is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead now.
Because even though they were judged in the flesh, you know, physically they died, but they live in the spirit the way God does. They're alive now. They're alive forever. The hope of the resurrection is applied to them. And they now enjoy that eternal peace with God because of their faith. That's what he's driving at.
So, this, this faith and suffering unto death ushers them into a new life in the spirit. And so, you Christian can follow their example. You can suffer whatever the world throws at you, you can endure whatever the world throws at you, even unto death. Even if it costs you your life. You can do so with the hope that your spirit is alive and will be forevermore.
Even if they kill the body, but cannot kill the soul, as Jesus said. All right, let's keep moving through our text then. Verse 7. The end of all things is at hand. Therefore, be self-controlled. 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 varied grace, whoever speaks is one who speaks the oracles of God. Whoever serves is 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. Alright, the end of all things is at hand. That's what he says in verse 7. This is the hope that we have as Christians, that there's nothing left on God's to do list. to accomplish redemption. Jesus did it all. He accomplished everything. He paid all of our sins. He is now risen to the right hand of the Father.
He is seated in glory where He reigns forever and ever. He's been given dominion over every rule and power and authority. So, He, He did everything. There's nothing left for God to do. Everything that was necessary to accomplish our redemption and salvation has been done. So, it is finished. The end of all things is at hand.
Another way you could say it is that we are in the last days. Now, depending on your background, where you grew up or what you heard, you might hear the last days, like, oh, that's a tribulation when there's like volcanoes and spaceships and aliens falling from the sky and all kinds of crazy stuff happening.
That's the last days. That's not what the last days means. That's not what it refers to. The last days refers to everything after the ascension of Jesus. The spirit came at Pentecost and then. You know, I guess the, the, the final, final thing was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70, the temple. But that's it.
I mean, now it's just a mop up mission until Jesus comes back. The keys of the kingdom have been given to the church. What we bind on earth is bind in heaven. What is loosed on earth is loosed in heaven. And so, there's nothing else for Jesus that Jesus needs to do to save us. He's already done it all.
He's already accomplished it all. He's already paid it all. The end of all things is at hand. So, he's. He's done it, and then he handed it over to us, and then we have then a responsibility for how we will implement what has been given to us. And so, he gives a, you know, a handful of practical things, you know, as he says here in verse seven.
Well, it starts with, there's like personal holiness, and then there's community life, you know, sort of aspects here. And the personal holiness thing is like, therefore you individually be self-controlled, be sober minded. Now what's, if we were to notice something, that is the, the flip side of what we saw in verse three with the passions and the sensuality and the, the drunkenness and all those things being driven by our internal desires, right?
So, we're done with that. That's the way the Gentiles live. And it's like the time has passed for all of those things. The end of all things is at hand. We now live in a completely different order. A completely different reality that is ushered in by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. And we are citizens of that kingdom.
We belong to that reality. And so, we no longer live the way that we used to. We're no longer driven by our animal passions and just given over to whatever impulse we have in the moment. Rather, we're self-controlled. It's a fruit of the spirit, right? The last of all the, you know, nine fruit of the spirit, the last one.
Self-control and sober minded. That evokes totally different imagery, doesn't it? Think of somebody who is self-controlled, someone who is sober minded, what are they like?
You look at a pride parade, that doesn't look like self-control. That doesn't look like sober mindedness. Or just somebody who's, who's got an anger problem. They're just out of control in their anger. That's not self-control. That's not sober minded. But that, because we're totally at peace, we totally are at home in the reality that Jesus has created and given to us by his resurrection, his death, burial, and resurrection.
So, we now live sober minded and self-controlled. We are, we're at peace with God and we live in that peace. So, Christians, you are not your own. You belong to him, and your suffering is an indicator of that. You're bought with a price. You now belong to God. You're now citizens of his kingdom. You've died to sin.
Christ is alive in you. And that's how we live, even if it hurts.
So, the world may drive itself off a cliff, you know, with a debauchery and all the things described earlier, or, and just quietly shutting down with fear, anxiety, anger, whether your passions are a hot flash or a slow burn, we're done with those things. For us, the end of all things is at hand, and we live in light of the victory of Christ.
So, in practice, there's a few things he says here. It shows up in our, in our love, you know, the way we love one another. It says you know; love covers a multitude of sins. That's, that's not a direct reference to like Jesus and his love covered a multitude of sins. I mean, I suppose you could, that's, that, that is true, but he's speaking of community love that we have with one another.
So, if you really love somebody. And they sin against you, your, your love for them can cover that sin, not in a redemptive way, Jesus did that, but in a practical relational way. So self-controlled, sober minded Christians, they're gracious with people. They can overlook an offense. There's 1 Corinthians 13:5.
Love is not easily offended. People who are easily offended, they lack self-control. That's not a sober mind that's just offended all the time at everything. Self-controlled, sober minded Christians can quickly overlook an offense because their offenses have been overlooked. They've been forgiven by Jesus so they can extend that same grace to other people.
It is the application of the, of the gospel in community life. They can just, they can learn to let things go because they're not driven by just their base emotional responses to things. So mature Christians are harder to offend because their Christian love covers offenses. They can be patient with people.
They can let things go more easily. So next time you're offended, you feel offended by something, you can think about this. If you're, if you're just, if you can be reminded whenever you feel offended that maturity would Let a lot of things go, not everything. It's not like you just let people walk all over you or you never, I mean, that's not what I'm saying, but I'm saying it's like your response to their sin is not an emotional reaction just out of your own anger, but rather you can have a proper appropriate response to their sin that is spirit led and just a sober minded evaluation.
Hey, this was sin. This was wrong. And if you feel angry about it, the anger is because of the violation of the standard and the God. That represents that standard, but it's not you’re personally having to vent and just spew anger out that might feel self-righteous in the moment. It might feel like this cathartic release, but really, it's a lack of sober mindedness and a lack of self-control.
Mature Christianity does not react in that way. You can, you can give a long leash. You can be gracious with people. So, the next time you feel offended, ask God. Lord, give me enough love for this person to cover the offense, help me to be gracious toward this person. It doesn't mean you over, it doesn't mean that you just ignore sin or there's no accountability.
Don't hear me. Don't misunderstand. But as far as the relationship goes, your actions toward that person are what is best for them, but it's not, well, I'm mad now, so I have the right to gripe about it. I got a right to talk about it because how dare they act that way? No, that you're being selfish. Like, you don't have to act that way, you don't have to act that way.
Now, if there's a sin that needs to be confronted, do so for their sake, not merely just because you want to get it off your chest. He also talks about show hospitality to one another without grumbling. That's hilarious because for those of you that host city groups, you know what I'm talking about. It's like your host all the time.
So, you're always hosting. There's people in your house all the time and once a week or whatever. And. To be a gracious host, you, there are inconveniences that just come with the deal, right? I mean, there's, there's messes you've got to clean up. You're, it's kind of like you're, you're obligated by, by default to be the first there and the last out and you know, however long it lasts.
It's like you, you, you lose control over those things and whatever inconveniences arise as a result can be a source of grumbling. I've done it. I shouldn't have. I mean, I confess it. It's like, it's wrong for me to do it, but I've done it. You know, like if I feel annoyed, irritated, well, I've already convicted myself reading about it's a slow and like a low-grade kind of anger, whatever.
If I feel inconvenienced or whatever, and I wanted to do something else, like that's sin on my part. I can, I should be able to show hospitality without grumbling because. The end of all things is at hand, I live in a new reality ushered in by Jesus Christ where my sins are forgiven and I'm eternally secure in his love.
So, I can endure a little inconvenience for the sake of creating an environment where others can come and fellowship together and, you know, talk about the word together, sharpen one another, pray together, confess sin together. I mean, that's, that's, that's a small thing, small price to pay. And of course, if you're on the other side of it, if you're the one arriving in someone else, if you're a guest in somebody else's home, you know, you can show the appropriate respect and gratitude while you're there.
But this is, this is how Christian community functions in light of what Jesus has done. Because we may get hostility from the world. We want to, we want to counterbalance that in our own community. I think personally as far as hospitality goes, the things that I hear from other people that I know around, I think this is a real strength of our church and I'm very pleased with that.
Like people at this church are in each other's homes all the time.
Lots of people have been in lots of other people's homes. You know, Tom mentioned earlier, it's like he didn't invite people over to play video games because that's like, Oh, it's a new initiative from the church. All right, group leaders, you're now required to play N64 with people. And it's like, no, he just did it.
He just did it because they love each other, and they enjoy time together and they want to hang out and play games. That's great. That's, that's the sort of thing that, that, that. It sweetens the bitterness of some of the suffering. We may have to endure it. It helps to enhance our fellowship.
Verse 11. I'll just mention this and we'll, we'll wrap up just one last time that it points us to the, the reality of where we're headed. It, it has this feeling of finality to it. I'm, I'm looking at right here in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. That's, that is what is happening in the ordinary acts of Christian love and service that we experience with one another.
Even in the little things you may suffer as a Christian. You don't have to be burned at the stake or some, it doesn't have to be the most extreme form of suffering. The small things that you may suffer as a Christian, all of that accumulates and adds up to the glory of God. Because it, it, it shines a light more brightly on Jesus, who is worthy of all suffering and inconvenience and anything else.
And then in our community life, the way that we love and serve and are gracious with one another and we show hospitality, all of those things accumulate and build up to God being glorified through Jesus Christ, who is the one in whom we have our faith. And it's because to Him, He is worthy of all glory and all dominion forever and ever.
That's why you do it. So, if you, you know, I, we've got babies being born all the time here and your people are taking meals all the time. My wife is bringing a couple meals this morning when she comes to the 11 o'clock service. It's just, we're doing that all the time. And that might seem like, I gotta make another meal.
We gotta run to the grocery store. Maybe you feel that way, but just think of this. It's like every little time you do that, every little thing that you do that demonstrates who you serve, who you love, who you belong to. Anytime you do that, you're, you're, you're making little deposits that further amplify and glorify our savior.
It doesn't have to be big. Doesn't have to be spectacular. You don't have to, you know, be a missionary and die as a martyr and some foreign land or whatever. It's like ordinary things that we do within the body of Christ adds up and it glorifies and just, it makes Christ shine all the more brightly, even though we may not We don't always see it that way and experience it.
It doesn't feel spectacular, but God sees it that way. God is honored. And so, you're glorifying your Savior. You're honoring your Savior whenever you overlook an offense. Whenever you are patient with somebody who gets on your nerves. Whenever you use your speaking gifts or your serving gifts to, to build somebody up.
This is how Christians that are citizens of the kingdom, this is how we live. So, it doesn't have to be spectacular. Ordinary things that glorifies our Savior. Well, let us pray. We thank you, Father. That this is what you have, you've given us this wonderful calling and you've brought us into a family where we can live these things out.
We thank you, Jesus, that you have suffered on our behalf and because of your suffering, then we can endure any suffering, even unto death, even though most of us, by your grace, that's not what we will experience. And so, Lord, I ask you for the grace to suffer whatever comes our way faithfully. And we ask you to equip us and enable us and empower us by your spirit to show.
To love and to serve one another with acts of grace to demonstrate our love for you by the love we show to one another. So may that continue to characterize our church family. We give you all glory. Thank you, Jesus. We worship you. We pray in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.