Presentation on theme: "5 Intelligible Words (1 Cor 14:19) to Explain Your Faith (from 1 Peter 3:14b-15) Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts honor."— Presentation transcript:
5 Intelligible Words (1 Cor 14:19) to Explain Your Faith (from 1 Peter 3:14b-15) Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.... – NIV, ESV
The martyrdom of Polycarp is perhaps the most famous apology ever recorded in behalf of Christ since the time of the Stephen.
The martyrdom of Polycarp the proconsul urging him said... I will set you at liberty; reproach Christ.Christ Polycarp declared, Polycarp Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour?blaspheme
The martyrdom of Polycarp But again the proconsul said to him, I will cause you to be consumed by fire, seeing you despise the wild beasts, if you will not repent. (Polycarp was sentenced to be burned.)cause But Polycarp said, Polycarp You threaten me with fire which burns for an hour, and after a little is extinguished, but are ignorant of the fire of the coming judgment and of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you tarry? Bring forth what you will.ignoranteternal
The Lord captured the allegiance of this man through the gospel and won his love through the Cross. Polycarp put in a good word for Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ reserves the same grace for us today. The challenge from 1 Peter and the courage of Polycarp put question marks in front of us ? ? ?
My message is from 1 Peter. This is a very upbeat letter, yet it confronts the shared suffering of both Jewish and Gentile believers who pinned their hopes on Christ. I Peter has spoken to the sufferings of all believers down through time – even our own.
Peters teachings in this letter are informed by the 34 th Psalm of David, which he wrote after a terribly stressful time.
David was all alone among strangers – except the Lord nearby, listening to Davids cries – This poor man called and the Lord heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles (Psm 34:6).
Even in your struggles, they may detect a hidden power, a latent security – some secret joy that buoys you up and keeps you from stumbling (Jude 24).
Peters first letter reviews: the great promises God has made, our privileges as His people, and our responsibility to cultivate the attitudes of Christ.
Our privileges as Christians are part of our new identity in Christ. So our hope in him is realized in the privileges we enjoy. In todays passage (3:15), Christians have a duty and privilege to defend their faith by proclaiming the gospel... (thus) declaring the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the plan and power of God. – Edmund Clowney, 149
But promises and privileges entail responsibilities. One of them is this: Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God (2:16), so bearing witness to a godly life and a clear conscience.
Peters letter recalls the saving work, the noble example, and the supreme authority of Jesus Christ He recounts Christs: Works of conversion, salvation, and redemption (1:3-11, 18-19) His example of quiet, obedient, submissive suffering (2:21-24, 3:18, 4:1, 13), that brings us to God, and His unrivaled Lordship in the life of every Christian (1:7-8; 2:3-5, 25; 3:15, 4:14, 5:4).
Todays scripture challenges us to adopt certain attitudes from Christ when were under pressure.
Five Intelligible Words (1 Cor 14:19) to Explain the Source of Your Hope (from 1 Peter 3:13-16).
Heres an outline: Choose to revere Christ rather than fearing others – or what they fear. Be ready to explain the hope of your faith to those who have questions. Give a rational, unpretentious account of your faith in Christ (a Reason) Share the reality of Christs presence and work in your life (your Hope). Show respect and humility (or modesty) toward the one who asks.
1. Choose to revere Christ, not fearing others – or what they fear. Most of us worry about how others will judge our looks, our weight, our decisions, our words, our fun, our child-rearing strategies, our views on religion, politics, or science – even our feelings.
Scott Armstrongs six rules for getting your research findings into print. Avoid the important problems, Dont challenge existing beliefs or accepted paradigms, Suppress any results that contradict what you expected, Employ complicated methods to discourage corroboration, Avoid full disclosure, opaque Make your writing style opaque. – God and the Philosophers (article by George N. Schlesinger), Thomas V. Morris, editor, 258
We want to consult a better authority! 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts (NASB) Keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. (The Message)
The Greek word for reverence or sanctify ishagiasate. Peter makes an intentional contrast with the fear described in v 14. lessens Our fear of the Lord lessens the force of human intimidation.
Peter and John before the Sanhedrin, made their defense, saying: We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).
A foundation that is solid and secure. Keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. – The Message, Eugene Peterson
Be ready to explain the hope of your faith to those who have questions.
Put yourself in the place of the questioner. Jesus conversations ranged from a professor of Old Testament (Nicodemus) to a possessor of five husbands (the Samaritan woman of Sychar).
Put yourself in the place of the questioner. Pauls audiences included: synagogue Jews, the Sanhedrin, a woman who dealt in textiles, a jailer, two governors, a king, the elite Roman Praetorian Guard, and Caesar himself. As he once wrote: I have become all things to all men that I may by all means save some. 1 Cor 9:22, NASB
Do you interact with non-believers very much? Paul Achtemeir wrote: Cultural isolation is not to be the route taken by the Christian... (He/she) is to live life openly in the midst of the unbelieving world, and just as openly, to be prepared to explain reasons for their hope centered in Christ. – A Commentary on 1 Peter, Paul Achtemeir, Fortress Press (Minneapolis: 1996), 234.
Interacting with non-believers: Are you available and approachable? Is there an inner quality about you that is attractive? Who are the people in your life that you have found it easy to talk to? What qualities did they exhibit?
Having a sense of humor A person who laughs easily – especially at themselves – and enjoys a bit of fun will not likely make you feel inferior. Instead they invite you share a chuckle with them. Humor that avoids derogating others conveys humility.
Are we good listeners? One hand may suffice to count up the attentive listeners you know. They pay close attention to what you are sharing They ask helpful questions to draw you out.
A mutual interaction: we learn from each other. The learning process among members of Christs Body is competent (beneficial) when we listen closely and respectfully to one another.
Showing love that builds up the others. side effects Two negative side effects of knowledge: 1.We become enamored with what we know. 2. We assume a judgmental, critical attitude.
Be sure that the humility of your love exceeds the quantity of your knowledge.
Give a rational account (a reason for) of your faith in Christ. Few of us came to Christ because persuaded argumentation someone persuaded us using logical, reasoned, learned argumentation. Our conversion was more likely a unmet inner need consequence of an unmet inner need, deep desire a deep unfulfilled desire, lacuna a lacuna of meaning in life, or action a failure of moral intent and action.
There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man. – Blaise Pascal An eloquent presentation of the gospel – hardly necessary. Holy Spirit Crucially needed is the activity of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the person who wants to know about your faith. A second requirement is sincerity: that your faith in Christ is real; your demeanor is modest or humble
Share your hope : the reality of Christs work in your life. The Lord we serve rose from death, so our ability to live a godly life now and our anticipation of enjoying God forever are assured by Christs resurrection.
The Bible shows us a God of: > light and love, > of justice and mercy, > of truth and grace. We can learn to trust God in the concrete situations of our daily experience.
the duty of living harmoniously – real with real people in the church
Americans treat the local church as though she were someone to date. When the relationship goes south – so do they....
Authentic faith home in the church Authentic faith is first felt at home, and then faced – in the church. This faith has a peaceable spirit of humility, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control as we are involved with other believers. (Gal 5:22-23)
Show respect and modesty (or humility) toward anyone who asks, out of reverent submission to Christ. Our Lord gave respect to: > the woman at the well of Sychar, > the one who was caught in adultery, King Herod Agrippa (living with Bernice) The Lord even respected the demonized man who lived in the caves of a cemetery.
Jesus respected many people who did not deserve it, and we should be imitators of him.
The Greek word, translated gentleness in the NIV, can also mean modesty (NEB) or humility (Karen Jobes, BECNT).
Gentleness Gentleness is the power or authority the Holy Spirit exerts in our hearts, teaching us Christ-like manners. Jonathan Edwards quotes our Lord in Luke 10:3 as saying to the twelve: I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Then Edwards makes this comment: True Christians are, as it were, clothed with the meek, quiet, loving temper of Christ. (Religious Affections, 275).
Humility – James and the humility of wisdom (Jas 3:13). The humble person is not preoccupied with themselves. Their attention is directed outward to others.
The humble person is more eager to learn from others than to teach them. (Jonathan Edwards)
important Modesty – that in the grand scheme of divine purposes we are not as important as we had thought. What, after all is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe. (1 Cor 3:5)
If you want others to listen to what Christ has done in your life, Cultivate: > gentleness, humility, and modesty
Speaking a good word for Christ and declaring faith in him to those who ask have a long and glorious history.
1. For all the saints, who from their labours rest, Who Thee, by faith, before the world confessed – Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed. Alleluia! 6. O blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia,
10. But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day; The saints, triumphant, rise in bright array; The King of glory passes on His way! Alleluia, Alleluia! – And the people said: Amen. – William Washam How, 1864