Presentation on theme: "Presentation 09. The Structure of the Book 1v1-2 Salvation: grounded in the Godhead 1v3-5 Salvation: accomplished in their hearts 1v6-9 Salvation: confirmed."— Presentation transcript:
The Structure of the Book 1v1-2 Salvation: grounded in the Godhead 1v3-5 Salvation: accomplished in their hearts 1v6-9 Salvation: confirmed by their suffering 1v10-12 Salvation: anticipated through history 1v13-21 Salvation: outworked in their lives 1v22-2v3Salvation: and the Word of Truth 2v4-12Living Stones - Chosen People 2v13-17Submission to the State 2v18-25Submission to Superiors 3v1-7Wives and Husbands 3v8-17The Believer and Suffering 3v18-22Christ’s Victory 4v1-6Responding to Christ’s Victory 4v7-11Living for God 4v12-19Suffering for Christ 5v1-11Elders and Young Men 5v12-14Final Greetings
Introduction Jesus has been presented not only as an example of one who submitted to suffering but as the enabler and motivator for our submission. The pattern of his experience -suffering leading to glory - is the pattern for his people. Those who endure suffering are reminded that his resurrection vindicates the gospel. Those who rejected grace are obliged to recognise his triumph and that of his people. His triumph was not only personal but is shared with all who are united to him and have passed from death to life. His death and resurrection is the ark that not only provides shelter from the judgement of God but contains the kingdom blessings of the new covenant.
Responding to Christ’s Victory In 4.1ff, and based on all the preceding teaching, Paul calls his Christian readership to holiness of life. Christ's death has significantly changed things. It has created a new situation. His death finished his involvement with our sin. We are therefore to arm ourselves with this thought; sin is a defeated power, it no longer has the authority over us that it once held. As a result of Christ’s death our relationship to it has radically changed. cf Rom 6v8-12 Peter has already reminded us that ‘in Christ we have died to sin that we might live to righteousness’ 2.24. Because Jesus died to sin we must not let ‘sin reign in our mortal bodies’.
Responding to Christ’s Victory As a result of his death upon the cross Jesus is done with sin and those who are united with him are done with sin also. There is no suggestion that Jesus had any personal sin but he was clothed with our sin and bore its punishment 3.18. Jesus’ death terminated his relation to sin and we, in him, have been brought to an end with sin also. Peter is not saying Christians are sinless but that sin has no rights, no claim upon us. Any attempt upon its part to intrude into our lives must be resisted. This new attitude of mind must determine the way we live from now on. It is no longer our relation to sin that calls the tune but our relation to God.
Responding to Christ’s Victory Illustration: Imagine that a citizen of Iran decides to emigrate to the U.K. where they take out citizenship and receive a new nationality. And then he receives mail from Iran. In one letter he is told to report for military service. In another to pay income tax for the current year and in yet another to report for jury service. All the documents are official but no matter how official they may be and how demanding they may appear, they no longer have the power they once had. Why? Because of a great change of circumstance, the person addressed in them is now a citizen of another kingdom.
Responding to Christ’s Victory Similarly, the Christian in no longer under the jurisdiction of sin but lives in a realm of grace. Sin may claim to have power over his life and the authority to make him behave as it wants but it cannot dictate to him as once he did. Why? Because he is a citizen of another realm where sin has no authority. The strings that sin once pulled have been cut as a result of his union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter is calling upon us to recognise our new identity in much the same way that Paul does in Rom 6. 11-14.
Responding to Christ’s Victory The great fact the Christian reckons upon is that because of his union with Christ, he is now dead to sin. The Christian is to live by these facts and let his faith feed upon them daily. We are to tell ourselves that we will believe what God has done rather than what sin urges us to believe with regard to its power and authority in our lives. Dead To Sin
Responding to Christ’s Victory It is a battle to affirm our new identity and to say ‘No’ to our former way of life. And Peter quite purposefully reminds his readers of what the past did to them. People often look at sinful habits through a distorted lens which makes them seem acceptable, appealing even respectable. cf 3-4.... Peter is saying look at the awful bondage sin created, how it debased, disintegrated and dehumanised you, how it treated you as a pawn for its own destructive purposes. It can be a humbling thing to see just how much we used to be victims of the world, the flesh and the devil.
Responding to Christ’s Victory Indeed, our lives have become so transformed that our former companions in sin cannot understand what has happened and ask how we can abandon those very things which were once so central to our lives. Clearly, if we are new creatures in Christ then that newness will show. Does Peter sense in his readers a temptation to give way to the present spirit of permissiveness? If so he warns against it. He reminds us of the brevity of our lives of what is a limited time span for living to please God and reminds them that they have 'spent enough time' in their sin.
Responding to Christ’s Victory One of Satan’s temptations bids us make a gradual transition into holiness of life by letting go of one sin at a time. So that we remove just one link from the chains that bind us! Or again he comes to us and says, “when you see all the time you are devoting to God and his service you must surely recognise that you deserve a little bit of selfish indulgence. Oh you will still serve God but make a little time for this sin or that as well”. Peter says, ‘sin has had enough time'.
Responding to Christ’s Victory As we live consistent Christian lives this will have the effect of convicting the wrongdoer of his sin. It is this which causes him to heap abuse upon the believer v4. There is no limit to the wicked things which people will say to and about Christians. Remember they said that Jesus was in league with the devil because his sinless life. cf Jn 15.18-25. Peter points out that there is an inevitability of judgement which the ungodly cannot avoid v5...
Responding to Christ’s Victory To whom is Peter referring in v6? He is clearly speaking of those now dead who heard the gospel when they were alive. [The translators have added the word 'now' in order to bring out the right interpretation of the passage]. There is no suggestion of a second chance being offered to men after death, [the construction which the Mormon cult puts in this verse]. Who then are the dead of whom Peter speaks? Believers, unbelievers or both? While it is true that unbelievers die in their sins and are judged already [John 3. 18-19] the context requires us to think in terms of believers who have died.
Responding to Christ’s Victory Peter is speaking of the Lord's vindicating judgement. He is writing to encourage Christians under trial and in v5 tells us that the persecutor will be held accountable. The significance of the word 'for' which unites v5 and v6 underlines an aspect of God’s judgement that will comfort Christians who are presently suffering. Because Jesus is a righteous judge martyred believers have not believed in him in vain. Christian martyrs had been judged in the eyes of men to be worthy of death, but they have been raised to newness of life and now live by the spirit in the sight of God.
Responding to Christ’s Victory There is a passage in the apocryphal book the Wisdom of Solomon which some commentators have suggested Peter may have had in mind, it reads; “But the souls of the righteous are in the hands of God, and no torment will ever touch them. In the eyes of the foolish they seem to have died, and their departure was thought to be an affliction and their going from us to be their destruction; but they are at peace. For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality.”
Responding to Christ’s Victory Peter's point, whether he draws from this source or not, is that the righteous dead, those who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, are justified in spite of the accusations of the wicked. Their sure hope of the resurrection is in no way compromised by a judgement that has been made by any human court. What a glorious truth to lay hold of!