THINK LIKE A PILGRIM
1 Pet 2:11
INTRO: Our text uses two words to describe Christians: strangers and pilgrims. I wonder how many folks would understand Peters point? Our understanding of the word pilgrim goes to the people who were early settlers of this Country. But Peters use of these words to people of Jewish heritage would be especially meaningful in view of the history of the Jews. Indeed, 1 Pet 1:1 notes that he writes primarily Jewish Christians who were scattered throughout the world. The wisdom of scripture to Christian people is think life a pilgrim.
I. WE ARE TEMPORARIES!
A. We may not think in those terms
1. I am a citizen; I own property; I have plans
2. we spend our lives planning to live here
3. we put down roots - become permanent
4. and in that thinking there is danger (so Lk 12:20,21)
B. We are clearly earthly temporaries
1. 2 Cor 5:1 tabernacle? an apt description of both our human bodies and human state!
2. Heb 9:27 once to die - heres our future
3. 1 Cor 15:19 expectation? death and resurrection
4. but do we think like pilgrims
C. We live in view of the present, this life!
1. every waking moment consumed with the here and now
2. we need, though, to remember 1 Cor 7:31
3. yes, we have to use the world - were here
4. but if we think like pilgrims it does not become a consuming thing! note Heb 11:13-16
II. ADVICE FOR PILGRIMS?
A. Abstain from fleshly desires - 1 Pet 2:11
1. there are enemies of pilgrims!
2. fleshly lusts - an entire realm of casual desires which, without discipline, can undo us
3. listen: Lam 4:5 - what a graphic picture of what happens when Gods people stoop to the flesh
4. Rom 8:5-8 I wonder if we really appreciate what is said here from a real life perspective
5. abstain: have nothing to do with!
B. Exemplify the spiritual life - 1 Pet 2:12
1. certainly, abstaining is part of this
2. but there are some positives here a manner of life known for its goodness
3. because of the moral/ethical strictness, folks will know you to be different (like an accent)
4. already they are watching - what will they see?
5. good works - making your surroundings better, pleasant, desirable (Titus 2:14)
C. Orderly in behavior - 1 Pet 2:13-16
1. true, our Sovereign is above the king
2. but pilgrims are not rabble rousers - they will respect, honor the laws, conventions of the land
3. servants of God do not use their freedom to the hurt of to others - are responsible people
4. should be good neighbors - good friends - speaking well of others, etc.
5. listen: Titus 2:6-10 adorning the doctrine by orderliness of life
D. Value others - 1 Pet 2:17
1. honour - to prize, to value
2. some folks honor things and use people!
3. pilgrims use things and honor people
4. such honoring can well open doors of opportunity - those people have souls
5. pilgrims want to touch others lives well
CLOSE: Do you think and act like a pilgrim?
Cecil A. Hutson
11 July 1999
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)