1 Pet 2:17
INTRO: If you were asked to give a brief statement of the hows of Christian living, what would you say? I think that for most of us a brief statement which was very comprehensive would be a tall order. Well, there is just such a comprehensive, but brief, statement found in 1 Pet 2:17. I call it the outline of the Christian life. Here is how Peter says it...(read text). As a motto for successful Christian living what could be better? Look at each element for a moment.
I. HONOR ALL MEN
A. What a great objective in honor
1. to fix value..thence, the honor of one who outranks another; preeminence
2. the center of interest broadens from self to include others!
3. Phil 2:1-4 note the emphasis on others
B. Now, think...all men
1.Peter calls for respect for humanitymankind viewed as persons...not things
2. slave or free; rich or poor; black or white
3. 1st Century culture included great class consciousnessand slaves (60 million)? just things! (see Rom 12:16)
C. What practical direction can we suggest from this?
1. first, great care about our prejudices
2. concern for the needs of others Gal 6:10
3. greatest honoring is sharing the gospel Mt 9:11,12
4. in generalthe impact of the church and the Christian life cannot be felt in isolation
II. LOVE THE BROTHERHOOD
A. Remember what this word love means?
1. consciously, conscientiously seeking the best for whatever the object of love is
2. Peter isnt calling for sentimentalismrather, conscious mental effort
B. And the object of love...the brotherhood
1. the churchas the blood bought body (Acts 20:28)
2. the churchas people who comprise it (1 Thes 4:9,10)
C. What are some practical applications?
1. a sense of loyaltyputting the kingdom first (Mt 6:33); being careful not to bring reproach through careless behavior (1 Tim 5:14b)
2. certainly, concern for brothers, sisters Gal 6:10
3. concern for the unity of the body Eph 4:1-3
III. FEAR GOD
1. Ps 111:10 beginning means principle part
2. wisdom without Godly fear, awe, reverence is no wisdom
3. Eccl 12:13 the whole duty of man...this is what life (purpose) is all about
B. But does a child fear His father?
1. are terror and fright on Peters mind?
2. perhaps we should not neglect a place for that sort of fear 2 Cor 5:10,11 & Heb 10:30,31...certainly, one who chooses life without God has every reason to be terrified
3. rather, though, the child of God is concerned to respect and honor God by his life of loving service and humble obedience to Gods will (as in Eccl 12:13) ... so, Prov 23:17
IV. HONOUR THE KING
A. Honour the king? the king is Nero!
1. dont you know this must have been a hard saying
2. Nero certainly didnt honour Christians
3. but that isnt the point ... Peter said, honour the kingwhoever he isthe office deserves honour
B. Civil order & lawfulness are Christian obligations
1. Christian liberty does not free us from this civil power or obligation
2. rather, it enjoins a greater caution and care
3. for, indeed, the world is watching
CLOSE: Perhaps you could call this Christianity in a nutshell. We have four very specific areas of concern. Lets reach for excellence in each of them.
Cecil A. Hutson
26 August 2001
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)