1 Pet 4:1-4
INTRO: Isnt it fun to swim downstream! You seem to get so far so effortlessly. But change directions ... swim upstream. Your speed is reduced; your energy can be quickly sapped; you soon find your progress is painfully slow (you may even begin to lose ground.) Life as a Christian is much like swimming upstream. The whole body of the stream is flowing against you. The temptation is always there to just let go and float back downstream. You are constantly battling, it seems. As he gives us practical advice for daily discipleship, Peter explains how we can swim against the tide of the world. He does not, however, say it will be easy.
I. ARM YOURSELVES WITH THE SAME MIND (4:1)
A. Jesus died an untimely, unfair, harsh death
1. Peter has been discussing pressures of suffering
2. he has been exalting Christ as our example of one who was good ... but badly treated
3. He handled that how? see 1 Pet 2:22,23
4. the key was Christs mind can we hazard to look into His mind so that we will know with what we are to be armed?
B. A mind equipped with information
1. so profoundly seen in Mt 4:4,7,10 filled with Gods word!
2. Jno 12:49,50 his commandment is life
3. knew how to act/react because He knew Gods word
4. thus, we must fill our minds with word (Col 3:16)
C. A mind with proper attitudes - disposition
1. now, attitudes can be learned, governed, controlled and the filling of our minds with Gods word an essential step!
2. what were the attitudes of the Lord?
3. toward enemies - Mt 5:44; toward others - Mk 10:21; toward self - Mt 20:26-28; toward God - Jno 9:4; toward sin - Jno 5:14
4. we must follow the lead of the Lord in our attitudes
D. A mind with purpose set
1. we are thinking now of determination
2. Lk 9:51 He was determined to fulfill Gods purpose
3. I must was a frequent expression of Jesus
4. set minds are essential if we are to swim against the tide of our time
II. WHAT EFFECTS WILL THIS HAVE?
A. A determination to put Gods will first (4:2)
1. in no other way can we survive worlds pressure
2. a learning process ... a yielding process
3. a satisfying process as we see that so many dilemmas are resolved quickly by Gods word, instruction
4. Eph 6:6-8 a commitment with a promise!
B. The power to break with the past (4:3a)
1. the past too easily meshes into the present
2. we must completely break with our past if we are to successfully buck the current, or we will be constantly longing to return just for a looksee at the past
3. Eph 4:22-24 put off ... the old man
4. armed with the information, attitudes and disposition, the purposes of Jesus mind, we can make that break!
C. The strength to deal with unChristian behavior (4:3b)
1. what part of past do we bring over into present?
2. Peter becomes very specific with those whom he writes breaking with the past means putting all of those unChristian practices, habits behind us
3. no matter how strong the hold, a habit can be broken if we are armed with Christs mind
4. Phil 3:7,8 ... that I may win Christ
D. The courage to endure some harshness (4:4)
1. swimming against the tide will make you noticed
2. and you can count on some taunts, some unkind words
3. Jesus had to endure just such hurtful things
4. but with His mind He endured and with His mind so can we
CLOSE: You can swim against the tide. It certainly cant be easily or carelessly done ... but its rewards are so worthwhile. Think seriously about these four verses!
Cecil A. Hutson
09 December 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)