Hope for Hard Times
Living Out Our Baptismal Confession
1 Peter 4:1-6
In light of Christ’s willingness to suffer so that you might escape eternal judgment, how then should you live?
Christ willingly experienced physical harm to bring eternal spiritual gain (3:17-18)
Eternal judgment is real – baptism is a symbol of rescue from a deserved watery grave (3:21).
Therefore, since Christ suffered, salvation is available, and eternal judgment is real, how do the genuinely saved live?
1. You take on this attitudinal mindset - “I will obey God’s will and suffer, rather than disobey and sin” (3:17; 4:1).
- Motivation – to be “done with sin”
- Sin is finally tamed when obeying God is more important to you than avoiding hardship.
- Our baptismal promise – to repent of sin and to be raised to new life in Christ.
2. You make a complete break from your old ambitions so that you can live out your entire earthly life for the will of God (4:2).
- Deciding to endure pain rather than disobey God moves you to the spiritual big leagues.
- You must make a complete break from feelings (“evil human desires”) as your guide, in favour of God’s word/will.
3. The right attitude will shape the right ambitions which will enable you to say no to life-killing activities (4:3).
- You may have already used up more than enough of your life chasing the wrong desires
Living for Christ-means saying goodbye to activities of unbelievers:
- Sex with everybody and anybody
- Violent behaviour
- Getting drunk
- Wild partying with unrestrained sex and drinking
- Demonic priorities
4. You stop associating (“running with”) with this flesh-fixated crowd even though they abuse you for abandoning the lifestyle (4:4-5).
- Cost? –Escaping from the tsunami of unrestrained indulgence will be taken personally as disapproval.
- “Bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33) – Will you make the break or remain ashamed of Jesus?
- All people will be held accountable – death is not an escape from accountability, it ushers you into the epicentre of it.
5. The reason the gospel is preached (4:6)…
- Death is God’s judgment on sin; if not redeemed (saved), death is eternal and permanently painful.
- The gospel received, enables people, although physically judged by physical death (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 9:27), to live in the Spirit like God for eternity.
ARE YOU SAVED?
ARE YOU LIVING THE SAVED LIFE?