The Way of the Exile
In the book of 1 Peter, Peter writes to the Christians scattered throughout the Roman Empire. They are in the minority, in “exile”. Peter calls them to suffer well, to let the faith be purified, and always be ready to give an answer for the hope that they have.
As our country becomes less and less Christian, we will feel more and more like exiles. We too can suffer well and make our lives a testimony to the reality of the risen Lord Jesus, living out our faith in words and actions. Sometimes, even if you live in the same place your whole life, you feel like an exile. But keep the faith and remain strong in the Lord.
In this series, we’ll explore the book of 1 Peter. We’ll examine the advice he had for Christians almost 2,000 years ago, and we’ll learn how to practically apply his advice to our lives and the post-Christianity world we live in.
March 8, 2020: Remain Hopeful
Peter tells those who read his letter, “set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.” Even when it seems difficult to live out our faith, Peter encourages us to fix our hope on Christ. What we think about the future affects the way we live in the present, so we can praise God for the living hope we have in Christ.
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 1:1-25
March 15, 2020: Stand Out
It would be easier to hide our faith, worship God in private, and keep Him to ourselves. But that’s not what faith calls us to do. Peter tells us that we are a “chosen people … that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” Our identity is in Christ, so the Holy Spirit is the governor of our hearts. Because of this, we’re called to make an indelible impression on those around us with the love of God.
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:4-12
March 22, 2020: Do Good
Let’s face it: we’re not going to always agree with the people around us. But that shouldn’t prevent us from serving them and caring for them. Peter calls his readers to “submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority” and “repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” Do good in the world for Christ while being patient in affliction.
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:13-25, 1 Peter 3:8-14
March 29, 2020: Live for God
Jesus is a life-changer. People who were once lost in sin are now alive in Christ. Peter reminds his readers of this when he writes, “they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” Live for God as seen in your purity and unity. This may not be popular in a culture who is against Christ, but God has you where you are to share the Gospel. Lead into the culture around you with the answer for sin and suffering: Jesus.
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 3:15-22, 1 Peter 4:1-11
April 5, 2020: Find Purpose in Suffering
When you’re in the middle of a tough time, it’s often difficult to find joy. The people to whom Peter was writing were being persecuted for sharing Jesus with their culture. Peter encourages them to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” We can learn from this advice too; when we focus on the promises of God and His love for us, rather than our earthly suffering, our perspective changes and we find purpose in our suffering.
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 4:12-19, 1 Peter 5:6-11