"Why All This Suffering?" - 1 Peter 3:12-17
Peter is emphasizing the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Peter is putting a high demand upon his Christian
friends to recognize the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
In the midst of suffering Peter reminds us there are four
anchors the Lordship of Christ affords us:Peter gives us some good instruction concerning suffering.
I-THE IMMUNITY IT CONFERS (v.12-14)
*********because of God's care, they need not fear the persecution and the suffering.
*******but we have a God who is willing to answer our prayers.
*******God is more desirous of answering them than we
A-the immunity is not that we will be saved from difficulty
B-the immunity is that we wll be saved from damage
1-The Hebrew children were not saved from the fiery
furnace, but they were saved from the damage which the
fiery furnace might have produced
Daniel was not saved from the lion's den, but he was saved from the
damage which the lions might have brought upon his life
Job was not saved from an abundance of troubles
and hardships, but he was saved from the bitterness
that those hardships might have produced.
You see, the man without faith sees the difficulty in the trouble itself - unpopularity, slander, misrepresentation, ill health, bereavement - where as the Christian sees nothing as difficulty unless it
harms his spirit, his character, and his devotion to the Lord
II-THE SERENITY IT CREATES (v.13b)
the word "followers" is the translation of a Greek word meaning
"zealots." The verb means "to burn with zeal, to desire earnestly."
The age in which we live demands men and women with
similar fanatical zeal for Christ. The world is burning with lust. There's lawlessness in the White House. There's injustice in the courthouse. There's apathy in the church house. Morally this nation is tottering on the brink of disaster. Our only hope is in Jesus Christ.
When we make Jesus Christ the Lord of our Lives, and
suffering comes, not only is there an immunity that it
confers, and not only is there a serenity that it creates, but there is also
III-THE TESTIMONY THAT IT INSPIRES (v.15)
The word "sanctify" is the translation of the Greek word meaning "to set apart."
It was used in the pagan Greek religions as the act of
setting apart a building as a temple, thus designating it as religious in character. To be used for religious purposes.
Peter was exhorting these Jews to set apart their Messiah, the Lord Jesus, as Jehovah their God in their hearts giving first place to Him in obedience of life. Jesus Christ was to be Lord and Master of their lives. He was to be their resource and defender when persecution came.
A-be sure we are saved
B-be sure we share the message of salvation
1-during hardships and persecutions, Christians will
have opportunities. One opportunity will be to defend
C-be sure we are serving
1-For the sufferer, for the broken hearted, Jesus is coming back.
IV-THE SENSITIVITY IT PRODUCES(v.16-17)
All about us there are struggling souls burdened with
the cares of the day. Suffering from the anxieties
and complexities of life, not knowing the way to go,
they are indeed lost and in need of being directed to
the only one who can give lasting peace and joy. It
is not enough just to tell them how to make these
discoveries. They may not wholly understand. We must
show. We must be living so close to the Lord and be
so sensitive to anything that would impair our witness
that we can say, "Follow me." And then lead them to
Him by a life of example. Being a saint during
troublesome times might cause the world to look closer