19
Jan
18

We Don’t Live That Way Anymore

Every follower of Jesus has a past. We all have a transformation story. We used to live one way, now we’re living differently. This was as true in the first century as it is now. Peter writes:

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. – 1 Peter 4:3-4 (NIV)

Notice what he says about persecution. When we live differently and we don’t go along with the crowd, we are abused and persecuted. People who live for Jesus stick out like a sore thumb. We should never look down on others or condemn them. That’s not our job. We need to make sure that we are living righteous lives that please our Heavenly Father instead of sinning with the crowd. We should rejoice when persecuted for great is our reward in Heaven.
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18
Jan
18

Done With Sin

When you decide to live for Jesus, it is indeed a huge choice with potentially painful consequences. Jesus promised that the world would hate His followers because it hated Him first. Living for Jesus can result in painful persecution. Peter talks about this in chapter 4. He writes:

Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin.2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. – 1 Peter 4:1-2 (NIV)

When you start living for Jesus and are willing to suffer for Him, it means that you’re saying, “I’m done with sin.” In other words, it means that you’re going to go against the flow and live differently. You’re willing to suffer whatever consequences may come as a result of your choice. Instead of living for selfish, human desires, you’re going to live for God. The world will not persecute its own, but it will persecute followers of Jesus. Are you willing to say, “Yes” to Jesus and be done with sin?
17
Jan
18

Saved By Christ’s Resurrection

Peter said in the first part of verse 21 in chapter 3 that we are saved when we get baptized. Baptism is the moment when God forgives our sins by grace through faith in Jesus. The water doesn’t save us. Peter says that we are saved by the resurrection of Jesus. He writes:

It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him. – 1 Peter 3:21b-22 (NIV)

Jesus Christ was really dead when He was crucified by the Romans. God the Father raised Him back to life on the 3rd day by the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus then appeared to hundreds of people and then ascended into Heaven where He rules and reigns at the right hand of the Father. Everything is in submission to Him. Until the day that He returns, His followers must share the message of His love with all who will listen so that they might believe, repent, confess and be baptized and live a faithful life.
16
Jan
18

The Purpose Of Baptism

I love the beauty of baptism. One of my favorite things to do as a pastor is to baptize someone. It’s the moment when God’s grace meets someone’s faith in Christ and sins are forgiven. Peter, when talking about Noah and the flood said this:
​…​and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God – 1 Peter 3:21 (NIV)
There is nothing special or magical about the water or the baptizer. Baptism is an act of submission to Jesus Christ. It’s not a good work because it isn’t something you do. It’s something that is done to you. It’s not an attempt to earn salvation. It’s the receiving of salvation. If you’ve never been baptized into the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, you need to do it. Talk with your pastor or reach out to me at my church’s website – gfcc.net. Don’t put it off another day or week. Take the plunge and get a fresh start with God.
15
Jan
18

Jesus Was Raised

Good Monday morning to you! In 1 Peter 3:18, Peter wrote that it was God’s will that His Son, Jesus, die so that the sins of humanity could be forgiven. Jesus didn’t stay dead, though. He was raised back to life by the Spirit of God. Peter then writes:

After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all,were saved through water​…​ – 1 Peter 3:19-20 (NIV)

Martin Luther said that this is a very strange and difficult passage to understand. There are various interpretations as to what Peter meant. It raises many questions and offers little insight. Rather than focus on who these imprisoned spirits were or what Jesus preached to them, I want to focus on the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. No other religious leader can claim that. Because Jesus is alive, we now have the hope of resurrection, too.
14
Jan
18

Jesus Frees Us

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana. This is the first message in our series, “Jesus Frees Us” based on Galatians 1:1-10.

12
Jan
18

God’s Will To Suffer?

This is going to sound strange, but have you ever thought that suffering could be part of God’s will for your life? Peter did. In fact, he points to Jesus as an example. He writes:

For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. – 1 Peter 3:17-18 (NIV)

God would rather you suffer persecution because you’re doing the right things instead of doing the wrong things. Jesus suffered through the cross because He did the right things. He lived a holy and righteous life and His own people killed Him for it. They put Him to death on a cross, but God had the final say. God raised Him back to life on the 3rd day just as He said He would. It was God’s will for this to happen because all of humanity could be saved through Jesus’ death and resurrection. Do the right things, even if it brings persecution knowing that God’s will is best.



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