Rejoice!

By Bruce Blakey on August 11, 2019

1 Peter 1:3-9

AUDIO

Rejoice!

By Bruce Blakey on August 11, 2019

1 Peter 1:3-9

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:02] Thank you, it's a real pleasure to be here in a worship the Lord together with you.

[00:00:08] And it's nice that Bobby and his family are getting a vacation. And that reminds me of a time when Bobby and Bill and Ben were still kids living at home and we went on a family vacation. And I can't remember exactly where we were. But it was Sunday and we wanted to go to church and we know of the churches in the area. So we'd said, let's just pick one and go. And so we went to this one church and I wasn't very good. There wasn't much going on there. The preacher, I mean, he wasn't really bringing it. But, you know, we tried we went to this church. We tried. Well, we're leaving the church. We're leaving the service. We haven't even gotten out of the building yet.

[00:00:54] We're in the lobby of the church. People all around, all the people are leaving the church. Everybody's this lobbyist crammed full of people. And Bobby. Junior high. Bobby. Stands in the middle of the crowd, lifts up his Bible and says, well, I guess we didn't need this here today, did we?

[00:01:22] That was very embarrassing.

[00:01:26] And I was assuring the people, don't worry. You'll never see this kid again. Let's get out of here. Well, we don't want that to happen here today. So let's take our Bibles and open up to first. Peter, chapter one. First Peter, chapter one we're going to look at versus three through nine this morning. And I know that you have just read through first, Peter, in your scripture the day. So we're kind of piggybacking off of that. And I know that is the summer of joy as you're going through the Book of Philippians. And so we're we're connecting up with that title of the sermon is Rejoice. And we want to look at all that the Lord has for us in this great passage. So if you found it first, Peter, chapter one versus three through nine, let's all just stand as we read this passage this morning. First, Peter, chapter one versus three through nine. Says, Blessed be the godfather of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, from the dead to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and undef unfailing, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power, are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though. Now for a little while, if necessary. You have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuine this of your faith more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not see him. You believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. Obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. A man. Be seated. Peter here is writing to persecuted believers. Verse six here you'll see the mention of trials if you'll look back to verse one A he's addressing this to elect exile's of the dispersion. These are Christians who are suffering. They're being persecuted. They're being scattered throughout the countryside, and they are suffering in every area of life. In Chapter two versus 13 through 17, he's going to talk about their relationship to the government and the government. At that time, it's the Roman Empire and Nero is in charge, and that's not favorable towards Christians. Also in chapter two, verses 18 through 20, it talks about their relationship to their masters, which tells you that a lot of the people that Peter's writing to were slaves and they had masters. And in verse 18, he talked about how some of them were unjust, unjust masters. So they're suffering in that way as well. Chapter three starts off talking to women. Christian women who are married to unbelieving husbands. And so they're suffering in that way because in those days, that was really unique. It was totally unusual to have a wife who had a different belief, a different religion than her husband. And so they're having to deal with that.

[00:04:40] So Peter is addressing all of these things, all of the circumstances, all the difficulties that they're facing. But these believers that he's writing to were were demonstrating a unique feature of true Christianity. And that unique feature is Joy Joy. You see it there in verse six where he says, you rejoice. You rejoice. Despite what they're going through, they're rejoicing in the idea there is that this is the continuous habit of their life. This is the characteristic of their life. This is what they do. No matter what the circumstances are, they are rejoicing. And you see the word again in verse eight, the word rejoice. And the word that's used here in both places. Translated Rejoice speaks of an intense kind of joy. You could translate it. They're rejoicing greatly. What the kind of rejoicing he's talking about here is joy on steroids. This is a jubilant kind of expression in its outward. It's if joy is the inner attitude, rejoicing is being the outward expression. And you can see this model throughout the New Testament and different places. For example, in Acts Chapter 16, Paul and Silas are in the city of Phillip High and they get thrown in jail and they don't just get thrown in jail. It says that first they were beaten and then their feet were placed in the stocks, which means that they would spread their legs out as far as they could and put their feet through these holes and lock them in. So they're just as uncomfortable as they could possibly be. So they've been beaten. They're locked in these stocks. And it says in Act 16, 25 that about midnight Paul and Silas are singing praises to God. That's the kind of rejoicing that's characteristic of true believers in acts. Chapter five and verse 41. The apostles just been released by the religious leaders who are trying to shut down their ministry and telling them to stop. And there are released and it says they went on their way rejoicing because they had been considered worthy to suffer for the name, the name of Jesus. For them, that was something to rejoice over. That's the kind of rejoicing Peter is talking about here. And one of the greatest expressions of this kind of joy is given by the Lord Jesus himself in Luke Chapter six. Luke Chapter six. Verses 22 and 23. He says there. And you might take a look at this, Luke. Chapter six, verse 22. Luke, Chapter six. He's giving instruction for what to do when you're persecuted. And he says the verse 22, blessed are you when people hate you. And when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil on account of the son of man. Well, that's exactly what Peter's readers are experiencing. They're being hated. They're being excluded. They're being reviled because of their Christianity. So what does Jesus say to do in that kind of a situation? Verse twenty three, he says, rejoice in that day and leap for joy. This is to be a source of rejoicing because you're counted worthy to suffer for the name. Rejoice and leap for joy. I would show you what that would look like, but that's probably the end of the sermon at my age, trying to leap. But anyways, you get the idea. Rejoice and leap for joy. That's the kind of rejoicing Peter's talking about. And you'll notice going back to first Peter, chapter one, verse eight there. He talks about it being inexpressible, its joy inexpressible, which means that human words are not adequate to describe the kind of joy he's talking about, because this kind of joy is so different than any other kind of joy you've ever known. In fact, he says there in verse eight. It's filled with glory. It's energized by the reality of divine glory. These are people who have known the Lord. And that knowledge is fueling this kind of joy in their lives. That's what feeds the kind of continuous joy that Peter's talking about. It's the reality of salvation. The reality of salvation. You see, in verse five, he says that by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. And then verse 60 says, in this, you rejoice in this salvation and a verse eight when he talks about rejoicing with joy and expressible, filled with glory. He follows that up in verse nine by saying, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. It's the salvation that brings this kind of rejoice. The reality of salvation brings this kind of rejoicing. We have a salvation that is magnificent. It's magnificent. And we don't have time to look carefully at versus 10 through 12. But let me just read you what it says about our salvation. It says, Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be years searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. I mean, the prophets are talking about stuff and it just sounds so glorious and so magnificent that they're wanting to understand. So when is this going to happen and who's it going to be? They're looking into all that, but verse twelve says it was revealed to them that they were not they were serving not themselves, but you in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preach the good news to you by the Holy Spirit, sent from heaven.

[00:10:47] And then he closes by saying things into which angels long to look. This salvation is so glorious, so magnificent, the angels are observing it. They're seeing it happen, but they're wanting to know more because they can't experience it. Angels aren't getting saved, so they can't experience it. But they're seeing it. And it's something that they really want to know and understand because it is so glorious. So I would just say to you to heed the warning that I know you hear often here at this church to never let the good news become old news. Don't ever let the good news become old news, because it's the good news that produces this unstoppable flow. Flow of joy that Peter's talking about here in this passage.

[00:11:33] So what I want us to do today is to look at this passage. And as we do, I want to give you three reasons to rejoice in your salvation. We're just going to do kind of a Bible study here through this passage. I want to give you three reasons to rejoice in your salvation. Look again at verse three. Peter says, Blessed be the godfather of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. So here's reason number one. If you want to mark this down, rejoice. Salvation is secure. Rejoice. Salvation is secure. Peter starts off here with a call basically to stand up and bless the Lord. To celebrate with praise and your English standard version appropriately adds the exclamation point at the end of that sentence. This is an exhortation to be excited. And why? Because we have a secure salvation that he describes here just in this one verse. Notice what it says. It tells us that our salvation was initiated by God, initiated by God. It tells us that it was according to his great mercy. He has caused us to be born again. It's initiated by God. It's compelled by his great mercy, it's compelled by his compassion, and so that he reaches out and saves those who are dead in their sin and dominated by Satan. God takes the first step in making that happen. Turn with me back to a Fijians chapter two and let's just read a little bit about that. Fees and chapter two, I just want to read the first seven verses, which expands on this idea of God initiating, reaching out to dead sinners and bringing them to life, causing them to be born again. Here in fees in chapter two, verse one says, And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked. So there it is. You're dead in your sins. Following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that's now at work in the sons of disobedience, that's Satan and that's his domination. He's running the world's system and dead sinners are trapped and dominated by him in his system. And this is true for everybody outside of Christ. Verse three says, Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind. And we're, by nature, children of wrath like the rest of mankind, as the description of the unbeliever. They're dead in their sin. They're dominated by Satan. They're driven by their lusts.

[00:14:40] Verse four starts off with two great words, but God.

[00:14:45] But God, I think you had a sermon by that title here at this church, did you? But God, I got to wear the hat yesterday, but God hat, but God being rich in mercy hears that word because of the great love with which he loved us. Even when we were dead in our trance, our trespasses made us alive. Together with Christ by grace, you have been saved and raised us up with him and seeded us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. There you have it. We were dead, dominated, driven, and God took the initiative. God with his love, his grace, his mercy reached out and caused us to be born again, gave us this new life that we have. He caused us to be born again. And that was a decisive act by God. Go back with me now to first, Peter, chapter one. This one to point you to one other verse there. Verse 23. And first, Peter, one that talks about this decisive action taken by God to save centers and to give them new life. It says a verse 23, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable through the living and abiding word of God. So there there's the picture. We were dead, dominated. Driven.

[00:16:24] But God steps in, motivated by mercy, grace and love, and brings his word into the picture and opens up our eyes, opens up our hearts, causes us to be born again and to receive that new life.

[00:16:41] That's why it's secure. Because it comes from God and he knows how to do it and he knows how to do it right. He gives eternal life. Did you know that it's that temporary life? It's not probationary life. It's eternal life.

[00:17:01] He gives eternal life so we can rest and rejoice in that security. If salvation was dependent on anything that I did or something that I had to do. There would be no security.

[00:17:14] No security.

[00:17:16] I would always be wondered, what did I do, everything I'm supposed to do? Did I did it do it right? There would be no security. And instead of joy, there would be nothing but anxiety.

[00:17:28] But God did it. God did it.

[00:17:32] And he gives new life. Remember, in John Chapter three, Nicodemus comes to Jesus and Jesus basically says the Nikodim is here. I know you're the most religious guy around here and I know you're trying really hard.

[00:17:44] But Nicodemus, you have to be born again. You got to be born again. Or you won't even see the kingdom of heaven. You must be born again. God has to do it for you.

[00:17:56] And if you want to just turn back to James, chapter one little verse, that's just kind of tucked away here for us, James, chapter one, verse 18. It says, speaking of God, of his own, will of his own, will of God's own will.

[00:18:17] He brought us forth by the word of truth. There it is.

[00:18:24] It's God taking the initiative. Our salvation is secure because God took the initiative to bring it about. Titus, Chapter three talks more about this. And again, just highlights the mercy and grace of God, Titus Chapter three, verse four says. But when the goodness of loving kindness of God, our savior appeared, he saved us not because of works by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, who may poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ, our Savior. So there you have it. It's God. Take initiative. God reaching out and mercy, grace and love. And God giving new life through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Word of God.

[00:19:18] And we're born again, as it says, you're in first Peter 1-3 to a living hope, a living hope, as opposed to empty, deceptive, false hopes. Which is where the world lives in the world of false hopes. We have a living hope because we have a living savior, a resurrected savior who purchased our salvation through his atoning death and victorious resurrection. Peter talks about that here in chapter one, look at verse 18. He says, knowing that you were ransom there, there's the paying of the price. You were ransom from the feudal ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ like that of a lamb without blemish.

[00:20:09] Your spot. He was for known before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest in these last times for the sake of you.

[00:20:18] For the sake of you, who threw him are believers in God who raised them from the dead and gave him glory so that your faith and hope are in God. Our salvation is secure because God initiated it through his grace, mercy and love, and God accomplished it by sending his son to die in our place and a rise in victory over sin and death. It is secure. So you can rejoice because your salvation is secure.

[00:20:52] No matter what happens today. I'm still going to heaven. It's just so nice to say that. So nice to be able to say that every single day, no matter what happens today, I'm still going to have it, not because of anything I've done, not because of anything I'm going to do, but because of what God has done.

[00:21:14] The angels aren't gonna make it again this year. Still going to heaven. It's just so practical in so many ways. I am still going to heaven because of what God has done. Rejoice. Your salvation is secure. Let's go and let's look at versus four and five here and first, Peter one. To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfailing, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation. Ready to be revealed in the last time. So block this down for reason number two. Rejoice. The inheritance is guaranteed.

[00:22:06] The inheritance is guaranteed. Christians are in God's family. And according to Romans eight, that means that we're heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. Yeah, we're heirs of an inheritance that is talked about here, a great inheritance that we all will receive. And that inheritance is being kept in heaven for you. It's being guarded for you by God in heaven, and it's safely beyond any and all destructive forces. And he lists some of the things here. It's imperishable. It's not subject to decay. It's not subject to any kind of destruction. It's secure. It's undefiled, which means that will never be contaminated by anything. And it's unfailing. It holds its permanent beauty no matter how long it takes before you actually experience it. So your inheritance in heaven is secure. Being kept by God and you are being guarded by God to make sure you're going to get there to experience all of it. Verse five says, Who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed?

[00:23:21] In the last time. Ready to be revealed.

[00:23:26] So Nathalie's are inherently protected, but so are you, as a believer, your guarded, your guarded by God. And there's no greater power. The inheritance is there. It's waiting for you. It's being kept. And God is guarding you all the way to make sure you're going to get there to receive the full inheritance. Guarded here is a military term. And it's the same word that's used over in Philippians. Chapter four. A familiar verse. I'm sure Philippians Chapter four. A great promise related to prayer. And it says, In the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. We'll guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. There's that same word and the same idea. It's a military term. The picture there is that peace is guarding your hearts and your minds. Your hearts and your minds are safely within a fortress. The fortress is named Christ Jesus and pieces on the patrol guarding your hearts and minds and the same thing here. And first, Peter, you're being guarded by the power of God. The same power that gives you peace. Now, that same power is going to secure you all the way to heaven.

[00:24:39] We're guarded because we have our faith in Christ and we're being guarded 24 hours a day. God never takes a break. I'll be back in 15 minutes. Never going to happen.

[00:24:54] You're guarded all the time by the omnipotent, all knowing God.

[00:25:02] We're headed towards the fullness of our salvation. And it says here that that salvation is ready to be revealed because all that is needed for your salvation has already been fully accomplished by Jesus Christ. Nothing needs to be added to what he has done. So your salvation is ready to be revealed at whatever time because everything has already been completely, totally, perfectly done by Jesus Christ. You remember that on the cross? He said it is. Finished, it is finished. He didn't say, I've done my part.

[00:25:39] Now you do your part. That would not be good news if that was the message.

[00:25:45] But he said it is finished.

[00:25:48] It's all been done. Our salvation is perfect and complete and our inheritance is prep protected. And you are guarded all the way by the power of God.

[00:26:01] Our heavenly inheritance is not like any kind of human inheritance that you might receive, and Jesus gave some warnings about kind of trusting in human inheritances. A look with me at Matthew, Chapter six.

[00:26:20] Temptation is so great for us to trust in our our earthly resources, our earthly inheritance is the things that we're looking forward to counting on here in this life. Jesus just wants us to remember that you can't really fully trust in those things then certainly not like you can in your heavenly inheritance of verse 19. Matthew, chapter six. Jesus do not lay up for yourselves. Treasures on Earth. Well, why not? Where moth and rust destroy and where thieves rake in and steal.

[00:26:52] To see everything that can't happen to your heavenly inheritance. It can happen to your earthly treasures, says lay up for yourselves. Treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys. And we're thieves do not break in steal yet because it's guarded by God.

[00:27:11] And the warning here is where your treasurer is, that's where your heart's going to be. Well, whatever you're trusting in, that's where your heart is going to be. Jesus warning about trusting in human treasures, human inheritances. Look over at Luke, Chapter twelve. Luke, Chapter 12.

[00:27:32] And starting in verse 15, Jesus here is addressing a crowd of people and this issue comes up regarding money within a family. And and here's what he says. In fact, it all started to get stirred up in verse 13 with some as a teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me is the issue the inheritance.

[00:27:52] Verse fifteen and he said it and take care and be on your guard against all covetousness for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. And he told them a parable saying the land of a rich man produced plentifully. And he thought to himself, What shall I do for I have nowhere to store my crops? And he said, I'll do this. I'll tear down my barns and build larger ones. And there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to my soul, soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years. Relax, eat, drink and play golf. Or something like that. But God said to him, Fool.

[00:28:38] This night, your soul is required of you and the things you have prepared. Whose will they be?

[00:28:45] And the answer to that question is not yours, rich man, not yours. You thought you had all of this laid up. You thought you had it all figured out. It didn't turn out. And he concludes by saying verse 21. So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.

[00:29:08] Jesus is warning about not trusting in earthly inheritances, earthly treasures, because you are not guaranteed like your heavenly inheritance is. And this is kind of a personal thing for me, because I had a great grandfather, a great grandpa, John John Blakey, and he lived in England.

[00:29:33] And great Grandpa John was a prolific inventor. Invented all kinds of things, and I have one of the things that he invented here with me. I know you can't really see this, but this is a little deal. It's got three nails on the back and back in the day when you wore shoes with leather heels, you would take one of these and nail it under the heel. And that would preserve the life till the lifespan of your leather healed should help it the last longer because you've got this little piece of metal there to protect it. And this eventually led to taps like tap dancing. Great Grandpa John. He's the man. He's the man behind all of that. And so this is one of his inventions. And it even says on here, Blakey. And so if you went to any shoe repair shop in England, which I'm not suggesting, you go out of your way to do this, but if you ever do, you walk in and say, hey, you have any Blakey's, they'll know exactly what you're talking about. And the story with the way it's been told to me, the way it's come down to me is that great Grandpa John was such a great inventor and he made so much money. None of us Blakey should ever have had to work a day in our lives.

[00:30:47] That sounds pretty good, but the problem was like great grandpa John, he drank away. My inheritance. He drank it all the way.

[00:31:00] And so his son, my grandpa, Percy Blakey, got so tired of having to go get his drunk dad and bring him home. That Percy fled to the United States. And that's how the Blakey has got to America. And that explains why we're all working.

[00:31:19] Great Grandpa John. He led us down big time.

[00:31:23] You can't trust in earthly inheritances. Our inheritance as Christians is death proof. It's time proof. It's sin proof.

[00:31:35] Nobody's gonna drink it away.

[00:31:38] Don't let yourself get distracted by the perishing things of this world. Those distractions, they produce empty hopes. And they rob us of joy.

[00:31:52] Remember, just remember, it's not heaven until you get to heaven.

[00:31:58] It's not going to be heaven here on earth. You're not going to buy the house on the sunny side of halleluja street. It's not the way it's going to be in this life. It's not heaven until you get to heaven. But when you get to heaven, it's all going to be there ready for you.

[00:32:16] God guarantees your heavenly inheritance. So rejoice, rejoice in that. Doesn't matter what's happened in here. I've got a heavenly inheritance that's guaranteed by God.

[00:32:30] Rejoice, rejoice.

[00:32:33] Well, let's go back to the text first, Peter one. And let's look at versus six and seven.

[00:32:40] Versus six and seven. Speaking of the salvation, he says in this, you rejoice, though, now for a little while if necessary. You have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuine this of your faith more precious than gold, that Paris's, though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. So put this down for number three. Reason number three. Rejoice. Endurance is rewarded.

[00:33:17] Or you could say an enduring faith is rewarded. We rejoice, even though for now we have to endure trials and turn over to Chapter four for Peter, four versus 12 through 16 just tells us a little bit more about what was happening to these readers and the instruction that Peter's giving them a verse twelve. He says, Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you detests you as though something strange were happening to you Christians. You should expect the suffer and to be persecuted to some degree by an unbelieving, God hating, Christ rejecting world. Because you're associated with Christ. When Christ was on on the earth, they hated him. They killed him. And so if you're going to associate with him be known as one of his, you can expect to get some of the fallout. That people aim at Christ. So don't be surprised. Verse 13, but rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you're blessed because the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evil doer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed. Shame, but let him glorify God in that name.

[00:34:58] In that name.

[00:35:00] See these trials that come our way, they should be expected. And going back to Chapter one, Peters wanting us to know that these trials serve a very important purpose in our lives as believers. And here in these two verses, he kind of gives a mini theology of trials. He tells us there at the Universe six that we're going to face various trials means that they can come to us in all kinds of different ways. You might be slandered, you might experience some mistreatment. It might come to you at work. It might come to you in your family or extended family and even more nowadays.

[00:35:37] It could come to you through our government. But he tells us how to think about these trials. And the first thing he tells us there in verse six is that these trials are temporary. You see says they're there for a little while. They're for a little while. They don't last. They're temporary. You need to have a perspective on these trials. They're not going to last forever. And even if you suffered immensely for Christ in this life, it's still just a little while compared to eternity. And so keep the perspective that these are just temporary. They're just for a little while. And I want to direct it to a couple of passages. First ones in Romans eight. Couple of passages where the apostle Paul helps us get perspective on dealing with trials and suffering in our lives as Christians.

[00:36:30] Certainly the apostle Paul, he knew trials. He knew trials all the time, everywhere he went. It seemed like he got beat up and thrown in jail. And when they beat him, when he talks about being beaten with rods. Guess what? That hurts. It hurts a lot. And he'd been beaten with rods many times. He had been stoned. In fact, one time they stoned them. They thought he was dead. They left him for dead. He experienced shipwrecks. He was in numerous prisons. He knows suffering for Christ. And here's what he says in Romans. Eight, 18, four, I consider.

[00:37:13] That the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. See, he's got this perspective. I'm just here for a little while. And no matter how bad I suffer here, it's nothing. It's nothing compared to the glory I'm gonna receive in heaven. It's just for a little while. It's just a part of life in this world. And then I'm going to heaven. And there's not going to be any of this ever again. It's just that perspective I turn rudely over a couple of books to Second Corinthians, Second Corinthians, Chapter four.

[00:37:55] And again, he's talking about suffering and all the things that he's having to endure. And we get the verse 16, Second Corinthians for 16. He says, we do not lose heart.

[00:38:10] Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For now, listen to this. This is how Paul describes his suffering for this light momentary affliction. He calls it, none of us would would describe it as light. That what Paul was getting was suffering light. He's getting suffering, Max. But he refers to it as light and momentary. It's just for a little while. It's light, momentary affliction, and it's preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. As we look not to the things that are seen, the circumstances of our life, but to the things that are unseen, for the things that are seen are transient. They're just for a little while. Just part of life on this earth. They're transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

[00:39:14] And that's where we're going. We're going to suffer these transient trials here now, but we're going to heaven and we'll be there for ever. Forever. That's the perspective there, just for a little while. They're temporary.

[00:39:35] Going back now to first Peter, chapter one, after he says that they are just for a little while. He says that they serve a purpose. He says, if necessary, if necessary, it tells us that these trials serve some specific purpose. God's determining what's necessary in your life. And he's giving you what's necessary. And it's for his purpose in your life. And you can be assured that that is a good purpose that he has for your life. He's bringing these things if necessary. They're being tailored just for you, your situation, for God's purposes in your life. We'll talk more about that one in a minute. But look at the next word there. It's not only for a little while, if necessary. You are grieved, grieved by various trials. And that word grieve there just reminds us that these trials, they bring pain. They're supposed to. That's the point. They bring pain and grief could also be translate with a word like distress. And so it points to the mental distress, the sadness, the sorrow, the disappointment and the anxiety, all the things that we experienced associated with trials of this life. They're painful in every way. But Peter's given us a perspective here, because too often we allow ourselves to be defined by our trials. Hi, I'm the guy going through this trial. That's how we define ourselves and we too often look at ourselves as victims. Now, trials are real and they do hurt, but we have something greater than those trials. And it says there in verse seven, what we have is faith. We have faith, a faith which is more precious than refined gold. And God is using trials to refine our faith. That's the purpose. That's the if necessary. He's bringing trials to refine our faith, to just get rid of all the stuff that we don't need, all the stuff that doesn't matter. He's using these trials to get that stuff away, stripped away from our faith. Trials are meant to prove our faith as it talks about here the genuineness of your faith and see the the false believer, the phony believer, the hypocritical believer. When trials come, Jesus told us in the parable of the sower Matthew 13, what happens to them? They run away. So these trials prove the genuineness of our faith because we'll endure through these trials. So they not only prove our faith, but they improve our faith. These trials prove our faith and improve our faith as God is working in our lives. And notice, as it says there in verse seven, what are the results of that refined faith? What it tells us there is that you're refined faith, your enduring faith, your faith that endures all these trials is going to be rewarded. What's listed there in verse seven is what's going to happen to you, what you're going to receive when you see Jesus Christ. This is not what you're going to say. This is what is going to happen to you. It starts off there by saying, well, it'll result in praise. It results in praise. This enduring, refined faith, this genuine faith is going to be praised. And that's exactly what Jesus said in Matthew, 25 21. Where he's talking about a faithful slave there and in verse 21, it says his master said to him, well done. Good and faithful servant. You heard that before. That's the praise Peter's talking about. Well done. Good and faithful servant. You've been faithful over a little. I'll set you overmuch. Enter in to the joy of your master. It's all related to this joy again. And it's the faithful servant. It's going to receive praise from the master. Well done. Wouldn't that be a great thing to hear? Stand before the Lord at the revelation of Jesus Christ and have him look at you and say, well done. You're a good and faithful servant. That's the praise that this enduring, refined faith is going to receive. What at the revelation of Jesus Christ in First Corinthians four or five, Paul talks about how we'll always, Eve, receive praise for our faithful service to the Lord. And then going back to first, Peter A. The next word after praise is glory.

[00:44:44] This is an exciting one, it's something you're going to receive at the revelation of Jesus Christ that talks about the radiance of our future life. And the older I get, the more excited I get about this, because this body, like he said, is is wasting away. But we're looking forward to something far greater. Look with me at First Corinthians, Chapter 15. First Corinthians 15 is a great chapter, all about the resurrection, about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and how crucial that is to the gospel and how important that is to believers, because his resurrection guarantees our resurrection. Oh, we've been born again to a living hope. We have a resurrected savior and he's going to resurrect us. These bodies are going in the ground, but there's coming a resurrection day. And in heaven, we're not going to look like what we look like here. Praise the Lord. I mean, you guys are all incredibly good looking. But wait, do you get to be my age anyways? First Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 42. He says, so is it with the resurrection of the dead? What is Soane perishable is raised imperishable. It's never gonna wear out and die again. It is sewn in dishonor. It is raised in here's our word glory.

[00:46:05] It's raised in glory. It's sown in weakness. It's raised in power.

[00:46:14] We're going to receive something new when we stand before the Lord Jesus Christ effect first, John three says we'll be like him because we'll see him as he is. We're gonna receive a body like his glorious body, like his back turned over to Philippians, Chapter three, Philippians, Chapter three versus 20 and 21. Verse 20 is a good reminder, our citizenship is in heaven, it's in heaven. And from it from heaven, we await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. There's the idea we're gonna receive praise. Well done. Good faithful, sir. We're gonna receive glory. We're gonna get a glorious body. And we can be sure of that because he's going to do it by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. This enduring faith is going to be rewarded at the revelation of Jesus Christ on a stand before him, and you're going to receive praise from him and you'll receive a new glorious body from him. And then the last thing Peter says there in First Peter one seven is you're going to receive honor from him. And those are specific rewards that you'll receive for your service that you did for him while here on Earth. First Corinthians, three talks about Christians standing before Christ and receiving their rewards. And in Revelation 22 12, he says, I'm coming quickly and my reward is with me. So this is what is going to happen. This enduring faith is going to be rewarded. You're going to receive praise, glory and honor, and that helps us understand why. James says what he says in James chapter one versus two through four where he says, count it all, Joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith. That's the purpose of the trials. The testing of your faith produces steadfastness or endurance. It produces this endurance and that enduring faith is going to be rewarded. That's what we have to look forward to. So I want you to think about this a little bit today, maybe while you're eating lunch, let me give you something else to chew on during lunch today. We're talking about this faith, this enduring faith.

[00:48:55] It's going to be rewarded. Where did that faith come from? Did you just kind of work it up on your own?

[00:49:02] That faith that you have is a gift from God. He caused you to be born again. And when he brought you out of death in the life, that's when you responded in faith to him. He gave you your faith. So he gave you your faith. This passage tells us he's refining your faith. And in the end, he's going to reward your faith. Now, think about that. He's going to reward you for something he gave you. He's rewarding you for the grace he gave you, the faith he gave you and the faith that he refined in you. He's rewarding you for what he gave you. That, my friends, is Grace. That is Grace. He gave you this faith. He's working on this faith right now, and in the end, he's going to reward that faith.

[00:49:59] Chew on that this afternoon. Think about how magnificent that is. Think about the mercy, grace and love that brought that about. And you might be like John says, behold, what kind of love is this? That does something like that for me. That's something to rejoice in. And during the trials of life refines your faith. And that brings rewards. So rejoice, rejoice. The best is yet to come. The best is yet to come. I think as Christians, we'd all be a whole lot better off if we focused on what we do have and not spend so much time fussing about what we don't have. Does life in this world is going to be full of don't haves?

[00:50:44] But what we have is a guaranteed inheritance in heaven that is secured by God, he's his powers going to make sure we get there. And the faith that he gave us is going to be rewarded.

[00:50:56] Once we get there, that's what you do have. Now, there's one last thing to look at here in this text. The key to this rejoicing. The bottom line to this rejoicing.

[00:51:11] We said that the rejoicing is connected to salvation. That's the source of our rejoicing, the salvation that we have. But this text also tells us that our salvation is received through faith. Through faith. You see it there in verse five by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed. You see it in verse seven. The genuine this of your faith in verse eight, it uses a couple of words related to faith. We love Christ and we believe in Christ. Those are expressions of our faith in him. And verse nine just says, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. It's the salvation that we have is received through faith. Apart from a genuine faith in Christ, you will not experience the salvation of your soul and you will not experience the joy we've been talking about here today. And it's critical that you don't leave her today without making sure you rightly understand how the Bible defines faith. Because according to the Bible, there's three elements to true faith, the kind of faith that is connected to salvation and the kind of faith that brings about this kind of joy. A component. Number one is you got to know the facts. You got to know the facts of the gospel. How are people going to believe something that they've never heard? You've got to know the facts. You've got to know who Jesus Christ is. He's the son of God. He came into the world. He died and rose again so that everybody who repents and believes in him receives the forgiveness of all their sins forever.

[00:52:51] You got to know the facts. That's the facts of the gospel. And then the second part is you have to acknowledge that those facts are true. These are the facts. And I believe that it's true. I really believe that it is true. Now, many people have those two elements of faith. I know the facts. I believe that they're true. Texas is full of these kind of people.

[00:53:20] But just having those two elements doesn't connect you to salvation. All those two elements do is put you on the same level of as demons. His Bible tells us that James 219, the demons they believe and they tremble.

[00:53:38] I mean, they take it serious. They know the facts and they know the facts are true. They believe that they're true. They're not getting saved. There's a third element. This is often the missing element in real faith. You have to commit yourself to the person of Jesus Christ. Commit yourself to the person of Jesus Christ. It's not just I know the I know the facts about him and I believe those facts about him are true. No, I have committed myself to him, to the person of Jesus Christ. It's expressed well here in verse eight where it says you haven't even seen him, but you love him.

[00:54:17] You love him. You know, back in the day as a part of wedding vows, there was a common phrase that was included in and vows something that the man would say to his bride, as is his bride, and she would repeat to him. And the line is and forsaking all others. I commit myself to you.

[00:54:44] To you only.

[00:54:47] It's saying out of all the other people in the world, I'm forsaking all of them. I'm forsaking all other relationships in terms of this new relationship that we're starting is going to be the primary relationship, human relationship that I'm ever going to know. I'm committing myself to this primary human relationship. I'm forsaking all others. All those other relationships come up below this. I'm even forsaking myself. I'm submitting myself to the priority of this most important human relationship. Husband and wife. That's exactly what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. I'm forsaking everything else, I'm forsaking every other God forsaken, every idol that I'm holding onto. I'm forsaking any other savior, whether it's my money, my relationships, my family, my home, my job. I'm forsaking all others saviors and I'm forsaking all the sinful desires that I have sought after for my satisfaction. Everyone and everything is submitted to forsaking all that. I'm committing myself to Jesus Christ alone.

[00:55:57] That's real faith. You do that. And not only will you rejoice. But the Bible tells us there's gonna be rejoicing in heaven. There's rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents maybe today, that's you. We had one in the last service. Maybe you're the one in this service. Who is going to forsake all others and put their trust completely and only in Jesus Christ if you're here now and this kind of joy that we've been talking about today is not characteristic of your life in any way, shape or form.

[00:56:41] We got good news for you. We can tell you about Jesus Christ and the joy that you can find in him that you can't find anywhere else. I would say don't put it off another day. Don't put it off another hour. Come to Christ. Be set free from your sin and from Satan and enter into the joy of the Lord. You got any questions about that? I would encourage you to talk to somebody here at the church. But most importantly, talk to the Lord. You come to him forsaking all others, trusting in him. He won't turn you away. He will give you.

[00:57:23] Joy. Inexpressible and full of glory. Let's pray.

[00:57:34] We're so thankful to come to the word today and to know that this is true. This is sure the things that we've seen here are reality. Salvation is secure because you secured it. The inheritance is guaranteed because you guarantee it. And enduring faith is rewarded because you promised to do it. You have the power to turn these lowly bodies into glorious bodies like our saviors.

[00:58:12] So we're I pray that your word will do its work in every heart here today. Lord, that believers here would be greatly strengthened and encouraged and that they would know more of this joy in their own lives. Lord, we pray for any here today that don't know this joy. We pray that today would be the day. That you would cause them to be born again? Or just give you thanks for your goodness, your grace, your mercy, your love towards us expressed so powerfully in Jesus Christ. We give you thanks in his name, Amen.

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