Tested

By Bobby Blakey on May 3, 2020

1 Peter 1:6-9

AUDIO

Tested

By Bobby Blakey on May 3, 2020

1 Peter 1:6-9

This is a rush transcript.

[00:00:00] I invite you to open the Bible with me to the book of 1 Peter, that's the book that we're studying. We started it last week. Hopefully you read it this week. If you're just joining us, what a great time for us as we're just getting started here with First Peter. And if you are a Christian, I want to talk today about your faith. That's what this text is going to teach us about. You would say you're a person of faith. If somebody asked you, do you have faith, if you would consider yourself a Christian? Your answer to that would be yes. Because the only way that anyone can be saved is by faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are saved by faith and faith alone in what Jesus has done for us. Can I get a man from anybody on that air today? Yes, we are saved by faith. But what is that look like in your life right now to be saved and to have faith? Let us read together first, Peter, Chapter one versus 69. And out of respect for God's word, I'm going to ask if everybody would stand up as we read together now our text of scripture for today. We want to give this our full and undivided attention because this is the word of God to us all. Read it for us. Please follow along. First, Peter, chapter one six to nine.

[00:01:34] In this, you rejoice, though, now for a little while if necessary. You have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness 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 now 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. Go ahead and have a seat. That is the reading of God's word. And what is amazing, as you and I look at this passage of scripture together today, as you can see right away, it's talking about being grieved by all kinds of different trials. And usually when we talk about trials at church, there's different people going through different experiences. And some people might say, well, I'm not really going through a trial right now, but somebody might be having a health problem or a family problem or a financial problem. And there could be all kinds of various trials that people are going through. This is what's amazing.

[00:02:57] I've never seen this before at church is we're going to study trials while literally every single one of us is going through one. We are all being tested together right now. So this has never been a more timely word in my entire 40 years of life.

[00:03:16] It's never been more relevant than it is for me and you to study this passage that you and I. Here's something that you can you can guarantee this is going to happen. This is a promise that scripture makes to you. You are going to be tested. I'm waiting for. Let me hear that Amen everybody.

[00:03:36] See, this is one of the promises of scripture that they don't put in the cute little books and they don't post on Pinterest, if you know what I mean. Right.

[00:03:44] You are gonna be tested.

[00:03:46] Maybe you've got somebody at your house who goes to school. Maybe they're even right now doing school at your house. And what's funny about people who go to school and I can relate to this back in the day, is you think, why do we have to take all of these tests?

[00:04:02] And if your ears are open, you can hear regularly students grumbling, complaining, muttering, even sometimes under their breath.

[00:04:13] But still loud enough to be heard. Why do we have to do this homework? Why do we have to study for this quiz?

[00:04:19] Why do we have so many tests? We've got all these AP tests. We got it. We got it. We got S.A.T. tests. We got a C.T. tests. We got tests upon tests.

[00:04:30] Why do we have it's people who go to school and complain about tests. It's kind of like, well, what did you think was gonna happen, bro? You know, it's kind of like reality check. Of course, there's gonna be tests at school. Now, we should apply that same exact thinking to the Christian life. Of course, there's gonna be trials. Are you calling yourself a Christian?

[00:04:52] That this you get tested. That's how it works.

[00:04:55] You're a student, you go to school, you should expect there to be tests. If you're a student and you're grumbling about tests, you might need to rethink what you think school is going to involve.

[00:05:05] If you're a Christian and you don't think there's going to be trials.

[00:05:09] You might need to rethink that, because the scriptures telling you that you're going to be tested. And in fact, look back in verse six, it's very clear here we're rejoicing in this hope that we learned about.

[00:05:20] Our hopes are high. We are full of hope, doom ism. We are rejoicing. We rejoice in the Lord always. And again, I will say rejoice. Right. That's what we're doing here.

[00:05:31] But then even though for a short time, a temporary season year, a little while if necessary. So not all. All the time. But sometimes when necessary, it says you have been grieved by various trials like these trials are actually causing grief. They're causing you to suffer. We're gonna find out that suffering is one of the main themes of First Peter as he's writing to the scattered believers. He. He's going through suffering. They're going through trials. They're they're grieved by them.

[00:06:05] He's saying, hey, this is what we signed up for as Christians. This is what we should expect. We should all expect that our faith in Jesus Christ. That he died for our sins on the cross. That he rose again to give us a new eternal life. All of our faith in Jesus, all of us, we will be tested.

[00:06:26] And he says there in verse seven so that the tested genuineness of your faith. OK. So we'll look look at verse seven. I want you to look at this. And notice that line right there. Let's think about this. There's three different statements of faith in verses seven, eight, nine. I want to look at all three of those statements of faith and get our three points for the sermon. And it says that the point of this test is the genuineness of your faith. Or you could translate it to prove your faith. So right here in verse seven, you take your faith, you profess faith in Jesus Christ. Great. Let me tell you what's going to happen. Your faith. It will be tested. This is what the scripture is saying, that God, everyone who professes faith in his son, Jesus, everyone who professes faith in him, he is going to test them so that that faith will be proven. This is a part of the process. This is how it works.

[00:07:25] Faith will be tested.

[00:07:29] Go with me to James, chapter one. Let's go over to to James. Chapter one, it's just a couple of pages over to the left here, James, chapter one versus two to four. And there's a lot of similarities between first Peter and James. They both go into the scattered to the diaspora and they both quickly get into the reality that those people are going through trials and they say, count it all, Joy. Notice the similarities here. You're rejoicing, A, because of what you've got in Jesus. Count it all, Joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

[00:08:20] You should keep rejoicing in Jesus even though your faith is being tested.

[00:08:27] So I want you to think about this with me. OK. There's a lot of us who are surprised by what has happened.

[00:08:34] We're surprised by the corona virus crisis. We're surprised. I mean, if we had our and we had our test scantron out right now, if we had our number two pencil in our hand, we'd be clicking, we'd be circling and see Corona virus crisis. Didn't see that one comment. Oh, next question. Yeah. See church building closed. Never seen that before. Right. I mean, we just made international news in Huntington Beach. I had one of our missionaries across the world hit me up to make sure we're OK. Here in Huntington Beach, because of the protests going on, the beach is closed. Yeah.

[00:09:08] Get in a circle out bubble in all of this is very surprising. Let me let me ask you, why is it surprising?

[00:09:16] If you actually read through this book, you actually listen to what Jesus says is going to happen in the last days, if you actually read in the Book of Revelation about all of the plagues, all of the judgment of wrath that is coming upon this planet, and how many people are going to die when you start thinking of it in that perspective, what we're going through is actually not really as big as how bad it's going to get. Not even close. So why are so many of us surprised when our faith is tested? When Peter and James are letting us know right away your faith is going to be tested by trials?

[00:09:54] Every one of you don't be a student who's acting like, why are you expecting me to actually learn stuff here in school? And holding me accountable? To see if I really know it or not know you as a Christian.

[00:10:05] This is coming at you. In fact, it's not even just let's get more specific. It's not even just that trials are going to test you. Let me put it very clearly. God himself is the one using the trials to test you. So, Peter, he's got this analogy. If you want to turn a couple pages to the right back to first Peter one, he says that your faith is more precious than gold. That's what he says. Your faith is more precious than gold, though, tested by fire. So he gives us a picture of what this testing of our faith is going to look like. It's like gold. And now we're turning up the heat. We're cranking up the pressure and we're seeing if it's real gold or if it's fool's gold. That's what maybe it feels like to a lot of us when we can't meet at church. The temptation pressures are rising when we're all at home. Maybe the heat is cranking up at your house with some tensions going on there. That that picture of of gold. Now, that idea, is it like Peter just thought of that idea of gold being refined as like a picture of the testing of God. You got to see that the reason Peter's writing about this and the reason James is writing about this is because they're quoting the law, prophets and writings who have a lot to say about this. Let me just give you a verse from each one of those three sections. Let's start in the law. Look with me at Genesis 22 one. We'll just put it up here for you. You can just look at it after these things. God tested Abraham. He promised him a son. He gave him a son. And then he tested him to see whether he loved his son or God more. God tested not just the trials. No God specifically testing Abraham. How about this from the prophets. Isaiah, 48. Ten. Here's another verse. Look at this on the screen, Isaiah. Forty. Eight. Ten. Behold. Here's God speaking as he does in this Isaiah 40 chapters. Speaking in the first person. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver. I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.

[00:12:19] Here's God saying, I'm testing you, I'm afflicting you. I'm the one bringing the suffering because I want to see if your faith proves true.

[00:12:30] If your faith proves genuine.

[00:12:34] You can't profess faith without expecting that you're going to have to prove faith.

[00:12:39] That's what we're learning from first, Peter.

[00:12:41] In fact, let's get that down. For point number one. Point number one here. Faith is proven in trials.

[00:12:50] Faith is proven in trials.

[00:12:54] And God is the one. He is the teacher. He is the father. He is the savior. He is the one who is going to test your faith. So it proves to be genuine.

[00:13:08] So don't don't think that Peter or James came up with this idea during the diaspora when the people were scattered. No, they're quoting scripture. They're quoting God. Let me give you another one, Psalm 66, 10. Now from the writings, Psalm 66, 10. Here they are responding to God. The people of God saying for you. Oh, God. Have tested us. You have tried us as silver is tried. You've cranked up the heat. You've brought up the pressure. And you want to see if our faith is genuine or not. You want us to prove that we trust you. As we go through this trial, every one of us. I hope you're getting where we're going here today.

[00:13:52] You are gonna be tested. And what's really going to be encouraging is when the trials come and you keep trusting in the Lord. I'm not saying you're going to ace the test perfectly, but you're going to pass the test. You're going to keep trusting.

[00:14:08] You're going to keep believing the promises. Turning to the word turn into prayer. Look into the Lord being built up by the brothers and sisters. You're going to keep going in your faith in Jesus Christ. Do you realize what growth that's going to bring in you?

[00:14:21] What assurance that's going to give to your soul?

[00:14:24] Do you realize that it will be better where you're at between you and God will be better after the trial than before the trial?

[00:14:32] It's a good thing that God wants to do to test his people. And God is going to test you.

[00:14:42] And this is so important that God does test us because the Bible is clear and and I hope you can hear what I'm saying right now, because what I'm saying is what then the Bible says what the Greek Bible says over and over is there is a kind of fake faith. And you really need to pay attention to this because you don't hear about a lot of fake faith being talked about in the churches in America today. But you hear about it being talked about in the churches right here in the scripture. In fact, in first Corinthians 15, verse two. Paul writes that you have been saved by the power of the gospel that you believed in unless you believed in vain. He says some people, they claim to have faith, but it's an empty kind of faith.

[00:15:26] You crank up the heat on it. You put the pressure on it. It doesn't prove to be true.

[00:15:33] In fact, in the Book of James Chapter two, he goes on to talk about how faith without works is what he says. If there is no evidence in your life. If there is no action in your life, then your faith.

[00:15:48] If it doesn't prove to be true in your life, your faith is dead. And even the demons believe the information about Jesus, even the demons know the truth of God's word in the Bible. They know that Jesus died. They know that he rose again. Yeah, you can know the information. But does your faith produce works? Does he prove to be true?

[00:16:12] And Luke, chapter eight, verse 13, Jesus teaches the parable of the soils. And he talks about there's different responses to the seed of the gospel and sometimes Satan just comes and snatches it away and there's no response. But sometimes people respond to the gospel with joy. And it seems like they profess faith and they become a believer. And it seems like Jesus is doing a work in their life, but their soil is the rocky ground and their roots don't get down deep into the heart.

[00:16:40] And so when it starts getting hard, when the trials, when the tests come, they fall away because their faith doesn't prove to be true.

[00:16:52] And so I guarantee you that God is going to test your faith and if you really have faith, it will prove to be true to the glory of God, to the assurance of your soul. And you will grow closer to Jesus through the tests and the trials. So let me ask you a question. I hope you're tracking with me. Are you going to be tested? The answer is a man, a man. This is common for every single one of us. Now, go back to a first, Peter, if you're already there with me, OK? So verse seven is is talking about this tested genuineness of your faith and your faith is more precious than gold. It's really a great work of writing that Peter does here, because not only is he saying your faith is more precious than gold, he's also using the testing of gold by fire as an analogy for the trials that we're going to go through. And Liquidy says here, when you pass this test, when you keep the faith, when it proves to be true, it may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Now, I need you to really to really think with me about how Peter is writing about faith, because the way Peter is writing about faith is different again than the way I hear people talking about faith. When I hear a lot of people at our church talk about faith, they talk about faith in the past tense, like I put my faith in Jesus. At some point in the past. But Peter, he was writing about faith. He's keeps talking about faith going forward to the future. Do you see that his faith is always looking to the revelation of Jesus Christ? That's why he was directing us into hope last week.

[00:18:36] Now he's saying, hey, look forward to the revelation of Jesus to when you're gonna see Jesus, you're gonna be with Jesus. That's really where your faith should be pointing you. He's always pushing us forward. If you're thinking about faith like something you already have in the past tense, you need to rethink faith because that's not the way that it's written about here in the Greek Testament ear. No, it is written like you need to look to the future. Your faith is driving you onward because you want to go and experience the presence of Jesus Christ.

[00:19:11] That's how it describes faith. That's Peter. Think about how Peter could refer to back to all the amazing things he saw Jesus do. He could refer back to how he saw Jesus risen from the dead. He could refer to how the Holy Spirit came upon him. And he preached these amazing messages in the Book of Acts. He saw Jesus transfigured into all of his glory on the mountain. Peter, he if somebody wanted to look back and talk about how awesome it is to have faith from the past, Peter would be a prime candidate to do that. And yet always see as Peter pointing us forward to the future. Your faith. Yes. You may have professed it in the past.

[00:19:50] You may have been saved at the moment you trusted in Jesus, but now your faith needs to be proven and where your faith should really be directing you to look is towards the future when you're going to see Jesus.

[00:20:01] That's where it's sending it now.

[00:20:03] This is really an interesting phrase here, if you're looking at first, Peter, chapter one, verse seven, it says, may be found to result in praise and glory in honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

[00:20:14] And when you read that, the first thing that comes to your mind is the excitement that a lot of us have to worship Jesus actually in his presence to see his glory to be with him forever.

[00:20:25] We cry out, Maranatha. We want to give Jesus all the glory, honor and praise.

[00:20:30] But actually, if you study this passage in the Greek and if you read most of the good Bible interpreters that are out there today, they're going to tell you that this is talking about what Jesus is going to give to those who have faith.

[00:20:44] The reward that he's going to give them, that Jesus is going to say to all of us who persevere in the faith through our lives, well done, good and faithful servant. It's actually a statement here that the faith that is proven to be true in the end will be found and it will be rewarded.

[00:21:04] And Jesus will actually have good things to say about the faith of his people who have trusted him throughout their lives until they are with him in his presence.

[00:21:15] So not exactly what you might expect when you first read that, but it's actually talking about Jesus saying to us, well done, good job, way to keep living by faith, you good and faithful servant. Now, in verse eight, it says Faith again in English. It's translated believe, but it's the same word in the Greek. Look what it says here in verse eight. This is an important thing for me and you to understand about faith, though. You have not seen him. You love him, though you do not now see him, you believe in him.

[00:21:53] And then you've got this joy, inexpressible, filled with glory. You've got this joy in your soul bursting out of your skin and bones that you're going to be with Jesus.

[00:22:03] But right now you don't see him. But you'll love him. Even now, you don't see him. But you have faith in him. You trust in him.

[00:22:14] So one thing that can kind of throw us off in the English, we might use the word faith. We might use the word trust. We might use the word believe in the Greek. It's all the same word. So we got to remember everybody that faith is not by sight. That's actually the contrast. These things are actually set against one another. OK. Let me throw this verse on the screen for you. This is Hebrews, Chapter 11, verse one. This is kind of a classic definition of faith. Now, faith is the assurance of things, hope for the conviction of things not seen flat out in the definition.

[00:22:53] What is faith? Faith is you trusting what Jesus says, even though you can't see it. It's you trusting in what Jesus has done that he died for you, that he rose again, even though you haven't personally witnessed his resurrection. You still believe it, even though you can't see it.

[00:23:15] That's what faith is. Let's get that down for number two.

[00:23:19] Faith is hidden in Jesus. Faith is hidden in Jesus.

[00:23:26] You cannot see it. This is the definition.

[00:23:29] But yet think about it.

[00:23:31] How often do people act like they want their faith to make sense so that they could see it?

[00:23:38] Think about how often people talk like that.

[00:23:40] Think about how people regularly act like, well, if I was alive in Bible times, you ever hear people talk about that? Almost have been so easy back then when you could just see God, when you could just walk with Jesus, when he was right there with you.

[00:23:53] People act like, well, hey, if I could just see it, then it would all make sense. Then it would be easy for me. Yet the Bible is telling us over and over and over again. It's not about sight. It's about faith. And you can't see faith.

[00:24:08] Are you really live in your life? Based on what you can't see or are you live in based on what you can see? If you're gonna be a Christian? Oh, yeah. I believe in Jesus. I got faith in Jesus.

[00:24:19] Then you live based not on circumstances. Based not on feelings, based not on any experience you can have. You live on faith, and here's how I know that a lot of us.

[00:24:31] We've got some growing to do in the faith department because when this whole corona virus crisis came along, I said, hey, maybe you said it. We all said something like, wow, I've never seen anything like this before. We should all expect that the future is full of things we haven't seen because we are people who live by faith, not by sight. I mean, how much of your life is really by faith and not based on the things that makes sense? And here in this life that you can see with your own eyeball? Turn with me to John, Chapter 20, I want to take you to a couple of passages about this. This is something I really think we need to rethink when it comes to our faith. Yes, saving faith is specifically trusting that Jesus died for your sins and that he rose again. To give you new life, you have to trust in who Jesus is, the Christ, the son of God, and that what he did on the cross and how there's an empty tomb. You have to put your faith in the gospel to be saved, even though maybe you haven't seen it. Now, when we go here to John, chapter 20, verse 24, we meet a guy named Thomas, often referred to as Doubting Thomas because he would not take the disciples word that Jesus rose from the dead. He said, I've got to see him for myself. He said, seeing is going to be for me believing. Let's see how that plays out here. John, 20, verse 24. Now, Thomas, one of the 12 called the twin was not with them when Jesus came. Jesus is appearing before them. He's showing them the scars in his hands. But Thomas isn't there. And the other disciples told him, We have seen the Lord. These are your brose.

[00:26:18] You've been with these guys for three years. They're telling you we've seen it. I mean, this is eyewitness testimony, Coleman, to you.

[00:26:27] And he said to them, unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails placed my finger into the mark of the nails, placed my hand into his side. I will never believe. Here's Thomas rolling up with his checklist. Well, unless I can check off this box, this box and this box, I'm not going to believe. Lot of people doing that in the world today. A lot of them need to come to the All Souls class at one o'clock because faith is not about checking off a bunch of boxes. If that's your criteria to have faith, you're never gonna end up having faith because it's not based on boxes being checked. It's based on things you can't see. Promises come and true. But here's Thomas. He's got his own criteria. Well, let's see what happens. Verse 26. Eight days later, his disciples were inside again and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked. Jesus came. I love that the doors are locked. But Jesus came. Can someone say teleportation? Maybe Jesus came and stood among them and said, peace be with you.

[00:27:25] Which if you are ever appear suddenly in a room, probably a good way to start the conversation with the surprised people all around you. Peace be with you. Then he said to Thomas, Here's some conviction for you, Thomas. Put your finger here and see my hands. Put out your hand and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve but believe.

[00:27:45] Stop doubting and believe Jesus says Jesus was always looking for faith in his disciples. He always wanted his disciples to trust in his word, to believe what he said. And Thomas answered him.

[00:28:00] My Lord and my God, Thomas, he sees it.

[00:28:03] He believes it.

[00:28:05] And Jesus said to him, Have you believe because you have seen me and here's Jesus winking at you here today.

[00:28:11] Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. That's really how it's supposed to work. Thomas. There is a blessing for everyone who has never seen Jesus. But you believe in him. You haven't seen him. But you love him.

[00:28:25] That's the blessing.

[00:28:28] Your faith is hidden in Jesus.

[00:28:31] It's like your life is now in the person of Christ. And even though you're in this long distance relationship where you've never seen him, you love him. You've given your life to him. You've entrusted your soul to him. And your entire life is based on that relationship with Jesus, not based on anything.

[00:28:51] You can see what makes sense right here. Right now, it's based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. Go with me to Second Corinthians, Chapter five. Let's turn over Second Corinthians, Chapter five. Another example here in Chapter Second Corinthians five verses six to eight. It's another example here of how faith does not include seeing we have to, in our minds, get those two things. And that's like with the Bibles using them as opposites. It's faith or its side. How are you living? Are you living based on what you can see?

[00:29:26] Because. Because I think a lot of us are getting caught up in that right now. I think a lot of us get caught up in it all the time. We get caught up in it on our phones. We get caught up in it on the news. We get caught up in the bank account. We get caught up in our health. We get caught up in all the things that we can see.

[00:29:42] Here's what it says. St. Corinthians, chapter five, verse six. So we are always of good courage. How could you be of good courage in Corona virus crisis? How could you be of good courage when you're running out of money? How could you be of good courage when you're afraid of getting sick? We says we are all ways of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body, we are away from the Lord.

[00:30:05] For we walk by, say it with me, everybody, by faith, not by sight. It's a contrast.

[00:30:14] Which one? Which one is it?

[00:30:17] Do you live by faith or do you live by sight? He's saying we do not walk by sight. It's not like a mixture of both. It's not like, well, some days Ms I'm site and then some days I'm really feeling spiritual and I'm and I'm faith. No, he's saying here's how I think. Here's how I think. This is why I am always have good courage. Verse eight. Yes, we are of good courage and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

[00:30:43] Earlier here in Second Corinthians, Chapter five, he talked about that he's live in in a in a tent and he wants to put on a heavenly dwelling like a home. Like right now I'm camping and I want to go on like a deluxe new place to live. Like, what would you rather do? Go camping for a little while or get a new home where you could live forever. Now, some people might say camping and God bless you.

[00:31:09] All right. God bless you and your family that's gonna go camping with you. Your pets that you're gonna take camping. God bless you. I mean, I know our beloved pastor Daniel loves to camp. And in fact, if you go into a Zoome with him, you're gonna see this beautiful beach vine. And that's a place he likes to go. He's got favorite campgrounds. He knows when to get home.

[00:31:30] See Paul saying, hey, camping, that this is short term, the body that we're in right now. Limited time, not as good. As the heavenly dwelling that we're going to experience, we would rather he's saying. Be away from the body and at home with the Lord. I'm living my life so much based on my relationship with Jesus that my life, my heart, my soul are drawn to be with him more than I want to be here right now. That's what he said.

[00:31:59] As somebody who lives like that by faith in Jesus, in a real love relationship with Jesus, that drives everything you do. That's the kind of person who can always be of good courage because it doesn't matter what I'm seeing that doesn't affect my believe in, because I've got faith in Jesus Christ and he doesn't change. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. And he's saved my soul for all of eternity. So I'm going to rejoice in the love I have in Jesus, because what's happening today doesn't matter. It's Jesus Christ.

[00:32:31] We need more people living like that here at this church. Less people professing faith, more people proving faith.

[00:32:38] And we need to stop walking by sight. Is your faith hidden in Jesus? Does your life make no sense based on the eyeballs? But a lot of sense based on your love for Jesus Christ.

[00:32:53] That's the kind of relationship he's describing here, a long distance relationship. OK. Have you ever been in a long distance relationship before? Have you ever been in love before and when you were apart from that person?

[00:33:11] You had this strong desire, we could say a passion, if you will. I know that's not really an Orange County kind of word passion, but let's go there. Let's go there. Right. We love somebody. We want to be with them. We'd love to spend our time with them. We long to be in their presence. When you're long distance, see, you desire that relationship. Go back to first Peter. Chapter one, read verse eight again. Let's look at verse eight here. Does this not sound like Peter is describing a long distance relationship? Though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not now see him.

[00:33:49] You believe in him. And when you have that faith in him, when you're thinking about him, when you're focused on him, when you turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of this world are going strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace. And you're looking now at Jesus. Will you rejoice like all of a sudden you've got this joy you can't even really explain to the people around you. You can't really express because it's beyond emotions. It's beyond circumstances. It's full of the glory that, you know, Jesus has saved you. You have faith in him. You want to be with him.

[00:34:25] Every one of us is in a long distance relationship with Jesus Christ. That's that's what it means to be a Christian.

[00:34:34] You're in a long distance love relationship with Jesus. Now, I had the privilege of being in a long distance relationship when I was dating my wife, Krista. I think it's a great thing to be long distance from the person you love. I think it teaches you a lot of things about yourself, about your relationship. It forces you to have good communication. But most of all, it's a great analogy for your relationship with Jesus Christ. And I'm not saying like the way a man loves a woman.

[00:35:02] If I'm not using that as an analogy of, like, our relationship with Jesus, God made love between a man and a woman to be an analogy of our relationship with Jesus, like the whole point of us knowing about long distance relationships between a man who loves a woman is so that we would understand how we love Jesus.

[00:35:24] That's the whole point.

[00:35:26] That he would be the one who would come and love us by dying for us, that we would be his bride ready to be robed in white, to go into his presence and to be with him forever. That's the relationship Jesus has with the church and the love that I had when I was dating Krista. That love was just a little picture of the real love between Jesus. Now, let me tell you, when I was in a long distance relationship, any form of communication. This was back in the day of dial up Internet Juno email. Maybe you can remember these days, some of you can't. Some of you know what I'm talking about, like when the Internet was a new thing and you had to call the Internet and you hope that the Internet would answer the call like that level of when I got one of those emails from from her. It was just like, wow, I pored over every word of that e-mail. And then when I crafted, you know, the hours of thinking, how many you know, how many little cute things you wanted to try to say in one e-mail, like focusing the detailed attention that I paid to the words like I was composing some kind of literature masterpiece here on Juno e-mail. I was going to get sent into the Internet and that she was going to read.

[00:36:41] I mean, there was such a a pass in such a love. Do you feel that between you and Jesus Christ? That's what Peter's getting to hear.

[00:36:49] You say in this faith, it's not faith in a religion, it's faith in a person. It's a relationship.

[00:36:57] It's love like like there should be a passion welling up the longer you're a Christian, the more you should want to be with Jesus.

[00:37:05] The longer you see how the things of this earth are never going to satisfy, they're never going to work out, they're never going to be everything we want them to be. The more our heart should, just long for, the more we should live by faith and less by sight.

[00:37:21] Because there's gonna come a day.

[00:37:23] When you're going to be in the presence of Jesus, this is where your faith is driving you. It's driving you towards a relationship and it's driving you towards a future revelation of Jesus.

[00:37:36] Look what it says here. Let's go to verse nine. Look what it says here in verse nine, obtaining the outcome of your faith. Notice here now this is the third time in versus seven, eight, nine. It uses the word faith here. And in verse nine, it says the outcome of your faith. You could translate that the end of your faith. You are going to receive the end of your faith. Your faith is not over. Your faith is not done. You have saving faith. When you trust in Jesus. You prove your faith when you live for Jesus. But your faith has not yet. The fact that we're still here on planet Earth right now, our faith has not yet. We're not absent from the body and present with the Lord. Yet our faith is not yet reached its end. And that's the whole point of faith to drive us to press us on words. Towards the end, in what is the end of our faith, the outcome of our faith, the salvation of your souls.

[00:38:33] OK. So salvation is being used here in a future way.

[00:38:41] So we are so focused today on I'm saved, of course I'm safe. Yes, I'm saved. I'm saved by faith. I've been justified. I've been declared righteous when I put my trust in Jesus.

[00:38:51] I understand that. Praise the Lord for that. That's true. If you believed in Jesus, you're 100 percent safe. But hear what Peter is saying to you. Learn from the word of God here today. Don't just think one way. Think the biblical way that salvation. You don't know it yet. You don't know the fullness of it. You don't know the end of it.

[00:39:11] You've just barely experienced it. I mean, there is excitement when you're dating. But it's not as good as being married. Let me just tell you right now.

[00:39:23] That's why we've been praying for all of the engaged people in our church that they could get a marriage license, that they could still have a wedding because being married is better than dating.

[00:39:32] Can I get any men from anybody on that?

[00:39:34] You might want to say it a little louder if your spouses anywhere within where they can hear you right now. And if you can't say men to that, we might need to have another conversation. You might need to jump ahead to Chapter three, because it's better to be with the person you love than to just be with them a little bit or not that much.

[00:39:53] Seat being with Jesus in his presence. Seeing him.

[00:39:58] It's going to be better than living by faith long distance than what you've known right now. The best is yet to come. And here's Peter saying that faith has an end. Let's get that down for point number three.

[00:40:11] Faith ends in salvation. That's where faith and faith ends in salvation.

[00:40:20] A future sense of the word salvation of fullness, of salvation. Something we haven't felt, experienced, seen or known yet. That's where we're supposed to be looking. If you're content just being saved here on planet Earth with all this sin still around you, with temptations to sin still within you, just happy here with your family and your job and your life.

[00:40:46] That is not the Bible's does definition of faith. You're supposed to long for something more than all of this.

[00:40:54] That's what faith is.

[00:40:55] It's longing to reach the end. The completion, the perfection. When your soul is in the presence of Jesus and there's no more sin around you. Within you, you get a new resurrection body just like Jesus does. And you get to be with him forever. That's the goal of your soul. A future salvation.

[00:41:18] Yeah. You're saved.

[00:41:19] And you're proving it, by the way you're live in. Which is encouraging your grow and you're learning how to live by faith and not by sight. But there should be within you. And I'm talking to you, brother, sister, here at Compas H.B on this day, May 3rd, 2020, you should want to be in heaven more than you want to be here on Earth because Jesus is in heaven and you can't see him here on earth.

[00:41:40] And your face should drive you to Jesus every day. That should be your whole life. I want to see Jesus. I want to be with him.

[00:41:52] See, long distance was exciting, it was interesting, but eventually, right?

[00:41:58] I needed to stop dating and I needed to put a ring on the finger, if you know what I mean. Right. I needed to get a JLP so I could pay the bills so we could get married. Now, I'll never forget when Christie came out to visit my family. We're living in San Antonio, Texas. She came out on this trip. She spent a week there getting getting to know everybody at the church, getting to know my family well. And then we flew back. This was January of 2002, this was shortly after another crisis we went through as a nation, 9/11, and there was barely anybody flying on airplanes. And here was two young people in love on a Southwest flight. And it was basically like we'd book this Southwest flight for ourselves.

[00:42:43] And we're up there flying the friendly skies.

[00:42:46] And the captain of the airplane, he says, we've now reached our cruising altitude of 35000 feet. You can remove your seat belts and feel free to move about the cabin. And as soon as he says that, I'm tearing that seat belt off and right there in between the seats, I'm dropping the knee. And I'm saying, Christa, will you marry me? Because being together is better than long distance. And praise the Lord, she said, yes, everybody out has a good moment right there. And it was like we were up there in the clouds by ourselves, ready to commit to being together for the rest of our lives. The Bible is very clear that there is going to come a moment when Jesus comes for his people and they will meet him in the clouds. And so we will always be with the Lord.

[00:43:34] And your faith should be driving you to that moment, to the end of your faith. The completion, the telos, the perfection of your faith. That's what you should want. And every day, that's the direction you should be going. And this trial we're in right here right now should be making it so clear to you and to me. What do we live in for down here? Why do we want more of this?

[00:44:02] See, we're being tested. We're being refined.

[00:44:05] We're learning how to live not by sight, but by faith.

[00:44:09] And as we learn about that, we should be seeing how much better it's going to be to be with Jesus. We can't see him, but we know him. We believe in him. We love him. We want to be with him and obtain the end of this all.

[00:44:23] Sole salvation where you get to be with Jesus forever. See, Peter and he is bringing it at the beginning of this book, it hopes are high.

[00:44:36] He's making everybody a hope, Thomas. He's getting you thinking about the future inheritance. Now he's going right after your faith being tested. It's not by side. And it needs to be all. All your faith on Jesus to be with him. Next week, it's going to be Grace. Get all your hope on the future, Grace. There is more grace. Better grace. It's yet to come. Peter is doing everything to direct us towards Jesus, which makes me think Peter must really want to be with Jesus again.

[00:45:06] I mean, think about the connection. The unique relationship that Peter. Has with Jesus Christ.

[00:45:15] I mean, when when Jesus was calling Peter to be one of his disciples, there was this miraculous catch, a fish that Jesus did. And Peter knew Jesus had just brought all these fish onto the boat. And he said, you've got to get away from me because I'm a sinner, because he knew who Jesus was.

[00:45:33] Jesus once on the Sea of Galilee, called Peter. He said, hey, come out, I don't know. I'm walking on the water, come on out here. And Peter walked on the water to Jesus.

[00:45:44] Peter's mother in law once had a fever. And Jesus came over and healed his mother in law. He saw Jesus. He saw Jesus transfigured into all of his glory.

[00:45:59] And after he saw Jesus die and after he rose, Jesus came up to Peter and three times he looked at him and he said, Do you love me?

[00:46:08] Is this about me and you? Do we have a relationship?

[00:46:15] And then what Jesus told Peter is that Peter was going to die for him, that someday they were going to take Peter somewhere. He didn't want to go after he had denied them three times. Jesus actually encourages Peter by letting him know a prophecy, a glimpse into his own future, that he was going to end up dying because of his faith in Jesus Christ.

[00:46:37] And he can't wait. That's what he's saying to us today. He can't wait for the end of his faith. The salvation of his soul. He wants to be with Jesus. Wow, what a faith. We're seeing.

[00:46:55] See, our definition of faith is, yeah, I believe in the information about Jesus, the faith that is described here is like a of trials or hit me. I'm on to prove my faith. I'm going to keep going. I'm going to keep trusting. Hey, it's not about what I can see and how things seem like they're going right now. It's about what Jesus says, who he is. Loving him. I'm going to keep living by faith. And the thing I'm really going for, the thing I can't wait for is to be with Jesus. We need a church in Huntington Beach to rise up with this kind of faith that's described here. We need you to be one of those people. There's something that the Corona virus crisis, this test should be teach in every single one of us, is that we need to step it up in the faith department.

[00:47:42] There's a lot worse trials comment than what we're going through right now. Is a lot more things that it might be hard to trust through. Then what we're facing today. Are you ready?

[00:47:56] Do you have that kind of faith, is your faith right now being proven through this trial that the longer this trial goes on, you're actually seeing maturity completion, you're actually lacking in nothing because your faith is maturing? Are you actually growing in your passion for Jesus Christ?

[00:48:15] Are you ready to be with him?

[00:48:17] I'm praying that God will make us these people of faith. This is where he said, look back at verse five, Firepower's first Peter chapter one, verse five. He said right now that we have God's power and God's power is guarding us. It's keeping us. It's going to take us from when we believed in Jesus to when we get to be with Jesus. It's it's guarding us right now. It's gonna bring us all the way there.

[00:48:39] It's God's power working in us, but it's working in us. Through what?

[00:48:45] Says Through Faith. For a salvation ready to be revealed in last time. Faith is the right response to God that you believe what God says.

[00:48:57] You're trusting in him no matter what. You're trusting in a relationship with Jesus. That's how we're supposed to be living our lives. By faith, let me pray for us. Father in heaven, we come to you.

[00:49:10] And we really need to be these people got.

[00:49:14] We really need to just confess that maybe we have a backwards looking faith like, oh, yeah, I've already got faith already, they're good. Don't need to worry about that. Good. Check that off. Maybe we've got a faith that that expects not really to be tested or tried. Like, why would we need to prove anything? We're already good. We're already fine. Maybe we're actually living a lot by sight. Based on how we feel, based on what makes sense to us, not based on what we're learning from the Bible every single day, but what we're seeing with our eyeballs all around us. God, I pray that you would have us be people of faith at this church. Got to all my brothers and sisters that are in L.A. County right now. All of those that are scattered in Orange County right now. Got to pray that when you look at us, that you would see people who have real faith.

[00:50:04] We know that Jesus said when he returns. Will he find faith on Earth? God, we want you to find faith in us.

[00:50:11] Let us be the people. Let us be the church.

[00:50:15] Let us rise up right now and put our armor on and in this evil day, in this time of spiritual warfare. Let us be the people who stand firm in the faith of Jesus Christ because we love him more than life and we want to be with him more than we want to be here right now.

[00:50:35] God, please lift us up to be these people of faith. Let Mark Church arise. We pray this in Jesus name a man.

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