3 Blessed be the God and Father 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, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 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. 8 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, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Alf Bradfield joins us from Waihola Presbyterian Church to teach on 1 Peter 5:1-4. As John McGimpsey was ordained today, Alf taught about what it means to shepherd the flock.
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight,[a] not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you;[b] not for shameful gain, but eagerly; 3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Rob van Rij preaches on the motivations we have for every action in life. Although most people agree we should strive to do good things, Christianity has a very unique reason for why we should do those good things.
4 Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,[a] arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. 3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. 4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; 5 but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
God calls us to bless others, even when we are sinned against. The problem, of course, is that we usually want to repay evil for evil! A good desire for justice often morphs into a desire for personal vengeance. John explains how, in Christ, we can learn to bless others, even those who hurt us.
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For
“Whoever desires to love life
and see good days,
let him keep his tongue from evil
and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Humans have a self-centered nature, and this often leads to marital issues. God calls husbands to be selfless, and to love their wives and show them honour. If you missed it, make sure you also listen to the sermon for Wives, “God Centred Love”.
1 Peter 3:7 “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
As people, we will experience injustice. While many will use injustice as an excuse for revenge or sin, but the Christian is called to something greater. We do not need to clear our name; Christ has done this for us already. It is his example we should follow, and walk like him when we face injustice.
Peter encourages followers of Christ to love one another earnestly. For the Christian, love is sacrificial, and there is no room for hypocrisy in it. John van Rij looks at the text and explains how this kind of love is possible.
John continues through his series on 1 Peter. God calls us to be holy, but he also enables us to be holy through the work of his Son.
1 Peter 1:10-21 (ESV)
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.
13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
17 Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. 18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the deadand glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
We are often surprised when we encounter suffering, and it can be tempting to get angry at God. The Bible, however, has a great deal to say about suffering. It even promises it! But, as Peter points out, it also promises an eternal hope. One we can hold on to in even the darkest moments. John van Rij teaches on 1 Peter 1:1-10: