January 12, 2020 PM
Dr. Michael Catt - 1938
#1 in series
Faith Under Fire
KNOWING WHO YOU ARE
1 Peter 1:1-5
In light of the growing opposition to people of faith, and to Christianity in particular, how are we to live? For the first time in American history, Christianity is being rejected. The culture, the arts, politics, and education are increasingly resistant to believers having a verbal and vital faith. Should we just close our mouths and hope that Jesus will return soon? If we are called to be salt and light, how does that work in a secular society? Knowing that America is not a Christian nation and that the Bible belt is no longer a reality, we need to look biblically at the life of faith in a world that is turning up the heat. Even in tough times, there are principles for living and growing in your faith. The fire can refine us. The pressures and persecution can be used by God to embolden our witness.
For further study, this series is available online at sherwoodbaptist.net/messages.
“...in Scripture God forfeits His own personal privacy that His creatures might know Him.” – Carl F. Henry
“When it comes to suﬀering and the diﬃculties that accompany being a disciple of Jesus, no superficial answer will do. We will either take our stand with God's self-revelation in the Bible, or we are left to invent our own insuﬃcient answers.” – Al Mohler
I. WHO WROTE THE BOOK? WHAT IS THE CONTEXT?
The author is the Apostle Peter – the fisherman and brother of Andrew. Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter. He was with Jesus at the house of Jairus, the Mount of Transfiguration, and the Garden of Gethsemane./p>
In the Gospels, God did a new work in Peter’s life:
1) He gave him a new name. (John 1:42)
2) He gave him a new calling. (Luke 5:1-11 “fishers of men”)
3) He gave him an oﬃce – “apostle.”
Four Characteristics of an Apostle:
1) They must have been in the company of Jesus during His ministry until the ascension. (Acts 1:21, 22 – Paul is the exception here)
2) They were eyewitnesses of the resurrection. (Acts 1:22b)
3) They were chosen by God. (Acts 1:24)
4) They had the gift of Apostleship. (1 Corinthians 12:28)
The Context of the Times: Nero had an Epicurean philosophy: avoid pain and give yourself over to pleasure in all forms. He came to the throne through murder. He married 13-year-old Octavia, then divorced her and married Popia. Popia didn’t trust Nero’s mother, so she convinced Nero to kill her. All this happened by the time Nero was 22. While Popia was pregnant, Nero kicked her in the stomach out of his anger for her coming home late from the chariot races and she died. Nero then married Sporus, a teenage boy who played the role of the woman. Nero was a pedophile and proclaimed himself as God. Nero desired to rebuild Rome and name it Neropolis, the city of Nero. Rome burned on July 18, 64 AD. Although all evidence pointed to Nero, he diverted the charge to Christians. Roman Historian Tacitus wrote, “They, the Christians, were put to death with exquisite cruelty. And to their suﬀerings Nero added mockery and derision. Some were covered with skins of wild beasts and left to be devoured by dogs. Others were nailed to crosses. Numbers were burned alive. Many were covered with flammable material and set on fire to serve as torches during the night. At length the brutality of their measures filled very breast in Rome with pity. Humanity eventually relented in favor of the Christians.”
II. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR US TO READ AND STUDY THIS BOOK?
III. WHO WAS IT WRITTEN TO?
B) SET APART
“As far as God the Father is concerned, I was saved when He chose me in Christ before the foundation of the world. As far as the Son is concerned, I was saved when He died for me on the cross. But as far as the Spirit is concerned, I was saved...when I heard the gospel and received Christ. Then it all came together, but it took all three persons of the Godhead to bring me to salvation. If we separate these ministries, we will either deny divine sovereignty or human responsibility and that would lead to heresy.” – Warren Wiersbe
Why is election in the Bible?
Eternal Principles Regarding Election:
1) God elects __.
2) In election, __.
3) God’s election is based on __.
“God saves a particular man at a particular time under a particular circumstance because He intends to.” – W. T. Conner
“...He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world... He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will...” – Ephesians 1:4, 5
“Election is not to be thought of as a bare choice of so many human units by God's action independently of man’s free choice and the human means employed. God elects me to respond freely.” – E. Y. Mullins
“In the Bible election is never said to be damnation but always to salvation. Predestination makes us sons of God, but it does not make us children of the devil. Sin has already done that. But in salvation and in rescuing us from rebellion and the consequences of it, God has had to do plenty.” – C. D. Cole
“We know little or nothing of the secret transactions of eternity; but we can tell if we were included in them by a very simple test. All whom the Father gave to Christ come to Him according to John 6:37.” – F. B. Meyer