“The Growing Christian Life” (I Peter 1:22 sermon)

I have noticed that a lot of time and effort is spent around here by people trying to make things grow. They are trying to grow grass in their yard; or tomatoes or flowers in their garden, or fruit trees in their orchard. And that’s good. I think there is something godly about horticulture (although I seem to have missed out on it … Cheryl & our kids enjoy it, and I know a number of you all do as well. That’s good.) But in no area of our life is it more important to grow, than in our walk with God. How can we have a growing Christian life is one of the important questions there is. And that is what our verse for today talks about:

“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart”.

This tells us several things you must do to have a growing Christian life: Continue reading

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“The Blood-Bought Life” (I Peter 1:17-21 sermon)

There is a man in Australia, James Harrison, whose blood is precious. Harrison has an antibody in his blood which is given to mothers whose systems would attack their unborn babies. When they discovered the antibody in his system, about 50 years ago, they were able to create a life-saving medication from his blood, which is now credited with saving more than 2 million babies! That’s 2 million lives saved by one man’s blood. That’s pretty precious blood. But there’s a blood that’s greater: the blood of Jesus, which has saved countless millions not only from death, but also from eternity in hell as well. Our passage this morning talks about that precious blood of Jesus, and the difference it makes in our lives:

“If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”

The Bible says if you are a Christian, then you have a “Blood-Bought Life”: Continue reading

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“The Call To Holiness” (I Peter 1:14-16)

Duncan Campbell was a Scottish minister who lived in the mid-1900’s. He was involved in an amazing revival in the Hebrides Islands in the northwest of Scotland. Years ago he said, “Holiness — a demonstration of godly living — is the crying need of our day.” What Dr. Campbell said may be more true now that it was then. There are SO many people today who claim to be Christians, who say they know God, and the way to God — but nobody listens to them — and often the reason is that they do not live holy lives. What people around us today need to see more than anything else, is NOT just someone says they know God, but someone who really LIVES a holy LIFE! That holy life will speak more powerfully than a thousand empty words. And a holy life is just what God calls for in today’s passage:

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’” Continue reading

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“How Should We Then Live?” (I Peter 1:13 sermon)

Years ago when I was in seminary, we watched a video series based on a book by Francis Schaefer, a legendary Christian philosopher, called, “How Should We Then Live?” The point of the series was, that becoming a Christian isn’t just “making a decision,” but it should impact the way you think, and the way you live, in every area of your life: arts, philosophy, science, everything. It’s a great book, and series. But we also find how we should live as Christians in another book: The Bible, in passages like the one we are looking at this morning in I Peter 1:13:

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

This verse begins with the word “therefore”, which points us back to the salvation we have talked about the past couple of weeks. BECAUSE of the salvation we get through faith in Jesus, how are you to live? How should you think? What should you do? This verse verse gives us a good start on “How Should We Then Live” once we give our lives to Jesus. (By the way, this is appropriate for our graduating seniors today — but it is also fitting for each one of us: “How Should We Then Live”? Continue reading

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“The Prophets and Your Salvation” (I Peter 1:10-12 sermon)

Back when I was a young preacher at my first church in Oklahoma City, I got a little book in the mail one day, from Edgar Whisenant: “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988.” Whisenant was a NASA engineer, and Bible student, and many people took him seriously. His book sold over 4.5 million copies! Of course, when the rapture didn’t happen in 1988, he wrote another book in 1989 …” (you can make this stuff up!)

More recently it has been the “blood moons” that sold thousands of books, and prophesied some “earth-changing event” to take place after Fall, 2015 — but again, nothing happened. Which is a good reminder to us as God’s people, not to get caught up in these “fads.”

However, there were legitimate prophets, through whom God spoke, and to whom we do well to still pay close attention to, today. These are the Old Testament prophets who prophesied about the coming of Christ. We see them referred to in our passage this morning, I Peter 1:10-12: Continue reading

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“The Faith That Saves” (I Peter 1:8-9 sermon)

II Timothy 1:5 has one of the great Mothers Day verses. It says: “For I am mindful of the sincere FAITH within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.” That verse talks about how these faithful moms passed down their faith to their children and grandchildren. And there is nothing more important than that. If you would ask any Christian mother, I am sure they would say that THE single most important thing to them, would be to know for sure that every one of their children and grandchildren had that true faith.

But just what IS saving faith? How can you know if you have a faith that really saves? The good news is, the Bible teaches us here in I Peter 1:8-9 about the kind of faith that saves. Verses 8-9 here tell us:

“… and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”

Here the Bible teaches us several things about the faith that saves: Continue reading

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“Tried By Fire” (I Peter 1:6-7 sermon)

Theodore Roosevelt was a man of very unique character: he gloried in facing obstacles and overcoming them. He would take his guests out on a 20-mile hike – and much to their dismay, the tougher the course, the better he liked it. They would come in exhausted, but he would just smile and say: “It was bully!” The higher the mountain he had to climb, the better. The stronger the wind against him when he was rowing, the better. He just loved facing and overcoming difficulties.

Well, not too many of us have that kind of composition, to where we just delight in difficulties. But as God’s children, if we knew more of what the Bible says about our trials, and the difficulties we face — and what is waiting for us on the other side of them — then we would be a lot more able to rejoice in the trials that face us in life, than most of us do now.

“In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Continue reading

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