Sunday, Oct 23, 2016
When You Suffer For Your Faith (Part 2)
Passage: 1 Peter 4:15-19
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Do not be ashamed when you suffer for your faith (15-16)

[15] Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; [16] but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name.

  1. There is no glory and only shame in suffering as a sinner (2 Cor 13:5; 1 Cor 10:12; cf. Ps 25:1; 31:1; 119:46, 80)
    1. “a murderer, or thief…” Both were capital crimes in the ancient world
    2. “evildoer…” A general term that encompasses all crimes (1 Pet 2:14; cf. 3 Jn 11)
    3. “a troublesome meddler…” A rare word, perhaps coined by Peter that means to interfere in affairs with which one has no legitimate authority (1 Thes 4:11; 2 Thes 3:11; 1 Tim 5:13; cf. 1 Pet 2:20)
  2. There is only glory and no shame in suffering as a Christian (Acts 5:41-42; Mk 11:38; Phil 1:20; 1 Jn 2:28)
    1. “Christian.” Used only 3x in the NT, never by Christians themselves, but as a term of ridicule & reproach (Acts 11:26, 26:28; comp. with Acts 1:15, 6:3, 9:2, 9:15, 24:5)

God is judging His people when you suffer for your faith (17-18)

[17] For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? [18] AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?

  1. The “fiery ordeal” is a fire of God’s judgment (Jas 3:1; 1 Cor 11:29,34; cf. Jn 9:39; Rom 2:3, 11:33)
    1. Judgment of believers leads to purification (Heb 12:10; 1 Cor 3:9-15; 1 Jn 2:28; cf. Job 23:10; Ps 66:10; Is 43:1-2, 48:10)
    2. Judgment of unbelievers leads to condemnation (2 Thes 1:6-9; Lk 13:3; Rom 2:2-11)
  2. God’s fire of judgment begins with the house of God, i.e. the church (1 Tim 3:15; Eph 2:19; Jer 25:15-29; Ez 9:1-6; Zech 13:8-9; Mal 3:1-5)
  3. The fire of God’s judgment leaves no one untouched
    1. Believers may suffer first, but only for a time (Acts 14:22; 2 Cor 4:17-18)
    2. Unbelievers will suffer last, but for eternity (Ps 1:4-6; 2 Pet 3:7-16; Rev 20:11-15; cf. Rom 1:18, Jude 1:15)

Fully commit yourselves to God when you suffer for your faith (19)

[19] Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

  1. All suffering for Christ should be regarded from the standpoint of God’s will (1 Pet 5:10)
  2. Because God is a faithful Creator we can totally trust Him when we suffer for Christ
    1. God is the Creator (Gen 1:1; Acts 17:26-28; 1 Cor 8:6; Heb 11:3; Rom 1:20, 4:17; Col 3:10; cf. Mt 5:25; Rom 8:19-23)
    2. God is faithful (Dt 7:9; 1 Cor 1:9, 10:13; 1 Thes 5:23; 2 Thes 3:3; Heb 6:18)
  3. We must commit ourselves to doing what we know is right even if it results in suffering (2 Tim 1:12; Lk 23:46; Mt 10 22; 1 Cor 15:58; Gal 6:9; 2 Thes 3:13)