August 1, 2018
Scripture Passage: 1 Peter 3:13-16
As children of God, we live in hostile territory. All who will live for Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 1 Peter is a handbook for our survival; it reveals a lifestyle for the last days.
1 Peter 3:13-14 says, “And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
The first distinction of our lifestyle is a settled lordship; verse 15 goes on, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts…” To sanctify means to set apart; it means we don’t mix God with anything else. It is settled in our hearts that Jesus is Lord.
Adrian Rogers says, “You cannot have what He gives unless you accept what He is.”
Second, we have a solid logic. Continuing in verse 15, we read, “...and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…” The world has some good questions about our faith; we must be ready to give an answer. We have to study His Word for ourselves, for our faith will be assaulted on all sides in these last days.
Third, again in verse 15, we must have a superior lifestyle: “...with meekness and fear…” Meekness is not weakness; it is strength under control. In this context, fear is reverence, not cringing dread. Our logic and our lifestyle has to go together—a full mind wedded with a loving heart. We are supposed to be people of meekness and reverence for our God; wise in our conduct and speech.
Fourth, we are known by our steadfast love; “...having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.” (1 Peter 3:16).
Adrian Rogers says, “Our love should stand out like a diamond on the bright velvet of hostility, debauchery, wickedness, and hatred.” Our churches need love, not only for one another, but love for the lost.
Finally, we have a satisfied longing; Jesus has met the deepest needs of our hearts, therefore we have hope.
These are the greatest days of evangelism in the history of the Christian church. Our responsibility is to stand up for Jesus Christ and witness His grace and power with unshakeable hope.