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Sermon9 1Pt4:12-5:11 Guide

1 Peter 4:12-14,16,19,5:6-11, recitation verse 1 Peter 5:6

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

Over last few weeks, we have dealt with challenging topic; Christians’ suffering even doing good. Generally, we tend to believe that if we live good, we will be blessed, and if we live wickedly, we will be punished. However, it does not mean that Christianity lacks this notion of retribution and reward, yet, Christianity exhorts to endure even unjust suffering in joy, since Christians consider the final judgement for evil and good in the entire life perspective not just only in this life but also for the afterlife and also we even endure unjust suffering as God’s will in which He will persevere us fo the final salvation in the end so that we may glorify God through doing good even during the unjust sufferings, which is completely different way to understand suffering compared to the worldly way. In this week's passage, 1 Peter 4:12-14, 16, 19, and 5:6-11, Peter encourages us to endure suffering and even rejoice in it, teaching us about the meaning of suffering and the blessings it can bring so that I hope we can learn from it together.

1) First, as summary, the theme of suffering is repeated in the book of 1 Peter. In the introductory section of 1:3-9, Peter encourages Christians to rejoice when they experience suffering because through it, they are refined in their faith and ultimately receive the eternal inheritance, which is the salvation of their souls. He assures them that God will protect and sustain them until they receive this ultimate salvation. Moving on to the main sections of 2:12-25 and 3:8-22, Peter advises believers to endure unjust suffering in practical life situations, i.e., when they receive unjust suffering from rulers, governors, masters, or unbelievers, even while doing good, Peter exhorts to endure it by keeping God in mind.

2) And finally, in today's passage, 4:12 to 5:11, which serves as the conclusion, it goes as far as urging Christians to rejoice and be glad when they suffer for being Christians or for bearing the name of Christ. The reason behind this is that for believers, suffering serves as means to purify and strengthen their faith. Ultimately, God Himself will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us. He will also bring us to glory after a little while of enduring suffering. Therefore, in the midst of suffering, Peter encourages us to entrust everything to God and to do good, giving glory to Him

3) Today's passage can be divided into three paragraphs. In the first paragraph (4:12-14, 16, 19), it is mentioned that just as a fiery ordeal refines and strengthens precious metals, we, who have been sharing in the suffering of Christ to be tested through suffering, will receive glory when He is revealed. It says that when we suffer, we will be filled with the Spirit and glorify God by doing good, entrusting our souls to Him. And then, in verses 5:1-5, it advises that in times of suffering within the community of believers, the elders should lead by example and the younger ones should live in obedience, while mutually practicing humility. And then moving on to the second paragraph (5:6-7, 10), it states that by living such humble lives, when the time is right, God will exalt us. It encourages us to cast all our anxieties on Him, for He cares for us and will personally restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us after a little while of suffering. Finally, in the last paragraph (5:8-9), amidst such suffering, Peter warns us to be vigilant and resist the devil, who seeks to devour us, by standing firm in faith.

4) In today's passage, it seems that there are various types of suffering mentioned. In verse 16, it refers to the suffering experienced as Christians, while in verse 14, it mentions the suffering endured for the name of Christ. In verse 13, there seems to be the remaining sufferings of Christ that Christians participate in. Each suffering deals with a little bit different aspect of suffering. The suffering experienced as Christians in verse 16 is described in line with the statement in 2 Timothy 3:12, "Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." It implies that Christians can no longer live according to the ways of the world but are compelled to live a life that pleases God, which is a life of honesty and righteousness, and it comes with the hardships that accompany living a godly life.

Furthermore, the suffering endured for the name of Christ, mentioned in verse 14, refers to the suffering endured for representing Christ. This aligns with the statement in Matthew 5:10, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." It refers to the suffering endured for the sake of the kingdom of God and righteousness in the name of Christ. Lastly, the remaining sufferings of Christ refer to the sufferings Christ endured when He came to this earth to redeem sinners like us and fulfilled His ministry. It signifies that there are sufferings left for us to bear in Christ's redemptive work. For instance, as stated in 2 Timothy 2:3, "Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus," it refers to the sufferings experienced as messengers of the good news, preaching the Gospel, and also the sufferings necessary for the restoration of this world by God. The Lord referred to this as "taking up one's own cross.

5) And suffering, in other words, can be described as refining or purifying. As Christians, through suffering, our sinful nature is purified, and we, who are weak, are strengthened in faith. That’s why verse 10, it says “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. Here, the phrase "restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish" means that God will restore what we have lost due to our original sin and make us whole again. To confirm also means that He will restore our primal abilities and privileges that we had lost, making us firm and strong. Moreover, to strengthen means that He will restore us from our weakness and make us strong. Lastly, to establish means that He will lift us back to the position from which we were cast out because of sin and make our foundation strong.

6) Through today's passage, we would like to learn few things. First, we need to consider whether we are truly experiencing suffering in the name of the Lord. As verse 9 says “the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world," we know that suffering is universal among Christians. As William Penn said, "No cross, no crown. No thorn, no throne. No pain, no palm," in order to receive glory, we must necessarily go through suffering as Romans 8:17 says, "And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." Second, in verse 7, it advises us not to be excessively anxious even in the midst of such suffering, because God cares for us and also verse 10 says that after we have suffered for a little while, God Himself will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us. Yes, if Almighty God, who created heaven and earth, governs through His Providencial care and will judge, takes care of us and personally establishes us for eternity, then who can harm us? Therefore, in Romans 8:38-39, it assures us, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Lastly, we need to consider that suffering we endure not only results in future and eschatological blessings, i.e., eternal glory, but also include blessings in the present, i.e., the Holy Spirit, the glory of the Spirit, rests upon us, as mentioned in verse 14. In the midst of suffering, the presence of the Holy Spirit accompanies us, making us strong and steadfast, and granting us the power to conquer enough. Remembering this fact that Jesus have already obtained and achieved victory, I hope we may endure suffering for the victory in Him.

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 In today's passage, it says that suffering is a refining and strengthening process for us. If you have experienced overcoming sin and gaining strong faith through suffering, it would be wonderful if you could share your experiences and thoughts with each other.

Q2 Generally, when we go through suffering, we often focus solely on the weight and difficulties of the suffering and pour all our attention into getting through it quickly. However, in reality, as the verse14 says, the Spirit of glory, the Holy Spirit, rests upon us in the midst of suffering. This means that if we lift our eyes in the midst of suffering and gaze upon the Holy Spirit who is above us, our perspective on suffering can change. And also we can experience the grace of the Lord who empowers us, strengthens us, comforts us, and encourages us. I hope that you have experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in the midst of suffering and have received comfort and strength through Him. It would be great if you could share with each other the experiences of encountering the presence of the Spirit and the comfort and strength received through Him.

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon )

Please help me to live in that ( learned way of life )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.


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