Joy In Trials (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Elect Exiles

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Sermon Summary

Christians can remain joyful in the midst of trials when we remember

  • the Promise of Eternal Treasures and,
  • the Purpose of Temporary Trials.

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Happy Birthday Elect Exiles! (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Elect Exiles

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Sermon Summary

Peter tells a struggling, persecuted church that he has good news, good news, and good news:

1. Birthday Party

We have been born again according to God’s great mercy! That’s a cause to celebrate!

2. Birthday Present

We have an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for us!

3. Birthday Promise

You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time!

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Final Thought

In the comments below, what part of the good news from 1 Peter 1:3-5 is most encouraging to you today?

To Those Who Are Elect Exiles (1 Peter 1:1-2)

Elect Exiles

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Sermon Summary

Peter’s greeting to the “temporary residents” or the “elect exiles” is one of the most theologically rich greetings in the New Testament. If this greeting were in a modern email form, it might look like this:

FROM: Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ

TO: The elect exiles in Asia Minor.

CC: The Father, Son, and Spirit and You and Me.

  • The Father chose us according to His foreknowledge
  • The Spirit sanctifies us
  • The Son sprinkles us with His blood

SUBJECT: May Grace and Peace Be Multiplied To You

The body of this “email” explains how the grace and peace of God is multiplied to a suffering church and to persecuted believers.

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We want to invite you to join us on Sundays at 10:30 as we continue our current sermon series. Please sign up to receive emails and never miss out on sermons and ministry opportunities at City Life Church.

Final Thought

In the comments below, how can we continue to “praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” in the midst of suffering and persecution?

Love & Hate (1 John 3:11-18)

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Sermon Summary

I. The Command

The command in verse 11 is straightforward: love one another. However, it is not that simple in practice. Before we talk about what it means, it’s important to understand the significance of this command.

Paul says in Romans 13:8, “Do not owe anyone anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Why do we “owe” love to our brothers and sisters? Because Jesus commanded it in John 13:34-35: I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.

We will be known as disciples of Jesus IF we have love for one another. If we don’t have love, then we will not be known as disciples, and in our passage it may even be true that we are NOT disciples.

So, loving one another is at the heart of our faith. We love because He first loved us.

II. The Contrast

In order to understand what it means to love one another, John explains what it is not. He uses the example of Cain to indicate how the world will treat us. They will desire to silence us, reject us, and even kill us for the same reason Cain killed his brother Abel: their works are evil and our works are righteous. It’s like oil and water. They don’t mix.

The world hates us, but we shouldn’t be surprised by that because the world first hated Jesus.

Today, 180 Christians die each month simply because they are Christians. Here in the US our society is growing more and more impatient with our views and seek to find ways to keep us from living out our faith publicly. Most people would prefer for us to keep our faith to ourselves, yet that runs contrary to what we believe.

So, the point of bringing this up is not that we are to show our love for one another by not murdering one another (like Cain), but instead, the point is that, even if the world threatens us to stop living our faith, we will continue loving even in the midst of hate. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” In light of our passage in 1 John we could also say, “Do not be conquered by hate, but conquer hate with love.” What a contrast between the hatred of the world, and the love of the church.

III. The Christ

But we still haven’t seen practically, what it means to love one another. We know it involves action and a real world demonstration but how deep does it go?

In 1 John 3:16, John tells us, This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.

The demonstration of our love should be as selfless and sacrificial as Jesus’ love for us! Jesus said the same thing in John 15:12-13, ‘This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”

Jesus serves as the model for how we are to love one another. We would die for our brother or sister.

IV. The Crux

We should be willing to die for one another but we should also be willing to live for one another. In fact, it might be harder to live, not for ourselves, but in sacrificial service in the church.

The crux is the point of the matter or the bottom line. It means the main thing, just like the cross (“crux” in Latin) is the point of our faith, the the bottom line of this passage is that children of God will lose their lives demonstrating their love for one another AND will live their lives demonstrating their love for one another. The cross IS the crux of the matter. It is the way Jesus demonstrated His love for us, and if we truly are in Him, then we will be willing give our lives in service to our brothers and sisters.