How Should We Then Live
“The Pathway to Glory” 1 Peter 2:21-25

Date:January 31, 2021
Author: Wayne J. Edwards

Introduction:

America is nearing the peak of a total revolution; a decades long movement to fundamentally transform the United States from a representative republic, with an economy based upon entrepreneurship, to a totalitarian dictatorship, with an economy based upon socialism – from each according to their ability, and to each according to their need, i.e., Marxism.

The root of this revolution is a full-blown rebellion against God, biblical Christianity, and the Judeo-Christian values, upon which our nation was founded, and from which we derive our definition of morality, our individual rights, and our equal justice under the law. In effect, should the revolution succeed, America will no longer be “one nation, under God,” but just another nation, under the authority of a godless government, and if you listen to the major news outlets, the revolution has succeeded.

However, as the title of this sermon series asks: “How Should We Then, as Christians, Live?”

Warning! Beware of the hotheads who want to storm the capital with torches and pitchforks! That’s exactly what the leaders of the revolution want us to do, so the need for additional militarization can be blamed upon Christians. Why do you think the national guard is still stationed around the capital? 

Beloved, while we must always stand up for what is right, legal, moral, proper, good, and godly, as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:15, we must also be “blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world.”

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Old Testament Reading – Psalm 22:1-19 – New Testament Reading – Hebrews 2:9-14

How Should We Then Live
“The Pathway to Glory”
1 Peter 2:21-25

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

The events of the Lord’s final hours of suffering began on Tuesday evening, shortly after His special time with His disciples, in what we call The Lord’s Supper.

  • After rejecting Jesus’ final offer to turn from his rebellious ways and embrace the divine agenda Jesus had explained many times, Judas abandoned Jesus, and then betrayed Him.
  • Later that evening, Roman soldiers arrested Jesus, and took Him to the house of Caiaphas, where He was tied and tortured for the rest of the night.
  • On His way to stand before Pilate, Jesus saw Peter, warming himself by the fire, and a rooster crowed just as Jesus said it would, after Peter had denied Him three times.
  • Then, Jesus was questioned before Pilate, and then Herod, and then back to Pilate, and while neither of them found cause for Him to be crucified, the people demanded it, and the most horrible, inhumane treatment of mankind began.

 

  • Jesus was scourged from the top of His head to His heels.
  • They put a Roman robe on Him, with a crown of thorns, to mock Him for pretending to be a king.
  • They paraded Him through Jerusalem, and out to Golgotha; the place of the skull, where they crucified Him.
  • As He hung there for six hours, the people walked by and scoffed at Him, spit upon Him, laughed at Him, and mocked Him.
  • “If you are the Son of God, come down from that cross and save Yourself!” “He said He could destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, but look at Him now.”
  • To fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 22:18, the soldiers gambled to see which one would get Jesus’ clothing.
  • At 3:00 PM – the same time the Priests were sacrificing the lambs for the Passover – Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Then He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit,” and He breathed His last.
  • Jesus, the very Son of God, submitted Himself to the godless government of Rome, the unrighteous religious rulers of Israel, and to the selfish wickedness of evil, feckless men; all according to the divine plan of God.
  • Jesus, the very Son of God, was rejected, betrayed, denied, ridiculed, mocked, scourged, humiliated, crucified between two criminals, and forsaken by God the Father, until He died.
  • Why did Jesus, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; Who, when reviled, did not revile in return, and when He suffered, did not threaten those who were hurting Him, allow Himself to suffer such humiliation, and degradation?
    • Short answer: To pay God’s wages for our sins!
    • Long answer: To show us the pathway to glory!

“To this kind of suffering you were called, because
Christ suffered for us; leaving us an example, that we
should follow in His steps.”
1 Peter 2:21

  • “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning and shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
  • “Oh, foolish men and slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things to enter into His glory? Luke 24:25-26
  • “Though Jesus was a Son, He learned obedience from the things He suffered, and having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” Hebrews 5:8-9
  • If God the Father allowed His only begotten Son to endure such undeserved suffering, on what basis do we believe He should spare the likes of us?
  • The Scriptures are clear: Not only should we not expect to escape suffering, but rather we should expect it, and prepare for it, for as Jesus showed us, suffering is the pathway to glory!

 

Christians are like aliens among unbelievers, because we have a different worldview, and we live by a different set of values, and as such, we are going to be persecuted.

  • Nonetheless we are still to be salt and light in society – we are to be in the world, but not of the world, so God can use us as His witnesses to the world.
  • We are God’s people, chosen before the foundation of the world, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and assured of our blessed hope of eternity in heaven.
  • Times of persecution give us the opportunity to reveal the value of our faith in Christ, in the hope that those who are persecuting us will see Christ in us, and be drawn to Him.
  • To accomplish this assignment, Peter said Christians are to:
    • “Be holy in all our conduct.” – 1 Peter 1:15-16
    • “Love the brethren.” – 1 Peter 1:22
    • Then, knowing we will be treated just as Jesus was, by those who are ignorant of God, Christians are to be:
      • Model citizens – submitting to every ordinance of man.
      • Model employers – submitting to those in authority over us.
      • Model mates – submitting to the order God established for the home.
      • Model brothers and sisters – submitting to one another in a loving, compassionate, caring way.
    • Because the credibility of Christianity is being exposed.

   Jesus illustrated that attitude of submission in His actions during the Lord’s Supper.

  • When He discovered the disciples arguing over which one would be the greatest in the new kingdom, Jesus girded Himself with a towel, took a basin of water, and as a servant, washed their feet.
    • “If then, your Lord and Master washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet, for I have given you this example.” John 13:14
  • After Judas left, Jesus took a piece of bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said,
    • “Take, eat, this is My body which shall be broken for you. And then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, drink of it, all of you, for this is My blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for man for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:26-28
  • The essence of the Christian Faith is that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, (1 Peter 2:21-25) and that act of submission was:
    • Our example – 21 – Jesus showed us how to suffer patiently, even if we endure unjust and/or unfair treatment.
    • Our substitute – vs. 24 – Jesus died in our place. If Christ did not die in our place, then we are still lost in our sins and condemned to hell for eternity.
    • Our Shepherd – vs. 25 – having laid down His life for our sins, we can now trust Him as the Shepherd of our souls.
  • And notice we are not putting our trust in a religion, or in some theological system, but rather in a personal, intimate relationship with God, whom we can trust as our Heavenly Father.