2010-11-03: Christ-Centered Suffering

Sermon: Christ-Centered Suffering
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Duration: 29:46
Size: 13.6 MB

New Life In The Same Old Place
“Christ-Centered Suffering”
1 Peter 3:13-22

I. Establishing the Problem: Suffering as a Christian (3:13-14,17,20)

Remember, the whole theme of this book is built around the concept of Peter’s audience, “spiritual exiles or aliens” in this world because they have been born again in Jesus.

I think this passage even speaks to those who suffer more generally.

II. Establishing the Perspective: Honoring Christ as Holy (3:18,20-22)

As they wrestle with the reality of suffering for their faith, Peter is pointing them back to the object of their faith.

Well, it all makes sense because Jesus is God in human flesh.

It means living our lives in the reality of who He is and what He’s done for us.

A. In light of His righteous and redemptive suffering (3:18a)

That’s what Jesus did, isn’t it? He suffered for doing good according to the will, the plan of God.

Our prayer is that as we suffer we will shine, so that God will use our faith to give our opponent faith.

B. In light of His spectacular and spiritual transformation (3:18b)

As they wrestled with their own suffering, Peter’s audience had to remember that Jesus suffered to the point of death.

One day we also will be made alive in the spiritual realm, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

C. In light of His proven and powerful salvation (3:20-21)

When we suffer, no matter how difficult our circumstances seem, God will ultimately rescue us.

We appeal to God for a good conscience when we seek His forgiveness through Christ.

D. In light of His absolute and authoritative position (3:22)

When we feel like our circumstances are too powerful, we need to remember that “angels, authorities, and power [have] been subjected to him.”

III. Suffering but Shining

When our hearts are set on the reality of our incomparable Jesus, we will have hope in our suffering, and we will be ready to reach out fearlessly for Christ, in both word and deed.

Suffering should not keep our focus on ourselves, it should cause us to look for opportunities to do good for others.

It’s all possible because Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.

Next Week
“Fighting Through Your Suffering”

1 Peter 4:1-6