2010-11-14: The True Grace of God

Sermon: The True Grace of God
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Duration: 27:24
Size: 12.5 MB

New Life In The Same Old Place
“The True Grace of God”
1 Peter 5:8-14

I. Which Grace?

Grace should neither be a license to sin, nor a foundation for trying to establish our own right-standing before God, based on our good works.

Peter has not only given us a kind of purpose statement or summary statement for the whole letter, but he tells us that what is contained in this letter is, in fact, “the true grace of God”.

II. The Passage: “Standing Firm in the Faith” (5:8-11)

Let’s use three key phrases from verses 8-11 as a means of rewinding back to the beginning of the book, and then forward to pick up one of three main themes.

A. “Be Sober-Minded”: True Grace Results in Living in God’s Holiness (5:8-9a)

Don’t fall into that stupor of living for what will not last and for what ultimately doesn’t matter.

If you have received the true grace of God, are you striving by that grace to live a new life that is all

B. “The Same Kinds of Sufferings”: True Grace Reveals God’s Purpose in Our Suffering (5:9b)

I think our tendency is to believe that the grace of God somehow frees us from pain and suffering in this life.

This kind of purposeful suffering was not only being used by God to test and refine their faith.

The true grace of God reminded them that this path of suffering was taking them exactly where God wanted them to go.

C. “His Eternal Glory in Christ”: True Grace [Continually] Redirects Us to God’s Salvation in Christ (5:10-11)

The only reason Peter can exhort his readers the way he does is because of the radical reality of what Jesus has done.

It was the radical reality of what Jesus had done and would do in accomplishing true salvation that Peter uses to comfort and motivate his readers.

III. Peter’s Closing Remarks (5:12-14)

First, as tensions outside the church translated to tensions inside the church, Peter reminds them of the custom of greeting one another with a kiss that expresses God’s love.

Second, he asks that, in the midst of all the chaos they were enduring, that God’s perfect peace would be theirs.

IV. Your New Life in the Same Old Place

As we leave this book, our prayer should be that God would never let it leave our hearts and minds.

You have been chosen by God in grace, and because of that, you are now an alien in this world system that has turned away from God.

2010-11-07: Let Go and Let God

Sermon: Let Go and Let God
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Duration: 28:25
Size: 13.0 MB

New Life In The Same Old Place
“Let Go and Let God”
1 Peter 5:5-7

I. The Passage: “Clothe Yourselves…with Humility” (5:5-7)

There is a common thread weaving its way through all three of these verses. It’s the thread of humility.

A. Humility toward the Elders (5:5a)

These leaders were not always older in a chronological sense, but they were typically older, or more mature, spiritually.

Peter is calling the other members of these churches to submit themselves in humility to their leaders.

B. Humility toward One Another (5:5b)

So a rough translation straight from the original language would read, “All of you, toward one another, humility, tie around you as a servant’s apron.”

Have you tied humility around your waist this morning when it comes to your relationships with your brothers and sisters in Christ?

C. Humility toward God (5:6)

No, genuine humility can only come from one place: it can only come from a right view of who God is and our relationship to Him!

You cannot be truly humble unless you measure yourself by who God is and what God wants.

II. God-Centered Humility (5:7)

What’s strange about this connection is that it implies a relationship between humility and the casting off of anxiety; the unloading of our worries.

Pride is confidence that we have this kind of power. Anxiety is fear that we might lose or can’t have this kind of power.

First, we can “let go and let God” because we can trust that God’s grace will empower us to do so.

Second, we can “let go and let God” because we can trust that God’s hand is truly mighty.

Third, we can “let go and let God” because we can trust that God really cares about us.

The humility to which Peter calls his overwhelmed readers is a humility motivated by faith that God is mighty, and mighty in His concern for our absolute good.

We know for certain that the shoulders of God are able to bear all of our anxieties because those same shoulders bore all of our sin on the cross.

Next Week
“The True Grace Of God”

1 Peter 5:8-14

2010-10-31: The Chief Shepherd’s Shepherds

Sermon: The Chief Shepherd’s Shepherds
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Duration: 28:24
Size: 13.0 MB

New Life In The Same Old Place
“The Chief Shepherd’s Shepherds”
1 Peter 5:1-4

I. A Leader by Any Other Name

Is it any wonder that most people are confused about the specifics of church leadership, or what is often called church government or church polity?

A. What is an Elder?

Now the word for elder here is the word, presbuteros. It literally means, someone who is older.

The emphasis here is not on physical maturity, but spiritual maturity.

1. An Elder is an Overseer, Ministering (Shepherd)

So shepherd or pastor is simply another title for an elder. An elder is one who shepherds God’s flock.

And so here, an elder is also called an overseer.

2. An Elder May Be Worthy of a “Double Honor”

While there is no difference between an elder and a pastor and an overseer, we do find a distinction among elders.

This “double honor” simply means that they can devote more time to the work.

3. An Elder is Part of the Body, Not Over It

Elders who lead and teach are not any better than any other part of the body. They simply have a different role.

B. What is Peter’s Exhortation?

An exhortation is simply a strong encouragement to action.

1. Shepherd from a Willing Heart (5:2)

This makes their service a joy, not a chore.

2. Shepherd with Eagerness (5:2)

He should not only give his permission, but also his passion to the work.

3. Shepherd by Example (5:3)

God’s leaders are always servant leaders who follow the lead of Jesus, so that others will by led to serve Christ and others in His name.

C. What if You’re Not an Elder?

All of this means that in God’s economy, all of us desperately need the shepherding that God wants to provide for us through the men and women he has called as leaders.

1. Pray for Them

2. Encourage Them

3. Follow Their Lead

II. The Care of the Chief Shepherd

They have no function or authority or position apart from the Chief Shepherd.

Pray for His under-shepherds; encourage them; follow their lead as they follow Jesus’ lead.

Next Week
“Let Go And Let God”

1 Peter 5:5-7

2010-10-24: It Comes As No Surprise

Sermon: It Comes As No Surprise
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Duration: 29:24
Size: 13.4 MB

New Life In The Same Old Place
“It Comes As No Surprise”
1 Peter 4:12-19

I. The Passage: “Do Not be Surprised” (4:12-19)

Why were his readers surprised by their suffering?

Maybe their belief that suffering was “something strange” flowed out of a belief that Christianity was only about victory, and glory, and prosperity, and blessing, and a crown.

Their understanding of God and salvation, their theology, has a hard time dealing with the subject of suffering.

II. It’s Not “Strange”, It’s…

Peter gives five reasons why suffering is not “something strange“.

1. The Father’s Test (4:12)

Suffering is a refining tool that God the Father uses to test and prove the genuineness of our faith.

2. The Son’s Sufferings (4:13)

Because we are in Christ, we experience the very hostility and resistance that resulted in Jesus being hung on the cross.

There is no Christianity without the cross. There is no genuine salvation that only offers a crown.

Wherever “the rub” is felt, we know that such sufferings demonstrate our connection with Jesus.

3. The Spirit’s Evidence (4:14)

Peter is reminding them here that their suffering is not “something strange”, but is in fact a wonderful reminder that God’s Spirit is working in and through us.

When we suffer for Him, we should be encouraged by the fact that our suffering is evidence that God is very near…that He is working in us through His Spirit.

4. An Opportunity to Glorify God! (4:15-16)

Peter wants to make sure that his readers make sure that they are suffering for the right reasons.

If anyone is suffering for the right reasons, let them not be ashamed, but glorify God in the name.

5. The Beginning of Judgment Day (4:17-18)

So here he is saying that your suffering is not “something strange” because this is what we should expect at the beginning of the great Day of Judgment.

III. True Protection (4:19)

Because suffering is not “something strange”, but is in fact, the Father’s test, and the Son’s sufferings, and the Spirit’s evidence, and an opportunity to glorify God, and a sign of the beginning of Judgment Day, therefore

True protection in the face of suffering can only be found in the One who made us.

How is He calling you to endure this morning in your suffering for Christ, maybe he’s calling you to rejoice and count yourself blessed in that suffering?

The call of the gospel is that our eyes are always fixed on the cross of Jesus Christ.

Next Week
“The Chief Shepherd”

1 Peter 5:1-4

2010-10-17: What To Do At The End Of The World

Sermon: What To Do At The End Of The World
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Duration: 28:56
Size: 13.2 MB

New Life In The Same Old Place
“What To Do At The End Of The World”
1 Peter 4:7-11

So, what do you do if you believe the world is coming to an end?

I. The Passage: “The End…Is At Hand” (4:7-11)

Peter has been encouraging them in this section about how to face the suffering they’re experiencing because of their faith in Christ.

A. The End is Near, Right at the Door (4:7a)

Well look again at what Peter declares at the beginning of these verses: The end of all things is at hand!

Peter believed that all of the pieces of God’s redemptive plan were in place. He believed what Jesus told him.

Peter wanted his readers to know that they were on the verge of God’s final judgment.

He wanted them to see their sufferings as evidence that the return of Christ, that the final judgment, that the end of the world as we know it was “near”, was “at hand”, was “right at the door”.

B. Clarity and Focus at the End of the World (4:7b-11a)

The end of the world is “at hand” just as much today, as it was when Peter wrote these words.

God has ordained that each and every generation live with a genuine anticipation of Christ’s return and genuine belief that He might come at any time…because he could.

1. Praying with Clarity and Focus (4:7b)

So, what does Peter tell them in light of the very imminent “end of all things”?

What do you do at the end of the world? You pray.

For people who were enduring trials of the last days, Peter’s focus is not first on the content of their prayers, but the act of prayer itself.

“The end is at hand” prayers are prayers that demonstrate we are entrusting ourselves to God for his purposes and his glory in the midst of our suffering.

2. Loving with Clarity and Focus (4:8-11a)

Not only do these followers of Christ desperately need to be a praying community. “Above all”, they need to be a loving community.

Recognizing that the end is at hand brings clarity and focus, not only in our relationship with God, but also our relationships with one another.

Peter reminds them here to honor God with their gifts.

Peter says, pray and love with the clarity and focus that only the end of the world can bring.

II. The End of the World and the Glory of God (4:11b)

The end of all things should bring us clarity and focus in regard to the most important thing in the universe: God’s glory.

May God be glorified in our lives as we pray and love with an uncommon trust that to God and God alone belong glory and dominion forever and ever.

Next Week
“It Comes As No Surprise”

1 Peter 4:12-19