North Anderson Baptist Church
Living a Life of Suffering Like Christ
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    یک‌شنبه ۱۰:۳۰ قبل از ظهر
Our Father in Heaven, We come today in this worship service to praise you and to glorify your wonderful name. Help each of us today to realize that we are blessed by our God to have salvation full and free through the death on the cross of your Son, Jesus Christ. Help us also to realize and accept that our lives will have suffering, like the Savior who suffered for us to give to us freely, this salvation and eternal life which we now possess. Help us to walk in your grace, accept your mercy and take up our cross and follow Jesus every day of our lives. In the name of our resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen
As we look at these verses today let’s consider three things:
1. We are called to faithful submission - v. 18
2. We are called to faithful suffering - v. 19-20
3. Jesus is our example - v.21-25

In an article entitled “How Come the Bible Doesn’t Condemn Slavery?” By Kenneth R. Samples - October 1, 2008, he shares the following.
The New Testament indicates that in God’s sight there is “neither slave nor free”
and that both are part of Christ’s church and equally accountable to God
In fact, in the apostolic church, slaves were granted all the rights and privileges of free men (see the book of Philemon).

The likely reason that the apostolic authors of the New Testament did not categorically condemn slavery was because they placed the preaching of the gospel and the redemption of lost souls ahead of societal reform. Yet that very biblical teaching about humankind and their relationship to God through Christ was the inevitable moral and spiritual force that showed the fundamental injustice of slavery in the Western world.
God’s way of eliminating slavery was to allow the biblical teachings (the “Good News”) to spread throughout all cultures. Indeed, it was the Judeo-Christian teaching that human beings have intrinsic value and worth as a result of being made in God’s image
that brought an end to slavery. Many in the abolitionist movements of England and America in the nineteenth century were Protestant evangelical Christians. And they viewed slavery as being fundamentally inconsistent with the historic Christian view of man’s creation and redemption.
I want to share a quote from the great Frederick Douglass. He is speaking about the Christianity of the bible, true and Godly Faith resulting in following the Christ of the Bible and the “so-called” Christianity followed by slave owners in America. Viewing the work of the white churches, Frederick Douglass had this to say: “Between the Christianity of this land and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slave-holding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason but the most deceitful one for calling the religion of this land Christianity…” Adapted from The Great Stain: Witnessing American Slavery by Noel Rae. Copyright © 2018 by Noel Rae.
Before we get to far, we need to understand the slavery concept of the first century.
William Barclay provides an excellent description of the slavery of that day:

“To understand the real meaning of what Peter is saying we must understand something of the nature of slavery in the time of the early church. In the Roman Empire there were as many as 60,000,000 slaves. Slavery began with Roman conquests, slaves being originally mainly prisoners taken in war, and in very early times Rome had few slaves but by New Testament times slaves were counted by the million.”

“It was not only menial tasks which were performed by slaves. Doctors, teachers, musicians, actors, secretaries, stewards were slaves. In fact, all the work of Rome was done by slaves. Roman attitude was that there was no point in being master of the world and doing one’s own work. Let the slaves do that and let the citizens live in pampered idleness. The supply of slaves would never run out.”

“Slaves were not allowed to marry; but they cohabited; and the children born of such a partnership were the property of the master, not of the parents, just as the lambs born to the sheep belonged to the owner of the flock, and not to the sheep.”

“It would be wrong to think that the lot of slaves was always wretched and unhappy, and that they were always treated with cruelty. Many slaves were loved and trusted members of the family; but one great inescapable fact dominated the whole situation. In Roman law a slave was not a person but a thing; and he had absolutely no legal rights whatsoever. For that reason there could be no such thing as justice where a slave was concerned. Aristotle writes, ‘There can be no friendship nor justice towards inanimate things; indeed, not even towards a horse or an ox, nor yet towards a slave as a slave. For master and slave have nothing in common; a slave is a living tool, just as a tool is an inanimate slave.’ Varro divides the instruments of agriculture into three classes—the articulate, the inarticulate and the mute, ‘the articulate comprising the slaves, the inarticulate comprising the cattle, and the mute comprising the vehicles.’ The only difference between a slave and a beast or a farmyard cart was that a slave happened to be able to speak. Peter Chrysologus sums the matter up: ‘Whatever a master does to a slave, undeservedly, in anger, willingly, unwillingly, in forgetfulness, after careful thought, knowingly, unknowingly, is judgment, justice and law.’ In regard to a slave, his master’s will, and even his master’s caprice, was the only law.”
Slavery is not our way! It has existed from days of old even unto today in the areas of the world where Christianity is not revered and have been dominated in the past. Even though there was slavery in the beginning of our Republic dosn’t make it right. It is immoral and should not have been tolerated. Saying that it was a fact of the first century and the Lord Jesus and His disciples spoke not to condemn or condone but to have those who were believers to act in the light of their salvation in regards to whatever their lot was is the way of the Scriptures. So, here Peter speaks to slaves about submission no matter their lot in life.
1. We are called to faithful submission - v. 18

God speaks through Peter to the Christian slave. The Greek word for slave here is “oiketai” which means house servants and many of them were not slaves but indentured servants. But most were slaves and as Dr. Barclay said were treated kindly and some even like they were a part of the family. Don’t think that all were treated kindly, remembering what many have said about slaves being property and having no say in anything because they were not even at times considered to be human. Many of the believers of that day came from the lower level of society and the Gospel was attractive to them since it brought hope and love from God who could one day redeem not only their soul but their body from the life of slavery. Peter told them that they were to faithfully submit to their masters. Why? They were not to have an angry or revengeful spirit but they were to reverently fear their masters. Those that were good to them and even those who were evil to them. It doesn’t sound right does it? But God has a reason and explains it as we go along here and in other scriptures by other writers. It is enough that God calls for them to submit, for as we read the New Testament we realize that when God calls for people to submit He is in actuality speaking of submitting to the Father of our hearts and lives not to a human being or authority.

Let’s right away say that this passage is relatable for us because we can substitute employee and employer for the slave and master. Never forget that God doesn’t waste His message for us today even though He was speaking through Peter to those who lived in the first century, He speaks to you and me today and we are to make the application. Do you have an employer that is just hard to get along with and verbally abuses you? We are to submit to that kind of supervisor as much as to the one who is kind and compassionate to our needs and way of life.

Have you yet learned to let God take care of your situations that seem to be unjust? God says in Romans 12:19, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay," and He does a much better job of it than I could. The Lord Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven..." (Matt. 5:11-12). J. Vernon McGee

All along we are really submitting to the Lord Jesus Christ. We are called to “faithful” submission, as unto the Lord.
2. We are called to faithful suffering - v. 19-20

Peter talks of two things here in this passage. The first is that it is commendable if you have to suffer because of an unjust punishment, a beating or something like that. There is a favorable blessing to those who experience harsh treatment from those who rule over you. We will see the underlined reason as we go on for this bearing up under unjust treatment.

The second thought Peter presents is that if a person, slave, suffers for his own wrong doing then there is no credit due him from the Lord, he has nothing to say about the way he is treated, he just received what he deserves. So Peter reminds us that we ought to live a life of godliness and if suffering comes, it comes and you endure it, then their is commendation from God, for we have suffered like Christ had unjustly
suffered.
Paul writes this passage also and he speaks so challenging later on in this same book in 3:10 when he says,
How do you participate in the sufferings of Christ? One way is by what Peter is saying here. Unjust treatment from those in authority over you brings you a choice. You can choose to suffer and bear the trials and troubles that come your way, without retaliation just like Jesus did or you can fight back and make things worse and lose your witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course there are other ways that suffering can draw you close to the Lord but this relates to the passage from Peter.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: "I still believe that standing up for the truth of God is the greatest thing in the world. This is the end of life. The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may." Can I read that again? " The end of life is not to be happy. The end of life is not to achieve pleasure and avoid pain. The end of life is to do the will of God, come what may." Or, as someone else (J.I. Packer) has put it, "It needs to be said loud and clear that in the kingdom of God there ain't no comfort zone and never will be. ("One Good Reason (1 Peter 2:18-25) Nov 26, 2006)

So that's the reason why we should submit to authority, even when the authority is unjust. It's because God has called us to a life of endurance, even when we face suffering that is unjust. God didn't just call us. He also gave us an example to follow. He doesn't ask us to do anything that he didn't already do. Peter says next, "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps."

We have all been called to “faithful” suffering, as unto the Lord
Dr. David Harrell says, “Look at the prototype of submission, the Lord Jesus Christ. Here we have a remarkable opportunity to understand what it means to bear with meekness the many injustices we often experience in life, those that are perpetrated upon us, especially as we endeavor to serve those whom God has placed in authority over us as employers.

The real issue is the privilege of suffering for Christ and all that means.” Dr. David Harrell October, 29 2006

In the Psalms we hear the cry of the children of God alot when there is suffering. This was at the heart of the psalmist’s prayer inPsalm 26:1-3 where he says,
A clear conscience is a wonderful blessing. When we walk with the Spirit of God, Galatians 5 tells us that the fruits will include peace and joy. Therefore we would be able to say, “Bring on the adversity, bring on the mistreatment. I will endure it by God’s grace and with His power. And as I do so, as I suffer for the cause of Christ, I will in turn experience the great joy of the Lord.” Dr. David Harrell October, 29 2006

God is not surprised by the affliction, troubles and trials we face. He is God, the Lord! We are to remember the greatest saints suffered injustices from the hands of wrongdoers and the wicked, so we too have the privilege to suffer as well as unto the Lord. Peter says “To this we were called.” Or, we could say that He was our example in suffering and doing it as unto the Lord.

During World War I, a British commander was preparing to lead his soldiers back to battle. They'd been on furlough, and it was a cold, rainy, muddy day. Their shoulders sagged because they knew what lay ahead of them: mud, blood, possible death. Nobody talked, nobody sang. It was a heavy time.

As they marched along, the commander looked into a bombed-out church. Back in the church he saw the figure of Christ on the cross. At that moment, something happened to the commander. He remembered the One who suffered, died, and rose again. There was victory, and there was triumph.

As the troops marched along, he shouted out, "Eyes right, march!" Every eye turned to the right, and as the soldiers marched by, they saw Christ on the cross. Something happened to that company of men. Suddenly they saw triumph after suffering, and they took courage. With shoulders straightened, they began to smile as they went. You see, anything worthwhile in life will be a risk that demands courage.
Peter says, "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example." The word example here means pattern. It was used, for example, of when a teacher would write the letters of the alphabet, and the children would learn these letters by tracing them with their own pens. We are called to copy the characters of Jesus' life, tracing over the lines that he left us. Someone (Bishop Stephen Neill) said, "We all have some dying to do. Jesus showed us how it should be done." Jesus has given us the pattern for how to endure when suffering unjustly.
So let me ask you this morning: what are you going through? What suffering are you enduring? What jerk of a boss is making your life miserable, so that you have a hard time submitting? What person in your life is acting so badly that you are tempted to compromise everything that you believe so that you can take your revenge?
In all of this, would a look at the example of Jesus give you any good reasons for holding up and staying faithful even when it costs? What look at Jesus do you need today so you can live faithfully even when it’s tough?
Warren Wiersbe writes: Here, then, is the wonderful truth Peter wanted to share: as we live godly lives and submit in times of suffering, we are following Christ's example and becoming more like Him. We submit and obey, not only for the sake of lost souls and for the Lord's sake, but also for our own sake, that we might grow spiritually and become more like Christ.

The unsaved world is watching us, but the Shepherd in heaven is also watching over us; so we have nothing to fear. We can submit to Him and know that He will work everything together for our good and His glory.

He came as our pattern, so we could "know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step" (The Message).

Peter tells us some things about Jesus that we need to remember.
He committed no sin.
He had no deceit in Him.
He did not retaliate against the evil done to Him.

We are to follow that example and then being like Jesus entrust ourselves during a time of suffering, unto the Lord God who will judge justly. Would that be hard for you? Why? Most probably it would be hard because most of us want immediate justice! We don’t believe justice if the punishment doesn’t come right away for the wrong doing. One of the wonderful reasons for God’s patience in judging is that some who have been the wrong doer will have time to think about his or her misdeeds and then repent and come to the Lord Jesus in faith. If we had our way those who deserve punishment would not be able to seek or find forgiveness. We are to follow the pattern, the example of Christ when we suffer unjustly.

Our text says that He “bore our sins,” literally to “bear up under an enormous weight,” the weight of our sin, the sins of the elect. Jesus our Lord has held the weight of your sin on His shoulders as His burden to carry just for you and for me.
He was to give you and me and any sinner forgiveness and freedom from sin because of his death on the cross. Being saved is dying to sin! Because our Savior went to the cross and suffered the wounds of the scourging and the nails from the cross along with the sins of the world on His shoulders, He “healed” us. There is some difference of opinion of this scripture. Some say that because Jesus suffered physically and the scripture says “by His stripes or wounds we have been healed” then all our physical trials and diseases are healed. Others, like me, believe this is a reference to the spiritual healing we received at the cross that is the forgiveness of our sin, we were healed spiritually because of His sacrifice. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe that Jesus can heal us from our diseases and has, even for many of you. But that is not exactly what this Scripture means here. He is capable and does many times heal the diseases of His people where healing could not come any other way. I praise God for that.

Theodoret comments: "A new and strange method of healing. The doctor suffered the cost, and the sick received the healing" (see Selwyn, First Epistle of Peter, p. 181). Interpreter's Bible, The - Exegesis - The Interpreter's Bible – Volume 12.

Throughout all these verses in this last thought Isaiah has spoken of already in chapter 53. If you will go back and read that chapter you will see her at the end of this chapter Peter refers to that Isiah passage when he says, “For you were like sheep going astray , but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”

As I close you and I have once been like those lost sheep. We strayed away from the creator of our lives and souls and he sent Jesus to be our Shepherd and Overseer so we might know the love and forgiveness and special care of the God who made us. Blessed are we who have returned back to God and now are the sheep of God.

Friends that is what revival is about, bring lost sheep back to God our Shepherd.
I hope that today you would truly look at your own life and see if your Christianity is that which is described here in the Word of God. Only that kind of faith is acceptable to the God who made us and is so clearly described in the Bible. Believers consider this: Jesus proved that a person could be in the will of God, be greatly loved by God, and still suffer unjustly. There is a shallow brand of popular theology today that claims that Christians will not suffer if they are in the will of God. Those who promote such ideas have not meditated much on the Cross. Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) - New Testament - The Bible Exposition Commentary – New Testament, Volume 2.

God’s Word is true!
Now to finish, “only a fool would say, ‘No, I reject the offer of Christ to bear my sins, I will gladly bear them myself.’ If that is you, I would ask you to rehearse in your mind for just a moment a list of some of your sins. Your selfishness. Your refusal to give God the glory in your life. Your outbursts of anger. Your immorality. Your homosexuality. Your fornication. Your murderous thoughts against other people. Your drunkenness. Your idolatry. Your slander. Your filthy speech. Your thefts. Your jealousy. Your envy. The list could go on and on. Are you willing to bear the punishment from Almighty God for those sins as He judges each of us justly and with wisdom? Just read the passage in Revelation 20:11-15, and see if that is what you want for yourself.
I ask that you consider, even this very moment, to surrender your life and heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and allow Him to save you and change your life through the Cross and give you eternal life.
Dear Friends, remember we have been called to faithfully submit, suffer and follow Jesus’ example. I hope you are and willing to continue to live a life of suffering like Christ!

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com