Thursday, May 08, 2008

Living Away From Home
Watch the Video

Living Away From Home

Intro.: Sandra has a new job at work.

  1. She has become the unofficial Library Photographer

  2. It really began with a fluke. The library's camera was not working – and thought that Sandra and her supervisor were silly when they could not get it to work.

  3. So Sandra brought home the camera and asked me to see what I could figure out. I did it – it took a little cardboard wedge to adjust the battery inside the charger. Once the battery was charged, then all was well.

  4. So, now Sandra is the camera expert – and she still does not know how to take the pictures from her camera to her computer. She will learn.

  5. I want to look at a passage today that will give us two snapshots of Christian living in their world.

Read: I Peter 1:1-2


Trans: Peter is no stranger to living away from home.

  1. The year is AD 64. Peter has been in Rome for 14 years.

  2. In AD 64, Nero burned the city of Rome – blaming it on that new religion Christianity.

  3. In a few short months Peter will be put to death, but while he still has time, he wants to encourage the Jewish believers that have had to flee their homes.

T.S. I Peter 1:1-2 gives us two snapshots of believers. Both give us a glimpse of what it means to be a Christian.

  1. Snapshot #1 is Peter.

    1. I don't want to spend a great deal of time here, since we spent most of last week reviewing Peter's life.

    2. But Peter is a believer and he does have something to teach us.

    3. Peter played two roles as he interacted with Jesus. The one mentioned here, apostle, actually came second. The first role was that of a disciple.

    4. It is important to understand the differences between these two roles.

    5. The first role that Peter played, the first role that we each must play, is that of a disciple. The disciple is the student.

(Ill.) We have all seen the pictures of Jesus standing. Around Him sit his disciples – listening to Him, trying to remember His every word. And sitting there, maybe just to the left, is the man they call Simon Peter. He sits, listens, learns. He is the disciple, the student.

(Appl.) And it is as a disciple that we each have begin our walk with Jesus. We each have to spend time at Jesus' feet, listening, learning from Him. We all are disciples – we all need to spend time at Jesus' feet.

    1. It is only after Peter has spent time as a disciple that he is ready to be called an apostle.

      A disciple sits at the teacher's feet. An apostle is sent. In fact that is what the word means – “the sent one” or “the commissioned one.”.

(Ill.) The book of Hebrews calls Jesus “our apostle and high priest”. He was sent from heaven to serve God – He called himself, “... the way, the truth, and the life.” He was sent to win our salvation – something we could never do.

(Appl.) I would never presume to place the label of apostle on myself or on you. But that does not mean we do not the apostles to task to do – this is what the Great Commission is all about: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”.

(Appl.) Here is the application – once you have sat at the sat the foot of the master, you have responsibility to take that message to your world. What has God taught you? Take it to the world! What have you learned about God's grace? Take it to the world! What has he taught you about loving others? Take it to the world! If you are a disciple, you are sent – now is the time to take it the world.

  1. Snapshot #2 are the believers to whom Peter writes.

    1. Peter is one snapshot, but the recipients of his letter present another.

    2. To understand who they are we need to move back to Acts chapter 7 and 8. Steven has been arrested – and as chapter 7 ends he is being stoned to death. Standing in the audience is another apostle – Paul, only his name is still Saul and he does not yet know Jesus. And at that time the church begins to be persecuted. The Jewish Christians flee Jerusalem and save their lives, but they also take the gospel to the outlying areas of Judea and Samaria.

    3. Those Jewish Christians come to be known as the “diaspora”. You see that word “strangers” in verse 2 – it is the word diaspora. The diaspora are mentioned three times in scripture. The begin their journey by traveling to Judea and Samaria. In Acts 11 they move to the coast and Cyprus in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Now in I Peter, we find these Jewish Christians further north – the the cities and provinces of Asia Minor – what we now call Turkey.

    4. These are people who have lost (in one sense) everything. They have left their families for what they believe. They are living in communities that are not their own. Maybe not so different from us. I grew up 3500 from here – that may be more than most of you, but having spent six years here, I know that Sandra and I are not the only ones that have migrated to Rochester.

(Appl.) But even if you haven't moved to Rochester, you are still a stranger here. You are a member of the diaspora. You are not at home – as believers our home is in heaven.

    1. But we are not only strangers, we are also God's elect.

    2. This is one of the most amazing verses in scripture – it is one of the very few place where we find all three members of the Trinity mentioned together – and they are mentioned together with us, God's people.

chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood

      God is preparing us.

(Ill.) There are two kinds of jewelry. A good example is the Hope Diamond. Sandra and I were able to see it the last time we were in Washington DC. This piece of jewelry is not being used by anyone. They just want to show it off. They put their gems behind glass and lasers. They surround them with guards. The other kind of jewelry is represented by my wifes jewelry collection. Nothing fancy, but it is designed to be worn. Oh, they get tangled sometimes, but with a little gentle work, they are able to be used on any given day.

(Appl.) God does not want his children to be like that first piece of jewelry. He does not want His children sitting on the shelf – unused, unseen. Rather, he wants us to be like those other pieces – ready to be used. Just like my wife's jewelry, our lives may become tangled messes, but God wants it to be used. God is ready to use my life. God is ready to use your life.

Conclusion: Let me conclude by looking at the benedictions that concludes today's passage.

  1. Literally it reads, “Grace and peace to you be multiplied”. The benediction, the prayer, comes before any command is made in the letter.

  2. Perhaps you have heard of the young man who was asked to do 5 days work. His employer offered him two option for payment. He could get $500 at the end of the week or the employer would start putting money away for a month. On day 1 he would get a penny, day 2 - 2 cents, Day 3, he would get 4 cents, Day 4 – 8 cents.

  3. The young man was anxious to get his money – so he took the $500. But it was the wrong choice. If he had waited till the end of the month, he would have made $10,000,000.

  4. God wants his grace and peace to be multiplied in your life.


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