The Master’s Class, Summit Church
REDEMPTION THROUGH GRACE (1 Peter 1:2c-d)

REDEMPTION THROUGH GRACE (1 Peter 1:2c-d)

January 24, 2016
So when we are facing times of terrible persecution, or difficult trials, when things are so bad that they are out of our ability to control, what are you most grateful for?

Certainly, I am grateful for a loving God who cares for me, watches over me, and provides for me.  I am grateful for the power of the Holy Spirit living within me.  I am grateful for the promises of God that we find in His word, such as, that we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So this verse is interesting because it doesn’t promise that all things work together for the good of all men, it puts a qualifier on this promise.  What is that qualifier?

You have to be someone who loves God, and someone who is called according to His purpose.  This means that if you want to claim the promise of this verse, that no matter what you are going through, that it will work out for your good, then you must meet the requirements of this promise.  And in order to meet those requirements you must be saved, a born again child of God.  

So, the first thing that you need to have in order to face persecution, trials, or difficult times in your life, is the certain knowledge that you have been redeemed by God, and that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Master.  This is the basic minimum for this promise to be true.   

The next most important thing that I believe we need is the grace of God.  When I am facing a difficult time, the one thing that I cherish most from God is His grace.  It is His grace that allows me to be forgiven.  It is His grace that allows me to be justified freely before God.  It is His grace that allows the blood of Christ to wash my sins away, in spite of the sin in my life.  That is God’s grace.  

This leads us to the third thing that we must have to face persecution.  The result of knowing that we are saved, and that God’s grace has been bestowed on us, is the peace of God in our hearts.  When we have God’s peace in our heart, we have comfort in the knowledge of God’s provision for us.  

So salvation, grace, and peace, are what I consider the three most important things that I must know, claim, and be sure of, when I have hard times.  Everything else that God is going to do for me flows from these three Biblical truths.  The presence and power of the Holy Spirit resides in my heart because of the redemption and grace that God has given me, and it is because I am redeemed, and that I am the recipient of God’s grace, that God’s peace is there, as well.   

Listen to this podcast to learn what it means to be redeemed by God, and to have God’s grace and peace, to give us comfort during times of persecution. 
OUR SANCTIFICATION BY GOD (1 Peter 1:2b)

OUR SANCTIFICATION BY GOD (1 Peter 1:2b)

January 17, 2016
God is both an exterior and an interior decorator.  He is an exterior decorator in that He enables us to stand before Him because He has paid the penalty and removed the guilt of sin from us.  But He is also an interior decorator.  As the Holy Spirit, He moves into our hearts and lives there.  It is by the power and work of the Holy Spirit that He make us the kind of Christians we should be.  God does not leave us in sin when He saves us.  He doesn’t walk away saying well I hope things turn out right for you.  Instead, He moves into our heart and He empowers us to become the Christian that He wants us to be.  

Justification declares the sinner righteous.  It is our position in Christ, we are justified in Christ.  When Christ died on the cross for our sins, God was able to look at sinful, hopelessly lost, man and declare him righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ.  Not because we had earned it, but because God declared us to be righteous.  

Sanctification makes the sinner righteous.  When we are saved the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and begins the lifelong work of sanctification, or the process of making us more like Christ.  We are purified by the trials that we face.  We are tempered by the persecution that we face.  We are sanctified by the work of the Holy Spirit who makes us righteous.

Justification removes the guilt and penalty of sin.

Sanctification removes the growth and the power of sin.

This work of the Holy Spirit in a human heart begins with conviction.  Before sanctification can occur we must be born again and that begins with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.  Once we are properly convicted of our need for salvation, He then moves on to our regeneration.  After the Holy Spirit completes our regeneration, He begins the process of our sanctification, and then the climax is our ultimate glorification.

Listen to this podcast to learn how the Holy Spirit of God performs the work of sanctification in our lives.
TO BE ELECTED BY GOD (1 Peter 1:1b to 2a)

TO BE ELECTED BY GOD (1 Peter 1:1b to 2a)

January 10, 2016
The Bible emphatically teaches the doctrine of election, and this is a doctrine that has caused endless debates and disputes throughout the ages.  People will either go off the deep end into hyper-Calvinism with this doctrine, or they avoid it like the plague because they don’t understand it.  When it really is quite simple to understand.  Man complicates it by assuming that God cannot know anything that man does not know.  That really is the heart of the problem for man in understanding this doctrine.  

However, the truth is that man’s mind is limited, and God’s mind is unlimited.  Man’s capacity to know things is finite, and God’s knowledge is infinite.  Man’s knowledge is bounded by the constraints of time, it encompasses what has happened in the past and what is happening right now.  Man can only guess at the future.  

God created the concept of time so His knowledge is unconstrained by time.  He knows all things from before time began until well past the day when eternity makes time irrelevant, and He knows it all at the same time.  God cannot learn anything, since by definition He already knows it all.  

In today’s lesson, Peter gives us his own inspired insight into the subject.  He bluntly declares that our election is based on God’s foreknowledge.  Without hesitation, or qualification, Peter says that God has elected a certain company to become members of the royal family of heaven.  However, God does this and never violates our own volition, or our own right to choose.  God woos, He does not ravage.  He does not endow His creations with wills of their own, with the power of choice and personal accountability for their behavior, and then act as though they had no such thing.  

God’s election of certain members of the human family to become members of the royal family takes into account the response of each individual when confronted by the Holy Spirit with the offer of salvation.  While this may sound difficult to understand, the simple truth of it is that if you want to be a part of the elect of God, then choose Christ when the Holy Spirit presents salvation to you.  

Salvation boils down to one question, will you accept or reject Jesus Christ as your Lord and Master.  

If you say yes, then you will become part of the elect of God, and you will spend eternity in heaven with Christ.  

If you say no, then you will not be part of the elect of God, and you will spend eternity burning in the fires of Hell, forever without the light of God.  

Listen to this powerful Biblical doctrine of God’s foreknowledge and how it can bless you because God knows who you are, where you are, what you are going through, and He has a plan for you.  If you are believer, then God will empower you to deal with any persecution or trial that you may be going through.  He knew about this before it ever occurred and He has prepared you for it, and He is with you every step of the way.  
INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER (1 Peter 1:1)

INTRODUCTION TO 1 PETER (1 Peter 1:1)

January 3, 2016
We live in a time when our faith as followers of Jesus Christ is under attack from without and within. It is vitally important that a believer understand what authentic Christianity is. It is a faith based on the promises of the Word of God, and its substance is a personal relationship with Christ. In the books of 1 & 2 Peter, Peter describes for us what salvation really means, what its character is, and where its power comes from. He describes authentic Christianity from the perspective of someone who walked with Christ, lived with Christ, and was loved by Christ. Listen to this series of podcasts for a celebration of what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus Christ and how you can deal with persecution, trials, and attempts to subvert our faith, with the knowledge of the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.