The Master’s Class, Summit Church
THE QUESTION OF SCRIPTURE (1 Peter 1:9-11)

THE QUESTION OF SCRIPTURE (1 Peter 1:9-11)

February 28, 2016
We have many great promises of God that we base our faith on.  We are certain of these promises and of the truth of God’s Word.  If God’s Word is not true, then our faith is in vain.  Praise God that we know the inerrancy of God’s Word.  

2 Tim 3:16
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
KJV

John Phillips states that the great message of Scripture is salvation.  It is contained in the history books of the Bible, chorused in the poetic books of the Bible, and contemplated in the prophetic books of the Bible.  It is crystallized in the Gospels, confessed in the Acts, clarified in the Epistles, and consummated in the Revelation.  The Bible is the book in which salvation truth has been revealed.  The purpose of the Bible is not to teach us things that we can otherwise discover for ourselves.  

The Bible is not a handbook of history, although it contains a great deal of history, and the history it does record is unerringly accurate.  It is not a textbook of science, although it speaks to many scientific themes, and its astronomy, meteorology, physics, and medicine are totally inerrant.  It is not a treatise on legislation, although it contains a thoroughly comprehensive legal code that is so sublime as to be the foundation of all modern Western civilized codes. It is not a book about psychology, although it speaks with authority on all matters of human behavior. 

The Bible is a book about salvation.  It goes beyond the reach and scope of human reasoning.  It tells us truth that can be known only by divine revelation.  It tells us all that we need to know about the salvation God has given us.

Human reasoning says that we must work for our salvation.  God’s Word says that our salvation is by grace.  Christ has already done the work for us.  

Man says, Do!  God says, Done! 

Man says, Try! God says, Trust! 

God has provided us a great salvation.  Listen to this podcast to learn how God’s Word reveals the truth of this salvation
LOVING GOD EQUALS JOY IN YOUR HEART (1 Peter 1:8)

LOVING GOD EQUALS JOY IN YOUR HEART (1 Peter 1:8)

February 21, 2016
We live in a world where true joy can be hard to find at times.  I want you to think back to the last time that you felt your heart so overcome with joy, that it was just bursting out of you.  Troubles at home, or with a family member, friends, your health, your work, these are all things that we worry about, or have problems with, and it can seem like real joy is hard to find, right?

Certainly, as I think back to times when there was real joy in my heart, playing in the backyard with my kids when they were young.  Sitting with my wife next to a babbling mountain stream, just relaxing and enjoying the view and the companionship. Holding a newborn grandchild in my arms. Watching my son be ordained into the ministry.  These are some of my memories of a heart full of joy.  

However, joy in the life of a believer is to be so much more than just an emotion of happiness.  In our lesson today, Peter is going to tell us that the joy a believer has in his heart is the reward that God gives us for truly loving Him.  When we love God, we will find God’s gift of joy in our heart.  So if this is true, why do we not always feel full of joy?  Certainly, I love God, you love God, as believers, we all love God.  Yet, was joy the first thing you thought of when you got up this morning to come to church?  Did you say, "Good Lord, its morning", or did you say, "Good Morning, Lord!"  Think about it and be honest, where was your joy?

Joy comes from the Lord.  It resonates from our spirit, and it is placed there by the Holy Spirit when our heart is filled with the Spirit of God, and the love of God.  It is sin that separates us from this Joy.  When we allow satan to have a place in our heart, be it from holding a grudge against somebody for some harm they did you, or from some secret sin in your life, anything that detracts you from loving God, the joy that God gives us will not be gone, but it will be harder to find.  Remember, loving God equals joy in your heart.  The more you love God, the more joy that you will have.  The more you allow satan into your life, the harder your joy will be to find.  It really is that simple.  

Loving God equals joy in your heart.  Want more joy, then love God more.  Listen to this podcast to learn how to have a heart full of God’s joy even when there is trouble all around you.
A FAITH BASED ON EXPERIENCE (1 Peter 1:5-7)

A FAITH BASED ON EXPERIENCE (1 Peter 1:5-7)

February 14, 2016
When I was a child and my Father wanted me to learn something that I would remember, he often had me experience it first, and then explain how important that concept could be in my life.  He called it character building and it usually involved me doing some type of work around the house.  For example, when he wanted me to learn that it is better to earn what you have in this world, than to steal it from somebody else who had worked for it, either by outright theft or by getting the government to steal it for you, he would put me to work.  He taught me that a benefit of hard work is the payment of something you want in return, be it money, or something else.

Learning from experience can come in a couple of ways, we can learn from our own experience, or we can learn from the experience of watching or listening to others.  For instance, I don’t have to jump from the top of a tall building to know that this is not something I want to do.  I have seen what happens to others when they contact the ground at a high rate of speed, and it is not pretty.  I learned this lesson from the experience of others.  

When we learn from our own experience, we often have a deeper understanding of what it takes to get through this type of trial.  I know that I never had a true appreciation for what a person goes through when they lose a very close loved one until I lost my father, and then my mother.  There is a deep feeling of anguish that does not come from watching others.  I have a much deeper sense of empathy for others now and it is because God allowed me to experience this trial myself.  

One of the key concepts that Peter is trying to teach us in the very first verses of this book is how certain our faith is, and how it is not based on a hope-so type of knowledge, but it is based on a know-so type of knowledge.  

When he talks of having hope, it is not a vague type of hope in the things that are to come, it is a know-so type of hope, an expectant hope, and a certain hope.  We know that Jesus is alive today because we know that He rose from the grave.  The Bible tells this is true, and secular history tells us that this is true.

We know for a fact that Jesus is coming again to reign as Lord of lords and King of kings, and we are absolutely certain that Jesus has prepared for us a place in heaven where we will spend eternity living with Him.  This is our know-so, expectant, hope.  

Peter now moves from the certain hope we have in Christ, to our faith based on experience and substance.  Faith is another weak word in the English language, but in the Bible our faith is based on the promises of God, the certainty of Christ, and the experiences we have in times of trial, and through watching others go through trials.  It is a faith based on the experience we have in Christ.  
OUR CERTAIN HOPE OF THINGS TO COME (1 Peter 1:3b-4)

OUR CERTAIN HOPE OF THINGS TO COME (1 Peter 1:3b-4)

February 7, 2016
As believers, our expectant, certain, hope looks forward to the things that the Word of God promises are to come for us.  That hope includes eternal life with our Lord Jesus in a heaven that contains wonders and beauty beyond anything that we can imagine or know about on this earth.

1 Cor 2:9
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
KJV

In times of our deepest sorrow, this is our certain hope.  

In times of our greatest tragedy, this is our certain hope.

In times of our greatest loss, this is our certain hope.

When death comes for us, this is our certain hope.  

That Jesus Christ is coming again and that He has prepared a place in heaven for us.  

John 14:1-3
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
KJV

This is our certain hope that we base our faith on.  This is our certain hope of the things that are to come. 
WE HAVE AN EXPECTANT HOPE (1 Peter 1:3a)

WE HAVE AN EXPECTANT HOPE (1 Peter 1:3a)

February 1, 2016
What do you worry about most when you face a difficult hardship?

Being physically harmed?  Ridiculed?  The loss of a job and the financial problems that follow?  The loss of your health?  The loss of a loved one?  Loneliness? Your own death?

The word hope is commonly defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  We say things like “I hope we have something good to eat tonight,” or “I hope my boss is in a good mood today.”  Hope is always looking forward and it is important to have hope, or a positive outlook on life, to hope that better things are coming our way.  To not have any hope during difficult times can make recovering that much more difficult or even impossible.  

The amount of hope a person has is often based on those people around them who can help them, to provide comfort, and assistance.  When you are alone, without help, it is hard to find hope.  Our hope is also based on the certainty, or uncertainty, of the future we see for ourselves.  When good things are coming in our lives it is easy to have hope.  It gets much more difficult when we see nothing but dark clouds or hardship in front of us.  This is the way the world generally thinks of the world hope.  It is a wishful desire for better things to come.

How does the meaning of the word hope change when you become a believer in Jesus Christ?  Instead of simply having a wish or desire for a certain thing to happen, the word hope means certainty for a believer in Jesus Christ.  A believer never has to worry about who will be around to provide support, for they have the certainty of the Holy Spirit living within their heart to provide strength, wisdom, power, and comfort.  This is not just a feeling, but an absolute certainty of His presence and power in their lives.  

The believer also knows with total certainty that there is eternal life in heaven that follows this temporary life on earth.  Imagine the hope that comes from knowing without a doubt that you will have endless thousands upon thousands of years of living without old age, hunger, persecution, disease, or death.  A believer knows that heaven is real and, therefore, hell is real, but this is not a concern to the believer, for they have absolute certainty that living in heaven with Jesus Christ is their next destination.   

A born again, child of God, a true believer in Jesus Christ, who has Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master, looks at difficult times with an expectant hope.  The word expectant means that they are eager for the future to come, and they are excited about what is coming.  They can be expectant because they have absolute certainty in the promises that God has provided for them.  

They can easily ask themselves, how can I fail to overcome the problems of this world with the power of the Holy Spirit of Christ in my heart.  How can death harm me, if I know what is going to happen next?  Death is nothing more than a weigh station to eternity. 

In his final words to Timothy, Paul expressed this expectant hope eloquently.

2 Tim 4:6-8
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
KJV

There was no doubt in Paul’s mind what laid beyond the grave.  He was absolutely certain of his eternity with Jesus.  He knew that Jesus would be waiting for him, ready to say, welcome home thou good and faithful servant.  This is the expectant hope of the believer.  Listen to this podcast to learn how you can have an expectant hope.