The Master’s Class, Summit Church
OUR EXAMPLE IS CHRIST (1 Peter 2:19-21)

OUR EXAMPLE IS CHRIST (1 Peter 2:19-21)

June 19, 2016
How many people do you know that would suffer gruesome torture and death for you?  I would suspect not many, if there was anyone at all.  Yet, Christ suffered for us, and the truth is that we don’t even really understand the magnitude of the suffering Christ endured for each of us and for mankind in general.

When we think of Christ, it is generally after He came to live among us.  We think of the baby Jesus, the man Jesus, the miracle worker Jesus, the teacher Jesus, and the Jesus that died on the cross, who was buried and rose again.  We think of Jesus as we see Him portrayed in movies and TV, as a Man.  As believers, we also think of Him in His risen and resurrected glory.  This is the Jesus we normally think of.  But that is a very limited view of our Lord.  Jesus Christ was much more than that.  

I love the description that John Phillips gives of who the Lord Jesus really is.  I am paraphrasing here, but he says that the Bible gives us a picture of who the Lord Jesus was way back before time ever began, dwelling in a light unapproachable and living in perfect harmony with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit in unimaginable glory.  He was uncreated, self-existing, coeternal, coequal, and coexistent with the Father and the Spirit.  He was, and is, God the Son, the second person of the triune Godhead. His wisdom was infinite, His love fathomless, and His power without measure or end.  His nature and attributes were those of the living God.  He basked in the sunshine of the Father's love in endless delight.  Eternal ages rolled by without end.  All was love, joy, and peace, beyond all imagination or thought. And then, in the council chambers of eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit agreed that They would act in creation.  The Son was the active agent. 

Col 1:16
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
KJV

All things were created by Him.  John tells us the same thing.  

John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
KJV

The Son put forth His wisdom and His power, and hosts of angels appeared, rank upon rank.  Galaxies of stars sprang into being and filled space with billions of centers of light.  Planet Earth, a bright blue sphere in the Milky Way, was chosen to be the home of man. Life, in a countless variety of forms, appeared at His command.  Man was created and became another exhibit of the Son’s wisdom and power.

This is the One who willingly chose to step down from His throne in heaven and come to earth as God incarnate in man in order to suffer for us because sin raised its head in the universe and was transplanted to Earth.  Adam fell.  Sin entered, and death by sin.  Now the Creator must become the Christ.  Prophet after prophet arose to foretell the coming of a Kinsman-Redeemer, a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

So God's Son became the Seed of the woman, the Seed of Abraham, the Seed of David.  He was to be the Lion of the tribe of Judah.  He was the Child born and the Son given.  He was called the Wonderful Counselor, the Father of eternity, the Mighty God, the Prince of peace.

He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, the Lord's Anointed, Prophet, Priest, and King.  Page after page of the Old Testament told the story.  Book after book was written, all about Him.  Detail added to detail increased the wonder of it all.  He stood apart from all others, robed in majesty, the altogether lovely One, and the chiefest among ten thousand, the One who suffered for us.

Peter saw it happen.  He was an eyewitness of much of it.  The suffering began when Jesus was but eight days old.  He was circumcised.  It was His first personal experience of pain.  He grew up.  He began His ministry.  He suffered at the hands of the people He had come to save.  He knew loneliness, rejection, and malicious hatred.  His family disbelieved His claims.  His disciples let Him down.  Peter himself denied Him with oaths and curses, and Judas sold Him for a pocketful of change. 

He wept His heart out in Gethsemane.  He was falsely accused, beaten, and abused by His own people, then He was mocked, scourged, and crucified by the soldiers of Rome. He endured the torments of death on a cross. Finally, He was made sin for us and abandoned by God.

Peter says, Leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.  As believers we are the apprentice and Christ is the Master Carpenter.  He is our example of how to live the life of a victorious Christian.  He is our example of how we are to react to suffering, living in a moment-by-moment cooperation with the indwelling Spirit of God.
DO I REALLY HAVE TO HONOR MY BOSS? (1 Peter 2:17-18)

DO I REALLY HAVE TO HONOR MY BOSS? (1 Peter 2:17-18)

June 12, 2016
But my boss is moody, unfair, unjust, corrupt, and just plain awful to me.  You can’t be serious; do I really have to honor my boss?

In our lesson today, Peter will talk about how we treat those around us.  The good people and the bad people.  The popular people and the social misfits.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ and those who have rejected Christ, and even those who we work for.  God wants us to win others to Christ, that is our mission.  We won’t do that if we treat people poorly, or if we are in an adversarial relationship with them.  People respond to those who treat them with respect.  You don’t have to like them, or what they stand for, or even what they have done to you or others, but you can still treat them with respect and honor.  

I have a son who works as a prison guard in a maximum security prison.  This is a place that houses the worst of the worst in our state penitentiary system.  Some guards use their position of authority to abuse the prisoners and treat them with despite.  The prisoners react to this treatment with violence and it endangers all of the guards and other prisoners.  My son has learned that if you treat them with respect, always watchful for deception, that the prisoners will generally respond with obedience and a level of respect in return.  This is not to say that the prisoners would not harm you in a blink of an eye, but people, even really bad people, respond to being treated with respect. 

God wants His ambassadors to be seen as law abiding, caring people, who treat others with respect, even in the face of persecution.  

Peter says that we are to do this, For so is the will of God.  This is not optional.  To do otherwise is to be out of God's will.  Our first priority is unto God.  This applies to all of our relationships.  

Sounds a lot like what my father told me, and what I told my own kids.  There are just times that a parent must say to their child, I want you to do this, because I said so.  I don’t have to explain myself, just do it because I want you to.  

Now, fortunately, God is in the process of giving us a further explanation for His command to obey, but He starts out with, you are to do this because it is my will for you.  Pretty simple. So simple, even I can understand it.  Be obedient to the laws of man, or be out of God’s will.  My dad would expect my response to such a statement from him to be, yes, sir.  God expects the same thing.  
WHY SHOULD WE OBEY THE LAWS OF MAN? (1 Peter 2:15-16)

WHY SHOULD WE OBEY THE LAWS OF MAN? (1 Peter 2:15-16)

June 5, 2016
So, last week we continued the theme of submitting to the ordinances of man in order that we might bring glory to God.  We know that we are going to be persecuted unjustly.  The secular world hates Christianity, and they will do everything they can to destroy us.  They will tell horrible lies about us.  To know this is true, you have only to look at the headlines of our own country.  The democratic party, and its progressive agenda, is focused totally on removing God, those who worship Him, and His morals about what is right and wrong from the public square, and for the most part, they have succeeded by telling lies about us.  

So why would God command us to obey the laws that these corrupt governments create?  

Our submission is limited only by our adherence to God’s laws in priority over man’s law.  But, we are to obey man’s law right up to the point that it violates God’s law, and that is difficult to understand why.  It is, of course, contrary to our natural desire for justice and fairness.  And believe me, nothing is more distasteful that being forced to obey the laws of the moral degenerates who are pushing their progressive agenda.  But God says I must.  I can and should fight for what is good and moral by God’s definitions, but I must do it within the law.  

The key to understanding this seeming paradox is that we must remember that we are the ambassadors of the almighty God, and all of our words, our actions, and our fights, must bring glory to His name, or we have failed Him.  Our mission is to change the spiritual hearts of people by introducing them to our Lord Jesus Christ, and let God take care of the rest.  Revival can only occur when the heart is changed by God.    

In our lesson today, Peter begins to give us an explanation for our submission.