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This week we continue our series titled “Standing firm under stress” the messages will come from Peter’s first epistle.

Peter knew what it meant to be under pressure, and he wrote to people who were under the pressure of persecution. 

His book speaks to the personal needs of God’s people today.

Today we are talking about Exhortation to Consecration

Exhortation to Consecration

Text

1 Peter 1:13 (AMP)

13 So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Scripture Reading.

1 Peter 1:13-2-8 (AMP)

Introduction 

I heard a story about a little boy who was very excited when he first saw a circus.

He said to his grandmother, “If ever went to just one circus , you would never go to a prayer meeting ever again.”

But that was just the boys appraisal, because his grandmother had a great joy that he just couldn’t yet understand.

Why be a Christian?

Why be holy?

Why be persecuted for Jesus sake?

How do you answer people who say, “It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?” Malachi 3:14.

What did Peter say?

His reply is in God’s grace providing an eternal plan of salvation, past, present, and future, as outlined in 1 Peter 1:1-12.

The word “therefore” in our text if you read the NIV points back to God’s gracious plan as the ground of Peter’s call to holiness.

  1. As children of God the Father, be obedient. 1 Peter 13-25 AMP.

A. What are we as Christians exhorted to do?

  1. “Have minds that are alert” (verse 13)

Be ready to accomplish God’s will.

2. Be “Fully sober” (verse 13) 

Live moderately.

3. “Set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at His coming” (verse 13)

4. “Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. (verse 14 and 1 Peter 2:1)

5. “Be holy, because God is holy” (verses 15 and 16)

6. “Live in reverent fear” (verse 17)

God is worthy of reverence.

7. Be obedient to God the Holy Spirit, especially as He leads you to love others unconditionally.

B. Why are Christians exhorted to consecration?

  1. Because Jesus is coming. 

He will return at the end of the gospel age.

He also comes to believers at death.

2. We are children of the heavenly Father.

God is holy, so we need to act in such a way that we are recognised as His children. (verses 14-17 and Matthew 5:9)

3. The price paid for redemption (look at verses 18-23 and 2 corinthians 5:14 and 1 John 4:19.)

4. God can be trusted.

His Word is sure ( verses 24-25 and Isaiah 40:8)

2. As babies in Christ, grow.

1 Peter 2:1-3 (AMP)

As Newborn Babes

2 So put aside every trace of malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander and hateful speech; 

2 like newborn babies [you should] long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may be nurtured and grow in respect to salvation [its ultimate fulfillment], 

3 if in fact you have [already] tasted the goodness and gracious kindness of the Lord.

No-one is born fully developed, either physically or spiritually.

Babies are not expected to walk and talk at birth.

They are expected to take nourishment and grow.

God has provided “pure spiritual milk,” His Word, so that by it we may grow up in our salvation now that we have tasted that the Lord is good. (verse 2) 

When we are born again, we come into the kingdom of god as a spiritual baby.

We need to take nourishment and grow.

3. As living stones, be the living temple of God.

1 Peter 2:4-8 (AMP)

As Living Stones

4 Come to Him [the risen Lord] as to a living Stone which men rejected and threw away, but which is choice and precious in the sight of God. 

5 You [believers], like living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house for a holy and dedicated priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. 

6 For this is contained in Scripture:

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen stone, a precious (honored) Cornerstone,

And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will never be disappointed [in his expectations].”

7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe [in Him as God’s only Son—the Source of salvation]; but for those who disbelieve,

“The [very] stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief Cornerstone,”

8 and,

“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense”;

for they stumble because they disobey the word [of God], and to this they [who reject Him as Savior] were also appointed.

In this bold passage, the believers are conceived as living stones built on Jesus Christ, the foundation stone, to form a living temple in which God dwells.

In the light of Peter’s experience at Caesarea Philippi in Matthew 16:13-23, it is interesting that he did not consider himself to be the foundation of the church, but he understood Christ to be.

Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:22 are the Old Testament scriptures quoted, but Peter was preaching what he learned from Jesus as recorded in Matthew 21:42-44.

The religious leaders who were supposed to be experts rejected Jesus as a stone set aside.

God made Him the head of the corner look at verses 6-7 and Acts 2:36.

Peter had preached this sermon before in acts 4:8-12. 

Acts 4:8-12 (AMP)

8 Then Peter, filled with [the power of] the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people [members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish High Court], 

9 if we are being put on trial today [to interrogate us] for a good deed done to [benefit] a disabled man, as to how this man has been restored to health, 

10 let it be known and clearly understood by all of you, and by all the people of Israel, that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you [demanded be] crucified [by the Romans and], whom God raised from the dead—in this name [that is, by the authority and power of Jesus] this man stands here before you in good health. 

11 This Jesus is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief Cornerstone. 

12 And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].”

Paul had essentially the same idea in Ephesians 2:19-22 (AMP)

19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens [outsiders without rights of citizenship], but you are fellow citizens with the saints (God’s people), and are [members] of God’s household, 

20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the [chief] Cornerstone, 

21 in whom the whole structure is joined together, and it continues [to increase] growing into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, set apart, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]. 

22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Jesus is the head of the corner for believers, but He is a stone of stumbling to the disobedient.

Conclusion.

We haven’t finished this message.

We will continue it next week with more illustrations of the Christian life and more reasons why Christians should be consecrated.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!

You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org

When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.

So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us

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