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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.

God’s People Have a Living Hope

Text

1 Peter 1:3 (AMP)

3 Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant and boundless mercy has caused us to be born again [that is, to be reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose] to an ever-living hope and confident assurance through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Scripture Reading.

1 Peter 3:15 (AMP)

15 But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 5:10 (AMP)

10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace [who imparts His blessing and favor], who called you to His own eternal glory in Christ, will Himself complete, confirm, strengthen, and establish you [making you what you ought to be].

Introduction 

Hope, along with faith and love, is one of the three personal graces of a Christian.

1 Corinthians 13:13 (AMP)

13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.

Peter had experienced the death of hope when Jesus was crucified and the renewal of hope when Jesus was resurrected.

Peter praised God that He has has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

Note especially the word “again”.

Hope had died and was revived by Jesus’ resurrection.

  1. The death of hope.
  1. Hope died for Peter when Jesus died.

Peter had affirmed Jesus as the Messiah, The Son of God in Matthew 16:16 (AMP)

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the Son of the living God.”

He misunderstood the nature of the Messiah, Matthew 16:21-23 (AMP)

Jesus Foretells His Death

21 From that time on Jesus began to show His disciples [clearly] that He must go to Jerusalem, and endure many things at the hands of the elders and the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and be killed, and be raised [from death to life] on the third day. 

22 Peter took Him aside [to speak to Him privately] and began to reprimand Him, saying, “May God forbid it! This will never happen to You.” 

23 But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on things of God, but on things of man.”

But he was loyal to Jesus, have a look at John 6:66-69 (AMP)

Peter’s Confession of Faith

66 As a result of this many of His disciples abandoned Him, and no longer walked with Him. 

67 So Jesus said to the twelve [disciples], “You do not want to leave too, do you?” 

68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You [alone] have the words of eternal life [you are our only hope]. 

69 We have believed and confidently trusted, and [even more] we have come to know [by personal observation and experience] that You are the Holy One of God [the Christ, the Son of the living God].”

And John 13:37 (AMP)

37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why cannot I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!”

During Jesus’ trial and crucifixion, Luke 22:54 (AMP) says

54 Then they seized Him, and led Him away and brought Him to the [elegant] house of the [Jewish] high priest. And Peter was following at a [safe] distance.

But Peter did follow.

Although the look on Jesus’ face after Peter denied Him in Luke 22:61 broke Peter’s heart, he still believed and had hope.

Luke 22:61 (AMP)

61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.”

Concerning Jesus’ crucifixion, Mark 15:31-32 (AMP) says,

31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were ridiculing and mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others [from death]; He cannot save Himself! 

32 Let the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe and trust [in Him]!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

Peter probably expected Jesus to do just that.

But when Jesus died, hope died.

It was night.

Perhaps none of the disciples expected Christ to rise again, even though He repeatedly told them that He would.

B. Hope died for the other disciples when Jesus died.

Lets look at some illustrations from Scripture.

  1. Mark 16:1-3 (AMP)

The Resurrection

16 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome purchased [sweet-smelling] spices, so that they might go and anoint Him. 

2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 

3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

When the angels at the empty tome reminded them Jesus’ promise to rise on the third day, Luke 24:8 (AMP) says

8 And they remembered His words,

2. The disciples refused to believe the women’s report about the empty tomb and the angels, because Luke 24:11 (AMP)

11 But their report seemed to them like idle talk and nonsense, and they would not believe them.

However, Peter and John did run to the tomb to find out about the grave robbery.

Peter saw the cloth that had been around Jesus’ head.

The cloth was still lying in its place, seperate from the linen.

Finally the other disciple  also went inside.

He saw and believed is says in John 20:7-8 (AMP)

7 and the [burial] face-cloth which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the [other] linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself. 

8 So the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, went in too; and he saw [the wrappings and the face-cloth] and believed [without any doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead].

This is evidence that John had not believed before this experience.

3. Cleopas and his unnamed companion had no hope.

Referring to Jesus who had been crucified they said in, Luke 24:21 (AMP)

21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel and set our nation free. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.

2. The revival of hope by Jesus’ resurrection.

  1. Jesus’ appearances.

To the women in Luke 24:1-8

To Mary Magdalene in John 20:1-18

To Cleopas and his friend in Luke 24:13-32.

To Simon Peter in Luke 24:33-35, and 1 Corinthians 15:5

To all the disciples except Thomas in Luke 24:36-43 and John 20:19-25.

To all the disciples the next Sunday night in John 20:26-31

To seven disciples by the Sea of Galilee, Jesus repeated the miraculous haul of fish, as at the time of Peter’s call to the ministry, and reaffirmed Peter’s apostleship in John 21.

He appeared to about five hundred, at once, perhaps at the mountain in Galilee as Jesus had appointed before His death in Matthew 28:16-20 and 1 Corinthians 15:6

To James, the half brother of Jesus in 1 Corinthians 15:7

And to the disciples at Jerusalem, then at the mount of olives and the ascension in Luke 24:44-53 and acts 1:3-12.

B. Peter and the other disciples now knew that Christ lived.

They witnessed to this truth even to the point of exile and martyrdom.

C. Their Scriptures had been reinterpreted by Jesus.

He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

He showed them in the Old Testament, Luke 24:46-47 (AMP)

46 and said, “And so it is written, that the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 

47 and that repentance [necessary] for forgiveness of sins would be preached in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

D. Jesus commissioned them to preach the gospel to all nations.

They were to start in Jerusalem, then go to Judea and Samaria, and then to the whole world.

They were to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit to inaugurate the gospel age.

They obeyed, and at Pentecost the Holy Spirit came as promised. 

Check out Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 24:48-49, John 20:21, and Acts 1:2.

Conclusion.

Christian hope is reasonable.

Every reason for believing in God the Father and God the Son is a reason for hope.

Every experience of God the Holy Spirit is a reason for hope, including our salvation and the witness of the Holy Spirit.

And the witness of Peter and others whose hope was revived by Jesus’ resurrection is a reason for hope.

Until next time

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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

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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