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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 Kept by the Power of God

Kept by the Power of God

Text

1 Peter 1:4-5(AMP)

4 [born anew] into an inheritance which is imperishable [beyond the reach of change] and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, 

5 who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

Scripture Reading.

1 Peter 1:3-5 (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, 

4 [born anew] into an inheritance which is imperishable [beyond the reach of change] and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you, 

5 who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

Introduction 

Just as a lake relects an image, Peter’s writings reflect his experience.

Peter had lost face but not faith with his denials of his Lord.

Jesus, true to His promise, had kept Peter from satan.

Peter is now busy strengthening the brethren.

Luke 21:31-32 (AMP)

31 So you too, when you see these things happening, know [without any doubt] that the kingdom of God is near. 

32 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [those living at that definite period of time preceding the second coming] will not pass away until everything takes place.

  1. Who are the kept?
  1. Not.
  1. Those who on world fortune has smiled.
  2. Those who are politically powerful.
  3. Those exempt from earthly ills and misfortune.

B. But.

  1. Scattered, persecuted Christians in the provinces of Asia Minor.

1 Peter 1:1-2 (AMP)

A Living Hope, and a Sure Salvation

1 Peter, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,

To those [elect—both Jewish and Gentile believers] who live as exiles, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia [Minor], and Bithynia, who are chosen 

2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be yours in increasing abundance [as you walk closely with God].

1 Peter 1:6-8 (AMP)

6 In this you rejoice greatly, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 

7 so that the genuineness of your faith, which is much more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested and purified by fire, may be found to result in [your] praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and though you do not even see Him now, you believe and trust in Him and you greatly rejoice and delight with inexpressible and glorious joy,

2. The elect.

This is a term for saved persons.

God, to be God, must be sovereign.

Humans, to be humans, must be free.

God has provided a way of salvation by which a person is free to accept or reject His grace.

God does not elect that some will be saved and some lost, but He in John 3:16 (AMP)

16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and]]only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life.

You can “make your calling and elect sure” 2 Peter 1:10 (AMP)

10 Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin];

Follow the instructions in 2 Peter 1:1-10.

1 John 2:3 (AMP)

3 And this is how we know [daily, by experience] that we have come to know Him [to understand Him and be more deeply acquainted with Him]: if we habitually keep [focused on His precepts and obey] His commandments (teachings).

One simple explanation of election is, “God votes for you. The devil votes against you. You cast the deciding vote.”

2. Who keeps them?

God, by His power.

God pledges His power, as manifested in raising Jesus from the dead, to keep the elect.

1 Peter 1:5 (AMP)

5 who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

Peter had learned to trust God.

So had Paul in 2 Timothy 1:12 (AMP)

12 This is why I suffer as I do. Still, I am not ashamed; for I know Him [and I am personally acquainted with Him] whom I have believed [with absolute trust and confidence in Him and in the truth of His deity], and I am persuaded [beyond any doubt] that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day [when I stand before Him].

And Jude had in Jude 24-25 (AMP)

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling or falling into sin, and to present you unblemished [blameless and faultless] in the presence of His glory with triumphant joy and unspeakable delight, 

25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and power, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

And Jesus had in John 10:27-30 (AMP)

27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. 

28 And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand. 

29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 

30 I and the Father are One [in essence and nature].”

3. From what are they kept?

  1. From spiritual defeat, for example.
  1. Peter in Luke 22:31-32 (AMP)

31 “Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; 

32 but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith].”

And in Acts 4:3 and Acts 5:17-42

2. Stephen in Acts 7:54-60 (AMP)

Stephen Put to Death

54 Now when they heard this [accusation and understood its implication], they were cut to the heart, and they began grinding their teeth [in rage] at him. 

55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit and led by Him, gazed into heaven and saw the glory [the great splendor and majesty] of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 

56 and he said, “Look! I see the heavens opened up [in welcome] and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 

57 But they shouted with loud voices, and covered their ears and together rushed at him [considering him guilty of blasphemy]. 

58 Then they drove him out of the city and began stoning him; and the witnesses placed their outer robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 

59 They continued stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit!” 

60 Then falling on his knees [in worship], he cried out loudly, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them [do not charge them]!” When he had said this, he fell asleep [in death].

3. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (AMP)

A Thorn in the Flesh

7 Because of the surpassing greatness and extraordinary nature of the revelations [which I received from God], for this reason, to keep me from thinking of myself as important, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan, to torment and harass me—to keep me from exalting myself! 

8 Concerning this I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might leave me; 

9 but He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation]; for [My] power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in [your] weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ [may completely enfold me and] may dwell in me. 

10 So I am well pleased with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, and with difficulties, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak [in human strength], then I am strong [truly able, truly powerful, truly drawing from God’s strength].

B. From the devil’s power.

Satan has no power except by God’s permission, have a look at Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-6 and Luke 22:31-32.

God can bring good out of what seems to be evil, look at Romans 8:28-39.

4. How are the elect kept?

“Through faith” it says in 1 Peter 1:5 (AMP)

5 who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time.

Faith is a necessary condition rather than an arbitrary one.

Faith is willingness to put your life in God’s hands.

Hebrews 11:6 (AMP) says

6 But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

Faith is willingness to be kept.

The bank cannot keep someone’s money unless it is deposited in the bank.

God cannot keep a person, unless the person is willing to be kept.

5. Kept for what? What is at the end of our keeping?

  1. 1 Peter 1:5 says “unto salvation”
  1. Salvation as a past experience, John 3:16, Romans 8:1 and Ephesians 2:8-10

2. Salvation as a present experience, Romans 13:11, Philippians 2:12-13.

3. Salvation as a future consummation “ at the appearing of Jesus Christ”, Matthew 25:31-46, 1 Peter 1:7, 1 John 3:1-3

B. 1 Peter 1:4 says “an inheritance”

  1. Incorruptible. 

Not subject to decay, as are all things on this earth. Matthew 6:19-21 (AMP) says.

19 “Do not store up for yourselves [material] treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 

20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; 

21 for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.

2. Undefiled.

The first paradise was defiled by sin.

Sin will not enter the heavenly paradise.

3. Heavenly treasure that cannot fade away. 1 Peter 1:4 (AMP)

4 [born anew] into an inheritance which is imperishable [beyond the reach of change] and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for you,

  1. Hear Jesus in John 14:1-3 (AMP)

Jesus Comforts His Disciples

14 “Do not let your heart be troubled (afraid, cowardly). Believe [confidently] in God and trust in Him, [have faith, hold on to it, rely on it, keep going and] believe also in Me. 

2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you, because I am going there to prepare a place for you. 

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and I will take you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also. 

b. Hear Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:9 (AMP)

9 but just as it is written [in Scripture], “Things which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard,

And which have not entered the heart of man,

All that God has prepared for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed].”

And in Philippians 3:20-21 (AMP)

20 But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 

21 who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body.

And in 2 Timothy 4:6-8(AMP)

6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure [from this world] is at hand and I will soon go free. 

7 I have fought the good and worthy and noble fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith [firmly guarding the gospel against error]. 

8 In the future there is reserved for me the [victor’s] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and longed for and welcomed His appearing.

c. Here John in Revelation.

  1. A holy place, Revelation 21:1-3(AMP)

The New Heaven and Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (vanished), and there is no longer any sea. 

2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, arrayed like a bride adorned for her husband; 

3 and then I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “See! The tabernacle of God is among men, and He will live among them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them [as their God,]

Revelation 22:1-5 (AMP)

The Perfect Life

22 Then the angel showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb (Christ), 

2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 

3 There will no longer exist anything that is cursed [because sin and illness and death are gone]; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve and worship Him [with great awe and joy and loving devotion]; 

4 they will [be privileged to] see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 

5 And there will no longer be night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign [as kings] forever and ever.

(2) Exempt from weariness, Revelation 7:16 (AMP)

16 They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any [scorching] heat;

(3) Exempt from pain, Revelation 7:17 (AMP)

17 for the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of the waters of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes [giving them eternal comfort].”

And Revelation 21:4 (AMP)

4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.”

(4) A place of service, Revelation 7:15 (AMP)

15 For this reason, they are [standing] before the throne of God; and they serve Him [in worship] day and night in His temple; and He who sits on the throne will spread His tabernacle over them and shelter and protect them [with His presence].

Conclusion.

God keeps the heavenly home for those who are kept for it.

We have a heavenly home reserved for us.

The Lord has prepared it and keeps it for us, “who are being protected and shielded by the power of God through your faith for salvation that is ready to be revealed [for you] in the last time. 1 Peter 1:5 (AMP)

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

2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY

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