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Jun 05, 2022

Living Hope

Living Hope

Passage: 1 Peter 1:1

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Joyful Exiles

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, identity, worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, ministry, sermon, bible, gospel, hope, salvation, holy spirit, 1 peter, baptism, believe, inspiration, jesus christ, the bible, christianity, bible study, blessed, holy bible, the way, living hope, first peter, christian identity, identity in christ, gods plan, live music, bible stories, i believe, bible teaching, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, burnt hickory worship

First Peter begins with – to the exiles scattered throughout the provinces who have been chosen. Peter is trying to encourage these fledgling Christians who are scattered to remain steadfast in the joy of Christ. Pastor Matt shows us that we too can live out joyfully even though we are exiles in this world. We should remember that God has chosen us, and He gives us a living hope. We walk out that living hope by being prepared, looking to Christ and not back to our past, being different, standing amazed and loving big. The real question is, is God just useful to you or is he beautiful to you? What do you continue to struggle with running back to that you need to ask God to forgive you for? Are you walking in living hope? What is robbing you of your joy in remembering that God has chosen you? If you’ve got questions or need someone to pray with, then reach out – We’d love to connect with you and help you find your next step in your faith journey.

Well, good morning, Church. Two things before we jump into the message this morning. Number one, a huge shout out to Brian Foster for bringing the word last week on just making us just examine our hearts a little bit. Just a great word from him last week. I just wanted to publicly appreciate his faithfulness to the text. Also, secondly, just want to reiterate just for a moment what Anna Grace was saying earlier. VBS is coming and we need your help. I mean, desperately need your help. The reality is this week we may have to shut down preschool and kindergarten registration. And what that means is, is that they can't come. Nobody else from the community can come if we can't get some volunteers. So, if you are in VBS retirement, come on out. Right. We need you. I know it's not barrel drinks and butter cookies anymore, but it's just as good. OK. I promise you; we need you and you can really help us out in those roles.

If you got a copy of Scripture, I want you to go with me to the book of First Peter. First Peter. Today we are starting a new series through the first through the book of First Peter called Joyful Exiles. Joyful Exiles. You say, Matt, why all this talk about exiles? Well. Reality is, that's what the book was written for. The book was written to a group of people that had been scattered, that had been persecuted, that had been driven away from their home for their faith. And now they're looking at their lives and they're looking at culture, and they're realizing that our life and our beliefs and our way of living doesn't necessarily add up to the way this is. They're being persecuted. They're being oppressed, and they're living in a land that just doesn't feel like their way of life is the same as the land that they're living in, to which if you're really paying attention, you're kind of going already. Hmm. Kind of sounds like ours, right? We're not exactly being persecuted for our faith, but we're not being celebrated for being believers.

Our life and our beliefs don't necessarily look like what the culture is pushing towards us. So, what we're going to do over these next weeks is we're going to look at what it looks like to be a joyful exile. A person that is living in a land that doesn't necessarily look like what I believe and what God has called us to believe. Before we do that, though, we got to look at who wrote the book. The Book of First. Peter, I know this is going to surprise you was written by none other than Peter, right? It's in the title. It's pretty easy to figure out. It was written by the Apostle Peter. And most of us, if you grew up in church, if you read anything about him or found out about him, most of us have figured out that we love Peter. We have this pull towards Peter. And the reality is we do because we're a lot like Peter in a lot of what we do. Peter had a problem with his mouth. So do we. Peter had an outspokenness about him that got him in trouble a lot. So do we. Peter would get angry. He liked to fight a little bit. He liked to be snippy a little bit. He liked to say what was on his mind. So do we. Peter wasn't really stuffy. He wasn't really churchy. He just loved the Lord. It seems like when we study the Scripture and we look at, like, the apostle Paul right on this side, the apostle Paul is like, up here. He's like, in the clouds. He's like, Well, I'll never be that. And then you look over here at Peter, and you're like, well, I might could be that, right? I'm. I could be pretty close to what Peter is. Paul is like the Pharisee of Pharisees, the valedictorian of his class. He was the best of the best. Peter, over here, he's like, I'm a fisherman, and I might punch you in the mouth.

I mean, that was basically how Peter kind of viewed life. Peter would be the guy that would wear camouflage crocs with socks in public and not care. He just knew who he was. He knew his identity. You're getting the contrast, right? You see, Peter, was this down to earth guy that he just loved Jesus and he wanted other people to love Jesus. And he wanted to speak into the culture just to be able to say this is who God is. And if you will follow him, if you will love him, man, he will make peace and joy come into your heart. So that's what we're going to do over these next weeks. We're going to dove into first Peter, we're going all the month of June. We're going to pull some principles from it, God willing, and we're going to look at what it looks like for you and me to live as joyful exiles. Here we go. Let's jump into the book first. Peter, chapter one, verse one. So is this Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ to God's elect exiles, scattered throughout the providence of Pontius and Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. There's two key words in that first verse that we need to look at for a moment, because they kind of intro the whole book. They give us a glimpse into what the whole book is going to be looking at and teaching us. The first word that it told us is this this word elect, or maybe your version or your translation says the word chosen. They're both the same word. And that literally just means that Peter is writing this book to a group of people who knew Jesus, who knew God, who loved God, and they knew that their home was not in this place. They were elect. They were his children. The second word that we just saw in that first verse is just the word exile. It's the word exile. And exiles speak to this current relationship that these people and us have to the world that we are living in. Now, as I said, Peter is speaking to a group of believers that have been scattered from their home. They've been run out from their home. They've been persecuted away from where they really live. And now they've been literally exiled from their home. But us, we have to see this as Peter speaking to us, not as a literal exile, but as a metaphorical exile, as a person that is living as a Christian everywhere, that has been essentially living here on this earth as an exile. You say Matt, what does that mean to live as an exile?

Well, I'm glad you asked, because that's the whole point of the book. Peter is saying that all Christians should have this viewpoint that we are living in a land that is not eternally our home. That we're just here for a period of time for a set amount of time, and we are living in a place that we are not to call home. Let me flesh out this word, exile, just for a minute to kind of give you a little bit of a depth of what Peter is saying. When you are living or if I'm living in a land that is not my home, if I'm living in another country, if I'm in another country, I am one of three types of people. The first kind of people that live in another land is what we would just describe as an immigrant, an immigrant. An immigrant, quite simply, is a person that is in another country that they weren't born in. But they want to make that country their home. They want to invest in that country. They want to land in that country. They want to live in that country forever. And they are finding all of their joy in the new location that they're in. You see, an immigrant wants to settle somewhere forever. And to be quite honest, this is how some Christians live their lives, isn't it? Is that we live in this earth like this is our eternal home. We live here and we look at the pleasure of this life and the comfort of this life. And we look and we obsess over the earthly things of this life. So, what do we do? We only stress about this life and what is happening right now. And what Peter is saying here is that is not the view of how we should be living. We are not immigrants in this place. But also, secondly, we are also not tourists in this place.

You see, if you're in a country that is not your own or in a place that is not your own, you're either an immigrant first or secondly, you're a tourist. Now, a tourist, quite simply, is a person that is visiting a place, right? That was me this week. In Arizona. Love to visit. Don't want to live there. It's hot, right? It is hot. A tourist is a person that doesn't invest where they're at. They're just visiting and here's what they do. They don't make any effort to connect with the land. They don't make any effort to connect with the people. As a tourist, you stay huddled in your group, you speak your language, you keep your little culture. You get mad when there's not a Starbucks when you want to Starbucks or your restaurant, right? You don't really care about the political or the cultural situation. Sure. Because you're just designing, right? I'm going to stay huddled with my group of people over there. And if those people over there are going to hell in a handbasket, I don't really care. I'm just a tourist. I'm busting out of this place on Friday afternoon going back to the South. Hey, man, that's what a tourist does. Tourists just there for a little while. The third type of person that lives in another country or another land that is not their own is what Peter is describing here. And that's an exile. An exile. Now, an exile is how we're to view life and exile is just a person whose home is somewhere else. But for an undetermined amount of time, they're making this place home. Why? Because they know that their home is somewhere else. You say an exile is a person that invests in the place. They invest in relationships, they learn culture, they're not going to attracted to it. Why? Because they're looking towards their real home. And their real home is where they're going for eternity.

This is what Peter says that our view of how we are operating in this place called Earth should be. We're not an immigrant making this place our eternal home. We're not a tourist that's just flippantly walking through here. And we don't care what it is. We are an exile that should be investing, should be paying into, should be getting to know culture, should be making a difference. But the reality is we should be looking at all times towards our eternal home, and we should be satisfied with just enough here knowing that our treasure is in a different place. That's the whole point of the book that we are exiles as believers we're exiles. So, Peter wants us to be this, wants this to be our ultimate mentality towards where we live. And let me just say this, just as we begin to walk into this. Man, if we could just grab hold of the fact that this is not home, man, it would change us, wouldn't it? Peter gives us a quick challenge when he jumps into the book, and he gives us these three challenges to live as exiles. And the first thing he does is he just begs us to walk out our identity. He gives us, gives us this challenge to walk our identity as a joyful exile. And it makes sense, right? It makes sense that we should be joyful exiles. Because we should know as a believer, listen, as a believer, this is not your home. But so why is it that we get so obsessed with culture and what we are here and what other people think about us? And we shouldn't let it bother us. As exiles when we look different and when we talk different and when we love different.

Here's the reality. If you are walking in Jesus, you are going to be different. You're going to. Why? Because this is not your home. This is not your culture. This is what we should expect. We should always be different. I'm not talking about being that we are different. You know what I'm saying? That some other people are. I'm just saying we should love different; we should talk different; we should invest differently. We should our relationship should look different. That's what Peter's saying here. And that's expected out of an exile. Why because we have a different kingdom. We have a different set of values. We have a different ruler. We have a different goal in our lives. So let me say this. Let me just set you free. If you are really in tune with what God is saying in your life, you are going to look odd to the world. You're going to look odd to the world, extremely odd. Why? Because you're in rhythm with a different song. You're not in rhythm with what this world is saying. You're in rhythm with what who God is saying you are. Students, let me just set you free in this. You are going to be different. Quit being like everybody else. Just quit. Adults, listen, quit because it's not going to satisfy you. It's not if you're going to be a joyful exile, if you're going to be the person that realizes what Christ has done and you quit trying to look so much like the world quit. Now, I'm not saying go be weird, right? We don't like those. We're going to say that those weird people are weird, right? But I am saying this. You're going to be different and that's OK. You're going to be different. Should be out of sync, walk out your joyful exile purpose. Number two, Peter challenges us to remember that God has chosen you. You know why you can be a joyful exile? It's because this God who has chosen you. It's God who has set you free.

Look at the text. Peter continues in verse two, and he says this. He says to the elect exiles, watch this in verse two who have been chosen. You may want to circle that because I feel like somebody needs that right. You have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with His blood, grace and peace be yours in abundance. Peter opens up this book, and he shows us an incredible truth that I just want to hammer into us this morning. He shows us, listen, to this, that the whole Trinity is involved with your salvation. Every member of the Trinity is involved your salvation. You say Matt, why does that even matter? It matters because this if God has called us to be different and if God has called us to be exiles, if God has called us to be outcast, then Peter wants us to see who it is that is behind us, who it is, this for us, who it is that has called us. And what does he do? He starts with God, the father. Look at verse three. It says, Praise be to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great mercy. He has given us a new birth into a living hope. He's given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Now, keying on the word mercy here, because I want you to see it, is the father's mercy see that conceived the salvation plan for you. Now, that's important. And here's why. Some of us think when we look at God, the father, some of us think that we look at God, we look at God as kind of that Old Testament God of judgment, don't we? We look at God as this God that is ready to pour his wrath, ready to pour his rain, ready to judge everybody. And then all of a sudden, the loving Jesus, the son steps up the understanding son is like, Papa, let me save them. That's not how it works. That's not it. Jesus did not step into the way of God's plan and say, No, God, don't do it. No, it was God's mercy, God's mercy that conceived the plan of salvation for you. It was God's mercy who, catch this, who chose you, who chose you. You see, the father executed the plan. Listen, I'm going to get a little bit into some Trinitarian theology. There's a big word for you. The father executed the plan of salvation through his son Jesus. It was the father's plan. It was Jesus that lived out. It was the expression of the father's mercy for you. It was Jesus that purchased salvation through the death on the cross. He lived the life that I should live. He died the death that I deserved to die. Jesus was God dying on the cross. He didn't just die for us. He died instead of us. So, remember this. God has chosen you. He's chosen you from the beginning of time. The mercy of God created and filled out what the plan of salvation is going to look like. It was the life of Jesus who absolutely lived it out and made it possible for you and it is the Holy Spirit that seals you in the salvation that you have. There's the Trinity in your salvation. When you think you're weird, when you think you're an outcast, you think that nobody else looks like you and talks like you and loves like you just know this God the Father, God, the Son, God, the Holy Spirit is looking at you as theirs, and has sealed you into who you are. He has chosen you. And what has He done in choosing you? What has He given? Glad you asked. Number three. Here's the third challenge Embrace the God given living hope. Embrace it, love it. Grab hold of the God giving living hope that you have now. This is a weird word. Living Hope. It's two words. I hope it's something that you just kind of hold on to.

A living hope is a hope that goes beyond even death. It goes even farther extend beyond it. It's a hope that we only find in the resurrection of Jesus, where Jesus crushed sin and crushed death and now, he has given us the ability to have eternal hope, not just hope for tomorrow, but hope for eternity. So, look, our hope as exiles because we're exiles, right? Our hope as exiles is not bound in happiness here, and fame here, and relationships here, and money here, recognition here, being valued here, being in the right group here. No, our hope as an exile, our living hope is found in eternity, sealed through Jesus. The father came up with it, the Son sealed it, and the Holy Spirit lives it out in our life. So let me ask you the question. Where's your hope coming from? Where is it coming from? Because here's the thing. If it's coming from anywhere else other than God, the Father, God, the Son, God, the Holy Spirit, it is a bleeding hope and it's not a living hope. And I promise you at some point in your life it's going to give up on you.

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will. Where's your hope coming from? if that's not enough, Peter continues in the text and he says, Listen, that's the living hope. But let me just tell you what the living hope does for you. You know, one of the questions I had early on in my relationship with Jesus is, OK, God, I kind of get this idea that I've been saved out there, but what is it right now that you are doing in me in the Salvation? Well, Peter answers the question. Look at the benefits of the living hope. Verse 4. I'm going to go four through six. He says, here's what you get. You get an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. The inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who, through faith, are shielded by God's power until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. And watch this, the first part of verse six, and then we're going to talk about it. In all of this, you greatly rejoice. Now, Peter, right here. I want to pause right there because we're going to walk through the rest of those verses. Peter lays out a description or he lays out the benefits of what it is that we get in this living hope because really that's always our question. What's in it for me, right? What's in it for me in this thing? Number one, what's in it for you? Is this number one? Write it down. We get to know Jesus. We get to know Jesus. Did you see it in verse eight? Peter says that the goal of our salvation and the hope that sustains us, it is just in the fact that we know Jesus.

First Peter 1:8, first Peter 1:8. Let me read it to you. It says this You believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Do you know what that means? That means that the joy you have in your life, the hope that you have in your life that can sustain you through trials in this world is literally just knowing that you know Jesus, that you love God and you're enjoying God for He is the ultimate benefit. He's the ultimate goal of our life. He's the end of our salvation. So let me ask you this question. I just it hit me one morning this week. Is God useful to you or is God beautiful to you? You see that will help you wrap your mind around this idea of knowing God is important. Is it useful to you? You know, if God is just useful to you, that just literally means this. You're using him. You're using him for a better job, you're using him for a better life. You're using him for a family that might get along sometimes. You're using him for money. You're using him for better health. Or is he beautiful? Which literally means that, God, I love you because of what you have already done for me. And that's enough. And I know I can never pay it back. You get to know Jesus. You know that getting to know Jesus is only by the grace of God, right? You know you don't know Jesus just because you came up with a plan. You know Jesus because he let you know Him. You know Jesus, number one. But number two, the benefit is this. We get to be like Jesus. Number two, we get to be like Jesus. And really, this is God's ultimate goal for our life is that we would be like the son Jesus, that we would become like Jesus. Peter talks towards this goal in verse nine. What's what is what he says in verse nine is the goal of our faith.

First Peter, 1:9 says, For you are receiving the end result of your faith. The salvation of your souls. For you are receiving. Now leave that verse up there because there's something interesting in this verse. Look at the tense in the verse. For you are receiving. Now, most of us grew up thinking that salvation is only this moment that we will have one day when we are taken from this earth, right? When I am saved, when I'm saved from the earth. But Peter is saying, no, no, no, no, no, no, listen, your God is so big, and you can know as an exile you can be so joyful in being exiled in the fact that you are already receiving your salvation. You see, there's three parts of our salvation. This is not in your notes, but I think it's time for a little theology lesson right here, right? Not a theology lesson. Here it is. When you are saved. When you are saved, you are first of all, freed from the penalty of sin. You're free, you know, or maybe you don't know. When you invite Christ into your life, he forgives you for your past, for your present and for your future sins. He wipes the slate clean; he doesn't just wipe the slate thing clean. Listen to this. You are given the slate of Jesus you are given the purity of Jesus. This is called justification. If you want a big word to put out to the side right there, you are justified. You've been made just that happened at the moment of your salvation. But secondly, in salvation. The second part is that one day you will be freed from the presence of sin. You'll be free from the presence of sin. This is called glorification. If you want the big word, right? Glorification is one day when you die as a believer in Jesus, you will be fully glorified. You aren’t there yet. Hey man, look at your neighbor. Say you aren’t there yet, right? You're not there yet. But one day you will be fully like Jesus. You get this right, one day you will be made whole. One day you will be wiped totally clean from even the bent towards sin that we have in our life. This blows my mind that there will be a day in eternity when I leave this world that I will no longer struggle with pride. I will no longer struggle with saying the wrong things. I will no longer struggle with all the many struggles in this world. And that's going to be a big day. Amen. That's going to be an incredible day. So many of us remember what we're saved from, but we forget what we're saved to. We're saved to total glorification. So why not go ahead and set our mind into the path that God is going to one day put us in?

You see, the past, we're justified. The future we will be glorified. But in the middle now, right now, we are being freed from the power of sin, and that's called sanctification. Now you can impress people at lunch. That's called sanctification. Now, sanctification is the process of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, making us more and more and more and more and more like Jesus. I hope you are seeing how all these go together. We were justified and made whole. We are sanctified continually, over and over and over and over, becoming more like him, becoming more like him, and then one day we will be glorified. That's why Peter can say that you are right now experiencing the full joy of your salvation. You've got it right now. That's why when you look around and realize that you don't look like the rest of this world, that's OK. I don't care about the rest of this world. I know that I've been justified I've been glorified, and I've been sanctified and all the other "fied". And that's all that I need. I need Jesus. That's what He's done when he chose you. Number three. We got to move. We get to be with Jesus, his description. Look at it. We get to be, which is if it's not good enough to get to know Jesus, and then we get to be like Jesus, we get to be with Jesus. Don't lose sight of this, believers. Don't lose sight that you get to be with Jesus. For eternity, in eternity, in eternity. We get to be in the presence of Jesus. Look at verse 4. He says there's an inheritance that will never perish, that can never spoil, that can ever fade. And this inheritance is kept in heaven for you. You know what that means? Look at the scriptures. It'll never perish. What does that mean? It can't be destroyed. It'll never spoil. That is always perfect. It'll never fade that me just consistent. It's never going to get boring. And you realize that all of these are attributes of Jesus, right? But I just want you to realize this. Nobody can take this from you. The market can't have it. The world can't steal it. This is yours, believers. It's yours. No one can have it. We get to be with the eternal king, and he is storing up for us something that never perishes, never spoils, never fades. Believers, this is your living hope is to know Jesus is to be like Jesus is to be with Jesus. And listen, when that sinks into our hearts, students, it doesn’t really matter what the rest of the world looks like. Adults, when that sinks into our heart, it does not matter what the rest of our neighbors are doing. It doesn't matter what everybody else has. When this sinks into our heart, it changes our perspective in living in a land that is not our home. It's just a temporary place for us to be in.

Are there trials? Oh, yeah, there's trials. Do they hurt? You better believe they hurt. But the trials begin to loosen their grip, when we see that we are joyful exiles living temporarily in a place that is not my eternal home, knowing that I'm going there one day. And this world can't take it from me. That's salvation. That's salvation. That's not enough. Verse ten through twelve, Peter talks about the idea that the prophets were praying, God, I need your spirit like this. I need you to send me your spirit like this. I want your spirit to be in my life, in the salvation. In the verse 12, something interesting happens that I have to mention at the end of verse 12 it says this. It says that even the angels look into these things. Now, don't just speed past that, because in other words, here's what it means. This salvation that the Father initiated, that Jesus paid for, that the Holy Spirit has sealed in our life that we have now. And now we get to live in this living hope. Catch this, the angels want what we have. You say what the angels want, what I have? What are you talking about? Here's what makes the gospel so amazing. So personal, so true, so relevant to us that the angels are jealous in the salvation that we have. You do realize that angels have been there since the beginning of time. They've seen creation, they've seen the restoration, they've saw the Red Sea being split. They saw Jesus being crucified. They saw him raised from the dead. But they have never, catch this, experienced the salvation moment that God reached into your nasty heart and delivered you from. And they're jealous over the love that God has for us. That's what Peter says to us. Even the angels want it. Of course, they know about it, but they don't have a personal attachment to it too. Which is a great question for you and me, right?

Are you living in a life where you just know about the salvation like the angels? Or do you have the salvation? Has there been a moment in your life where you've hit the pause button and you've said, Hey, Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. And Lord Jesus, I know that I need you. And Jesus, I need you to forgive me come into my life.

Because listen, if you haven't done that, you are not living as an exile in this land. You are living in your home. And Jesus extends the offer to say, Hey, I need you and I want you to be mine, to be mine. Have you experienced the hope of that salvation? Now, that would be a good place to close, but we aren’t doing it. We're keeping up. All right. "How can we live this" is the rest of the chapter. Peter gives us an incredibly practical instruction manual of how we can have a living hope. And I want to give it to you really quick. It's six of them. He tells us how we can walk out this living hope, how we can live in this living hope.

Number one, they're going to be quick. I'm telling you, is that we need to get prepared. Need to get prepared. Look at verse 13. It says, therefore, with our minds that are alert and fully sober, I almost labeled this get dressed because I remember my KJV kid days, right? Because it literally says gird up your loins of your minds. To which took me a little while to understand as a kid, but I think I've got it now. What is it literally means I need to get dressed and be ready for the fight that is happening for my soul. And I want to I want to feel this for a minute because I want you to understand that there is a battle going on for your soul. There's a battle every day, and we cannot be flippant about the battle. We have to be prepared for it. We have to gird up our loins. We have to gird up our minds. We have to be ready and prepared for the battle. But this is not where so many Christians live. We live in this flippant spirituality to where we're like halfway in and halfway out we're lazy in our prayer. We don't take temptation seriously. We have no true accountability. But there's a battle going on. Peters' looking at us going "just be prepared." In fact, in chapter five verse eight, he says it later on to be alert and sober minded, your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He says be prepared. Wake up, get dressed, clothe your mind in Scripture and start living in the hope.

And number two, he says Lift your eyes, lift your eyes. Look at verse 13, though the second part of it says, Set your hope on the grace. So set your vision set your hope on the grace to be brought to you. When Jesus Christ is revealed and is coming. What does that mean? That means that we should be looking forward always to the future hope, the future salvation, to know Christ, to be like Christ, to be fully with Christ, that no matter what His promises are true He's saying, Lift your eyes to the promises of Jesus. Now, don't get me wrong, things on this Earth are great. God doesn't care what you have, but he wants your hope and your promise to rest in Him. Yes, pray for stuff that you need and that you desire. That's great and all, but your hope has to be in him. Lift your eyes to the future. Hope of Christ. Number three.

Here's the third Living Hope Command. Don't look back. Don't look back. You ever watched a horror movie? What happens when you look back? You always fall down. Always. Peter's the one who said it first. 1 Peter 1:14. As obedient children do not conform to the evil desires you had when you were living in ignorance. Now we rise up a little bit. I don't live in ignorance. You did once, right? Peter said before you came to Jesus your life was completely pointed in the wrong direction. And now he is saying this. You had a wrong way of looking at the world. We were living in ignorance. We thought things like money is the key to happiness or romantic relationships or successful kids or being liked or having power. Those are the keys to happiness. But then we met Jesus, and then we found the living hope. And we realized that people with only those other things, they're really not hopeful at all. They're not, are they? Some of our senior members, can you give us a nod and just let us know that that's how it is, isn't it? Those aren't the things that fulfill us. That's why we see over and over again some of the most rich and some of the most successful people on this planet are some of the most miserable people on this planet, because they don't possess the living hope that Christ is trying to give them. Well, let me ask you a question. I put in your notes. What is one thing or what is it that today you need to say - God forgive me for constantly running back to this? To try to fill my hope. If it is anything but Jesus, it's just not going to last. God forgive me. This is the thing that I always run back to. You've got your thing. You're not going to know my thing, but you got your thing. You've got it. And Jesus is going, listen, if I'm not that thing, it's not going to make it, it's not going to last.

Here's number four. I told you there quick. Be different. Number four command in living hope is to be different. Some of you're like, see, I knew I needed to be different. That's not what I'm talking about right now. I'm not talking about being weird. All right? He said be different. First Peter verse 15 says. But just as he who called you is holy. So be holy in all that you do. For it is written be holy because I am holy. Now here's the thing. Holiness in American eyes is a strange word. It really is. Because what does it do? It brings these thoughts of sterile or boring or jean skirts or rigid or pious or no makeup or all of these things. Right? And that's such a skewed image. That is such a skewed image of holiness. Melissa’s like don't do it. Don't do it. All right? That is such a skewed image. You see, holiness is just perfect goodness. That's what holiness is. It's being wholly perfect. It's being wholly just. It's being perfect in integrity and perfect in love. And listen to me. That's not weird. That's attractive, Amen? When we look at people who are wholly just and wholly loving and wholly right, we look at those people and we are attracted to those people. I've never met a bride that looked at her future husband and said, Listen, I'm really just hoping he's kind of holy, right? I've never looked at that because we're attracted to being all in. So, like we said, you're going to be different than the world because God has called us to be set out of the world. The word holy here in Hebrew is literally the word kodesh. That means that you have been cut out, you've been separated, you've been called away from and made into something of God's presence.

So, like we said, if you're weird to the world, that's OK. But if you don't seem weird, it's possible that you're more like the world than you are Scripture. It's possible. So just let me ask you, are you out of sync with the world? Are you out of sync with the world's language? Are you out of sync with the world's identity? View of identity? Are you out of sync with the world's right relationships and how relationships should happen? Are you out of sync with the world's picture of what it looks like to live as an upright citizen? Are you out of sync with the world's view on what it looks like in childhood and raising kids? Listen, if you are it might just mean that you are living and the living hope that Christ has set out for you as an exile in a land that is not yours. Hallelujah. Keep rolling in it. That's what he's saying. Peter says, Live differently, not live weird. We all know those weird people but live differently.

Here's number five, the fifth Living Hope Command is to stand amazed. To stand amazed. 1 Peter 1:17. So since you call in a father who judges each person's work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. Literally Peter is saying, hey, you need to live as an exile in reverent fear of God. Now that's a hard one because some of us say well Matt, doesn't perfect love cast out fear? I read that in the Gospels. Yes. This isn't a cowering fear. This is a Tuesday of my last week standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, looking at the creation of what God has given us going whoa. It's an awe of God. It's an awe of God. This is what he's saying. You say, you know that there's a father that judges but there's a father that loves you. The best way to describe this is that we should stand in awe of him. Peter says, Since you serve a God, the judges impartially, you got to know that nobody is getting away with injustice. But you also got to know that the one who judges is the one who gave you Jesus. And therefore, if you know Jesus stand in awe of his presence and know that He is yours.

In fact, look at verse 18, it says for you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver and gold, that you were redeemed from the simple way of life handed down to you, from your ancestors but it was what the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. Do you see the gospel contract? The same God the judge gave us the spotless lamb Jesus to satisfy His judgment against us. Therefore, I should just stand in awe of his presence, right? I stand amaze of the presence of Jesus, the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me. A sinner, condemned, unclean, how marvelous, how wonderful and my song will ever be. How marvelous, how wonderful is my savior's love for me. The price Jesus paid is worth us standing in his presence, going, I don't really care what the rest of the world looks like. Here I am. Here's the last one. Last Living Hope Command. It's just a love big. Love big. Look at the verse, verse 22. Now that you have purified yourself by obeying the truth so that you have now a sincere love for each other, love one another deeply from the heart.

The last command is an incredible command that is just for us to love other people. And how do we love other people? We love other people. Knowing that he first loved us. He first loved us. You see, the gospel has now given us the power to love people in a way that the rest of the world can't do. I love all the other humanitarian things on this planet. They are fabulous. They're doing a job. But let me tell you this, believers, they will never love like us joyful exiles can love one because they'd never been loved like that, and they've never experienced the salvation. In fact, look at how the chapter closes, how we're eternally loved. Verse 23, for you have been born again not of perishable seed, but of imperishable through the living and enduring word of God. Verse 24 for all people are like grass and their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of God endures forever. I want you to close your notes, turn off your phones, close down Candy Crush and Facebook and look at me. All right. Let me land the plane. Everything else fails.

That's the message. Everything else fails, no matter what else it is that you are leaning into, it's going to fail. Why does this feel so weird when we're walking out our faith in Christ? Because we were created for another kingdom. What does it feel like I'm always going against culture? Because this isn’t your home. Why does it feel like I just never seem to totally fit in? You're not designed to fit in. Why does it feel like I just never quite get accepted? Because you're living in Kingdom minded, Joyful Exile and hallelujah. Why? Because one day, one day, maybe soon, maybe a while. It's an undetermined amount of time. Remember, we already talked about that. One day we step into our eternal home. That's worth living for. Everything else is fleeting. The grass is going to fall flowers are going to fail. But the word of God stands forever.

Lord Jesus the greatest invitation that has ever been given, Lord Jesus, is for us to step into a relationship with you so that we can live as joyful exiles on this planet until you call us home. With your heads bowed and eyes closed this morning. I know we already talked about this a little bit, but I just wonder maybe, just maybe you have never stepped into a relationship with Jesus where he saved you. And I'm not talking about knowing about Jesus like the angels I'm talking about knowing that He is yours, knowing that he's yours, knowing that he saved you, he's delivered you, he's forgiven you of your past. He is glorified. He's going to glorify you. And right now, he's sanctifying you. Let me ask you this. Do you need to give your heart to Jesus today? If you do, here's what I want you to do. Just quite simply. I just want you to pray right now in your heart. I want you just to say something like this. Lord Jesus, thanks for calling me thanks for giving me the opportunity to know you. Come into my heart be my Lord, forgive me my sins. Make me your child.

Listen in just the quietness of this moment, I just wonder this morning, was that you? Was that you this morning? That maybe it never really clicked till today. Maybe it never clicked. But today you said yes to Jesus. If that's you, I just want you to do me a favor. Nobody else is looking around but me. I just want to be able to pray for you, at least by face. If I don't know you. If that's you. Would you just raise your hand and look at me real fast? If that's you today. If you gave your life to Jesus today, I mean, for real. If you said, hey, this is me right now. Where are you? OK. Anybody else? God for the rest of us, Lord Jesus, I just ask that this week we understand that we are to live as joyful exiles in the living hope that put in front of us. God, during this next invitation, if the person gave their life to Christ, I just pray they respond.

They can walk up here to me and just say, Hey, I gave my life to Jesus today and we'll talk them through it. They can jump on the app, and they can literally just punch into the app. Hey, I gave my life to Jesus today. I accepted Jesus today. Somebody will follow up with them. But God, I pray that during this worship moment that we're about to have God, that many of us change our perspective of how we're living on this planet, that I'm going to be a joyful exile the rest of my life, living in the living hope of Jesus. Thank you, Lord, for First Peter, it's in your name.

Let's stand and sing together.



Follow Along with the Message

Living Hope

June 5, 2022

1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia…

Peter’s Challenge to Exiles

1. Walk out your identity as a joyful .

2. Remember that God has you.

1 Peter 1:2
…who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

3. Embrace the God-given .

1 Peter 1:4–9
4 …an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Peter’s Description of the Living Hope

1. We get to Jesus.

1 Peter 1:8
…you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy…

QUESTION: Is God just useful to you or is He to you?

2. We get to be Jesus.

1 Peter 1:9
…for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

3. We get to be Jesus.

1 Peter 1:4
…an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…
1 Peter 1:12
Even angels long to look into these things.

How Do We Walk in Living Hope?

1. Get .

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober…
1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

2. Lift your .

1 Peter 1:13b
…set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

3. Don’t look .

1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

QUESTION: What is it that you need to say, “God, forgive me for constantly running back to .”

4. Be .

1 Peter 1:15–16
15 …But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

5. Stand .

1 Peter 1:17
Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear.
1 Peter 1:18–19
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

6. Love .

1 Peter 1:22
Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:23–25
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”

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