Intro to Angels

Angelology is the orderly statement of biblical truth about  Holy angels as opposed to the study of fallen or evil angels and that is called satanology.  The Bible state that angels, like men were created by God.  Angels are non material spiritual being but can change their appearance and travel in a flash from Heaven to earth.  Angels do not have the ability to reproduce and they are not given in marriage nor do they marry. Angels have no gender.  Their number is constant-  Hebrews 12:22 says:

22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Innumerable company of angels- myriads a great but indefinite number. King David reported seeing 20,000  coursing through the stars.  This could mean angles number in the millions if not more.  Psalm 68: 17

Psalm 68:17

King James Version (KJV)

 17The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.

Angels are mentioned in the Bible either directly or indirectly almost 300 times. The Bible teaches that angels are the oracles of God who give divine or authoritative decisions and bring messages from God to man.  The Bible seems to indicate that angels do not die or get sick and except for those who fell from glory with Lucifer are not effected by sin.  

We will discuss angels more next time- I need to cut this short – I have an early get up in the morning. For more on angels catch tomorrows broadcast on ULC Radio from 9-10 pm est.

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The Conclusion!

We will finish up 1 Peter this time but first I want to talk about a little about the church being persecuted today- here is a link to a story I have been following for sometime now- this is not a unique story but is very common:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/iranian-pastor-nadarkhani-refuses-to-deny-christ-in-exchange-for-freedom-67165/

Here is a link with information on which countries are currently persecuting Christians.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/iranian-pastor-nadarkhani-refuses-to-deny-christ-in-exchange-for-freedom-67165/

Peter is writing this letter to encourage the churches that were being persecuted.  In the early days of the church the persecution came from the Jews. We can read in the book of Acts how the Apostle Paul, then known as Saul of Tarsus, originally persecuted the church. He sent many Christians to prison and even to their deaths, then we can read about his conversion experience also in the book of Acts.  After an encounter with the risen Lord- and the Lord changing Saul’s  name to Paul, we see that the now Apostle Paul did more to advance Christianity than any one else since. Paul died a martyr for the Christian faith and wrote over one third of the New Testament.  Then it was the government persecuting the church, the church was considered by many government officials as a threat and at one time was even declared to be a secret society by the Roman Government and was outlawed.  Christianity is still outlawed by many countries today, most of them that are under Islamic rule and those that adhere to Sharia Law have outlawed Christianity.  Another problem the early church faced was some false teaching that had infiltrated the church- mainly the heresy of Gnosticism was being taught by false teachers. What is Gnosticism? 

Gnosticism traces its roots back just after the beginning of the Christian  Church.  Some researchers state that evidence of its existence even predates Christianity.  Whichever the case, the error of gnosticism had affected the culture and church of the time and possibly even a earned a mention in 1 John 4.

The word “gnosticism” comes from the Greek word “gnosis” which means “knowledge.”  There were many groups that were Gnostic and it isn’t possible to easily describe the nuances of each variant of Gnostic doctrines.  However, generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis).  This knowledge usually dealt with the individual’s relationship to the transcendent Being.

A more detailed Gnostic theology is as follows.  The unknowable God was far too pure and perfect to have anything to do with the material universe which was considered evil.  Therefore, God generated lesser divinities, or emenations.  One of these emanations, Wisdom desired to know the unknowable God.  Out of this erring desire the demiurge an evil god was formed and it was this evil god that created the universe.   He along witharchons kept the mortals in bondage in material matter and tried to prevent the pure spirit souls from ascending back to god after the death of the physical bodies.  Since, according to the Gnostics, matter is evil, deliverance from material form was attainable only through special knowledge revealed by special Gnostic teachers.  Christ was the divine redeemer who descended from the spiritual realm to reveal the knowledge necessary for this redemption.  In conclusion, Gnosticism is dualistic.  That is, it teaches there is a good and evil, spirit and matter, light and dark, etc. dualism in the universe.

What we know about Gnosticism is gained from the writings of Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Origen, and some later manuscripts discovered in the eighteenth century such as the “Codex Askew, Codex Bruce, the Berlin Gnostic Codes and, most recently, the Nag Hammadi collection.” Nag Hammadi is a town in Upper Egypt near ancient Chenoboskion and 13 codices discovered were discovered about 1945.

The danger of gnosticism is easily apparent.  It denies the incarnation of God as the Son.  In so doing, it denies the true efficacy of the atonement since, if Jesus is not God, He could not atone for all of mankind and we would still be lost in our sins.

There is debate whether or not this is a Christian heresy or simply an independent development.  The evidence seems to point to the later.  Nevertheless, the Gnostics laid claim to Jesus as a great teacher of theirs and as such requires some attention.  It is possible that 1 John was written against some of the errors that Gnosticism promoted.

Ok now lets finish up with the last chapter of 1 Peter.

1 Peter 5

New King James Version (NKJV)

Shepherd the Flock

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,[a] not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Submit to God, Resist the Devil

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”[b]

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Farewell and Peace

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 5:2 NU-Text adds according to God.
  2. 1 Peter 5:5 Proverbs 3:34
  3. 1 Peter 5:8 NU-Text and M-Text omit because.
  4. 1 Peter 5:10 NU-Text reads But the God of all grace . . . will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
  5. 1 Peter 5:10 NU-Text and M-Text read you.

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,[a] not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Whenever one enters into spiritual leadership there comes with that great temptations. Peter here is warning the elders to resist the baits that the devil lays out in the forms of pressure, profit and power.  An elder should serve out of eager willingness, not out of greed or under some kind of compulsion.  A pastor should not abuse the power that they have but be a servant leader and the pastor’s life should set the proper example for others to follow.  It has been said that the best sermon one can preach is how you live your life. Those who lead the flock well will be rewarded by the Lord, the Great Shepherd, Himself. 

 

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”[b]

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

These passages are very similar to James 4:6-10.  Both passages quote Proverbs 3:34.  Peter is simply encouraging his readers to humble themselves before God and to resist the devil.  James was written before 1 Peter so it is possible that Peter used some of  the ideas that James presented in his letter. Peter was also aware of Paul’s letters.  ( 2 Peter 3:15)

Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 1

This is a perfect description of spiritual warfare.  The Bible makes it clear that the devil is not a myth or the product of the imagination.  The Bible makes it clear the not only is the devil real but is also the fiercest enemy of God’s people.  The Christian life is an ongoing battle against satan and all the dark spiritual forces of evil.  Peter repeats over and over again in this letter that the persecutions and the suffering they are going through are a direct attack by satan.  We can resist and oppose the devil with the strength that God provides for His people.  It is by faith that we have already been rescued from satan’s power.  The power of Christ far exceeds the power of the devil. Do not let satan scare you, march forward under the banner of Christ in His name, and you will defeat the devil and his ploys through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus will one day defeat and vanquish satan forever.  

 

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Peter beginning in v 10 is encouraging his readers to look forward to God’s final redemption and reward. 

14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

The cultural practice of kissing cheeks took place regularly among family and friends.  Paul instructed his readers to greet one another with a “holy kiss”.  Peter says with a “kiss of love”.  

This concludes the study of 1 Peter. Thus far we have been doing what is called book studies. I would like to change direction a bit and do some subject studies.  I have been thinking to start with a study on angels. The last two books we have covered are the most challenging of all the books in the Bible to study, that would Revelation and 1 Peter.  Revelation is symbolic and convoluted with reaching farther back into eternity and farther ahead into eternity than any other book of the Bible and 1 Peter, each word is so profound and deep that one could spend a life time analyzing just a few verses of either book. 

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More on Husbands, Elders, Overseers, Bishops, and Deacons

Now that we have talked about wives submitting to their husbands, we need to cover how husbands are to love their wives. 

A Word to Husbands

1 Peter 3

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and asbeing heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Ephesians 5

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Husbands, you are to be understanding of your wife, know her hopes, dreams, desires, and goals.   Love your wive as Christ loved the church. That is He laid down His own life and suffered  for the church.  I think, husbands,ladies correct me if I am wrong here,  that if you love your wive in this manner that there would be no question of having her respect and her loving and voluntary submission to your leadership. Now we leave leadership in the home and come to leadership in the church.  The titles we see here are elder, bishop and overseer, theses titles are used interchangeably in the New Testament for the same office- that one of which we use pastor for today. We come to the final chapter of this epistle.

1 Peter 5

New King James Version (NKJV)

Shepherd the Flock

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly,[a] not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Submit to God, Resist the Devil

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”[b]

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Farewell and Peace

12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son. 14 Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 5:2 NU-Text adds according to God.
  2. 1 Peter 5:5 Proverbs 3:34
  3. 1 Peter 5:8 NU-Text and M-Text omit because.
  4. 1 Peter 5:10 NU-Text reads But the God of all grace . . . will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
  5. 1 Peter 5:10 NU-Text and M-Text read you.
Peter identifies himself as a fellow elder. Peter was an eyewitness to Christs suffering. When Peter uses the term partaker here he is referring to sharing the reign  in Christ’s  coming kingdom and that he was already experiencing the glory now in part that will be revealed fully one day. As all believers will.  
The word pastor comes from the word shepherd and a shepherd leads the sheep by going in front of them, he does not drive them from behind.Church leaders are to lead in the same way, the role of the pastor is:

1. To pastor or “sheperd” God’s church-feed, lead, guide, and nuture

2. to administrate or rule God’s church

3. to teach and to preach

4. to represent the church

5. to pray for the sick

I come from a background of the independent Christian Churches where the Pastors considered themselves as paid elders. Each church was independent from one another and there was no central or denominational headquarters. There was a board of elders- elected by the congregation and a board of Deacons also chosen by the congregation.  The elders on the board had the same duties as the Pastor- remember the terms bishop, elder, and overseer are all titles for the office. The elder is responsible for the spiritual needs of the church. The Deacons are responsible for the physical needs of the church. In Acts 6 we find the appointment of the first Deacons.  

Acts 6

New King James Version (NKJV)

Seven Chosen to Serve

6 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists,[a] because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

We will leave of here and pick up the rest of Chapter five next time!  

Daily Bible Reading for the Week of Jan 30

Daily Bible Reading for the Week of Jan 30

Day 25:
Matthew 10:1-20
Acts 15:1-21
Psalm 23
Genesis 50

Day 26:
Matthew 10:21-42
Acts 15:22-41
Pslam 24
Exodus 1-3

Day 27:
Matthew 11:1-19
Acts 16:1-15
Psalm 25
Exodus 4-6

Day 28:
Matthew 11: 20-30
Acts 16:16-40
Psalm 26
Exodus 7-9

Day 29:
Matthew 12:1-21
Acts 17:1-15
Psalm 27
Exodus 10-12

1Peter 4:12-19 almost done! One more chapter to Go!

It has been a few days since my last post.  Been spending some time in prayer and kind of recharging a bit. We are about to come to the last chapter in 1 Peter. We just have verses 12-19 to cover before chapter five. This is a good time to review what we have covered in this book so far.  The author of the letter is Peter, the purpose of the letter was to encourage Christians that were suffering.  The letter was written to Jewish Christians that were driven out of Jerusalem and scattered throughout Asia Minor. It is likely Peter was writing from Rome during the great persecution of Nero. It was under Nero’s persecution that both Peter and Paul were martyred.  The main characters in this letter are Peter, Silvanus a.k.a. Silas, and Mark.  Peter’s idea of the church was that the church is a spiritual house composed of living stones, built upon the cornerstone of Christ, the foundation of the church.  This concept was revealed to Peter by Christ, Himself.  We have covered what Peter had to say about God‘s blessing to His people in the first two chapters and we have covered what Peter had to say about how God’s people should conduct themselves in the midst of suffering and persecution, and the last chapter deals with how the shepherd God’s people in the midst of suffering and persecution. So lets now finish up chapter four and head for chapter five.

 

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.[d] On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.[e]

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now

“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”[f]

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.-Peters audience was astonished that they had to suffer as Christians.  The Greek translated as fiery trial was also used to speak of the intense fire that burned away impurities. The purpose of suffering in the Christians life is to reveal their true character, to burn away the impurities of sin so that the pure nature of Christ can be revealed in the believer.  There are many that come forward at the altar call thinking that becoming a Christian is going to make all their problems go away. The fact is that will possibly bring on new problems and troubles. Jesus never promised that we would have an easy or trouble free life- just the opposite – Jesus said ,”In this world you will have trouble” The promise that Jesus has given us is that He will go through those troubles and trials with us. 

13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.[d] On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.-Here Peter is relating the Lord’s suffering to those who suffer in His name.  Our trials do not play any role in Jesus payment for sin, Jesus is the only One that could fulfill that role and no one else. The world persecutes Christians because it opposes Christ.  We not only share in Christ’s suffering but one day we will share in His Glory.  That will far outweigh anything we are going through presently. 

16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.-We should have great pleasure in being called a Christian- a child of God- God has always called His people by His name( 2 Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 43:7; Acts 14:17; James 2:7)  This means that we belong to Christ completely and that He is pleased to have us represent Him in the world.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now

“If the righteous one is scarcely saved,
Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?”[f]

19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.-Peter here is considering their suffering as the beginning of God’s judgement of the world. In this case though it is not condemnation but an evaluation- that may produce either positive or negative results.  The suffering that they were going through proved and purified the believers faith.  Eventually this judgement from God will destroy everyone who refuses to come to Christ.  Think back to the imagery that we saw Malachi use when he spoke of God’s judgement. 

We will pick up next time in chapter five.

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1 Peter 4:5-6- A toughie Verse!-And then some!

5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The tough part of this passage is ” the gospel was preached also to those who are dead”.  The verses after that SEEM to indicate  a chance to turn to Christ after death. This is found no where in scripture.  So we need to take a closer look at the verses before and after and try to tie them together so that this statement is consistent with the rest of scripture.  As we look back at verse 5 -“They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”  Remember the “they” are those who are not saved and “they” will be judged by Him(God) and will give an accounting of themselves to God.  God is judge of the living and the dead.  Verse 6 opens with the Phrase”for this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead”  There are at least four views on what this verse means. 

1. The dead could be those who lived in pre-Christian times and this is Christ offering them salvation. – this not likely since no where in scripture is anyone given a “second chance”  to accept Christ after death

2. That this refers to Christ preaching to only the righteous of Old Testament times.

3.  That Peter is speaking of the gospel which was preached to believers who are now dead. They died just like others but are now living with God.

4. That Peter here is referring to the spiritually dead and the gospel was being preached to them so that they could become spiritually alive.

 

I think the last view is probably the most likely.  based on the verses that  precede it and on the verses that follow it , they put it right in proper context. With many difficult passages you may have to read back as much as two chapters and as far ahead as two chapters to see the passage in proper context. It has often been said that to properly interpret and understand the Bible you need to keep three things in mind, context, context, and context.

Ok, now that we have that somewhat cleared up this move on to Verses 7-11.

7 But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”[c] 9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

But the end of all things is at hand;-Christ could return at any moment. It could be tonight, it could be before I finish this post- it could be tomorrow, it could be next week, next month, or it may not be for another 2,000 years, the point is we have been in the last days since the resurrection. We should be ready to give a reason for the way we have lived our lives because we will have to give an accounting to the Lord.  Will He say to you,”Well done, good and faithful servant!” or will He say to you,”Depart from me, I never knew you”?

therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers-We should curb our sinful desires and be sober minded and disciplined in our lives so that we can offer up powerful and effective prayers. Doing this in anticipation of the Lord’s return. 

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.- Peter here is quoting from Proverbs 10:12.  Peter is in no way suggesting that our brotherly love for one another atones for our sins, but the idea is that love does not stir up sin. We show our love for one another by sincerely forgiving our brothers and sisters in Christ past sins and by not openly discussing those sins. 

9 Be hospitable to one another without grumbling-In NT times being hospitable meant housing and feeding those who were traveling and their stay could have been two or three days long. This was to be done with no charge.  Sometimes this meant a personal sacrifice and at tines those who provided this kindness to strangers complained about them behind their backs. This is a charge from Peter to serve others cheerfully.

10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. –Each and every believer has been given gifts or skills , talents and abilities to serve God with. A steward is a manager or trustee that is held accountable for how these gifts are used. We are the managers of our gifts and we will be held accountable by the One who has blessed us with our gifts.  

11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.-Those who teach God’s truth should do it in a reverent manner so that those who hear will respect God’s Word. We do not do the will of God through our own power or strength but it is through the power of God that He works His will through us.

We will pick up next time in Verse 12.

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http://www.blogtalkradio.com/universallifechurch/2012/01/23/universal-life-church–sunday-1

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I Peter 3 into 1 Peter 4 and then stuck on a verse!

Here we are picking up in verse 20 of 1 Peter Chapter 3.  

1 Peter 3:20-22

New King James Version (NKJV)

20 who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited[a] in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 3:20 NU-Text and M-Text read when the longsuffering of God waited patiently.
Regardless of the interpretation that one has of the phrase”spirits in prison” the fact is that Noah preached a message of repentance during the time that he was building the ark and no one listened to or heeded his message except for the eight members of his family, Noah, his wife, Noah’s three sons and their wives making a total of eight people out of the populations of the whole world. They were saved through water. This is symbolic of baptism, it is not baptism that saves, only the blood of Christ saves, but baptism is the answer of a good conscience for one who has been saved from the penalty of sin through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, and trusts in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  The waters of the flood are symbolic of the baptismal water, which the waters of baptism are symbolic of salvation, that is obtained through the death of Christ on the cross.  

the right hand of God, –This simply means that Jesus is in a position of power and authority over all of creation.  This brings us to close of chapter three and to chapter four. 

1 Peter 4:1-6

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime[b] in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. 5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh- Christ’s suffering was real. He took on human form and was fully human as well as fully divine. The pain and anguish He felt were real- the pain of the nails being driven in is what we would feel if nails were driven into our hands and feet. The blood shed was human blood. Jesus did not take advantage of His divinity to escape any of the pain and He suffered that pain FOR US. He even refused the wine mixed with gall that would have deadened the pain- He knew He had to feel every bit of the pain. Along with this physical pain was the emotional pain, the hurt from being betrayed, abandoned, and denied by His closest friends and followers.  He took on our human nature fully and maintained that nature to the end. 

arm yourselves also with the same mind- For us to fight the good fight of faith and be victorious we have to be of like mind, we have to think like Jesus thought. 

 

for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin-This is referring to Christians that have suffered, most likely referring to persecution.  The phrase “ceased from sin” does not mean that they become sinless, but for  those who have suffered and served God faithfully have a different attitude toward sin than they once did.  Sin simply does not hold the same grip on them as it previously did.  

3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime[b] in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries- Lewdness is unchecked shameful and insolent behavior.  Revelries is referring to protracted feasts that involved excessive drinking and immorality.  
 abominable idolatries- Some forms of idolatry were detestable to even the civil authorities.  Of course, God detests any and all forms of idolatry.
 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, –Once one becomes a Christian, unbelieving family and friends simply cannot understand the transformation that has taken place in the believers life. 
speaking evil of you. – It is typical that unbelieving family and friends will ridicule us when we refuse to partake in their wicked lifestyles. 
5 They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.- One day the unbelieving will stand defenseless before God and give an accounting of all their sins and wickedness.
We will pick up on verse six next time- it is another one of Peter‘s verses that is difficult to interpret.
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Psalm 119:25- 32
25 My soul clings to the dust;
Revive me according to Your word.
26 I have declared my ways, and You answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts;
So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.
28 My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
29 Remove from me the way of lying,
And grant me Your law graciously.
30 I have chosen the way of truth;
Your judgments I have laid before me.
31 I cling to Your testimonies;
O LORD, do not put me to shame!
32 I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.