Putting God: F.I.R.S.T. takes:
The Apostle Peter is writing from Rome (which he calls Babylon) in chapter 5. Peter is writing to gentile and most likely Jewish believers scattered throughout the Roman provinces to the east in Asia Minor which is now modern day Turkey. He is writing them to encourage them to endure unjust suffering because Christ was also and firstly rejected by humans and endured suffering from sinners. Upon suffering he inherited the blessing of life, setting us an example that by faith in Him we can also endure suffering and rejection (which social rejection is what most of us feel now) with an expectation of the blessing of life to come. In the previous chapter, chapter 2, Peter reminds those suffering of the God given IDENTITY that Christ is an immovable cornerstone that God Himself has placed, and that we believers and followers of Christ have an IDENTITY of a holy priesthood. By faith in Christ as the one and only Lord and Savior, we are being built into a spiritual house of worship of which he is the cornerstone. In this spiritual house (or temple) we are expected to bring spiritual sacrifices to walk out our new IDENTITY as a holy priesthood. Peter then says that because of this new IDENTITY of being a chosen royal priesthood and having received mercy though they formally were objects of God’s wrath,
“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 2:12
This is where Peter begins to tell the believers what it looks like to live such good lives (making spiritual sacrifices) that will one day glorify God when Jesus returns. The Holy Spirit through Peter says we will live these lives, make spiritual sacrifices, out of REVERENCE for God, submit yourselves. Peter addresses a few specific groups of people but starts with all people under the Roman government. Then picks up with the most vulnerable of the society working his way up to the least vulnerable. The weakest to the most powerful. He starts with slaves, then wives, husbands, and finally all people. He also knows that Christ likeness starts in the home at a family level where our inner motives and most played out.
1 Peter 3
3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and REVERENCE of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats[b]; do not be frightened.”[c] 15 But in your hearts REVERE Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[d] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— 20 to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.[e] It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.
When we have a genuine inner REVERENCE of Christ we will genuinely love, respect and honor those whom Christ died for as our spiritual sacrifices and worship in Spirit and Truth. This inner REVERENCE will produce in us a gentle and quiet spirit because we have been delivered from fear of man.
What is REVERENCE?
Reverence is honor and respect that is deeply felt and outwardly demonstrated. ‘Reverence’ and ‘revere’ are closely tied together with fear, awe, honor, and respect. In the Bible when people encountered God their reverence drove them to the groundDo you fear God or simply respect God? Respect alone will not drive you to sacrifice for God, but may influence you to make better decisions when convenient.
Reverence toward our amazing God and Saviour starts in the heart as a work of the Holy Spirit but if it’s genuine it will not stay there. We will begin to love ourselves the way Christ has loved us, by demonstrating the fruit of the spirit toward ourselves (Love your neighbor as YOURSELF). It will work its way out through love, respect, submission and honor to our spouses and family second, and then our community.
How do we know if we have genuine REVERENCE for Christ and aren’t just giving lip or hand service?
Wives - If your husband isn’t obeying the Word, are you loving them by having pure and respectful conduct, putting on the inner beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which God sees and says is very precious in his sight? Essentially, living with REVERENCE of God even when they aren’t?
Are you doing ‘good’ despite threats or is the fear of man quenching your spirit?
Husbands- are you living with your wives in an understanding way, showing her honor as God’s heir with her in the gift of life? Do you feel like your prayers are being hindered?
Do you have unit of mind with other believers?
Do you have sympathy?
Do you have brotherly love?
Do you have a tender heart?
Do you have a humble mind?
Do you bless those who do evil to, revile, or despise you?
Do you keep your tongue from evil?
Do you lie?
Have you turned away from evil and are doing good?
Are you seeking and pursuing peace?
Are you honoring Christ the Lord as holy?
Are you always ready to give a defence for your faith...with gentleness and respect?
Are you willing to suffer for doing good knowing that Christ did this for you while you were still a sinner?
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.
Invitation to Water Baptism next week on April 7th
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5
The only way to truly have REVERENCE for God in your heart is to accept His son Jesus Christ by repentance of sins and placing your faith in Christ alone for your righteousness. Noah and the other 7 who were saved from the destroying floods showed their heart’s inner REVERENCE, repentance and trust in the LORD by obeying God’s good news and getting into the ark to be saved. Today, we show our reverence of and trust in Christ by being clothed with Christ going down in the water of baptism as they went into the flood waters. They emerged into a new earth cleansed of sin and we emerge into a new life with Christ and cleansed conscience, being still in the world but not of the world any longer.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ- Eph 5:21
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you. - Psalm 130:4
Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:
“May you prosper greatly!
“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
“For he is the living God
and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
he performs signs and wonders
in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.” - Daniel 6:25-27
“My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. - Malachi 2:5
24 The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence.26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.” - Acts 10:24-26
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. - 2 Cor 7:1-3
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.” - Hebrews 12:28-29
Second City Church - The Inside Job - Pastor Cole Parleir 2019