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1 & 2 Peter

Hardship & Heretics

01 - Introduction: Hardship & Heretics

Selected Scriptures • February 21, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Harassment and heresy, while familiar themes in Scripture, are also ever-present realities in the Church. Apart from Paul, no one knew this better than the apostle Peter. A victim of persecution himself, Peter urged his beleaguered readers to stand firm in joy and to persevere. How is a believer to live the Christian life in a hostile world? Who is the true enemy of the faith? And what can Christians look forward to despite their momentary suffering? To these questions Peter gives compassionate yet candid answers. In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

02 - The Majesty Of Election

1 Peter 1:1-2 • March 4, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The opening salvo in 1 Peter 1:1-2 isn't difficult to understand by most. But it has proven over the centuries to very difficult to accept by some. And that is because in his opening remarks, Peter touches on two of the most controversial doctrines in Christendom-the doctrine of election and the doctrine of obedience. But why would Peter open up his first letter to a church already in chaos with such controversial verbiage? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

03 - Our Inheritance In Christ

1 Peter 1:3-5 • March 11, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Peter follows up his opening salvo with a sweeping doxology regarding the wonder of salvation. It is a hymn, really, designed specially to encourage his readers in the midst of suffering that an inheritance of riches awaits them in the life to come. And this special inheritance, he writes, not only comes from God, and is preserved by God, but it is only for those born again of God. In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

04 - The Mysterious Joy Of Salvation

1 Peter 1:6-12 • April 8, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In 1 Peter 1:6-12, the apostle Peter emphasizes two major points. They are: (1) No matter how adverse our circumstances as Christians may be, we should never stop rejoicing over the greatness of our salvation; and (2) Our salvation is in fact so great that it is, and always has been, a mystery to even the godliest of men. So, if the mysterious joy of salvation was indiscernible to the prophets of old (who wrote about it) how then can we ever hope to understand it? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

05 - The Pursuit Of Holiness

1 Peter 1:13-17 • April 15, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In the second half of 1 Peter 1, in vv. 13-17, Peter shifts his attention from the mystery of salvation to the application of it and what it means in the life of a believer. To that end, he stipulates that there are in fact certain expectations, obligations, and responsibilities that salvation places on those who have received it. And chief among them is the active pursuit of holiness, the practice of godliness, and the exercise of righteousness. But are such expectations mandatory for those saved by grace alone through faith alone? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

06 - Redeeming Love

1 Peter 1:18-21 • April 22, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

As if to reemphasize the greatness of salvation that he’s been expounding upon in 1 Peter 1:1-12, the apostle Peter then turns his attention to the theology of redemption in vv. 18-25 by answering four questions about our Kinsman-Redeemer, Jesus Christ. They are: (1) What did God redeem believers from? (2) What did He redeem us with? (3) By whom did He redeem us? And, (4) for what purpose did He redeem us? But Peter doesn’t stop there. He also explains the type of love that believers have for one another which only true redemption can produce. In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

07 - Milk, Meat, & Maturation

1 Peter 2:1-3 • April 29, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

How can we know the voice of God when we hear it? How can we discern truth from error? How can we know who is saved and who might be lost? How are we to know what faithful doctrine is versus that which is false? What is the Christian’s final court of arbitration for judging right and wrong, for rebuking and correcting, for teaching and preaching, and for encouraging and admonishing one another in the Lord? Is it through the Word of God. And because that is so, Peter commands us to pursue a greater education in it; to crave the Word of God like newborn babies salivating for milk. In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

08 - The Priesthood Of Believers

1 Peter 2:4-9 • May 13, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The priesthood of all believers, which is a doctrine rediscovered by the Reformers during the Protestant Reformation, maintains that through Christ all believers have been given direct access to God, just like a priest, irrespective of status or station in life. As priests, we have equal potential to minister for God to others and to serve Him dutifully in the temple of the church with our “spiritual sacrifices.” But what exactly are these spiritual sacrifices that God expects from his priests? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

09 - Alien Behavior Of Alien Believers

1 Peter 2:9-12 • May 20, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

How do you feel when people talk bad about you behind your back or accuse you of being a second-rate Christian? When it comes to responding honorably to the dishonorable slander leveled against a believer's character, the apostle Peter gives Christians their marching orders: “Keep your conduct ... honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Pet. 2:12). Considering Peter’s words, are you prepared to do good to those who defame you if only to "silence their ignorant talk" about you (1 Pet. 2:15)? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

10 - Submission To Civil Authority

1 Peter 2:13-17 • May 27, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

The rule of Law is the mark of all civilized society. And it has to be administered by someone. Even if the current officeholder is a poor excuse for a leader, Scripture repeatedly tells us that they are to be obeyed regardless because they represent law and order, without which a country will descend into anarchy (Rom. 13:1-3 cf. 1 Pet. 2:13-17). But is there ever a "just cause" for Christians to take up arms against the government or attempt to assassinate a wicked ruler? What exactly is the Christian's responsibility to civil authority (godly or otherwise)? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

11 - Submission To Corporate Authority

1 Peter 2:18-21 • June 3, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

When the Bible refers to “slaves” or “bond servants,” it usually has in mind one of four different meanings: (1) captive laborers, (2) indentured servants, (3) hired hands, or (4) workplace employees. That said, believing “slaves” and “servants” are called to be dutiful in whatever services they render to their masters and are to submit wholeheartedly to their authority. In all circumstances, it seems, whether it is in the church, in the workplace, or in marriage, God calls on Christians to submit. Second only to holiness, it’s what we are to excel at the most. In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

12 - Suffering Like The Suffering Servant

1 Peter 2:21-25 • June 10, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

One significant truth about the incarnate Jesus is that he is revealed in the New Testament to be the suffering servant of Isaiah 53. Understandably, then, Isaiah 53 looms large in the background of 1 Peter 2:21-25. Noting that Jesus was the perfect STANDARD of suffering, the perfect SUBSTITUTE for suffering, and the perfect SHEPHERD through suffering, Peter calls on believers to conduct themselves in like manner as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53. So, does that mean Christians should merely "grin and bear it" while in the fires of persecution or when under the weight of suffering? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

13 - Submission To Companion Authority

1 Peter 3:1-7 • June 17, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

Men and women are equal in God’s sight, but at the same time they are different by divine design. And because they are different, this means that men and women have been given different roles in society, in the church, and in the home by divine design. And inherent to our responsibilities as husbands and wives is that we submit to one another. In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

14 - The Tongue-Tied Christian

1 Peter 3:8-12 • June 24, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

In 1 Peter 3:8-12, Peter draws upon Psalm 34:12-16 (written by David) to describe what Christian living is and what it looks like in action. In short, all Christians, Peter implies, must exercise (1) The Right Attitude; (2) The Right Actions; (3) The Right Axiom, and (4) The Right Aspiration for godly living, even if they find themselves in the midst of hardship and persecution. And the key to achieving this type of living, he continues, is by controlling the tongue. In other words, rather than submit to loose-lips and a talkative tongue, we must master our mouths. Do you find this easier said than done? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

15 - The Passionate Christian

1 Peter 3:13-17 • July 1, 2018 • Pastor Ronald H. Gann

There is no other path to virtuous character, victorious living, and a venerable legacy than the path of complete and wholesale surrender to Jesus Christ. We must therefore become passionate and zealous Christians. To not do so—that is, to not cultivate within ourselves a godly passion for Jesus Christ or exercise a godly zeal for the gospel—is to spiritually sideline yourself in the game of Christianity. Do you want to become a passionate Christian? Do you want to be zealous for the things of God? And if so, what exactly are those godly things about which Christians should be passionate? In this sermon series, Pastor Ronald H. Gann looks at Peter's advice, affirmation, and admonition to his scattered readers abroad.

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