Thriving in Babylon

A Study on the Book of 1 Peter

A Tough Call

1 Peter 2:18-25 • November 12, 2017 • Kurt Pressler

Suffering is part of God’s plan. His Son had to go through it, and so must we. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but Scripture, and the life of our Savior, don’t allow for that. But we can accept that difficult truth knowing that our God is good and our suffering is not in vain. So let me ask you one final time: Do you want to follow Jesus?

Spiritual Cyber Warfare

1 Peter 2:11-17 • November 5, 2017 • Gary Brandenburg

Some of us here today need to surrender our will to God’s will. Until we surrender we will never know true freedom. Until we surrender the world will have no reason to listen to us and God will have no reason to be pleased with us. Don’t miss four important words in v. 13, “For the Lord’s sake.” Those words remind us that God’s agenda is far more important than my own personal freedoms. Write this down…BYSSIW…Because you say so I will.

The Cathedral Project

1 Peter 2:4-10 • October 29, 2017 • Gary Brandenburg

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth to be a holy temple. He set out to fill the temple with priests who would represent Him on the earth. Three chapters into the story something went terribly wrong and the temple God was building came crashing down and now living stones are in ruins and the rubble is scattered everywhere - broken lives, broken families, broken nations. But God had a plan to put it all back together someday.

Love One Another

1 Peter 1:22-2:3 • October 22, 2017 • Kurt Pressler

If we have truly tasted the goodness of God, we can’t help but go back for more. As we consume the pure spiritual milk of his Word, and as we encounter the person of God, we grow up into our salvation; we mature in our faith. The more we mature, the more our character takes on God’s character, and the more we are enabled to put away those five relational sins and live a life characterized by love. If you want more love in your life, spend more time at the source.

Living with Fear

1 Peter 1:17-21 • October 15, 2017 • Kurt Pressler

There will also come a time when God judges each person’s work. All our deeds are judged according to God’s holy standard, and we will stand before Jesus and give an accounting of what we did with our lives. That thought should induce awe in you. Understand, there is no fear of losing our salvation. If you are God’s child, you are his forever. There should be fear, though, of losing heavenly rewards.

Don't Get Mad - Get Holy

1 Peter 1:10-16 • October 1, 2017 • Gary Brandenburg

There are times I just don’t feel at home in this world. One of the hardest parts about being a Christian is that there is less and less cultural reinforcement for Christianity. Every day I read some story that reminds me that this world is opposed to what I believe. For example, the Hi-Way Tabernacle Church in Rockport was severely flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Still, the church served as a FEMA staging center, provided shelter for 70 displaced people and distributed more than 8,000 emergency meals. But the church is not eligible for any of the billions of dollars of recovery money from FEMA, because FEMA “categorically excludes houses of worship from equal access to disaster relief grants because of their religious status.” Ok, separation of church and state. I get it.

Heavenly Passport

1 Peter 1:-9 • September 24, 2017 • Kurt Pressler

The life of an elect exile is one that includes suffering through many different trials. But suffering is not something we simply have to endure, or just get through. Suffering has a purpose. Peter encourages us by saying suffering is temporary, in light of eternity, and suffering is necessary, meaning it is to our benefit when it occurs. Suffering tests our faith. It is the crucible we go through to see if our faith is genuine or artificial. Those who truly believe will persist when trials come, continuing to trust God in all circumstances. The only way to test the sturdiness of a structure is to place weight upon it. Trials test us by showing if we can faithfully stand up under the heaviness of suffering.