# Dave Trenholm - From the Ground Up - Part 2 Skip to content

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Living In Love

Today we are getting back into the book of 1 Peter. We took a bit of a break from Peter last week, as Mike brought us a message from the book of John, but today we’re getting back at it and my goal for today is to finish up this first chapter so that we can start chapter 2 next week. But in case you’ve missed the last couple messages from Peter, let me give you just a quick recap.

In this letter, Peter is writing to Christians who were really going through some really difficult times. At that time and in that part of the world, being a Christian was really not a popular thing. There were social consequences, (if not physical consequences) for pledging allegiance to King Jesus.

And we don’t know specifically what kind of trials these folks were going through, but we do know that it’s not too long after writing this letter that Peter himself is put to death for his faith. So it’s not hard to imagine some of the challenges and struggles some of these Christians might have been experiencing.

And so Peter is writing this letter with two purposes in mind. First of all, He writes to encourage those Christians as they experience these hardships and difficulties. He reminds them of the hope and the joy they have in Jesus. Peter talks about the priceless inheritance that they have to look forward to – and how they are dearly loved by God – chosen by Him to receive endless joy in his presence forever. And so that’s how Peter starts off this letter – with that encouragement.

But his second purpose for this letter is to instruct them on how live in this world until they receive their promised salvation in full. Peter mentions frequently how they are exiles or foreigners or temporary residents – and perhaps some of Peter’s original audience were literally exiled from their homeland because of persecution, but certainly every Christian both then and today – no matter where we are in the world – we understand that this world is not our home. We are citizens of heaven – and thus we are all exiles and foreigners.

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Living in Holiness

Last Sunday we began looking at the book of 1 Peter. By way of introduction, we learned that this book is actually a letter written by the Apostle Peter to Christians living in exile in five Romans provinces in what is now modern-day Turkey.

Now we’re not entirely sure why Peter refers to these Christians “exiles or foreigners”. It could be that they were literally exiled from their homes around Jerusalem – forced to flee the persecution that broke out around the time of Saul… Or it could be that Peter refers to them as “exiles” simply because they are Christians – because they are citizens of heaven and as such, this world is no longer their home.

Either way, Peter is writing to encourage them in their state of exile. As we read through this letter, it quickly becomes obvious that these Christians are going through some difficult trials in life – and so, in the first few verses, Peter reminds them of the hope and the joy they have, because God, in his mercy, has given them salvation through Jesus Christ. Peter talks about a priceless inheritance that God is keeping for them in heaven – and how God is protecting them through their faith, until they receive their salvation in full! And that’s why, even though they must endure many trials in this present life, they can still be filled with joy because they know three key things:

    1. They have been chosen by God and are dearly loved by him, 
    2. Their trials are only temporary – whatever they are going through – “This too shall pass” 
    3. Because of their hope in Jesus, there is wonderful joy ahead on the day when God rewards them with their salvation in full!

So with those three encouragements in mind, Peter is going to continue (as we are going to see today) to exhort them or urge them to live as exiles in some specific ways.

Peter wants them to know that the Christian life isn’t just about the reward we will get one day in heaven – but it’s also about how we live on earth today! You’ve probably noticed that God doesn’t just teleport us immediately to heaven upon conversion. He leaves us to live as exiles in this world for a time. He’s got a reason for that – there is a purpose for us living here as exiles.

And so in today’s passage, Peter is saying “In light of our great reward that we have to look forward to, in light of who God is and what He has done for us, here’s how God expects us to live as exiles in this world.”

And then we’re going to see Peter beginning to lay out some of those exceptions for us. Actually, two weeks ago we talked about God’s expectations for us as we looked at that passage in Deuteronomy (if you can remember that far back). Well, the book of 1 Peter really builds on that same idea – as well as giving us some very practical applications for what that looks like. But we’ll get into some of that a little bit later.

For now, let’s begin today by starting at 1 Peter, chapter 1, verse 13.

13 So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. 14 So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 15 But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” 18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. 20 God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.

1 Peter 1:13-20

So as I mentioned earlier – in this passage, Peter is beginning to lay out God’s expectations for us as as exiles (or as temporary residents) in this world. And it all comes out everything Peter wrote about just prior to this.

You’ll notice that verse 13 begins with the word “so”…. Or other translations might say “therefore”…. And Whenever you see that, you know that whatever you’re about to read hinges on what you’ve just finished reading. 

Because of this…. therefore…. this.

I’ve told you these facts, so…. here’s what you need to do.

And that’s what Peter is saying… Because God has chosen you and adopted you into His family, because God has promised you this priceless inheritance, because you’ve trusted him for your salvation…. here’s what you need to do. Step #1…. He says in verse 13…

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Good and Faithful Stewards

Today we come to the conclusion of our “Visual Theology” message series. We’ve been following the outline of Tim Challies and Josh Byers in their book “Visual Theology” as they look at the four basic pursuits of the Christian life.

These four things should be a part of every Christian’s experience.

  1. We should strive to grow close to Christ.
  2. We should strive to understand the work of Christ.
  3. We should strive to become like Christ.
  4. We should strive to live for Christ.

And I trust that over these past few months, you’ve been able to get a fresh understanding of why and how we do these things and hopefully, you’ve been able to pick up some real practical ways for how to live out those things out in your own life.

But we’re not quite done yet. We’ve got one more topic to tackle as we complete our final section of how we live for Christ.

And so I’d like to introduce one more new word to your vocabulary today: the word is stewardship

Now most of you will have heard of stewards or stewardess – they are the kind folks who take care of you in an airplane while you’re flying somewhere. They bring you drinks and snacks and tell you how to put on your seatbelt and how to exit in an emergency, and all of that good stuff.

But that picture of an airline steward doesn’t really give you an accurate understanding of what stewardship is all about. Stewardship is more than just being a waiter or someone’s personal butler. So to help us understand stewardship, I want to read for you a parable from Matthew 25.

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The Doctrine of Vocation

We are rapidly coming to the end of our Visual Theology message series. We’ve spent the last eight weeks talking about how we grow close to Christ, how we understand the work of Christ, how we become like Christ – and now today we are starting into our final section – how to live for Christ.

So to start us off today, I want to begin by asking you a question. And since we’re in a different setting here this morning anyway, I want you to take just a couple minutes to turn around in your seats and discuss this question with the people sitting around you. Its not a right or wrong answer kind of thing – I just want you to briefly talk about it and throw out some thoughts.

But here is the question: How do you think we will spend our time in eternity? What are we going to do for thousands upon thousands of years? What do you think life will look like for us?

Is it an endless choir singing to God? Are we all strumming harps on those fluffy white clouds? Are we playing road hockey on those streets of gold? What do you think life is going to look like for us all?

The Bible doesn’t give us too many specifics about our future activities in heaven, but this week, as I considered our topic today of living for Christ, and as I saw what the Bible has to say about how we live for Christ – I came to the conclusion that what God intends for us to do in heaven for eternity is probably very similar to what God intends for us to do here and now on the earth.

It seems to me that God’s purpose and plan for our lives won’t really change once we enter life after death. The things He wants us to do now are probably the same kind of things He’ll want us to do forever in heaven. Of course, the specifics will likely be different, but I think the end goal stays the same.

And as we work our way through today’s message, I think you’ll see what I mean, but my point for today is not to speculate about what we’ll one day do in heaven, but rather to determine what God wants us to do today. How does God want us to use our time – what does God want us to do with our lives here and now? It’s fun to speculate about what God will have us do for eternity in heaven – but it’s critical that we understand what God wants us to do in this life right here and now.

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The Process of Change

In the game of tribond, you are given three words and your job is to determine what those three words have in common. 

For example, if I say the words Christmas, family, and oak – what do these things all have in common? They are all kinds of trees.

How about this one: dentures, bats, stars – they all come out at night

How about this one: skates, the lawn, and your shoulder – they all have blades.

How about this one: oil, a diaper, batteries – and as a bonus word, Christians

Answer: They are all things that are frequently changed!

  • Every 5000 km, you’ve got to change oil in your car. 
  • Every few hours you’ve got to change the diaper on your baby. 
  • Every few months, you’ve got to change the batteries in your remote
  • And every day, if you’re a Christian, you’ve got to change to become more like Christ.

And of course, this is all a segway into today’s message.

If you haven’t been with us recently, we’ve been going though a series called Visual Theology.

It’s based on a book called “Visual Theology” by Tim Challies and Josh Byers. And as you can see on the title page, there are four main sections that we’ve been looking at.

So far, we’ve looked at growing close to Christ. We’ve looked at understanding the work of Christ, and today we are beginning to look at becoming like Christ.

And that’s why I’m bring up this whole idea of change – because becoming like Christ requires change.

As you read through the Bible, you will not find one single person who accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and then didn’t change! It’s just not possible! No one who enters into an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ can ever remain the same. Change is a required part of the equation.

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