Friday, August 26, 2011


What Only the Elite Know 1Peter 1v6-9


1 Peter 1: 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of your souls.

Peter is writing to these members, the sojourners of the Diaspora of the six provinces Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. The occasion of the writing of it is very apparent. When Nero, mad, insane emperor Nero accused the Christians of burning the Imperial city of Rome in order to take away the blame and suspicion from himself, he violently persecuted, decimated, hounded the followers of our Lord, these are the ones that have burned the city and they literally took those Christians -- this is about 64 A.D., he literally took those Christians and daubed them with pitch and used them, hung them up and used them for burning torches to line the streets of the city of Rome, while he furiously drove his chariot through the streets.

It was a vicious thing that happened under Nero. Now the provinces always copied the manners and the attitudes of the imperial city; only to an extremity. They did it more so. And when the provinces saw that the Caesar and the capital city persecuted and martyred the followers of Christ, they immediately followed example; only more viciously. So the trial by fire, the testing by fire that the Christians were undergoing in Rome became even more vicious in the provinces: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia.

In that terrible persecution, the Apostle Paul was beheaded and Peter was crucified with his head down. Both of these great representatives of Christ lost their lives in this trial by fire. Simon Peter, before he was martyred, and he speaks of it in the second epistle, Simon Peter knowing he was going to be martyred, he writes these letters -- two of them -- here to these in the diaspora. The disciples of Christ that are scattered abroad in what we know today as Asia Minor. He wants the bbelievers to be Survivors in their faith. Are you a Survivor?

1. The Pain of Trial

A. Trials Are Real

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials


The historian Tacitus wrote concerning the trials believers were undergoing in those years “Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered by the skins of beasts they were torn by dogs and perished, or they were nailed to crosses, or they were doomed to the flames and burned, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired. Nero offered his gardens for the spectacle, and was exhibiting a show in the circus, which he mingled with the people in the dress of a charioteer, or stood aloft in a carriage. Hence even for criminals who deserved extreme and exemplary punishment, there arose a feeling of compassion; for it was not as it seemed for the public good but to glut one man’s cruelty that they were being destroyed.”

The word used here, grieved… tells us that a trial is something that causes us grief and sorrow.

B. Trials Are Remarkable

poikilois: manifold trials, various trials …..Varicoloured

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials

PIERASMOS.. temptation vs 6

And trials dokimos vs 7

The word for temptation in verse six and for trial in verse seven, synonymous, they are alike with this little exception. The word translated temptation is pierasmos and the word translated trial is dokimos. Pierazo, the verbal form of it is a trial, a testing that could be neutral or have either connotation. A testing and the outcome may be bad. But dokimos or the verbal form dokimazo is a testing and the outcome is going to be good.

The trials may be a tempting by Satan to do wrong. They may be a testing that God allows that is neutral. But they come. And they are varicoloured. It may be a financial reversal, or it may be a financial windfall. It may be in the form of sickness, or persecution, or marital disharmony, or accidents or tragedies of one type or another, or loneliness. The testings come in all shades and are as varied as the people they occur to. Every person has a different personality, and some testings are peculiar to our personality. They are so varied.

C. Trials Are Required

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials

The words, if need be, tell us that sometimes trials are necessary. They don’t come by accident. They come “if need be.”

As we look back over Christian history, many of the people God has used mightily have been afflicted deeply. CH Spurgeon, of whom I seem to make mention weekly, was afflicted with deep, deep periods of depression, probably severe bipolar depression. Yet God used him to win thousands upon thousands to Himself. Perhaps you need to see today that the trial that so upsets you has come as need be. God knows what He is doing. He is purposeful. He never wastes a trial. He is seeking to achieve His purpose in your life through trials. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose, For whom he foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.

When a disaster happens, I have a habit of calling it “one of those things” Its actually one of those “All” things.

D. Trials Are Restricted

6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials

The time of a christian’s testing is short; you don’t have to endure it forever. The word here oligon means “a little, small , few” even though the period of testing may seem like forever for you right now, even though it may last for a lifetime, (although most trials rarely do) compared to eternity it a passing fleeting and quick.

2Corinthians 4:(16) Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. (17) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (18) So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

E. Trials Are Refining

7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

tested… dokimos… approved… tested for improving and approving. Impurities rise to the surface, for pure gold is a heavy metal. They are then scraped off the top.

The Smelter knows it is done when he can see His face in the molten metal.

Gold is put to the fire, not to destroy it, but to purify it.

Hebrews 12:(5) And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, (6) because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." (10) Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

The gold is then approved. It is proved to be real gold.

Your faith is proved to be genuine for the way in which you go through temptation and trial.

i.e. Jimmy Bakker, in his book, signifies that the trial of adultery, the temptation he didn’t resist, proved to him he didn’t have a genuine faith and relationship with God, and so was a blessing, that led him to the Saviour.

He was a Fake without A Foundation.

Luke 6:43 "For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

46 "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."

F. Trials Are Revealing

7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

James 1:(2) Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

(3) because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (4)

Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking

anything. (12) Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

2. The Power Of Trust

God loves faith. Faith is our believing in God and our trusting in God. When we have faith we are showing that God is good, God is trustworthy, God is dependable, God is supernatural and God is great. God loves faith so much that he gives it to us.
Illustration: When we put money in an interest bearing account we get more money. If you are fortunate enough to get 7% interest your money will double in 10 years. If you get 10% interest your money will double in 7 years. The bank just keeps giving you more and more money. It is the power of compounding.
God does something like that with faith. We believe in God and he compounds our faith. He grows it bigger and stronger and better. God loves doing this because God loves being trusted.

Faith is really valuable. It’s better than money. It’s worth more than gold or any other assets. All other assets eventually wear out and disappear but faith just keeps going and growing. It’s fabulous.
But sometimes you need to audit your account. Auditing is checking to make sure your asset is there and that it really is what it is supposed to be. The way to test faith is to see if it works when life is tough. Do we still trust God when we are disappointed, when we are sick, in pain and facing circumstances we would never choose?

Don’t worry, your faith will work! I’ve seen Christians worry that they won’t trust God and that they will cave in when life gets really difficult. My experience is that this seldom happens. Christian faith really works. Christians really believe in God and depend on God. Faith gets Christians through indescribable hardships.

1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Here’s what happens. Christians face problems. Christians trust God. Faith works. God takes care of them. It really works. We pass the test. We get a great audit report. It’s a wonderful reason to rejoice!

Unseen by our natural eyes. Like an artist picture of his personal conceptions of the picture he is to draw. So we see with eyes of faith and trust.

2. Would think this a great loss, but no, for our present time, place, it is best. John 16:7, II Cor 5:16. If Jesus was here, as we are now, in bodies of weakness our lives are now sensuous. I Peter 1:27, Luke 11:28. We are now so earthy, Acts 1:6 Before ascension, before Pentecost, disciples never got beyond an earthy Judean kingdom.

A. Trusting Produces Love

We are introduced to a spiritual love.

It is a spiritual love...sometimes adoring silence, other times irrepressible tears. Often time the Lord speaks to us in Scripture, and in our prayers, at times, acts of mercy in His Name. Witnessing and confessing and always an expression of love. Breaking an alabaster box, glorifying God in praise, in prayer, and in song.

B. Trusting Produces Joy

C. Trusting Produces Assurance

Trusting =Receiving Salvation

Like a mariner describing the ocean, some parts of the ocean surface, the currents going one way, but in the depths, the currents are going the opposite way.

It is like a pilot in his airplane, the clouds at differing levels, some moving in one direction, some moving in an opposite direction. But whatever the trial. I Peter 1:5 we're kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation. I Peter 1:9 receiving the end of you faith, even the salvation of your souls.

John 10:28

i. But we cry, but Lord, if in affliction we grow faint and we cry out, shall we not then perish? No, He says, "I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish."

ii. But Lord, the pain grows unbearable. Our senses begin to wander, but the Lord answers that same marvelous way, "I give unto them eternal life".

iii. But Lord, the temptations of the world and the enticements of the world are so great. But the Lord answers, " I give eternal life".

iv. But Lord, in this hour of extremity, all Hell , the devil, and his angels, finally beast, we have no power against such an onslaught. But God answers just the same...He gives us eternal life.

You remember the old song, WHEN THE STORMS OF LIFE ARE RAGING stand by me. When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea. Thou, who loosed wind and water, stand by me. In trials and tribulation, stand by me. When the host of Hell assail and my strength begins to fail, thou who never lost a battle, stand by me.

The suffering of God's people is an everlasting stumbling block for many. That is the whole book of Job, why do the righteous suffer? The book never answers. Just the portrayal of the suffering. Job 29, 42.

The suffering of Christ. The prophets never understood, the disciples had to be taught. Luke 24:46

So the pattern for our lives.

a. We misunderstand. We suppose be a Christian now, there are no longer troubles and disappointments. But, actually we are fiercely assailed and called into sacrifice.

We come to understand, first the cross, then the crown. Remember the hymn, MUST JESUS BEAR THE CROSS ALONE.

Down in South American, at the big Wycliffe camp at Ruinacocha, two missionary girls from the jungle, who had won the chief Tairi to the Lord. Came to the camp to be healed, they were covered with sores. Their sacrifice was so evident, but they had won that tribe, with it's chief to Jesus. First the cross, then the crown.

Jesus, the very thought of Thee With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy face to see, And in Thy presence rest.

Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame, Nor can the memory find
A sweeter sound than Thy blest Name, O Savior of mankind!

O hope of every contrite heart, O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art! How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah, this Nor tongue nor pen can show;
The love of Jesus, what it is, None but His loved ones know.

Jesus, our only joy be Thou, As Thou our prize will be;
Jesus be Thou our glory now, And through eternity.

O Jesus, King most wonderful Thou Conqueror renowned,
Thou sweetness most ineffable In Whom all joys are found!

When once Thou visitest the heart, Then truth begins to shine,
Then earthly vanities depart, Then kindles love divine.

O Jesus, light of all below, Thou fount of living fire,
Surpassing all the joys we know, And all we can desire.

Jesus, may all confess Thy name, Thy wondrous love adore,
And, seeking Thee, themselves inflame To seek Thee more and more.

Thee, Jesus, may our voices bless, Thee may we love alone,
And ever in our lives express The image of Thine own.

O Jesus, Thou the beauty art Of angel worlds above;
Thy Name is music to the heart, Inflaming it with love.

O most sweet Jesus, hear the sighs Which unto Thee we send;
To Thee our inmost spirit cries; To Thee our prayers ascend.

Abide with us, and let Thy light Shine, Lord, on every heart;
Dispel the darkness of our night; And joy to all impart.

Jesus, our love and joy to Thee, The virgin’s holy Son,
All might and praise and glory be, While endless ages run.

Our reward and crown, is given us, at the coming of Christ.

Only in eternity will hope be in perfect fulfillment and weeping ended. A century ago the song-writer George Matheson understood this well and expressed it in the third verse of his magnificent hymn, O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go:
O joy that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain That morn shall tearless be.

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