Unashamed of the Gospel in a Morally Shameless Society
1 Peter 1:3-9
You believe in him and rejoice!
If we are going to Be Secure (lesson 1) in a culture that has an ever-growing intolerance of our belief system, we need a pep talk-a motivational speech. 1 Peter 1:3-9 is one of the great Christian motivational speeches of all time.
*Are emotion based
*Exalt the power of self
*Effectiveness is temporary
*May appeal to the heart, but are rooted in substance and truth.
*Exalt the power of the All-Mighty
*Effectiveness is eternal
There is a great deal of difference between “I can do all things” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Php. 4:13
Peter’s motivational speech to the exiled dispersion of Christians living in difficult circumstances was grounded:
In the present: Ours is a living hope secured in God’s mercy (vs. 3), God’s power (vs. 5), our genuine faith (vs, 7), and our love of Jesus (vs. 8).
In the past: the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (vs. 3).
In the future: An inheritance (vs. 4) and the ultimate salvation of our souls (vs.5, 9).
This text is honest about the possibilities of the person of faith experiencing grief or the testing of that faith by fire. It is just as honest when it communicates hope, joy inexpressible, and future glory. Through persecution, grief, and temptation our salvation is secured by the resurrection of Jesus. Our eternal inheritance is guarded by God’s power. Our motivation traces to something real and more powerful than ourselves. It is based on truths that are eternal.
Motivational speeches ask us to believe. Secular motivational speeches ask us to believe in ourselves. Spiritual motivational speeches ask us to believe in God. Though we do not now see him, this passage calls us to believe, love and find joy in Jesus
Motivational speeches have a familiar vocabulary. Words such as great, power, faith, believe, and joy are frequently used words in motivational speeches. Those words and concepts are found in 1 Pet. 1:3-9.
For enlightenment and discussion:
Have someone in class read the passage with the enthusiasm of a motivational speaker.
Who is your favorite motivational speaker?
To whom are these quotes attributed (you can google them)?
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!
If it is going to be, it is up to me!
If you can dream it, you can do it!
How are those statements different from the motivational statements that are made in 1 Peter 1:3-9?
How did the fact of the resurrection, once realized, motivate the twelve apostles?
When you are tempted to feel ashamed of your faith, what word, phrase or sentence in this passage do you find most motivational and why?