Christian life is not devoid of suffering. It is not always filled with happiness. Christian life involves suffering because of the sin we carry with us, and also the sin and evil we see around us. Sometimes, this reality of suffering and hardship can be daunting. But this is where a great comfort lies, because it is God who enables us to persevere, assuring us that our suffering is momentary. In this passage, we learn how to endure suffering with eternity in mind.
‘Decree’ literally means to order something that comes to pass. Christianity rests on the truth about God’s eternal decrees concerning the salvation of men, and controlling all that happens in this universe. Everything is predestined by God. As R.C Sproul once said – “What predestination means, in its most elementary form, is that our final destination, heaven or hell, is decided by God not only before we get there, but before we are even born. It teaches that our ultimate destiny is in the hands of God.” In this sermon, we meditate on the doctrine of God’s Sovereign and unconditional election which was decreed much before the world began.
Elisabeth Elliot on suffering once said ― “Whatever is in the cup that God is offering to me, whether it be pain and sorrow and suffering and grief along with the many more joys, I’m willing to take it because I trust Him.” This needs to be the response of every Christian in times of suffering, because hardships are inevitable in this life. In this passage, we learn how suffering should enable us to trust in God, an expression of our humility and dependency on Him alone.
Suffering is a universal experience and an inevitable part of our lives. The world suggests us to flee suffering at all costs, so we are provided with millions of solutions everyday to get rid of suffering. However, according to the Bible, God doesn’t want us to avoid or flee from suffering but to embrace it for the greater purpose. In this passage, we learn the purpose of suffering in Christian life, and how God uses it in the lives of others so that ultimately He is glorified in and through our suffering.
We start helping out each other and show acts of mercy during natural disasters, calamities and famine. This is a natural response of human beings because we are all made in the image of God; we still exhibit certain character traits that display kindness, sacrifice and generosity during difficult times. But the struggle to survive is not just against physical powers but also spiritual. There is sin in all of us that we need to fight against. So, what kind of character traits should a christian show forth in the church and in the world especially in times of spiritual adversity? Listen to the sermon to learn the marks of a healthy Christian.
Christianity is the only religion or a worldview which teaches us that people who take refuge in Christ, people who believe that He is the only Savior of their lives, will overcome death and sin. These are two of the most powerful evils in our life which are inescapable, they’re very part of our existence. But God promises that He will deliver His people on the last day when Christ returns. In this passage, we learn that Christians will have victory over death and sin when Christ returns to take them home (heaven), but we also learn what Christians are required to do until that day comes.
Nominal Christians are those people whose life is not characterized by repentance, obedience and faith in Christ, but they’re found in the church gatherings just to maintain their religious status. It is necessary to examine our lives and see if our professed love for God stretch into action and showcase Christlike character. In this passage, we learn how we can forsake nominal Christianity and continue to walk faithfully in the path that Christ has called us.
Suffering is a result of sin and sin dwells in our lives, our hearts and in our minds. Our culture often deals with suffering by trying to avoid it, not knowing the fact that suffering is the inevitable part of life. But the bible actually encourages Christians to face suffering with faith in order to grow in Christ and to draw closer to Him, because only God is the solution for all our sufferings. In this passage, we learn how to depend on the Lord in times of suffering.
In this passage we see the whole humanity in display. Peter denies Jesus Christ and is brought to shame; he denied his own Master. All the Apostles abandon Jesus and run away (including Peter), but the significance of Peter’s denial is something that depicts Human heart so well. Peter promised that he won’t betray Christ but very soon he fell. As you listen to this sermon, you’ll see how Peter’s reactions teach about human pride and the mess it creates in our lives.