Be All You Can Be EVEN in 2020

Be All You Can Be in 2020

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Not From Around Here: The Complicated Life of a Sojourner / Testimony; A Witness; Evangelism / 1 Peter 3:13–17

It is easy to lose hope and focus in the tumult that is life in 2020. We learned last week however, that it is possible to love life and see good days even now. The secret it good clean living. Seek peace, avoid evil and know God hears our prayers. This evening we are going to continue to discover Peter’s advice to the weary sojourners. Now that we have discovered that living a life we love and seeing good days is actually possible, how can we use this knowledge to help us live up to our potential? This evening we will discover three truths that will help us be all we can be EVEN in 2020.

Be Good

1 Peter 3:13 KJV

And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?

The word “and” is, “seeing that God takes such good care of the righteous,” who is he that will harm you? This question was asked in view of the persecution and suffering through which these saints were going. Peter tells them that as a result of their righteous lives and God’s care, their blessedness will be such as to turn off all the malice of their persecutors and make their suffering itself to be a joy. The word “followers” is the translation of a Greek word meaning “zealots.” The verb means “to burn with zeal, to desire earnestly.”1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 87.

Proverbs 16:7 KJV

When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

Romans 8:31–33 KJV

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

Be Confident

1 Peter 3:14 KJV

But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

For even if suffering should occur, Christians are blessed and thus should not be frightened. The word here translated “blessed” (makarioi; cf. 4:14) was used by Jesus (Matt. 5:3–11). To be “blessed” in this context does not mean to “feel delighted” but to be “highly privileged.” 

Matthew 5:10–12 KJV

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Be Ready With An Answer.

Not only were these Christian Jews to find a refuge in Christ Jesus as they set Him apart as Lord of their lives, but they were to be ready to give an answer to these persecutors who attacked them and the Word of God which they believed. The words “give an answer” are the translation of a Greek word used as a legal term in the courts. It means literally “to talk off from,” and was used of an attorney who talked his client off from a charge preferred against him. He presented a verbal defense. The exhortation is to Christians to talk the Bible off from the charges preferred against it, thus presenting for it a verbal defense. Today, Modernism has preferred charges against the Word of God, has placed it in the dungeons of the destructive critic’s inquisition, and has charged it with gross errors, and with being man-made. It is not allowed to speak for itself except through the prosecuting attorney, the destructive critic. But those who believe in a whole Bible, rather than a Bible full of holes, are admonished not to remain silent in the face of this attack by Modernism, but to defend the Bible against these false charges by presenting a verbal defense for it, refuting the statements of the destructive critic.1

1 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English Reader, vol. 11 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), 89.

Psalm 119:46 KJV

I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, And will not be ashamed.

Colossians 4:6 KJV

Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Be Blameless

1 Peter 3:16–17 KJV

Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 

For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

A believer’s testimony should not be given in an arrogant manner but with gentleness and respect. (“Respect” here is from phobos, “fear,” whereas “respect” for one’s wife [v. 7] is tim?, “honor.”) Christians who are not afraid in the face of persecution are able to witness respectfully to their faith in Christ. They then keep a clear (agath?n, “good”) conscience (syneid?sin; cf. 2:19; 3:21). Peter may have been alluding to the occasion when he denied Christ out of fear, in words that were neither gentle nor respectful.

Christians who suffer unjustly and keep a clear conscience put to shame those who slander their good behavior in Christ. Once again Peter encouraged his readers with the fact that good behavior is their best defense against unjust punishment and persecution.1

1 Roger M. Raymer, “1 Peter,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 850.

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An all-time favorite Bible teacher was Don Wilton. One day in class, Dr. Wilton told us about getting to serve on Billy Graham’s team for a crusade in Korea. Dr. Wilton told about sitting on the platform one night during the invitation, — right next to Billy Graham.

Dr. Wilton couldn’t help notice that during the invitation, Billy Graham started looking down at his fingernails. And he thought, “I can’t believe Dr. Graham is so unconcerned about this invitation that he would be studying his nails!”

Don was getting a little huffy on the inside, if you know what I mean. But just then, Billy Graham pointed to one of the Korean ladies who had come forward to talk to the counselors. And Billy said, “Do you see that lady? — She did my nails today, and I was able to lead her to the Lord.”

That’s the spirit and habit we need! — Looking for opportunities to tell more people about Jesus. It can help them for all eternity, and it can lighten our burden along the way.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:02 PM July 22, 2020.

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