Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg

with Tom Fuller


Life From Death

1Peter 1:3-9

Did you know you?re dead? That?s right ? just about everything that appears on the outside of you ? skin, nails, even your hair ? it?s all dead. Every 28-30 days every square centimeter of your skin sloughs off ? replaced by new skin that migrates up from beneath.\r
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Now ? why do I mention that little known but interesting tidbit of information? Because today we are going to learn about the process of getting life from death. Not physical life, like new skin, but spiritual life, springing up from the work God is doing inside of us.\r
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Last week we began studying the book of 1 Peter. Peter showed us our position in Christ ? that it is secure, and that the purpose God has is to work a chosen obedience in us according to the Father?s foreknowledge, through the purification done by the Holy Spirit, made possible by the blood of Jesus.\r
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One of the main reasons Peter wants us to know this is so we can have a sense of security as we face difficult times. As we move through chapter 1 we see that Peter gets more specific about exactly how God does this purification ? it is through death.\r
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Vs 3\r
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God the Father, through Jesus has given us two great things:\r
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1) New Birth\r
In Christ you are a ?a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!? 2 Corinthians 5:17\r
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Jesus calls it being ?born again?. It?s a new start ? but contrary to what a lot of us would like to see happen ? we don?t instantly wake up in heaven the moment we confess Jesus as Lord.\r
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So God also gives us a:\r
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2) Living Hope\r
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It?s the expectation that although we must continue to exist here on earth, with death all around us and in us ? one day it will all end and we will wake up in heaven ? and that even here on earth we can experience life ? but it?s life that comes out of death.\r
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Our hope comes from the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. To really live you must really die ? and not just once, identifying yourself with the death of Jesus on the cross ? but daily.\r
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Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.\r
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So if we so this, what is the promise ? what is the outcome ? what do we get out of this deal? We find that in the next verse.\r
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Vs 4\r
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Our inheritance (means: heirship) is described by what it does not do ? and that shows us a little of what happens to the stuff and the prestige that we acquire on this earth.\r
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Perish ? undecaying (from: to whither) \r
Decay takes place when one substance eats away at another. No matter how beautiful something is here on earth ? sin will eat away at it until it dies.\r
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Spoil - unsoiled, pure\r
To soil something means to place something other than original into it. A clean shirt doesn?t make the mud clean ? even a small amount of mud will make the shirt dirty. So too, even a small amount of unrighteousness makes our worldly efforts spoiled.\r
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Fade ? negative of root that means: ?to extinguish?\r
To keep a fire burning you must have oxygen, fuel, and a spark. The world?s efforts, as flashy as they seem, have no lasting fuel to keep them going.\r
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On the contrary ? what God is working in our lives through trials cannot be eaten away, cannot be stained or soiled, and has an unending source behind it ? the Lord Himself.\r
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This inheritance:\r
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Is reserved: ?to guard, keep, preserve, give heed to? \r
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It?s like having a reserved parking spot ? or like putting up beans in a jar. If you just leave the beans out they will rot away, but if you boil them and remove the oxygen ? they keep and keep and keep. Our inheritance won?t just go away. We need to keep this in mind when the storms of life rage around us. No one can raid your heavenly bank account ? if you are making deposits they will stay, reserved for you.\r
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Vs 5\r
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For us who are shielded: means to ?hem in or protect? from the idea of posting guards at the gate ? different from reserved.\r
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So in heaven we have rewards reserved for us ? but even now God ?shields? us. The idea is that He won?t let us be overcome, destroyed, pushed out of the way. God?s got His eye on you to protect you. \r
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Now you might say ? well, where was He when this and such happened? He was there, watching over you. If God allows, even in some ways creates trials for us ? then He must have a purpose in us going through them ? but still protects us in them.\r
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To be Revealed: ?To take the cover off?\r
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There?s a lot going on under the surface of your life that God doesn?t show ? not to you or anybody. But one day all that He?s done in and through you will be revealed like taking the lid off of a pan ? the wonderful aroma and sight of the righteousness inside you will be awesome ? and it?ll be all God?s doing.\r
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You might think what?s inside you isn?t very pretty ? and it may not be. But God is out to get rid of the bad and create the good on the inside that one day will shine on the outside.\r
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Vs 6\r
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Given that hope ? it?s no wonder that Peter says:\r
We greatly rejoice ? which literally means to ?jump for joy?\r
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But look at what we?re ?jumping for joy? about: TRIALS. Trials come but Peter wants us to know that there is a time limit ? they are:\r
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For a season ? which means ?puny?. Now, I know that when we are in a season of trial it doesn?t seem puny ? but never ending. But it?s important to keep in mind that trials are always of a limited duration. It helps when you?re in the darkest hour to know the light is coming ? and it?s not just an oncoming train.\r
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We suffer grief ? to distress. Root means: sadness.\r
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God understands that hard times make us sad. It?s okay to be sad. We make a mistake when we think we have to ?put on a happy face? when we are around other Christians ? that somehow we lack faith or aren?t a ?good? Christian if we aren?t happy all the time.\r
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After all, we say, the Bible says ?rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.? Doesn?t that mean we have to be happy all the time, right? Wrong.\r
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Jesus had times of great depression, Paul feared for his life over and over ? they weren?t happy happy happy! It?s okay to be sad when you are suffering. If we aren?t real with people then the enemy wins by dividing us and making us suffer in silence.\r
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Your brothers and sisters can be of the most help to you only if you are real with them.\r
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Also ? feeling the emotional effects of a trial means we don?t deny it. You can go along just denying that there are any problems but that won?t help you get the full effect and benefit out of what the Lord is trying to do.\r
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All kinds ? diverse, motley\r
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One of the hardest things about trials is they can?t be adequately anticipated. They are diverse. But the lack of anticipation is part of the test. I recently had a job interview where you didn?t know what you were facing until the moment you arrived. Everyone can come off looking great if they?ve had plenty of time to practice ? but this way you get an ?off the cuff? response.\r
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It?s the same way with trials and tests. God does preparation work in us but doesn?t give us the test before we take it so we react from our gut, not our mind.\r
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Trials ? to assay, test, experiment\r
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Really a trial is an experiment to figure out who you are and where you are. In a very real way, the process of assaying, which is the word used, pictures the process we go through in trials. Here?s a description of a modern assay technich.\r
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?The sample of gold is weighed very precisely and the amount is recorded. The sample is wrapped in assay lead foil along with a quantity of pure silver. This wrapped ball is placed in the furnace in a cupel (a special kind of disposable crucible). All the non-precious metals are absorbed by the hot cupel. The precious metal forms a button within the cupel. The cupel is removed from the furnace, from the cupel and then brushed to remove any lingering bits of cupel. It is hammered flat, rolled thin and then heated in a porcelain crucible containing a weak nitric acid solution. The acid removes the silver, which is poured off and the silver recovered from solution. The gold is then rinsed in distilled water to remove any residual acid and then dried. The sample of gold is now at least 9999.9% pure. The sample is then weighed again. The original weight of the impure sample is divided into the weight of the now pure sample. The result is the assay.?\r
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For us ? we are the impure sample of gold. We go through the fires, we feel the pain ? but what is happening is all the impurities in our character are burned away ? and what is left is more pure than what we started with.\r
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Vs 7\r
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Literal gold gets destroyed ? totally ?perish? just like the things and values of this world. But our faith is:\r
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Proved genuine - ?current after assay?, acceptable ? will never perish or rot or fade.\r
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Our trials result in three things:\r
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1) Praise ? commendable\r
2) Glory ? to seem ? the opinion that comes from something good\r
3) Honor ? value\r
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The things Jesus does in us ? forcing out the bad and purifying our lives ? actually accomplishes good for His kingdom. It?s hard to picture but the purifying of your character has value in heaven ? it?s the currency of heaven.\r
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And the purifying results in faith ? that trusting and knowing for certain without seeing. It?s a reliance on the Lord rather than ourselves, it?s the putting down of self, and elevating of God?s Holy Spirit working in and through us.\r
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This happens at:\r
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At the appearing of Jesus: ?disclosure?\r
Jesus discloses to the universe what He?s been doing inside our lives through trials.\r
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Vs 8\r
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The first part of this verse is the essence of ?faith?. \r
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Hebrews 11:1 ?Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.?\r
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An inexpressible and glorious joy ? unutterable but highly esteemed calm delight\r
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Goal: definite end. Trials are for a ?season? ? a short indefinite period. The salvation of our souls is a very definite thing.\r
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Salvation: rescue\r
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Conclusions\r
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Trials are never expected, but always dreaded.\r
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But out of death comes life. Out of trials come salvation and joy and faith.\r
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God is up to something lasting in our lives. By going through trials we give stuff up ? the dross ? but what?s left never goes away. You think by building wealth and material possessions you are building for the future but it?s a future with no future. \r
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My encouragement to us all is ? let the trials begin. Open yourself up to them, embrace them, jump for joy ? not for the trial itself, but for what God will do through you and in you as a result of the testing.\r
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It gives us a whole new perspective on life and its difficulties.\r
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So how practically do we apply this lesson of getting life from death?\r
? If you don?t have food ? rejoice that your real source of nourishment comes from God. Stop focusing on how to get natural food, and instead pray for more spiritual food.\r
? If you lose your job ? rejoice that you are employed as a worker in God?s fields. Stop fretting about a job that you want and start working on the job you have.\r
? If you get sick ? rejoice that you will put off this body soon. Don?t focus on the pain, focus on the plan.\r
? If you don?t have money ? rejoice that you are building riches in heaven. Don?t focus on material deposits, but on spiritual deposits.\r
? If you are lonely ? rejoice that you have brothers and sisters in Christ and that the angels watch over you and that Jesus said ?I will never leave you.? Don?t focus on how few there are around you, reach out to the many that are.\r
? If you get injured ? rejoice that by His stripes you were healed. Rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer with Christ so that you will be glorified with Christ.\r
? If relationships suffer ? rejoice that the Holy Spirit is a repairer of relationships. Instead of focusing on all the wrongs others did to you, focus on what you can give.\r
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What I?m saying is make the perishable imperishable by allowing God to slough off the old to reveal the new. Let your trials be opportunities to hurt, hang on, heal, then move higher in Him.