The Confidence We Can Have in God’s Design for Our Lives
1 Peter 2:11-25
DATE: Aug 4, 2005 AM PLACE: BBC Ballincollig
I. Introduction (Rom 8:28)
A. Still continuing in our attempt to swap-out faulty aspects of our lives with the perfect life of Jesus Christ – that is our goal this year and it is attainable!
B. We are learning this month how to develop Christian confidence, faith, assurance like Jesus had while on this earth – the faith of Jesus (Gal 2:20)
C. The Christian Life needs to be full of confidences - not doubts and uncertainty
1. Jesus was sure of Himself, sure of what he taught, sure of what He was doing, sure of His results – He never hesitated, or debated whether what He was doing was right or wrong – He never wasted time second guessing
2. The life of the Christian is to be one of confidence – not cockiness, or boastfulness, but assurance and authority based upon absolute truth
D. There are Four Areas where a Christian should have confidence – no doubts; no hesitations
1. Confidence in God’s Word (Heb 4:12)
2. Confidence in God’s Will – that it is best, and will work all things together for good (Ps 40:8)
3. Confidence in God’s Timing (Isa 40:28-31; Eccl 3:10)
4. Confidence in God’s Strength/Grace – not OUR strength (2Cor 12)
E. Last week we learned just how PURE and PERFECT our Bible is
1. Because it is God’s word, spoken by the very mouth of Almighty God
2. We Know the Bible is Absolutely True Because of:
a. Prophetic Accuracy
b. Historical Accuracy
c. Scientific Accuracy
d. Its Effect and Influence on Society
e. Its Supernatural Preservation
3. Jesus’ view of the Scriptures was that it was perfect and absolutely right
4. What are the characteristics of the Bible?
a. Perfect – no error from start to finish
b. Alive – it is a living Book
d. True – absolutely true
5. Sure, people find the Bible hard to understand - but that proves it was written by Someone smarter!
6. Are you confident in the contents of this Bible? Or has the world whittled away at your trust that this Book is from God and right and true?
7. So, What Should We Do with Our Bibles?
a. Tremble at it - honour it above all other people and things
b. Read it and Study it - Beg God to open your eyes to its truths
c. Obey every word – every word!
d. Use It - Let it do the work God made for it to do:
1) Convert You (1Pet 1:23) are you born again?
2) Cleanse You (John 15:3)
3) Command You (Acts 9:6)
4) Change You (Jer 23:28,29)
5) Cause You to Rejoice (Ps 119:162)
e. Go out of here and Preach it (2Tim 4:2) It will work!
F. This morning, I want to show you just how PERFECT God’s Will is for you! That there is NOTHING better to do every minute of every day than follow Jesus Christ, wherever, and however He may lead you! He, and ONLY He will make everything work together for good (Rom 8:28)!
G. Jesus’ priority was to do the will of God (Jn 4:34). He thought it was good enough for HIM to follow – so should we!
H. EXAMPLE: Dr. David Livingstone, the great pioneering missionary in central Africa said, “I had rather be in the heart of Africa in the will of God than on the throne of England out of the will of God.”
I. EXAMPLE: In 1895, Christian author Andrew Murray was in England suffering from a terribly painful back, the result of an injury he had incurred years before. One morning while he was eating breakfast in his room, his hostess told him of a woman downstairs who was in great trouble and wanted to know if he had any [spiritual] advice for her. Andrew Murray handed her a paper he had been writing on and said, "Give her this advice I'm writing down for myself” In time of trouble, say,
1. "First, [God] brought me here. It is by his will I am in this [hard] place; in that I will rest."
2. Next, "He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his [precious] child."
3. Then say, "He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow."
4. At last, say, "In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows."
5. Therefore, say "I am here (1) by God's appointment, (2) in his keeping, (3) under his training, (4) for his time."
J. This morning, let me help you understand this thing called the will of God, and get you right in the middle of it!
II. Message – The Perfect Will of God
A. The Perfect Will of God Is Different than Ours (Rom 12:1,2)
1. Notice that turning your back on the world, and having your mind renewed daily (by God) enables you to discern and experience God's will – it is a will (or purpose or plan) which is good, and is a delight to us and to God, and which has no flaws, no missing pieces – it is complete.
2. We are talking about the will of GOD – not our will, not our plans – not even our goals, no matter how good or lofty they may be!
3. Not even JESUS followed His own plans (Mk 14:36; Jn 6:38)
4. Simply, God has His way of doing things, and most of the time it is just plain different than anything we would ever have dreamed up
a. We think we know who to marry
b. We think we know where to live
c. We think we know what we want to be when we grow up
d. But THAT is OUR will and it is ALWAYS different than God’s!
B. The Perfect Will of God Is Hard to be Sure (Heb 10:36)
1. Don’t think that by doing right, and obeying and following the Lord in your life that it will miraculously be easy and straightforward – No!
2. Truly it is much better doing God’s will, than it was doing my own or the world’s will for my life - But it most often is much harder – much harder
a. It is Harder to walk away from a job that offers you more money but at the expense of the customer with false advertising, or at the expense of the government with false reporting, or at the expense of a clear conscience
b. It is Harder to walk away from the girlfriend of your dreams, but one who won’t follow Christ with you!
c. It is Harder to live on beans and toast because you pay all your bills and live within your means instead of getting yourself deep into debt
3. Turning away from the person you think you love in order to wait for the one whom God knows will love you best is very hard! But worth it!
C. The Perfect Will of God Is Best (Ps 18:30) – there is NOTHING better than to be right in the middle of God’s will – anything else is like trying to live outside the eye of a hurricane! In the middle is perfect calm, everywhere else is a disaster!
1. God knows best
a. He knows the best way to raise your family – fully involved and in command
b. He knows the best way to get money – hard work
c. He knows the best way to find a wife or husband – by serving the Lord all-out!
d. He knows the best way to overcome depression (1Thes 5:18) – by being thankful!
e. He knows the best way to grow a church – everybody working together for souls, not just a few or just the elite
f. He knows the best way to win souls – HIS way – preaching, not through all the modern methods
2. Man tries to write books and teach seminars on all these things and more, and they are just fooling themselves
3. Why is God’s will better than our own? Because He Knows EVERYTHING – omniscient – all-knowing! He knows not only what you have been through, what you are capable of, but also what lies ahead
4. You had better trust in the Lord (Pr 3:5,6)!!!
D. The Perfect Will of God CAN be Found, and Fulfilled in your life (Ps 40:8; 1Pet 2:11-24) – This is the main message – God’s Perfect Will is:
1. For All People to Be Saved (1Pet 2:6-10; 2Pet 3:9)
a. If nothing else, it is that all men everywhere repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ
b. To settle for anything else is to end up in hell, and God did NOT make hell for anyone but the devil and his angels!!!
2. For His People to Be Sanctified – Clean Living (1Pe 2:11,12; 1Th 4:3-7)
a. Sanctification means that we separate ourselves from sins and evils so that we can be holy and clean objects in God's hands (2 Tim 2:21).
b. This involves every Christian coming away from all the activities and influences that hinder us from serving the Lord with our whole heart (2 Cor 6:17,18) – the TV and filthy videos, bad friends, pubs, etc!!!
c. It is God’s will to do regular spiritual spring cleaning in our homes
3. For His People to be Subject and Submissive (1Pet 2:13-17; Eph 6:5-8) – never in rebellion, or stubborn against authority
a. This includes submitting to all the laws of the land (1 Pet 2:13-15).
b. This includes everyone in of our families submitting - even teens
c. This even includes KINGS (1Sam 15:23)
d. It is God’s will for you to have a servant’s heart – not a rebel’s one!
e. In other words you’re wrong if you’re not under God’s line of authority
4. For His People to Suffer (1Pet 2:18-25; 1Pet 3:14-17; 4:19)
a. Sorry to say this but we are to Suffer at the hands of our enemies
b. We are to Suffer for doing right
c. We are to Suffer for obeying the Lord when it would have been easier to just do wrong like everybody else
d. We are to Count it all joy when you get in trouble for doing right and doing good (Acts 5:41)
e. It is NOT God’s will to protect us from persecutions!!! It is part of the way that God shows the world a different kind of people who won’t fight over religion and would rather that we get hurt instead of people go to hell!
5. For His People to Be Satisfied/Thankful in ALL things (1Pet 2:18-20; Eph 5:19,20; 1 Thes 5:18) – God’s perfect will is to never complain!
6. For ALL His People to be Soul-Winners (Mt 28:19,20; Acts 1:8) – an active ambassador for our Lord
7. All the above will make you just like the Lord Jesus! All Christians are designed by God to ultimately become conformed to (just like) the image of God's Son, Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28,29). You get those things in line and you will be SOME Christian! Finding a wife, deciding a career, choosing your home, will all be easy after you settle those six things!
E. The Perfect Will of God Can Be Missed (Ps 78:40,41)
1. There is what we might call God's "permissive will." This is what God allows, even though it is sin.
a. God allowed Joseph's brothers to betray him, and to deceive their father, so that He might later bring the Israelites (who were few in number) down to Egypt, where God would spare them from the famine in the land, and where they would greatly multiply.
b. God allows man to reject the gospel, wilfully disobey His laws, persecute the righteous, and so on. But in all of this, God "permits" those things because evidently they are things which will lead to the accomplishment of His perfect will!
2. The scariest part of missing the will of God is that without the Bible, we would never know that we have missed God’s will – we have a way of hypnotizing ourselves into thinking that we have made the best decisions, and are on the best path – but God sees things far differently
3. We easily miss the Perfect will of God when:
a. When we become selfish and centred
b. When we neglect to pray and seek God’s will in His word
c. When we are at war with another Christian
d. When we try to get along with the world around us – blend in
4. Thank God for a God who steps into our lives when He needs to, to humble us and remind us just how far away from Himself we are
5. Tonight I will show you how to get back in the middle of God’s will
6. If you're following God and obeying Him, you have no need to worry about whether you've missed His will for your life.
7. But if you find it hard to pray and grow spiritually, mark it down, you need some serious help!
A. Folks, there is NOTHING better to do every minute of every day than follow Jesus Christ, wherever, and however He may lead you! He, and ONLY He will make everything work together for good (Rom 8:28)!
B. Jesus’ priority was to do the will of God (Jn 4:34). He thought it was good enough for HIM to follow – so should we!
C. The Perfect Will of God
1. The Perfect Will of God Is Different than Ours (Rom 12:1,2)
2. The Perfect Will of God Is Hard to be Sure (Heb 10:36)
3. The Perfect Will of God Is Best (Ps 18:30) – there is NOTHING better than to be right in the middle of God’s will – anything else is like trying to live outside the eye of a hurricane! In the middle is perfect calm, everywhere else is a disaster!
4. The Perfect Will of God CAN be Found, and Fulfilled in your life (Ps 40:8; 1Pet 2:11-24) – This is the main message – God’s Perfect Will is:
a. For All People to Be Saved (1Pet 2:6-10; 2Pet 3:9)
b. For His People to Be Sanctified – Clean Living (1Pe 2:11,12; 1Th 4:3-7)
c. For His People to be Subject and Submissive (1Pet 2:13-17; Eph 6:5-8) – never in rebellion, or stubborn against authority
d. For His People to Suffer (1Pet 2:18-25; 1Pet 3:14-17; 4:19)
e. For His People to Be Satisfied/Thankful in ALL things (1Pet 2:18-20; Eph 5:19,20; 1 Thes 5:18) – God’s perfect will is to never complain!
f. For ALL His People to be Soul-Winners (Mt 28:19,20; Acts 1:8) – an active ambassador for our Lord
g. All the above will make you just like the Lord Jesus! All Christians are designed by God to ultimately become conformed to (just like) the image of God's Son, Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28,29). You get those things in line and you will be SOME Christian! Finding a wife, deciding a career, choosing your home, will all be easy after you settle those six things!
5. The Perfect Will of God Can Be Missed (Ps 78:40,41) Don’t miss it!
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland