Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I Peter 4
Last night our study with our couples group was on I Peter 4. What an interesting passage, speaking about suffering and all. Like we know how to suffer here in the US. In the most affluent county in Maryland, boy, do I suffer.
Some notes that came to mind from the passage.

v. 8-11
A true community is something you’ll have to fight for. You’ll have to fight to get one, and you’ll have to fight to keep it afloat. But you fight for it as you bail out a life raft during a storm at sea. You want this thing to work. You need this thing to work. You can’t ditch it and jump back on the cruise ship. This is the church, this is all you have. Without it, you’ll go down. Or back to captivity. This is the reason small house fellowships thrive in other countries: they need each other. There are no other options. - Eldredge

The purpose of the church cannot be to survive or even to thrive but to serve. And sometimes servants die in the serving. – Erwin McManus

v. 12-13
From Perspectives:
- Explain the strategic value of suffering and martyrdom in terms of the triumph of truth, the defeat of evil, and the glory of God.
Three things from Martyrdom/Suffering
1. The triumph of God’s truth
The unredeemed world lives in spiritual darkness. When the ambassador of Christ speaks the truth in love and meets death with joy, a strange miracle occurs – the eyes of the unbelievers are opened.
Many, many groups of people on this planet have testified that the darkness which had been over them was dissipated only when a missionary was killed there.
2. The defeat of Satan
The death of martyrs opens the eyes of unbelievers, and when they see the light, Satan’s power over them is gone.
3. The glory of God
In Christ’s voluntary suffering for the salvation of mankind, the true nature of God was revealed. His essence was shown to be perfect love, utterly and unconditionally giving itself to others.
People see the love of God in the death of the martyr and are compelled to believe in God’s love and sacrifice for them.

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