1 Peter 4:12–19
¹² Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. ¹³ But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. ¹⁴ If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. ¹⁵ But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. ¹⁶ Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. ¹⁷ For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? ¹⁸ And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” ¹⁹ Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Understanding the text
Christ promised His Church that suffering, opposition, and difficulty in the world would be the normal experience, not the exception. However, not all suffering is the same. Peter makes an important distinction between two fundamentally different causes of suffering. The first is the kind of suffering that comes from wrongdoing. We are warned against this kind of suffering. The second kind of suffering is the suffering that comes from being obedient to Christ. When we experience this kind of suffering, we are to rejoice.
When we suffer for obedience, we are reminded that Jesus’ crucifixion preceded His resurrection. Likewise, when we suffer for doing good, we need to remember that ultimately our suffering will lead to resurrection. Additionally, suffering for Christ’s sake deepens our assurance because it confirms that Christ is indeed in us by His Spirit. This deepens our confidence in God and we are able to trust and obey Him in the midst of suffering.
- John 15:18-19
- James 5:7-11
- Philippians 3:8-11
Applying the text
- When was a time that you suffered for doing good or for obeying God?
- How does Jesus’ death and resurrection give us power and hope in the midst of suffering?
- In what sense does suffering for the sake of Christ give us assurance of our union with Christ?
Call to Worship
¹ The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. ² He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. ³ He restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. ⁴ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. ⁵ You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. ⁶ Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Prayer of Confession
Eternal God, in whom we live and move and have our being, whose face is hidden from us by our sins, and whose mercy we forget in the blindness of our hearts: cleanse us from all our offenses, and deliver us from proud thoughts and vain desires, that with reverent and humble hearts we may draw near to you, confessing our faults, confiding in your grace, and finding in you our refuge and strength; through Jesus Christ your Son. Amen.
Resources for Parents
Did you know that the kids of Coram Deo are following along with our recent study through Genesis? They are! Every Sunday, the children's ministry team creates lessons that cover the scripture and concepts from a recent sermon. The teachers ask simple questions to help the kids learn to understand and apply what God says in the Bible.
We want to equip parents to talk to their kids about what they're learning. The following is the content that the children's classes taught this week. We encourage parents to use this resource at home to help you and your kids grow as you learn from God's word together.
Children's Lesson from Sunday, November 10
The Main Point:
God is powerful.
Q: Who was finally born?
Q: What does God always keep?
A: His promises.
Q: Who needs to be reminded that God is powerful and always keeps His promises?
Q: What promise did God keep to Adam and Eve?
A: To send a Rescuer to save the world from sin.
New City Catechism Question #42
Q: How is the Word of God to be read and heard?
A: With diligence, preparation, and prayer; so that we may accept it with faith and practice it in our lives.