Safe And Secure In Christ

Title: Safe And Secure In Christ

Bible Book: 1 Peter 4 : 7-11

Author: William F. Harrell

Subject: Spiritual Gifts; Return of Christ; Judgment; Christian Living



Peter had seen the Lord ascend from the Mount of Olives until He vanished in a cloud. He had heard angels repeat the promise of the Lord that He would come again. The whole N.T. emphasizes the expectation of the Lord's return. This passage reminds believers as to how they are to live "in light of the end." Remember, the church was going through a period of severe persecution, however, God was using it to humble the Christians, and as we will see in this text, to harmonize the church.

Believe me, when this happens, it always honors the Christ.

This passage is a constant reminder that no matter what interpretation we give to the prophetic Scriptures, we must all live in expectancy. The important thing is that we shall see the Lord one day and stand before Him. How we live and serve today will determine how we are judged and rewarded on that day. One of the main motivating factors in the life of the early believers was that they expected Jesus to return in their lifetime.

Romans 13:12, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us, therefore, cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light."

In light of the end, how then shall we live?

I. Live Prayerfully v.7

A. In Light Of His Return

"end" - Romans 13:11, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed."

"is near" - to approach, to draw near. Perfect tense and represents the end as having drawn near and being now in a position to break in. The idea is that the end is impending or imminent. These words serve as a caution to be always expectant and ready.

In its context, this promise was intended to give encouragement to God's people in their trials and troubles and to serve as a strong incentive to live faithfully for God while there is time.

B. In Light Of His Retribution

"therefore" - refers back to v.5-6.

Gal. 6:7, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

1. Sober-Minded

"sober" - clear minded; being sensible and serious; keeping one's mental and moral balance, not giving way to panic or fanaticism. To be in control of one's passions. It means to keep steady and clear. It was a warning against wild thinking about prophecy that could lead to an unbalanced life and ministry. The sober minded saint will have a purposeful life and not be drifting, and he will exercise restraint and not be impulsive. Korean believers predicted the return of Christ in October; quit jobs, sold homes, etc.

2. Self-Control

"watch" - alert; clarity of mind; speaks of sobriety of judgment that enables one to see things in proper perspective, specifically, in light of the end. Both words suggest a disciplined life with all the faculties under control and the energies unimpaired by an excess.

C. In Light Of Our Responsibility

"pray" - I Sam. 12:23, "Moreover, as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way."

The characteristics of being clear-minded and self-controlled are essential for unhindered prayer.

Attempt to pray when your mind is clouded and consumed by the worries of this world. We need a sober-mind and self-control to equip us for prayer. Only then will we be alert in our praying.

Peter knew that if our thinking and praying are right, our living should be right. Prayer is a solemn business and it demands our full attention.

Our prayers should not be selfish but selfless. As we pray and intercede for others, our church is drawn closer together. You maintain fellowship with God through prayer. It's the lifeline through which you can keep fresh the awareness of His love and presence, and express your concern for others. As we praise our Lord and give thanks for all things, the glory of the Lord will shine in our hearts and toward our fellowman.

II. Live Lovingly v. 8

A. Love Is The Crown 8a

"above all" - love is the badge of a believer in this world. John 13:34-35, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Love is the prerequisite to all proper exercises of Christian duty. Courtesy without love is a cold thing. Generosity without love is a harsh thing. Love makes all the other virtues what they should be. Jesus taught that love for God and for our neighbor fulfills the law, and Peter, with Paul, puts love first in our walk of obedience and fellowship. (Matthew 22:37-40)

B. Love Is A Command 8b

"fervent love" - the word pictures an athlete straining to reach the goal. It speaks of eagerness and intensity. It means to love each other deeply. It pictures the love of the saints stretching in both depth and endurance. If love collapses at its first test, it is not worthy of the name.

"fervent" - stretched out; this is descriptive of the taunt muscles of an athlete or the neck of a horse as he strains to win a race. We are to have unselfish concern for others in an intense way.

Love is capable of being commended because it is not primarily an emotion but a decision of the will leading to action.

1. Sincerely
2. Fervently

III. Intensely

Love Is The Covering 8c

Proverbs 10:12, "Hatred stirreth up strifes, but love covereth all sins." When love is fervent it will be forgiving. Love covers sin in that love motivates us to hide the sin from others and not spread it abroad. Unless love can stretch to forgive many sins, it will not avail among sinners. When one Christian truly loves his fellow Christian, he will not publish abroad his failings, but will cover them up from the sight of others.

Peter asked Jesus how many times he must forgive his brother. He proposed a generous seven times. Jesus was not impressed. He replied, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven."(Matthew 18:21-22

IV. Live Hospitably v.9

"hospitable" - friendly to strangers

A. The Virtue Of Hospitality 9a

In Bible days, traveling was difficult. Inns were few, and those that were available were usually dirty and expensive. Often they were centers of immorality. Therefore, Christians were encouraged to invite other believers into their homes while traveling.

Hollie has this virtue; she invites 6 friends at a time to spend the night.

B. The Victory Of Hospitality 9b

Hebrews 13:2, "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares."

"without grudging" - with gladness; ungrudgingly

1. Willingly
2. Cheerfully

Use hospitality, practice hospitality, offer hospitality. This is one of the duties of love. Greeting visitors at church.

V. Live Generously v.10-11a

A. Principle

"every man" - 1 Corinthians 12:7, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit."

"hath received" - grace-gift; capabilities. A believer cannot create them or claim them, because he received them from God. Peter's statement assumes that each believer has some God-given endowment for service. Free bounty from God, not a reward or merit.

B. Purpose

"minister the same one to another."

God has entrusted these gifts to us that we might use them for the good of His church. Not a private luxury to be hoarded but equipment to be used for the benefit of other people.

C. Pattern

"manifold grace" - many colored; richness; great variety.

D. Power

"ability" - strength God gives; verb means to lavishly supply. God abundantly supplies the Christian worker with the necessary strength to accomplish the task.

E. Provision

"giveth" - provides; points to someone who defrays the expenses of something. In dependence on His enablement. Gifts are discovered in service. We do not gain the answer by introspection.

My preaching: Gifts of the Spirit are to focus not on ourselves, but on God and on others.

1. Exalt Christ
2. Edify Christians



Stewards are administrators of the grace the Lord gives to us.


Serving: There are those "behind the scene" ministries that help to make the public ministries possible. Examples are parking, greeters, nursery, ushers, etc.


The power fo the Holy Spirit is at work in anyone who speaks the very Word of God to others.

Corinthians 5:20, "Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we beg you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

Sacred trust: gifts

Strength: abilities

VI. Live Thankfully v. 11b

The motive and goal of all that we do for God. He alone gets the glory! "Glory" - splendor

"Power" - sovereignty

When you recognize your "total dependence" on God, as a steward and servant, you are constantly reminded of the fact that "in all things" God is praised and given the glory!

A. Exhortation
B. Exaltation
C. Affirmation

"Amen" reflects the response of the people of God to the glory and power that are His. "So be it." The leader gives lip-service to God's enabling grace, but trusts management techniques. He looks to professional consultants more than to the Lord. Success demonstrates one's own organizational skill and entrepreneurial genius. It is easy to shift the ownership of the enterprise.

NEWSONG: "I give credit where credit is due."

How long is the rest of your life? Only God knows. Don't waste it! Invest it by doing the will of God.

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