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Aug 02, 2020

Strange Presence

Strange Presence

Passage: 1 Peter 3:8-22

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Strange Faith

Overview: Personal belief, deeply felt, will always have a public dimension. In its most fledgling days, the new community of faith in Christ encountered suspicion and hostility. Yet that became no justification for remaining privately devoted. How does our moment share characteristics with the one Peter wrote to? What hesitations in a public recommendation of belief might they and we share? What is the manner that opportunity calls for--and moreover, what motivation must compel it?

Order of Worship

CALL TO WORSHIP: Romans 5:1,6-8,17-18
PRAYER: The Peace Prayer (by St. Francis of Assisi)
OT READING: Leviticus 24:19-20, Matthew 5:38-45
CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Peter 3:8-22 ESV
MESSAGE: Strange Presence
Confession of Sin: Matthew 5:13-16
Assurance of Pardon: Titus 3:4-8
Holy Communion!
BENEDICTION: 2 Corinthians 13:11

READINGS & Lyrics

CALL TO WORSHIP: Romans 5:1,6-8,17-18
LEADER: 1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
ALL: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation

PRAYER: The Peace Prayer (by St. Francis of Assisi)
ALL: Lord, make us an instrument of Thy peace;
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;

Where there is error, truth;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;

Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
Grant that we may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;
To withhold, as to forgive
To be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

OT READING:
LEADER: From Leviticus 24:19-20
19 Anyone who injures their neighbour is to be injured in the same manner: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury.

Matthew 5:38-45
38 ‘You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.”39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.
43 ‘You have heard that it was said, “Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

CENTRAL TEXT: 1 Peter 3:8-22 ESV
LEADER: 1Pet. 3:8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. 10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;
11 let him turn away from evil and do good;
let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

1Pet. 3:13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.

1Pet. 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, 19 in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. 21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Confession of Sin: Matthew 5:13-16
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Assurance of Pardon: Titus 3:4-8
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

BENEDICTION: 2 Corinthians 13:11
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

For the Beauty of the Earth
Words: Folliot S. Pierpoint (1863)
Music: Conrad Kocher (1838)
Public Domain

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love, which from our birth
over and around us lies

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise

For the wonder of each hour
Of the day and of the night,
Hill and vale and tree and flower,
Sun and moon and stars of light

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise

For Thy Church, that evermore,
Lifteth holy hands above
Offering up on every shore
Her pure sacrifice of love

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise

For Yourself, best gift divine,
To the world so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in heaven.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise

Yet Not I, But Through Christ In Me
Jonny Robinson, Rich Thompson, Michael Farren (2018)

What gift of grace is Jesus my redeemer
There is no more for heaven now to give
He is my joy, my righteousness, and freedom
My steadfast love, my deep and boundless peace

To this I hold my hope is only Jesus
For my life is wholly bound to His
Oh how strange and divine, I can sing: all is mine!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

The night is dark but I am not forsaken
For by my side, the Saviour He will stay
I labour on in weakness and rejoicing
For in my need, His power is displayed

To this I hold, my Shepherd will defend me
Through the deepest valley He will lead
Oh the night has been won, and I shall overcome!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

No fate I dread, I know I am forgiven
The future sure, the price it has been paid
For Jesus bled and suffered for my pardon
And He was raised to overthrow the grave

To this I hold, my sin has been defeated
Jesus now and ever is my plea
Oh the chains are released, I can sing: I am free!
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

With every breath I long to follow Jesus
For He has said that He will bring me home
And day by day I know He will renew me
Until I stand with joy before the throne

To this I hold, my hope is only Jesus
All the glory evermore to Him
When the race is complete, still my lips shall repeat:
Yet not I, but through Christ in me

Build My Life
Pat Barret, Matt Redman, Brett Younker, Kirby Kaple, Karl Martin (2016)

Worthy of every song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Jesus, the Name above every other name
Jesus, the only One who could ever save
Worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy, there is no one like You, there is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder and
Show me who You are and fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

Jesus, the name above every other name
Jesus, the only One who could ever save
You're worthy of every breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy, there is no one like You, there is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder and
Show me who You are and fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

And I will build my life upon Your love, it is a firm foundation
And I will put my trust in You alone and I will not be shaken
And I will build my life upon Your love, it is a firm foundation
And I will put my trust in You alone and I will not be shaken

Holy, there is no one like You, there is none beside You
Open up my eyes in wonder and
Show me who You are and fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES:

  • Psalm 34 (1 Peter passage cites vv. 12-16)
  • Proverbs 16:7

Illustrations:

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What does it mean to be present (not like attendance-taking)? How does our world make being present a challenge for us?
  2. How does a church relate to a culture? Are they friends? Enemies? Something else? Why?
  3. Why does Peter warn against repaying evil with evil, or reviling with reviling? Why would they need to hear that? What might they be facing if that’s his exhortation? Why might his words have relevance even in our day? Do you feel some of the same temptations he’s warning of?
  4. Why have a defense of the hope that is in you? What’s the reason Peter gives? Have you ever given that kind of explanation to someone? What was it like? What occasioned it? How did it go? What are reasons we may have hesitations in making that kind of defense?
  5. Why must gentleness and respect be the manner of making that defense? How does that add to its credibility? What’s lost without it? What would a gentle, respectful defense look like?