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Living in Community    1 Peter 4:1-11     October 21, 2012


       Just yesterday a man complained to me about the number of Baptist Churches there are in our town. He asked why is that? You know there isn’t a good answer especially to someone who is not a Baptist and active in church.
    The church I pastor split off of First Baptist 62 years ago. Then about five years ago another group left First Baptist and started their own church. Why does this happen spite of agreeing on many biblical principals? We were not or are not Living In Community.


1.   Living in Community . . We Equip Ourselves in the Likeness of Christ. 4:1-6

       A.   The Likeness of . . Suffering. 4:1-2

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, equip yourselves also with the same resolvebecause the one who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin
2 in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for Gods will.


       B.   The Likeness of . . Separation from Ungodly Living. 4:3-4

3 For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the pagans choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry.
4 So they are surprised that you dont plunge with them into the same flood of wild livingand they slander you.


       C.   The Likeness of Living In The . . Spiritual Realm. 4:5-6

5 They will give an account to the One who stands ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 For this reason the gospel was also preached to those who are nowdead, so that, although they might be judged by men in the fleshly realm, they might live by God in the spiritual realm.

       The Christian life is both provided for us in Christ and our person discipline in equipping ourselves in the decisions we make to follow and receive the disciplines of a growing Christian. I am amazed at the way some newer Christians grow and surpass several older Christians simply because they really desire to learn and grow.

We do not have to suffer like Christ did to make the payment God demands for sin, but we may suffer simply because we choose to exalt His name every time we can. Our growth will also be related to our separation from the world. The text tells us the world is surprised when someone refuses to join in their lifestyle. This is true because we choose to live a spiritual life.


2.   Living in Community . . We Love One Another. 4:7-9  

       A.   The Love . . Disciplined Through Prayer. 4:7

7 Now the end of all things is near; therefore, be serious and disciplined for prayer.


       B.   The Love . . Determined to be Intense and hospitable. 4:8-9

8 Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.
9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining.

       The New Testament tells us the world noticed how Christians loved one another. Of course that is what Jesus said and He called it a new command. We certainly may discipline ourselves in this love by praying for one another and disciplining ourselves in an intense desire for our Christian brothers and sisters. This will develop even more if we seek to be hospitable without complaining. It is sad to hear several people in a town complain about the way churches treat one another and how they have split and formed different groups rather than living as a fellowship of love.


3.   Living in Community . . We Serve One Another. 4:10-11

       A.   Serving One Another Through Our . . Spiritual Gift. 4:10-11a

10 Based on the gift each one has received, use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, it should beas one who speaks Gods words; if anyone serves, . . . “


       B.   Serving One Another Through The . . Strength God Gives. 4:11b

“. . . ⌊it should befrom the strength God provides, so that God may be glorified through Jesus Christ in everything. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

       Christians are to serve one another. We do this through recognizing and using our spiritual gifts given to us when we were saved. As a pastor it is great to know what spiritual gifts the members of the church have been given. If I have a call to make that requires the gift of mercy I like for a deacon with that gift to go with me. Their have been times I needed someone with the gift of Organization to help a committee to get organized and moving toward a goal. All of our gifts need to be saturated with the strength God supplies so that all will be done to His glory. This will help all of us to a goal of Living in Community Amen? Amen!