16 A Clear Conscience And a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18
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16 A Clear Conscience And a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18

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A Clear Conscience & a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18, Adapted from a sermon by ...

A Clear Conscience & a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18, Adapted from a sermon by
Clark Tanner http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/a-clear-conscience-and-a-good-testimony-clark-tanner-sermon-on-christian-disciplines-100944.asp

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16 A Clear Conscience And a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18 16 A Clear Conscience And a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18 Presentation Transcript

  • A Clear Conscience &a Good Testimony 1 Peter 3:13-18
    Adapted from a sermon by
    Clark Tanner
    http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/a-clear-conscience-and-a-good-testimony-clark-tanner-sermon-on-christian-disciplines-100944.asp
  • 1 Peter 3:13 NET For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken.
    (Isaiah 8:12)
    15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.
  • 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil. 18 Because Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.
  • who is going to harm you
    1 Peter 3:13 NET For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good?
    Harm! There are so many ways people have to protect themselves these days. Precautions have to be taken so no harm of any kind can be inflicted. Businesses even have to be protected from lawyers running amuck! This is the reason there are so many warning labels on everything.
  • Be warned: "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover.“
    That label on a pair of shin guards beat out nearly 100 competitors to win the Michigan Lawsuit Abuse Watch's Wacky Warning Labels contest.
     Runners-up included:
     A label affixed to a toilet inside a public restroom: "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking."
     
  • "Warning: Riders of personal watercraft may suffer injury due to forceful injection of water into body cavities either by falling into the water or while mounting the craft."
    A warning on an electric router: "This product not intended for use as a dental drill."
     A warning on a novelty rock garden set (called "Popcorn Rock"): "Eating rocks may lead to broken teeth!"
  • A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to
    “Remove child before folding”
    A prescription of sleeping pills says, “Warning: May cause drowsiness
    A massage chair warns: “DO NOT use massage chair without clothing... and, Never force any body part into the backrest area while the rollers are moving.”
    A snow blower warns: “Do not use snow thrower on roof.”
  • A dishwasher carries this warning: “Do not allow children to play in the dishwasher.”
    A CD player carries this unusual warning: “Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult.”
    An “Aim-n-Flame” fireplace lighter cautions, “Do not use near fire, flame or sparks”
    A label on a hand-held massager advises consumers not to use “while sleeping or unconscious”
  • Do we even read those warning labels? They are there to protect you AND to protect the company that produces the product from a law suit. Do we ever go overboard trying to protect ourselves?
  • In October 1993, police sharpshooters in Rochester, New York, surrounded a car. In the back seat of the car was a man with a rifle. The police attempted to negotiate with the man. No answer. The police watched and waited. No movement. Finally the police discovered the truth: The armed man in the back seat was a mannequin.
  • When the authorities tracked down the owner of the car, he told them he keeps the mannequin in his car for protection. "You've got to do this," he said. "With the car-jackings, it helps if it looks like you've got a passenger.“
    These are dangerous times.
    Whom do you rely on for protection?
    A mannequin or the Mighty One?
  • 13 NET For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good?
    A devotionto what is good provides “Big Picture” protection!
    It is hard to imagine someone more devotedtowhat is goodthan the Apostle Paul. Scriptures tell us all the harm that was inflicted on him.
  • 2 Corinthians 11:23 NET Are they servants of Christ? (I am talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times. 24 Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with a rod. Once I received a stoning. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea.
  • 26 I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, 27 in hard work and toil, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food,
    in cold and without enough clothing.
  • 28 Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation? 30 If I must boast, I will boast about the things that show my weakness.
  • 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to arrest me, 33 but I was let down in a rope-basket through a window in the city wall, and escaped his hands.
  • you are blessed
    But in the “Big Picture,’
    the ‘Eternal Scope”
    Paul wasn’t harmed, he was blessed. Peter tells us that in verse;
    14But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. (Isaiah 8:12)
  • Jesus tells us "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.Matthew 5:10 NET
    But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed: Peter reminds us that there is even blessing for us when we suffer for righteousness’ sake. God will care for us, especially when we suffer unjustly.
  • Matthew 10:28 NET Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Instead, fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
    And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled: The presence or possibility of suffering for doing good should not make us shrink back from doing good. Instead we should give a special place (sanctify) to God in our hearts, and always be ready to explain our faith (give a defense), always doing it with a right attitude (meekness and fear). (Guzik)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. The day before, he had delivered his now famous “Promised Land” sermon at the Mason Temple in Memphis, the last words of which were these: “But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I do not fear any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” And the next day a man took his earthly life.
  • What allows someone to live in troubled times and with the threat of persecution all around and yet live in peace? It’s the peace of God. When one is at peace with God, there is no reason to fear anyone or anything.
    The one thing that is most important
    - eternal life –
    is the one thing that
    no one can take away.
  • As the young missionary Jim Elliot wrote not long before his own death, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” If you are fearing anything or anyone today,
    check your P.Q.- your peace quotient.
    Know God and know peace.
    Fear rises in the mind of man as peace leaves the heart of man.
    If the basis of peace is God, the secret of peace is trust.
  • A soldier who had been through a long campaign once declared the order to "close up the ranks" drove away from him all sickening fear in entering on the battle, for the touch of other men at his elbows made him feel he was one of a vast host, and thus the sense of individual peril was forgotten. Christ's "Fear thou not, for I am with thee" (Isaiah 41:10), is just such an elbow-touch to our souls; and we reply, "I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me" (Psalms 23:4).
  • For several years a woman had been having trouble getting to sleep at night because she feared burglars. One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate. When he got there, he did find a burglar.
    "Good evening," said the man of the house. "I am pleased to see you.
    Come upstairs and meet my wife.
    She has been waiting ten years
    to meet you."
  • See how Peter continues his admonition in verse 15But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16aYet do it with courtesy and respect,
    That’s a pretty familiar scripture verse for most of us, isn’t it? We pluck it out and toss it around with abandon to exhort one another to knowing the gospel and being willing to share it.
  • Do you notice the context in which it is said? And do you notice that what the Bible is really saying is that at that moment when we are being reviled and persecuted and made to suffer for righteousness sake THAT is when with gentleness and reverence we are to be prepared to defend our beliefs and give an account to them for the hope that is in us?
    In no way am I saying we shouldn’t be ready at anytime to defend our hope to anyone who inquires.
  • Remember Paul’s
    defense before Agrippa? Acts 26:29 NET Paul replied, "I pray to God that whether in a short or a long time not only you but also all those who are listening to me today could become such as I am, except for these chains."
    He spoke in gentleness and reverence to the one who had him in chains and imprisoned, giving an account for the hope that was in him as his only defense.
  • Standing for what was right.Jesus said They will put you out of the synagogue, yet a time is coming when the one who kills you will think he is offering service to God.John 16:2 NET
    Well we are in a time when those who want to kill us the most are not Jews, but they do so thinking they are earning favor with God.Do these words of Peter apply to the church of Jesus Christ in A.D. 2010?
    You bet they do.
  • a good conscience
    16b,c…keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.
  • A small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial —
    a grandmotherly, elderly woman.
    He approached her and asked,
    “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?”
    She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you’ve been a big disappointment to me.
  • You lie, you cheat on your wife, you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you’re a rising big shot when you haven’t the brains to realize you will never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher.
    Yes, I know you.”
    The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?”
  • She replied, “Why, yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to babysit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He’s lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. The man can’t build a normal relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him.”
  • At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench.
    In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, “If either of you asks her if she knows me, you’ll be jailed for contempt!”
     
    I don’t think the judge had a clear conscience or he wouldn’t of been worried about what the elderly woman knew about him.
  • There are two ways, as I see it, to apply Peter’s exhortation to keeping a good conscience. The most obvious, and I believe the one Peter intended, would simply mean, ‘don’t be guilty of whatever it is they might accuse you of’. Don’t provide them with an opportunity to slander you
    and then prove it to be true.
  • Referring back to Acts 26, how impressed do you think Agrippa or Felix or anyone else in the room would have been with Paul’s defense, if they knew for a fact that he was living an immoral lifestyle?He was in trouble only because he preached righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come.
  • If they had known that he was a womanizer and a drunkard and a thief, they would have laughed in his face and called him a hypocrite.
    Instead they drew aside and had a little whisper conference about what to do with him since he was obviously innocent of any wrong-doing.
  • Do you see why when a preacher is exposed in sin he has to step down and shut his mouth? What good can be done telling you the gospel if you saw me drunk last week and making a pass at every woman I came across? How can I talk to you of righteousness and self-control and the judgment to come, if my life says to you that I do not fear God or His judgment?
  • 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.”Listen. Even if the persecution being brought to you is for doing what is right, you cannot receive any blessing in it if your conscience is not clear.What are you going to be telling yourself? Well, I may be innocent of what they are accusing me of, and I may be being persecuted in their minds only for being a Christian, but God knows I’m guilty of thus and such; no blessing to be found.
  • keeping a good conscience in regards to your own life and behavior, so that when the time comes you can stand straight for what is right, not fearing man but with Christ as Lord in your heart, and let Him be your defender.The other application I make to this phrase, ‘keeping a good conscience’, which like I said I do not believe was intended necessarily by Peter but I do believe it is valid anyway, comes from Hebrews 10:22, but I’ll read verses 19-25 for the sake of context.
  • Hebrews 10:19 NET Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.
  • 23And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, 25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.
  • The author of that letter wanted his readers to remain mindful that they have been ushered into the very presence of a Holy God, by the blood of Christ which cleansed them from sin. He wanted them to approach in full assurance that the atoning sacrifice of Christ has completely removed their blood guiltiness before God and their consciences are now clean.
  • I make this second application also in 1 Peterbecause if we know in our hearts, where Christ has been sanctified as Lord, that by His sacrifice we are pure and right before God the Father who has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us, then in persecution we can stand with confidence entrusting ourselves also to Him who judges righteously.
  • A GOOD TESTIMONY
    There is another reason for us to seek to be keeping a good conscience before God and men, and also to be relieved of an unnecessary weight of guilt concerning our past sins, by the knowledge and understanding of the efficacy of Christ’s atoning work.It is so we can deliver a good testimony before our persecutors.Now I use the word ‘good’ in two different applications also.
  • First, and the lesser of the two, is ‘good’ in the sense of the testimony of our personal life. If we maintain, with the Lord’s help, a lifestyle that is above the reproach of men, then we are freed to suffer for doing what is right and not for doing what is wrong.We can then endure without defensiveness, unafraid to say what needs to be said because we will know that no charge against us can be substantiated and our accusers can only shame themselves.
  • My second application of that word ‘good’ is infinitely more important. We will be freed to deliver the testimony of Christ, who …also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, to bring you to God, by being put to death in the flesh but by being made alive in the spirit.18And it is the testimony of both Scripture and history that when God’s Godly people suffer for the sake of righteousness, God, who brings life from death, causes rich spiritual harvest that far outweighs the pain endured.
  • It is the knowledge of this truth that brought Paul to declare: For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison
    2 Corinthians 4:17 NET
    So we come back to verse 13 and ask anew, 13For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good?Our answer has to be,
    ‘No One’.
  • Listen to what Paul writes
    to the Saints in Rome.
    Romans 8:31 NET What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 Indeed, he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against God's elect?
    It is God who justifies.
  • 34Who is the one who will condemn? Christ is the one who died (and more than that, he was raised), who is at the right hand of God, and who also is interceding for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, "For your sake we encounter death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." (Psalm 44:22)
  • 37No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • What if there comes a time when some will come to kill us thinking they are offering service to God?What if? God knows.
    We only have to be certain, each one in our own heart, that we can face them with a clear conscience and a good testimony, able to give them an account of the hope that is in us, gently and reverently giving testimony of the Christ who died for sins once for all; and who rose, and who is at the right hand of God.
  • How clear is your conscience today?
    If you do not have a good conscience what are you doing to correct that?
    Jesus did His part. He gave all for us.
    All He asks in return is love
    which is shown through obedience.