The Story: When was the last time you heard a sermon or Gospel presentation promising that, if you will commit to follow Jesus, you will suffer for it? Jesus came and did good, and we nailed Him to the cross, because we do not like to have our sins exposed. If we do good to others, consistently, in every circumstance, even when it’s not convenient or we might feel justified doing something else, we will be a source of indictment for sinful people. We probably won’t be nailed to a cross, but expect folks to snipe at you, talk behind your back, treat you meanly, and perhaps even worse. Your good works will turn the light on their sins, and, when that happens, unless God’s grace intervenes unto repentance, you can expect consequences. Rejoice, give thanks, and glory in them, because then you will be fulfilling an important part of your calling in Christ.
The Structure: The Church in these latter days is the Body of Christ, and, like Christ Himself, we should expect to know a certain amount of suffering in this world. When we try to avoid this – by keeping a low profile, dumbing-down our preaching, or refusing to talk about the Law and sin, we’re simply denying our calling and failing in our mandate to be the Body of Christ. Jesus did not try to avoid the suffering His life of goodness and truth brought upon Him, and neither should we.
Do you every find that you’re trying to keep from upsetting another person with your faith in Christ? Why?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Lived Witness: 1 Peter 2.13-25,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.