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The Strange Ways Of God

The Strange Ways Of God

Text: 1 Pet. 4:4 Introduction:

• Being a child of God is different from the ordinary!

• What The world Thinks What God Thinks:

World— preserve the body. God— thinks save the soul.

World— avoid pain and seek peace. God— uses pain to bring peace.

World— live before you die God— die so you can live!

World— love what rusts. God— love what endures!

World— be like the sports hero. God— be like Christ!

• Peter said the world may think we are strange:

1 Peter 4:4 With respect to this they are surprised (they think it strange) when you do

not join them in the same flood of (wickedness), and they insult you

• God's ways may seem strange, but notice the wisdom!

1. Dying Precedes Living:

• People will say, "you live until you die."Or "you live and then you die."

They may have various reasons for saying that, positive or negative

The Bible tells us differently: that dying comes first then comes living.

Romans 6:1-13 (Read)

1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?

2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

7 For one who has died has been set free from sin.

8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God.

11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.

13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

• We must understand this is an illustration about repentance, self-denial, self-sacrifice

Think about it. What can you do to hurt someone who is dead? Nothing.

What if you kick them? Or spit on them? Maybe you can steal things from them. Or

must understand this is an illustration about repentance, self-denial, self-sacrifice

worse yet, say mean or unkind things to them? No doubt, it's disrespectful.

How does it affect them? It doesn't affect them. No one really "rolls over in their grave"

no matter what we do or say. It's a figure of speech.

Paul's teaching on this is not "how to treat the dead,"rather, it is about How To Be dead.

• How does being dead affect our lives? Strange question? It's an illustration:

If we are dead to self, what people say to us or about us will not hurt us. We won't be

prideful, nor offended

If we are dead to self, it doesn't matter what anyone else does to us, for us, or against us.

If we are dead to sin, we are not tempted by it.

2 Timothy 2:11 A trustworthy saying: If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

• Death precedes living because: Jesus had to die before we could live:

Rom. 5:6-8 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

For one will scarcely die for a righteous person— though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

• Jesus had to die before we can live and we must die to self and sin before we can live for and with God.

2. We Must Lose To Win.

Winning is involved in being a champion. We like to win, want to win, and don't want to lose. Winners get the prize. Losers get nothing.

• How do you win at being a Christian? It's not what many think!

Mark 8:35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my

sake and the gospel's will save it.

• When Christ died on the cross, the Devil thought he had won! He was supposed to think that.

• 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they

• had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

• • What would have happened if Jesus had not been crucified? Answer: We would be lost.

• As it is, Jesus lost so that we could win. We also must lose in order to win, like Paul said: Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

3. We Must Be Last To Be First

• Jesus lived this principle:

Matthew 20:27-28 Whoever desires to be first among you let him be your slave, just as The Son Of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

• Usually what we mean by first is best or greatest or most important. First place is the winner.

First place gets the prize. First place gets the honor and glory. In our world, no one wants to be last or the least or the slave.

• In March of 1981, President Reagan was shot and hospitalized for several weeks. Although he was the nation's chief executive, his hospitalization had little impact on the nation's activity. Government continued on. On the other hand, suppose all the garbage collectors in this country went on strike, like they did in Philadelphia in 1986. That city was not only a mess, but the decaying trash quickly became a health hazard. A three-week nationwide strike would paralyze the country. Who is more important? The President? Or a garbage collector?

• The Apostle Paul reminds us in the church:

1 Cor. 12:21-22 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you,"nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,

• If we are not willing to be last we cannot be first!

4. We Must Be Humble To Be Exalted:

• The Parable of the Wedding Feast Luke 14:7-11. "Don't sit in the best seat and be asked to move. Sit in the lowest place and then be invited to the better seats."

James 4:10 Humble yourself in the sight of the lord and He will lift you up.


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