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Monday, September 01, 2008

Camp Talk 3

Colin Tamplin. Spot any herecy? Tell me, but don't blame him!

"I'm afraid I'm going to lose my friends."
1 Peter (yep, all of it!) Focus on 1 Peter 1:1-9

Deep down, what most of us want more than anything else in the world is to fit in. If we're committed to Jesus then immediately a danger eneters our lives - we won't be able to fit in as well as we did.

There are lots of reasons why we may struggle with Christianity. Yesterday we looked at intellectual reasons. Now we're looking at personal/social/emotional reasons. And there's a whole book of the Bible tackling the theme of what you do when you don't fit in.

1:1 - "exiles"/ "strangers". 1:17 - "exile". 2:11 - "exiles". Get the picture?! These people were living in their own community. And yet Peter calls them exiles. If you don't fit in you still have to live "normal lives". How do we deal with how hard it is to not fit in?

1. Don't have unnecessary fear. (2:11-12)
It is possible to live a consistent Christian life and yet live a 'normal' life. Matthew 5:16

2. Don't exaggerate the fear (1:6, 5:10)
"A little while"! It can and will happen that we will be left out and isolated and lonely etc. That is when we must not let fear stop us in our tracks. It's only for a short time.

3. Don't be defeated:
a. You are extremely privileged (1:1 "elect")
The Bible never goes into election in a controversial way, but in a way that's meant to make us feel good!
b. Your old life isn't worth returning to (1:18).
"Futile". There's no point living an empty life. 4:3-5. The old life seems attractive under pressure of loneliness. But it is futile.
c. A great price has been paid for you (1:17-19)
Redemption. We can never live a life worthy of Christ's sacrifice. But we can live a life compatible with it.
d. You are part of a great community (2:4, 4:12-13)
At that moment you're isolated, you're being like Jesus. 5:8-9. You belong to God, identify with Jesus and identify with the Church throughout the world.
e. This does not go on forever.
Don't abandon your faith for people who will soon be out of your life. How many people in their twenties, thirties, are still friends with people they were in school with?
f. The suffering will be worth it. 1:6-7.


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