Embracing the Father or Facing Futilty

By Joe Boot / September 28, 2014

Series 1 Peter: Standing Firm in our Hope

Context Westminster Chapel Toronto

Topic Paganism

Scripture 1 Peter 1:17-25

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Sermon Notes:

  1. Peter contrasts the futility of the way of the Gentiles, with the new way of the family of God.
  2. The Christian alone is able to call God "our Father."
  3. The Word of God is sowed into our hearts bringing about new life, as we are born into the family of God.
  4. God is the creator and governor of all men, but only His children who have come to Him through Jesus Christ can call Him Father.  Jesus taught the disciples that they can call God their Father. 
  5. This is a very great and intimate love that God has bestowed upon us, granting us access to call Him Father.
  6. In our age Fatherhood is challenged and ridiculed (e.g., the portrayal of fathers on television sitcoms). 
  7. A faithful Father provides discipline, protection and provision.
  8. All human fathers are imperfect; by contrast God provides the perfect model of fatherhood.
  9. Fathers are to leave an inheritance.  God provides an imperishable inheritance to His children.
  10. We are redeemed from the vanity of the pagan way of life. (Jer. 16:19-21; cf. Rom. 1:24-25).
  11. Pagan idols and worship amount to demon worship (1 Cor. 10:20).
  12. Only through Christ is the Father revealed (John 1:18; Matt. 11:27).
  13. In the Triune God there’s a personal familial foundation to all reality and thus it is not reduced to impersonal nothingness.
  14. Pagan worship of nature, earth and fertility are being popularized in our day, not unlike the paganism of the ancient world in Peter’s day.
  15. Violent pornography has become popular expression paganism: the worship of the orgy god, Bacchus.
  16. Though it is absurd, paganism, old and new, attributes the origin of the universe to nothing.
  17. Salvation and our relationship within the family of God, bring total meaning to our lives.
  18. We’ve been redeemed, by a close relative, our older brother Christ (cf. Heb 2:10-12). Taking on true humanity, God the Son buys us back from our slavery to sin and darkness with His blood.
  19. The Lord pays the ransom price for His servants (vv.18-19).
  20. Instead of following pagan illusions, we worship the Triune God who brings us into His family.
  21. As part of the family of God (v22), believers share the same Father and the same kinsman redeemer (Christ).
  22. Obedience and holiness in the family of God are identified by our love for one another which is to be earnest and without pretense.
  23. We’ve been delivered from futility into the family of God.

Application Questions:

  1. Where do we end up if we reject the family of God?
  2. Describe the progression of paganism as outlined in Romans 1:18-32.
  3. Who belong to the family of God?
  4. How did God redeem us from slavery to sin?  Why?
  5. What does God the Father provide for His children?
  6. What does genuine love in God’s family look like?
  7. How can we practice familial love this week? 

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