Preparing for the New Year

Dustin Folden December 31, 2017 1 Peter 1:10-16
Outline

3 ways to fix your hope on Christ in the new year

I. Rejoice in the Salvation of God (v10-12)

A. Be amazed at the gospel

B. Consider the glory of salvation

II. Prepare for Gospel-Centered Action (v13)

A. Prepare your mind

B. Keep sober in Spirit

C. Fix your hope on Christ’s grace

III. Embrace Your Relationship as a Child of God (v14-16)

A. Do not be conformed by your lusts

B. Be holy in your behavior

 

It is Dec 31st, tomorrow is a New Year.

What are you looking forward to this year? Have you made any plans already?

For some people the new year is just a flip of the calendar it is just the next day as it’s a new year, but the same schedule. For others it is a time where they think and plan about a whole lot of things. Have you made any plans you are looking forward to…

  • Maybe you have a vacation planned someplace warm early this year, and you need to finalize some details in the new year.
  • Maybe you are planning to start remodeling a room and you need to buy the supplies.
  • Maybe you are going to go back to school, get some extra training for a work promotion, or really commit to a workout plan for at least a week.

What are you looking forward to this year?

A biblical way of saying that is what are you hoping for this year. You see hope in the bible is not wishful thinking…like I hope I get a pony for Christmas…did anyone get a pony BTW? I was waiting for a horse trainer to raise their hand. ..you see the biblical use of the word hope is really about looking forward to something that is coming. Like if a person bought a house, and they have a move in date, and they are fixing their hope on that move in day where they get to actually be in the house they purchased.

  • Or an engaged couple…planning feverishly and looking forward to their wedding day.
  • [on PPT, but not in bulletin] - 1 Peter 1:3–5 — 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • A living hope is all about looking forward to something that effects the way we live today.
    • A future hope that has daily practical implications
  • That hope focuses on An inheritance, which is something we receive in the future…and it is protected by God
    • The security of the future allows you to live by faith in the present.
    • That is really important in a sin cursed world filled with suffering and trials.
      • The bible has a rich history of people looking forward to something that God was doing or had promised, and that then impacting their everyday lives.
        • The prophets prophesied of the grace that would come. They foreshadowed the suffering of Christ and the glories that would follow.
      • Even though they did not know exactly how or exactly when God’s promises would be brought to fruition, they looked forward to it, and their looking forward to it served the people that came after them…even you and I as we get to look back on the Gospel of the Christ who was promised.
      • The Point here is that the gospel, the message of Christ is amazing.
        • It was prophesized of from long ago
        • It was God’s message… the Holy Spirit was and is guiding this whole process, and it is a message sent from heaven to mankind….and there is more to look forward to.
        • The Gospel of Christ is something to look back on, the cross and the empty tomb and the resurrection…but it is also something to look forward to and be amazed at God’s intricate and wonderful plan of salvation.
      • This is something that angels long to look into, they have some pretty good scenery to look at, and they want to see exactly how the Gospel is going to impact mankind…
        • if angels are stretching their necks to see God’s plan of salvation (cf. being in a crowd and wanting to see something, to look at something closer)…if angels are amazed we should be amazed as well and spend time thinking about and being amazed.
      • When we think about salvation, we often think about a person making a profession of faith, or being saved as they admit their sin against a holy God and accept His free gift of eternal life by trusting in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.
        • But the bible also talks about the salvation that is to be revealed, the glories that are to follow. The completion of our salvation, what is known as our glorification when we see Jesus face to face.
        • Romans 8:18 — 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
      • You see we are to be motivated by the end product…
        • it is just like when you build a Lego set.
        • I bet your kids got some Legos and you helped them put it together or you played with Legos as a kid…let me explain to you the proper way to build a Lego set.
        • First, before building, think of the way you buy the Lego set … you buy it because of the picture on the box, no one buys a Lego set because oh..they use a whole bunch of 4x2s in this one, let’s get this one…you look at the end product.
          • And then you start building it piece by piece thinking about what it is going to eventually become.
        • The way you build Legos, is you first prop the box up right in front of you for a big picture reference…then you separate all the pieces in to color, shape and size and begin building,
          • but all the while you are constantly looking at the big picture to make sure you are on track and focused on what it is going to eventually become.
      • Think about that spiritually.
        • As you build your life around Christ this year and you think about what God is doing in your life, will you constantly reference what you will become and let that motivate you when it is hard, or challenging and when you just don’t know how all the blessings and trials are going to fit together in God’s great plan of salvation for you in Christ.
      • The original languages literally read…Gird up your mind cr. Gird up the loins of your mind
      • To gird up your loins in the bible means to prepare for action. A person would take their tunic and tying it up under you so your legs can move free and you can fight and run, or build or harvest…
        • One of the best examples of this is in 1 Kings 18:46; when Elijah girded up his loins and then outran Ahab to the city of Jerel.
      • This phrase is about action. This year Will you think about the gospel and the great salvation God will bring about in you and in others…and will that lead you to action.
      • Let me ask you this…Based on what the Lord has accomplished for you…What are you going to accomplish for the Lord this year.
        • This is not to be prideful or to be man centered, or think it is all about you and you need to be a hero for Jesus…but we have been born again to a living hope and this gospel message, this good news is so good it is to lead us to action, rather than passivity, and the text says get ready In your mind for action.
        • So it is right and good for you to think about how the Lord is going to use you this year and what you are going to do this year for the Lord rather than what you are going to do for yourself.
      • What does this look like….well it can take a lot of forms…
      • Preparing your mind means Set some goals, make some plans….
        • What Books are you going to read that help you grow in Christlikeness – write it down
        • What is your prayer life going to look like this year.-think about a plan about how to track what is going on in others lives and pray for them.
        • Will you memorize any scripture this year, if so which passages and what is the goal of memorizing them…maybe to be more patient with you kids, or not as easily frustrated at work.
        • How are you gogin to prioritize reading God’s word each day.
          • You may not have a tunic in the way, but…
          • Maybe you need to prepare a place in your house where you have work space to study, and it is dedicated to having your bible on it, a notebook with pen and paper and any other books that might help you study and grow….and other things have just been cleared away as you are rolling up your sleeves to know God better.
      • How are you going to serve this year.
        • Are there some ministries that you have gifts for…or are there needs that you could simply help with.
      • Evangelism
        • Peter’s focus for his readers in verse 12 is that what was foreshadowed by the prophets has been announced to you through those who preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit.
        • who are you go to seek to share the gospel with this year and invite to church – prepare your mind for action.
      • How can you prepare your mind for action in the 9:30 Service
        • Consider How are you going to build up others in love, as we need each individual part of the body to be connected and do their part.
        • In order to build others up in love, you need to know them.
        • I want to encourage you to know everyone in your section.
          • I want you to by the end of next year be able to know everyone you sit around, and know how to pray for them, and if they bring a guest to church on Sunday, you are like the first person to welcome their guest and make them feel at home…knowing your friends are going to do the same when you bring a guest.
          • Consider going around each section and encouraging someone by name from that section to know their neighbors…
        • When you get in the car to go to church…gird up the loins of your mind....for action, not passivity…how is the Lord going to use me today, rather than what is someone going to do for me today.
        • Now don’t think just because I didn’t call you by name that you are exempt…the text says we are to prepare our minds for actions, and I am just giving you one super obvious application….
      • If preparing you mind, or girding up your mind means rolling up your sleeves and getting ready for work…
      • Then Being Sober in spirit is about not letting anything control you and take your attention away from the task at hand.
        • It is about being self controlled, disciplined…basically not controlled by other things and staying focused on the mission God has for you.
        • You got your tunic all tied up for battle or to build a wall, and someone says, hey come lets go play video games.
        • If someone is not sober, and they are intoxicated, that means they are not in control…they can’t focus on the task at hand as something else is influencing them…we can become intoxicated by so many things in this world.
      • There are going to be hundred and thousands of things vying for your attention this year, and they can control you, and they can consume all your energy this year that really needs to be used for God’s glory.
        • Sober is about being aware, and knowing what is influencing you
      • I would encourage you to be aware of how social media and entertainment tends to control us.
        • Many families recognize that their devices have such a hold on them, that their interactions are controlled by their devices…so to not be controlled and to focus on what they want to accomplish as a family for the Lord they put their devices in a drawer when they get home and they seek to regularly get out and serve others in a face to face way.
        • I read an article recently where the writer said that he and his friends only take one phone with them to dinner for emergencies…He said if they can’t get through a meal without looking at their phones and talking to the people in front of them, they are addicted and being controlled and it is actually hurting relationships.
      • In light of the Gospel, we are not to be characterized as distracted people this year.
        • There are so many opportunities to build up others up in love, invite folks to church and even share the gospel may be right there in front of you and you don’t want to be controlled or intoxicated by something else when those gospel centered opportunities present themselves.
      • You won’t be distracted if you…
      • Instead of being controlled by self focused endeavors, we are to focus on Christ.
      • The text says to fix your hope completely on the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus.
        • That means we don’t just focus on the Lord on Sunday, but we constantly are thinking about Jesus coming back, and that is to impact our everyday lives…it is to be a living hope.
      • It is fascinating that what Jesus is bringing is grace.
        • He has shown us grace by providing a way of salvation that is by faith in His sacrifice not by merit in our works…but there is more
      • When Jesus comes His kingdom is going to be characterized by His gracious rule.
        • He is bringing justice, and he will come as the conquering king, but His rule will be characterized by grace.
      • When you think about salvation…it is true we are saved from the wrath of God and from being separated from God in hell forever, but we are also saved to be with Him forever.
        • Can you imagine what life with Christ is going to be like where everyday we will experience much more than we ever deserve.
      • We are to look forward to the Grace that he is bringing in His return.
        • His rule is going to be so good, it is to be characterized by His grace… it is going to be a delight to serve in His kingdom.
      • So if we fix our hope on His grace, and how he is going to rule…how should that impact the way we steward our responsibilities and oversee the people we are in charge of whether it be in our families or at work.
        • Think about what it is going to be like to be with Jesus, and then ACT!... seek to give people a taste of that this year when you are with them.
      • Are we going to be so focused on the return of Christ and His gracious rule that the way we interact with people this year will be characterize by grace because we are just imitating our coming Lord and savior.
  • The way you serve your coworkers and get to know their families and pray for them, let that point to God
  • The way you talk to your kids, but do not let them run things…let that graciousness and firmness point to God.
  • The way you put others first in your relationship and serve them…let that point to our Holy God.
  • The way you invite folks to church and welcome others to church…let that point to our God.

The bible talks a lot about hope…as one example consider this passage in 1 Peter 1 that leads us to our main passage today.

Peter is writing to those who were dispersed and scattered as aliens in foreign lands…in other words, their hope would often wane under the pressure of living in their situation. It is hard to maintain belief that better things are coming. He writes to give them hope and to help them look forward to the Lords return and their inheritance.

So if you are looking forward to a lot of things this year, I want to encourage you to be focusing on the most important things…and if you are not accustomed to looking forward and letting that govern your daily plans, I want to encourage you to consider how looking forward in a Christ centered way this year can impact your daily life.

Regardless of how you tend to go into the new year…. I want to encourage everyone here to think about what this year is going to look like in your life spiritually speaking as we consider Preparing for the New year, this morning.

With that in mind, please open your bibles and turn to 1 Peter chapter 1 starting in verse 10…that is on page 180 in the bible under the chair in front of you.

1 Peter 1:10–16 — 10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Say it in a sentence: This year I want to encourage you to Fix your hope on the salvation of Christ for you, by aiming your mind and pursuing holiness as a Child of God.

So with our time remaining let’s look at…3 ways to fix your hope on Christ in the New Year.

I.                Rejoice in the salvation of God (v10-12)

Every year we need to…

 

A.     Be amazed at the gospel

One of the ways we can do this is…

B.     Consider the glory of salvation

We need that kind of big picture focus to help us practically live for the Lord each day this year. That is why the next way we can fix our hope on Christ is to…

II.             Prepare for Gospel Centered action (v13)

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Now having this big picture amazement for the gospel is to have a very practical impact. You don’t just buy a Lego set, look at the cool picture and then don’t build it. (Don’t give me any collection nonsense…Legos are meant to be built. God’s great salvation leads us to take action, and to do that you must first…

A.     Prepare your mind

    1. Application

To do this, we need to be focused, and that means minimizing distractions…that is the next point.

B.     Keep Sober in Spirit

C.     Fix your hope on Christ’s Grace.

One commentator said “Christians live in the future tense; their present actions and decisions are governed by this future hope. Just as an engaged couple makes all their plans in the light of that future wedding, so Christians today live with the expectation of seeing Jesus Christ.”[1]

Live in the future tense. You see, if we think about Him, we tend to then act like Him. You see we tent to mimic those we look up to, just like children mimic their parents.

The third way to fix your hope on Christ this year…is to….

III.           Embrace your relationship as a child of God (v14-16)

1 Pe 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

Peter’s use of the term children here is interesting. For one he has earlier highlighted the inheritance reserved in heaven for you…an inheritance is reserved for one’s children. Whether they are biological or adopted, the inheritance in the ancient world was to be passed down to one’s children.

Furthermore, with God as our father, we are to think about what that means relationally…

a child of God is called to obey God their father, the one who is their authority, the one who is the protector of their inheritance.

Sometimes families can leverage an inheritance with uncertainty to get children to do what they want, but God says the inheritance is reserved in heaven for you protected by God through faith, so we have security in our relationship and our future that is to motivate us to be obedient children now…

So how do we function as obedient children…first

A.     Do not be conformed by your lusts

The do this instead Is to…

B.     Be Holy in your behavior

I really want to encourage you in light of this part of the text….to Not let the standard for your behavior this year be, if I can get away with it, or if it is socially acceptable or simply if I want it…

but rather ask is it Holy, does it point back to God…don’t be afraid to stand out in a way that says…our God is unlike anything else….

…don’t be afraid to share the living hope with others.

Fix your hope on Christ in the New Year.

  1. Rejoice in the Salvation of God (v10-12) ->be motivated by the final Product…glorification and seeing Jesus.
  2. Prepare your mind for Gospel Centered action (v13) and don’t be distracted.
  3. Embrace your relationship as a child of God by not being motivated by your lusts but by the holiness of God who is coming back.

[1] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 395). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Dustin Folden

B.S - Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Dustin Folden and his wife Trisha joined the Pastoral Staff in 2010. They have two children, Mackenna & Sawyer. They enjoy playing board games, cooking together and going on hiking adventures. Pastor Folden shepherds the 9:30 worship service, oversees the Adult Bible Fellowship ministry, the Wednesday evening Faith Community Institute as well as serves in Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.

Read Dustin Folden's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Folden to Faith Church.