Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

SUBMISSIVENESS
1 PETER 2:18-25

18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this {finds} favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.    20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer {for it} you patiently endure it, this {finds} favor with God. 21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;    23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting {Himself} to Him who judges righteously;    24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (NAS)
 

INTRODUCTION
In 1996 40.000 runners gathers to run in the centennial Boston marathon race. Suppose you decided to run the race against all the other runners rather than running with them. You are going to run in the opposite direction.

Can you imagine the difficulty? That is a picture of a Christian having the attitude of submissiveness in this world today. The world says look out for number one. In our text we are told to be submissive.

1. Disposition . . of Submissiveness.

2. Demonstration . . of Submissiveness.

3. Desire . . of Submissiveness.
 
 

1. Disposition . . of Submissiveness. v 18-20


18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. 19 For this {finds} favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer {for it} you patiently endure it, this {finds} favor with God.

A.    The Commandment of this . . Disposition. v 18
18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable.

        1.    The GREEK word  for "master" is equivilent to our word  "despot".
        2.    The GREEK word  for "unreasonable" is equivilent to our word  "skoliosis".

ILLUSTRATION
It was Christmas, 1944. Betsie had died. I was in a hospital barracks in Ravensbruck. Dark it was in my heart, and darkness was around me.

There were Christmas trees in the street between the barracks. Why, I don't know. They were the saddest Christmas trees I ever saw in my life. I am sure it was with the purpose of blaspheming that they had thrown dead bodies of prisoners under the Christmas trees.

I tried to talk to the people around me about Christmas, but they mocked, ridiculed, and sneered at whatever I said. At last I was quiet. It was in the middle of the night that I suddenly heard a child crying and calling, "Mommy! Come to Oelie, Oelie feels so alone." I went to her and saw a child not so young, but feebleminded.

"Oelie, Mommy cannot come, but do you know who is willing to come to you? That is Jesus." The girl was lying on a bed next to the window, not far from my bed. Although Oelie was completely emaciated from lack of food, she had a sweet face, beautiful eyes, and wavy hair. It was so touching to hear her call for her mother. Oelie had been operated on and the incision on her back was covered by a bandage of toilet paper.

That night I told this poor child about Jesus. How He came into the world as a little baby -- how He came to save us from our sins. "The Lord Jesus loves Oelie and has borne her punishment on the cross. Now Oelie may go to heaven, and Jesus is there right now. He is getting a little house ready for Oelie." Later I asked her what she remembered of what I had told her.

"What is the little house like?" I asked. "It is very beautiful. There are no wicked people as in Ravensbruck -- only good people and angels. And Oelie will see Jesus there." Then Oelie folded her hands; together we gave thanks. Then I knew why I had to spend this Christmas in Ravensbruck -- 1944.
 

B.    The Conscience of this . . Disposition. v 19
19 For this {finds} favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

        1.    The GREEK word  for "conscience" means "with sight".
 

C.    The Credit of this . . Disposition. v 20 a
20 For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer {for it} you patiently endure it,
 

D.    The Complimenting of this . . Disposition. v 20 b
            ". . . this {finds} favor with God."

        1.    The GREEK word  for "favor"  is "grace"
                a.    Submissiveness will help you to grow in grace..

APPLICATION

All Christians are to be submissive to the proper authorities.

                    We are to have the Disposition of Submissiveness.
 
 


2. Demonstration . . of Submissiveness. v 21-23


21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting {Himself} to Him who judges righteously;
 

A.    Demonstrated in Christ . . Suffering. v 21 a
            " For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, . . . "

        1.    The word "suffer"  or a form of it appears 16 times in 15 verses of this book.
                a.    Christian suffering is the theme of this book.
 

ILLUSTRATION
The Christian way is different: harder, and easier. Christ says "Give me All. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work:

I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don't want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked -- the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours."
 

B.    Demonstrated in Christ . . Steps. v 21 b - 22
    ". . . leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth;

        1.    Steps to . . Follow. v 21 b
                    ". . . leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, . . . "
                    a.    The GREEK word  for,  "example",  is made from the words,  write and under,  So
                            Jesus is our under writer.
                    b.    John Stott calls this a teachers "copy book".

        2.    Steps to . . Find. v 22
                    ". . . who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; . . . "
                    a.    Investigate the steps of Jesus,  and you will fine a worthy example.
 

ILLUSTRATION
A little boy went to the refrigerator to get some chocolate milk,  and found there was not enough for him, and his brother to receive their normal proportion.   He said well I guess my brother doesn't get any chocolate milk today.   His father heard him make this remark,   and asked what do you think  Jesus would do in this situation.  The father wanted the answer Jesus would share.   His son said  "I think Jesus would make more chocolate milk.
 

C.    Demonstrated in Christ . . Strength. v 23
23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting {Himself} to Him who judges righteously;

        1.    Strength  in silence.  v 23 a
        2.    Strength in suffering.  v 23 b
        3.    Strength in standing.  v 23c
 

APPLICATION

Matt 8:9 "For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does {it} " (NAS)

 Jesus was under authority,  He give us a Demonstration of submission
 
 

3. Desire . . of Submissiveness. v 24-25


24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (NAS)

A.    The Desire for Spiritual . . Life. v 24
24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

        1.    The so called charismatic community tell every one this verse means Gods wants every one
                well.  I say a proper exegesis of thes text tells us Jesus died for spiritual healing and not
                physical healing.
                    a.    To illustrate this thought  onsider this.   The healing ministry of Jesus all took place
                            before the cross.   All of His earthly healing was done before His death.
                    b.    Jesu could speak and healing would take place.
                    c.    HE WENT TO THE CROSS FOR THE HEALING OF A SIN SICK SOUL.
 

ILLUSTRATION
A minister shared.   Early in my ministry I met two seriously handicapped men. Worral had been stricken with rheumatoid arthritis at age 15, and when I met him 30 years later, he was totally paralyzed except for one finger, could barely speak and was totally blind. But he had a string tied to that one mobile finger that could turn on a recorder.

He wrote for national magazines, authored books and led a happy and influential life from his bed. This was possible because after initial prayers brought no healing, he accepted his lot graciously and said, "Well Lord! If this is the size plot in life you've staked out for me, let's you and me together show the world what we can grow on it." Down the path of humble acceptance, Worral achieved a happier and more useful life within the limitations of a very restricted circumstance than most people ever will manage with excellent physical health.

Cliff, however, had been a powerfully built construction worker, but at age 18 he fell from a dirt-moving vehicle and a huge wheel ran over him, shearing his spinal cord just above his hips. Doctors explained to him after saving his life, "You'll never walk or sit up in a chair again." But Cliff insisted "God never intended anyone to live like this. With Him all things are possible, so I'm praying for and expecting `my miracle' and one of these days I'll walk out of this hospital; and when I do I'll thumb my nose at you unbelieving doctors who said it would never happen."

I visited Cliff often over the subsequent 15 years and he never yielded that determined goal, which consumed all his energies and efforts. I prayed for him and took nationally known spiritual leaders to add their petitions and inspiration, but no healing ever came and I watched Cliff grow despairing, critical and bitter as his life wasted away in futile insistence upon "Changing what cannot be changed."

This brings us to "the bottom line" and to ask, how do we know when courageously to pray, and with Cliff insist upon changing "the slings and arrows of an outrageous fortune", or when to join Worral in patiently accepting our limitations and with God's help live the best life we can within them. I have reached this conclusion, which has worked so well for me for so long I recommend it. Always begin by standing firmly with Cliff in his insistence, "It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," and pray for complete deliverance from every evil, painful or otherwise limiting circumstance that may befall you which you believe is not God's will for you.

DOES JESUS HEAL TODAY?
Of course He does.  I believe I have been granted healing from the Lord.     I do not believe Jesus had to die on the cross for my physical healing but for the healing of my sin.
 

B.    The Desire for Spiritual . . Living. v 25
25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
 

ILLUSTRATION
People often ask me now, "Zinger, is golf still as important to you as it was before you had cancer?"

Yes and no. Yes, of course, golf is important to me. I love the game; it is how I make a living. But no, golf is no longer at the top of my priority list. In fact, it runs a slow fourth.

My priorities now are God, my family, my friends, and golf. Golf is no longer my god. Golf is hitting a little white ball. God is my God, and God is a whole lot bigger than golf. But don't get me wrong. I played some great golf at the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1995, and I plan on playing a lot more. You won't hear me out on the course, saying, "Woe is me. I missed that four-footer, but at least I'm alive." Oh, no. I'm playing to win. But then, in many ways, I have already won.
 

APPLICATION

I gleened this illustration from a book making reference to an anthropoligist comments.

A man was blinded and made adjustments, his finance insisted he have an operation. His sight was restored. His life was all messed up.

The anthropoligist  said "you have to die to blindness before you can be born again to sight."
 

Submissiveness may not be appealing until you allow self and pride to die.

1. Disposition . . of Submissiveness.

2. Demonstration . . of Submissiveness.

3. Desire . . of Submissiveness.