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The Glory of Suffering: Preface

When I read about Peter in the Gospels, I find an entirely different “Peter” than the apostle who penned the first epistle of Peter. In the Gospels, Peter wanted the kingdom of God to come now, and without human suffering. He wanted Jesus to quickly overthrow human government and establish His own. He bristled when Jesus spoke of His imminent suffering and death on the cross of Calvary. In his first epistle, Peter writes about our heavenly hope—the kingdom of God which will come after the suffering of the saints for their faith. He urges the saints to submit to divinely ordained human institutions, even when abused and corrupted by sinful leaders. Suffering is not represented as an exception, but as the rule for true believers.

The suffering and death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary becomes the pattern for Christian living and service in this life. As we read 1 Peter, we see a transformed man, and the theology which turned his thinking and lifestyle upside-down. It can do the same for all who read his epistle with an open heart and mind, searching for the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Most of all, Peter changed because he came to know and trust Jesus Christ. It is my hope that Peter’s words will help you know Him as well. The material in these sermons is available without charge for your personal study and to assist you in living, teaching and preaching God’s Word.