One Another in Action: Love, Hospitality, and Service

1 Peter 4
  /  March 17, 2024
Speaker: Jonathon Slagenweit

I’m inviting you to turn in your bibles to the book of first Peter chapter 4. I’ve so enjoyed the, sharing the the preaching ministry with brother John Parker, over the last couple of weeks as we’ve been working through our series of messages on the one another passages. And, we’re nearing the end of this series. But I’ve I’ve really enjoyed, being able to look at these together and then take some time in smaller group settings to talk about how do we implement this. And I trust that it has been an enriching experience in your spiritual life in helping you to walk closer with the lord.

There are two reasons that I wanted for us to look at this particular series. One of the reasons is because a healthy church that is living out the word of god together is a church that is healthy. It’s a healthy church that walks out living together. Somebody say amen. Amen.

An unhealthy church does not walk together. They’re disjointed and divided and there’s conflict. And so as we live out these passages of scripture, we’re developing as a healthy church learning how to live in community. I was just reading this past week in in my quiet time, the words of of the lord in the Sermon on the Mount, And he ends the sermon by his his sermon on the mount by saying, those that hear these words of mine, those that do them are ones that build their house on a rock. So it’s not enough that we just simply hear these messages.

We have to do them. Right? We have to love one another. We need to stir one another up to love and good works. We need to be sharpening ourselves one with another, living this out.

But I think the second reason that this series is important is a church that is going to live out these, these principles, these elements of scripture. We live out the mission of the church. We live out the mission of the church because as we come together in healthy relationship, what happens? We’re then called to be the light of the world to the world. And a church that is disjointed, a church that is not living this out is not a place that the world desires to come to.

You know why? They get that out there. You don’t have to go far to realize that we live in a world that is disjointed and and and fractured and there’s strife and division. I’m just gonna state the obvious. We’re an election cycle year.

And it’s obvious that we live in a world that is divided and fractured. But whenever the body of Christ comes together and we’re living in healthy relationship, we’re we’re a healthy church, but that plays into the second role of living this out. We become a place that the world looks at and says there’s something about that church. Because anytime that you bring people together, personalities together, there’s potential for conflict, isn’t there? Whenever we learn to live together in healthy relationship, it has a magnanimous effect.

As we’re nearing the the Easter season, the whole purpose of of Easter, of Christ coming, dying on the cross was to purchase his church, purchase us, so that you and I can become what we’re gonna look at as a part of of first Peter this morning. In fact, in first Peter chapter 2 just hold your bibles at at chapter 4. We’re gonna get there. The purpose that Christ is has redeemed us, according to first Peter chapter 2, is that we would become a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for god’s own possession so that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. I want you to hold that thought.

The purpose for which god is building us together is for mission so that you and I can become a royal priesthood. So let me just give you a little maybe a little road map of of where we’re going with our message this morning and the transitioning into the Easter season. God redeems us so that you and I can become witnesses unto the world. Are one anothering, my new word, alright, are one anothering in here is not just for us in here. It’s so that we are built up so we can go out there and make a difference in the world.

So as we come through the Easter season and we move past the Easter season, where we’re going is how do we then live out the mission of the church? But this morning, we’re considering first Peter chapter 4. I’m gonna invite you to stand with me as we read our text together. Let me just ask you, by the way. My ADD won’t let me go any farther until I ask you this.

Is everybody comfortable this morning? Are you are you are you warm? Cold? You’re cold? You were warm earlier, weren’t you?

Y’all are just really hard to please. I’ll tell you what happened. We have these really fancy thermostats in here that are automatic thermostats. They will automatically adjust the temperature, when the run schedule hits the cycle. There’s just one small problem.

They have to be on the automatic cycle for that to happen. They were not. They were on the cool cycle. So when you come in here, it’s a little chilly. Now I thought it felt really nice, but when we adjusted them to the automatic cycle, the heat kicked on, and it went from 66 degrees, supposed to take it up to 69.

The problem is is it’s dumping a whole lot hotter than 69 degree air in here, so it got really warm. So then they they readjusted, and now you’re getting cold air. I’m really sorry. Deal with it. In the love of Jesus.

No. I’m I really am sorry. We’ll we will try to get it regulated. I feel comfortable now, and, hopefully, it’ll it’ll adjust and be fine by the end of service. First Peter chapter 4.

We’re looking beginning at verse 7. Now I’ll just warn you that we’re breaking into a middle of a text, that Peter is working through, and we’re gonna come back and try to pick up some of the context. But we’re gonna begin in verse 7. First Peter chapter 4 verse 7. But the end of all things is at hand.

Be ye therefore sober and watch into prayer. And above all things, have fervent charity among yourselves. Maybe it would help for us to hear it in another way. Be fervent in love to one another for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality to one another without grudging.

As every man hath received the gift, even so, minister the same one to another. Even so, minister the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of god. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of god. If any man minister, let him do it as the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

This morning, we’re looking at a trichotomy of one another’s. I texted my mother-in-law this morning and and told her, bring your blanket and your pillow and maybe even your lunch. I’ve got more notes than I have time for. So hold on. Let’s pray together.

Father, thank you for your word. Thank you for your spirit. Your spirit that is with us this morning, that has already been speaking to our hearts, but also for your spirit that wants to illuminate your word, enrich it to our hearts and apply it to us. So help us this morning to have ears to hear what the spirit of the Lord has to say to his church. And help us, your people, to have hearts of obedience to walk in the truth of it.

We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. You may be seated. I think for us to understand this text in its its fullness, in its richness, we need to understand the broader text that we’re looking at. Peter is is writing this particular letter unto the church, and I want you to notice who he’s writing to.

So if you have your bible still open, you may wanna look at some of these passages of scripture. Let me give you the time frame in which Peter is writing. Peter is writing somewhere between 63 65 AD. It’s a tumultuous time in human history. Within the known world, Nero is is, pushing all sorts of persecution upon Christians.

That persecution has caused the church to move out, to spread out. There’s been a dispersion of the churches. And so Peter is writing to these who have have dispersed. If you have your Bible still open, first Peter chapter 1 and verse 1, Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens scattered throughout Pontius, Galatia, Kapodicea, Asia, and Bithynia, who are the chosen. So he’s writing to a diverse group that have been spreading out.

And then in verse 6 is verses 6 and 7, he says, in this, you greatly rejoice even though now for a little while, if necessary, you’ve been distressed by various trials. So he’s he’s talking to a church that’s been spread out. They’re under persecution. They’re experiencing various trials, verse 7, so that the proof of your faith be more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire. And if you know some of the history behind Nero’s persecution of Christians, it’s literally testing by fire.

Nero was known for taking Christians, dipping them in tar, and lighting his gardens with their bodies that had been dipped in tar. May be found to resolve in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. He’s he’s also writing to these Christians about their new life in Christ. He’s he’s telling them that they are being built up as as new believers. In chapter 1 verses 3, through 5, he says, 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, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you who are protected by the power of god through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

So Peter’s writing to this dispersed group who’s experiencing extreme persecution as a result of their new life in Christ. Then in chapter 2 verses 45, he gives us kind of the focus of what he’s writing about. And coming to him as to a living stone, which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God. Who’s he who’s he writing about? Jesus.

He says you’ve come to him and here’s what’s happening. You also as living stones. So as you are experiencing the new birth, new life in Christ, you are living stones and are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. What’s a priesthood? If you understand the Old Testament context of priesthood, the priest stood as the mediator, the one who linked god with man.

And so Paul or or Peter is saying, you, as new believers, though experiencing extreme persecution because of your new life in Christ, you are being built up as a royal priesthood, links of the grace of god to the world, as a spiritual house for a royal priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to god through Jesus Christ. So the first focus of Peter’s letter is to help these persecuted believers to understand that they’re being built up together as a spiritual house. Can I just say to us here this morning that you and I are to be being built up as a spiritual house? How many of you are wearing green this morning? Anybody wearing green?

How many of you are wearing orange this morning? Anybody know the difference between those 2? Today’s Saint Patrick’s Day, isn’t it? And Saint Patrick’s Day, we think of wearing green. Almost wore, orange.

I probably should’ve. The difference between those two is green represents the Catholic side. Protestants wear orange. I tell us that for this purpose. You and I are a local fellowship being built up, but you and I are a part of a greater church, the church, the holy catholic church.

And I use that word not as some would interpret it, but the universal church. We are being built up to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation for god’s own choosing. You and I, if I could just narrow this scope back in for just a second, as a local body, we are being built up like Lego bricks, being built up to be a royal priesthood. We’re being put together. That’s part of Peter’s focus.

You’re being built up together. His second focus of his letter is is found in verse 9, and I’ve already read it to us. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession so that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. So god has redeemed you. He’s building you up so that you can be his witnesses in the world.

Amen? God is not redeeming us just so that he can build 4 walls and bring us all together and say, woo. Look at my family. Let me snap their picture and put it on the wall. No.

He’s building us up for the purpose of equipping us to be his hands and feet in the world. All of this is in the overarching theme that god is working out his holiness in us and through us. You can’t read first Peter without recognizing that Peter is is writing about holiness being worked out in us and through us together. So with that as kind of our background, let me let me bring us back to our text. I want you to understand that broader text that god is building us together.

He’s he’s putting us together so that you and I can become living a living priesthood to the world around us. As Christians, we’re being built up together. That means that god intends for his people to do life together, to live together, to fellowship together, to work together, to serve together, to be hospitable one to another. Anybody recognizing some of the one anothers from our text? This particular passage of scripture, verses 8, 9, and 10, have a one another passage of scripture.

We’re gonna just lightly touch on the first one because we’ve already looked at this. But if you have your bible still open, what is it that Peter tells us with this particular love one for another? He says, be fervent in your love one for another. Now what’s interesting about these one anothers is he gives us the one another, and then he gives us the modifier to it. Kinda gives further explanation to it.

So he says, be fervent in your love one for another. Why? Because love covers a multitude of sins. Why does Peter tell us to be fervent in our love one for another? In essence, what he’s saying is is you’ve got to work at this element of loving one another.

If I could maybe put it in an application that we might Right? Guys, I’m really trying to help you here. Marriage is a loving relationship. One more time. Marriage is a loving relationship.

Next week’s message is gonna be on marriage But I don’t have to tell you that for a loving marriage to happen, it takes work. Anytime you bring 2 personalities together, I don’t care if they were if they were born as neighbors, raised in the same community, go to the same church, go to the same school. You come from 2 totally different families that function totally different and your 2 totally different personalities. In fact, all you have to do is even look a little closer and look in homes. I don’t understand.

I’ve Tanya and I have 4 boys. They have the same genes, but they are as different as night and day. Unique personalities, unique, features about them. And in the marriage relationship, you’re bringing 2 people totally different together. And it takes work to make it happen.

And can I just tell us this morning that for you and I to love one another, it’s gonna take work? We have to be fervent to love one another. And the reason that we’re called to be fervent in our love one for another, the modifier is that love covers a multitude of sins. Now Peter is not saying that means that you you sweep sin and you cover it up. You hide it.

That’s not what Peter is indicating here. Peter says when you love one another and you’re fervent about it, you’re more apt to overlook elements of your brother or your sister of faults and failures. Doesn’t mean that you excuse blatant sin. Right? No.

It means that you are you’re quick to be less critical, to be more gracious towards one another. So love one another. Be fervent. The second one and and the second and the third are the 2 that I really want us to focus on this morning. The second one another that Peter writes about is being hospitable one towards another.

Here’s what I want you to understand from from this one is that the modifier to that is we are to do it how? Without grumbling. We are to be hospitable one to another, doing it without grumbling, without complaining. What does it mean for us to be hospitable? What does it mean to show hospitality?

Maybe it would help us to kind of put it in its in its context. So Peter’s writing in a period of time where if if a person is traveling, there were not Days Inns and Hotel Sixes where Tom Bodette leaves the light on for you. Alright? There was no Hilton’s or Hampton Inns. People were dependent on somebody giving them a place to stay.

We understand that from Mary and Joseph when they were traveling, to Bethlehem to register for the census. They get there and they need a place to stay. We think of, oh, but they went to the inn. They went to, you know, Days Inn and, you know, just didn’t have any room. No.

They didn’t go to Days Inn. Alright? More than likely, they were looking for, Peter is saying And Peter is saying to us, you need to have an open door policy. Please hear me. Right?

Please hear me. Right? When people need your your your your your your your your to provide for their It helps us to become selfless. It puts to death human pride. We chose It means that you and I have to be willing to put to death our pride, to provide for somebody else.

I would suggest to us that we have lost the art of hospitality. Maybe I should rephrase that. We now entertain guests. Do you know what the Entertainment focuses on the host. Host is concerned about making sure that the floors are swept, the bathrooms are cleaned, that there’s food, good food, and plenty of it.

You don’t want to run out. It’s all about that making sure that whoever comes over enjoys their time. That’s an innate. That I am able to provide for you know, you can be hospitable with your floors, less than Do you know you can be hospitable It’s really quiet. Anybody else notice that?

I would dare say this morning, most of you ladies are saying, uh-uh, pastor. Ain’t doing it. Now now let me just qualify some of this. Alright. One of the best ways that you can be hospitable is to make sure that you have clean house, clean toilets, something to provide for people, alright?

Who has need. You know, one of the ways that you can be hospitable in the let me just put it in the context of the one of the ways that you can be hospitable is and then you just put it in the context of the one guess that comes into the church, you provide them a place to sit. To sit. Right? They go to the back seat and they go to the back seat and they go to the back seat and they go to the back seat and they sit and sit and sit.

If there’s a back seat available. Should I duck behind the pulpit now? Is that is that a good time? Alright. Let me go a little beyond that.

The COURTNEY: It means that we open up even our Hospitality means that we would open our places for people to come and find refuge. When I was a when I was a boy, one of the things about living in a broken world is that you discover that there are people that live in broken situations. Home. It was just it was tough. It was really tough.

He was in his late teens. I was just 11, 12 years old. Chris became a part of our family. There was hardly a Friday or Saturday night, but what my parents didn’t open the doors of our house. And he might as well just come and lived with us know what hospitality looks like to us, we live in a world where there’s a lot of broken homes and broken families and broken situations, that it may mean that you and I can open our doors.

And so you have a place of rape. Story. I’ve watched that right here in this story. Where some of you have opened your doors and inconvenienced yourself to be able to serve the needs of somebody else. God is calling us to a life of hospitality.

It becomes Hospitality becomes constructive. It develops deep fellowship. Let me just say to us, relationships are not formed deeply in this church. Do you all catch what I just said? I don’t mean that we as a church don’t form deep relationships.

I’m saying inside these four walls, that’s not where deep relationships are built. – We pull up to our house, we hit the button, the garage door goes up, we drive our car in, and we hit the button, and the garage door goes down. We go in, we get our cup of tea, and we go sit on our back deck so that nobody disturbs us. And I say, ouch, because guess what I do every time I go home? I hit the garage door.

I go in, I hit the garage door, and it closes. And I love to sit on my back deck. In fact, I’m so excited that Spring is But guess what’s closed when I do that? The front door. What is what is Peter saying to us?

We’re being built up as people. And one of the ways that we’re built up together is through the opening of our doors to welcome people into our lives to do life to do life to. But let me just give you an example of what this looks astras winner. Our son Tyler played, basketball in a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a church, and a And and I don’t know that there was a Saturday went by when he had a game, but what somebody from this church wasn’t there. And I don’t know that there was a Saturday went by when he had a game, but what somebody from this church wasn’t there.

But what somebody from this church wasn’t there. Austin and some of his kids were there. David Heintzelman and some of his kids were there. The James’, the Hester’s, boy, I started naming names and I shouldn’t have. Several of you were there.

No, No. Nobody would go camping together. That that doesn’t work. Let me think of something else. You go shopping together.

The one and the one and the Right? So we’re to a life of hospitality, homes. But if I could expand it just for a moment to take it maybe a little out of its context, we’re opening our lives to do life together. Why? Because I need you and you need me.

Let’s get to the last one very quickly. The 3rd, trichotomy of one another’s that Peter gives to us is serve one another. Words We I’m sorry. In in this chapter, he tells us a little bit more about And he says, use what God has given you to serve, have through the areas that you’re gifted. And and why are we supposed to do that?

If you have your bible still open, look at this. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another. Why? As good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If in any or if if any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.

If any man minister, let him do it as to the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. We serve one another that God be glorified. Do you know every one of you have a gift? And just to tell you, everyone here has a and just to even those of you that are younger Let me just talk to even those of you that are younger, our young people and our children. You have a gift.

God has given all of you a gift. Listen to some of the gifts that God has given to us. Peter says, these gifts employ, use them In 1st Corinthians chapter 12 verses 4 to 10, now therefore, our various, now, I’m sorry. Now there are very, various gifts, but the same spirit, and there are various, various gifts, but the same spirit, and there are various, but the same spirit and there are various, services but the same Lord and there are varieties of activities but it is the same God who empowers them all to everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.

Utterance of wisdom, and to another, the utterance of knowledge according to the same spirit, to another, faith by the same spirit, and to another, gifts of healing by the one spirit, and to another, the working of miracles, To another, prophecy. And to another, the ability to distinguish between spirits. To another, various kinds of tongues. To another, the interpretation of tongues. Paul mentions this in Romans chapter 12, for by the grace given to me, I say unto everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function. So we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually members, one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. If prophecy, in proportion to our faith, if service, in our serving, the one who teaches and is teaching, The one who exhorts in his exhortation. The one who contributes in generosity.

The one who leads with zeal. And the one who does not I’m sorry. And the one who does acts of mercy with cheerfulness. Who does acts of mercy with. Did you do with it?

Somebody help me out. Teach. Teach. You say, I don’t have a platform. Build 1.

There’s a lot of times that we say I’ve got a gift but there’s I don’t have anywhere to use it. There’s no That’s not available. Build it. If you have a gift to teach, find a platform and teach. Say, I don’t know where.

You know, the the internet’s an incredible thing. On Thursdays, I attend a discipleship group with guys from Alabama, Indiana, and the other guy. I don’t even I’ve never met the guy. I don’t even know where he lives. Right?

If you have the gift of teaching you have the gift of helps, help If you have the gift of wisdom Allow your name to run as a board member. Boy, I was hoping for an amen somewhere in there. You have the gift of encouragement. Encourage. You say, I don’t I don’t know what my gift is.

I don’t So, you all know that we have we have a school here at the church. Donates their time to come in and help, donates their time to come in and help in the school. It’s my mother-in-law and you all thought I couldn’t say anything nice about her. I can’t tell you what a blessing that is to have people who are willing to say, whatever I can do, I’m available. Some of you say, pastor, I just your gift is If your gift is tongues, go to Honduras and interpret.

Right? Just release a bit. God has gifted every one of us something to employ for the purpose of the kingdom of God that God would be glorified. Let me just skip through some of this really quickly. I can’t read this passage of scripture, but what it doesn’t remind me of Jesus’s words in Matthew chapter 5, when he says that he desires that people would see our good works and glorify our father, which is in heaven.

Loss for the purpose of their employment to work, to do good works. So let me ask you this morning, Dayton, Ohio to pastor the church there in Dayton, because of the finance of the church finances of the church, they were not able to support him full time. And so he started a lawn business, and that became a means of revenue to him. And so he had used that for a number of years. But the church had grown and got to the place where he was able to go full time at the church, and he thought about just getting rid of his lawn service.

There was a guy that had come to the church, and God was really helping. John was investing in. And John was thinking about, just giving up his his lawn care service, and this guy needed a job. And he said, as I was praying, the Lord just began to press upon me and say, what do you have in your hand, John? And he said, hire that guy on to run your lawn service so that he has a job.

The last that I knew, John still owns that lawn service to provide a job for that guy. When you have in your hands. Familiar probably with that ministry. Was on a trip, to Taiwan. He and some pastors, some native pastors, Taiwanese pastors had hiked their way back through the mountains to do some ministry.

Stas and Trotman, the great well known American evangelist who had come to Taiwan to teach and to preach and walked with these men through the mountains. It’d been rainy. It was a rainy season. The roadways were made. When they asked those pastors later what stood out to them about Dawson Trotman, one of the pastors said, the morning after we got up from our initial hike into the mountains, when we came out, all of our shoes shoes.

And made ready for the day. And Dawson Trotman had claimed the shoes. You know, every one of us have something in our hands So here’s my encouragement to us, as So here’s my encouragement to us, as we won another together. Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s be Let’s take what God has put in our hands and serve 1 another. Let’s stand together as we close in prayer.

Father, thank you for knitting us together as a body of believers in this local fellowship as, We need your help to be open and allow our doors to be open to one another, so that we can develop deep relationships and care for one another. You’ve also given to each one of us gifts to employ for your kingdom’s work so that you would be glorified. And so I kingdom’s work so that you would be glorified. And so I pray this morning that the gifts that you’ve put into our hands, would you stir our hearts up this morning morning to use those do you stir us up this morning to deepen our, our relationships one with another through our hospital, one with another through our hostage, deep in our relationships one to another through our serving of 1 and Help us to live this out to be more than hearers of the word but doers also. I pray it in Jesus name.

Amen. The Lord bless you. You’re dismissed.

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