Your response to our study of First Peter is a great source of encouragement to me. The Lord is obviously using His Word to enable us to become more like Christ.
Your response from the last two sermons on submission – as citizens (1 Peter 2:13-17) and as servants (1 Peter 2:18-21) – is evidence of God’s grace at work in our lives.
Provided below is a copy of Steve Camp’s A Christian Bill of Rights I shared with you at the conclusion of yesterday’s message. I share it with you, once again, for your spiritual encouragement and refreshment.
In an age where people are consumed with asserting their rights, it is an “other worldly love” that compels us to lay down our rights as Christians to ensure a real witness for our faith in the Lord Jesus resulting in our neighbors experiencing the benefits of grace in our own lives – which is good and profitable for all men (Titus 1:8).
In that spirit, I humbly offer you the following.
- As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we have only one right: and that is to give up all rights to ourselves (2 Cor. 5:14-16;Romans 14:7-9).
- We have the right to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him (Mt. 16:24-26).
- We have the right to esteem others more highly than ourselves; and love our neighbor as ourselves (Mt. 22:39;Phil. 2:1-5).
- We have the right to fulfill the law of Christ in bearing one another’s burdens of sin (Gal. 6:1-3).
- We have the right to be wronged and to maintain a faithful testimony (1 Cor. 6:1-8).
- We have the right to live in unreciprocated, self-sacrificial love (Eph. 5:1-2).
- We have the right to forgive others the smaller debt, as God in Christ has forgiven us the larger debt (Eph. 4:31-32;Matthew 18:12-35).
- We have the right to suffer for the gospel and to take the blows for the One who took the blows for us (1 Peter 2:21-24)
- We have the right to be“subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be uncontentious, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” (Titus 3:1-2).
- We have the right to not be political agitators trading the truth of His Word to play politics with men’s souls; thinking that true spiritual change occurs through legislation rather than the transforming power of the gospel of grace. (1 Peter 4:10-16).
- We have the right to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39).
- We have the right to be stripped of all earthly things (Matthew 5:40-42).
- We have the right to not repay evil for evil and to be at peace with all men as much as it depends on you (Romans 12:17-18).
- We have the right to love our enemies, do good to them that hate us, bless those who curse us and pray for those that despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44-45).
- We have the right to pursue holiness-not personal happiness (1 Peter 1:13-16).
- We have the right not to be ashamed of the gospel (2 Tim. 1:6-18).
- We have the right not to harbor revenge, anger, bitterness, clamoring, wrath, malice and slander when wronged by another (Ephesians 4:31).
- We have the right not to quench or grieve the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 4:30;1 Thess. 5:19).
- We have the right to repent of and not cherish our sins (Psalm 66:18).
- We have the right to guard the trust; and to contend for the once for all delivered to the saints faith (1 Timothy 6:20;Jude 1:3).
- We have the right to train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:1-3).
- We have the right to reflect God’s covenantal relationship with us by honoring our vows in the covenant of marriage with our spouse Mt. 19:6).
- We have the right to worship Christ Jesus as God of very God; Creator; Redeemer; Sovereign Lord and Ruler of all (Col. 1:15-19;Hebrews 1:8; Phil. 2:5-11).
- We have the right to present our lives as living sacrifices everyday to God (Roms. 12:1-2).
- We have the right to live in the expectancy and hope of the Lord’s return by which we purify ourselves (Roms. 12:1-2).
- We have the right to march daily on our knees in prayer; praying for our leaders in government; our church leaders; our fellow believers; our families; and the lost (1 Timothy 2:1-3;Ephesians 6:18-21).
- We have the right to praise and glorify God according to how He has revealed Himself through the pages of His Word (Col. 3:16-17).
- We have the right to honor our local church pastors; for they keep watch over our souls as those who will give an account (Hebrews 13:17).
- We have the right to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:18-20).
- We have the right to have no rights apart from Christ Himself; “for whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it”(Matt. 16:25: John 15:5).