Azusa Pacific University
Mr. Matt Hauge
February 19, 2004
"Suffering As Christ"
I. 1Peter uses the word "suffering" more than any other book in the Bible
II. Persecution of the Early Church
A. Legal standing of Christians
a new cult was not illegal
law was carried out by local government
B. Disturbers of the peace (Christians)
made exclusive demands on the participants
societies are always seen as suspicious
refused to participate in local cults and the state cult
C. Official Persecution
opposition began by Nero in 64 AD
& Plany the Younger (early 2nd century)
of persecution by Marcus Aurelius (late 2nd century)
Decius declared Christianity illegal (250 AD)
A. "Apology" = a reasoned defense
B. Early Christian Apologists
C. Standard charges
1. Christians are atheists: "they didn't believe in Ôthe gods'"
a. "Brothers & sisters"
b. Greeting with a kiss"
3. Christians are cannibalists: "Eat body & drink blood of Christ"
IV. Romans believed "the Way" was a mystery religion
were beaten = sad
Jesus was beaten = joyful
C. 3:8-17 - in order to move from sad to joyful Christians should respond to persecution with good & love
a. Now = sad
b. Future = joyful
a. Now = joyful
b. Future = sad
E. 5:6-11 - the church should find joy in the fact that the entire church is suffering
A. God's characteristics
B. Fact of life: life has unjust suffering
C. Question: how can God have all three characteristics and still have
VII. Sometimes our present experience doesn't make sense
A. Christ = suffer
we seek out suffering?
we follow Christ & not suffer?
B. Christ follower = suffer