Living for Christ makes us different in this world. We are not in step with its kingdoms. In a Christless culture, we are sojourners and strangers. Our views and values are not according to the lenses and loves of this world. Christ is our King and His kingdom is our home. This earthly life under the curse is our wilderness journey. It is temporary. It is often hard. Difficulties and trials, pain and suffering, predictably mark its paths. We are forewarned: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). Suffering in this world is not strange. While echoes of Eden reverberate throughout creation, barbs of brokenness are found everywhere, ready to remind us of sin and its cause of separation from God. And the most troubling afflictions are always spiritual. “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).
As Christians, it is particularly our lot to be “grieved by various trials” (1 Peter 1:6). Why? Because we live in and not according to this world. We live in the crossfire of a clash of kingdoms.
How then do we now live? Perhaps more than any other time in our lives we—Silicon Valley saints—are in need recalibrating on Christ and His kingdom. We live in a present desert between a lost and a looming paradise. And we feel it with greater weight in 2020.
We are all fatigued. Prolonged governing restrictions afflict the soul. Interference with the free exercise of faith infringes upon the conscience. Separation vexes the heart. The civil government is overreaching—harming Christ’s church. Not only this, but intense social strife and polarizing politics manifest key symptoms of a deeply rooted disease. Our society is sick. The world around us is restlessly divided. It is dark. There is no true hope apart from God.
How then do we now live as sojourners and strangers under these conditions? The First Epistle of Peter will help us. This series will survey several guiding principles for how we are to live a sojourning life with Christ at the center.
Circumstances sometimes afford greater insight into the substance and application of Scripture. New depths are discovered when our reading is tested by trials. The mountain heights appear more glorious and splendid when viewed from the valley. Light is more magnificent when seen from a place of greater darkness. Indeed, our present circumstances help to bring greater clarity to the glorious big picture of the gospel. Our hope is being refined. Our focus is being recalibrated.
These guiding principles will help us strive forward in this sojourning life not for the sake of ourselves, but for our Savior. Unspeakable glory awaits the saved sojourner. Yet, our voyaging steps should be marked by humility, obedience, trust, and submission—His likeness. Christ is not only our Sovereign and Savior, He is also our example for living a sojourning life. In these ways, He is definitively our center.
Join us in this timely and uniquely relevant series that sets out to help practically one and all in Christ’s church to live a sojourning life for the Savior.