WHY DO CHRISTIANS SUFFER? (I)

I Pet. 1:3-7

SOME QUESTIONS TO PONDER

1. What is suffering?

2. Have you ever had to suffer as a Christian?

3. How did you react to that suffering?

4. What lessons did you learn from your suffering?

5. Did you question God in the midst of your suffering?

REMEMBER THIS!

1. It will be impossible to teach others about suffering if you have never experienced fiery trials yourself.

2. The glory of Christ is actually seen in suffering saints. I Pet. 4:12-13, 16.

3. We are to trust Christ to keep us in time of trial. I Pet. 4:19.

WHY DO CHRISTIANS SUFFER?

1. When someone is sick or is afflicted in some way, people tend to assume that these troubles were brought on by some personal act of sinóthat God is punishing them.

a. This viewpoint was shared by Jobís three friends.

b. This attitude was also expressed by the disciples of Christ concerning the man who had been blind since his birth. Jn. 9:1-2.

- Our Lord explained that God would use the manís blindness to display His mighty works before men. v. 3.

- God the Son did this by healing the blind man. vv. 6-7.

c. Lazarusí sickness and death was for the glory of God. Jn. 11:4, 40.

2. In some cases, our sin brings the chastening hand of the Lord upon us.
I Cor. 11:30-32; I Pet. 4:15.

- Many, however, suffer in order that they might be strengthened and that the Lord Jesus Christ might be glorified through them. I Pet. 4:12-14.

- The glory of God was seen in the suffering of Stephen. Acts 7:54-60.

PART ONEóTHE ORIGIN OF SUFFERING

I. MAN WAS CREATED IN INNOCENCE

A. Originally man was made in the image of God. Gen. 1:26-27; 2:7.

B. God made man a help-meet so he would have one of his own kind to meet his needs and to fellowship with. Gen. 2:18, 20-25.

C. The couple, placed in perfect surroundings, enjoyed personal fellowship with God.

D. God gave the man a prohibition. Gen. 2:15-17.

II. MAN DISOBEYED GODGen. 3:1-13.

A. Sin had its origin in the universe with the fall of Satan. Isa. 14:12-15; Ezek. 28:11-19.

B. Satan, the fallen angel, placed a seed of doubt in Eveís mind and heart to tempt her. Gen. 3:1-5.

C. The woman was deceived and the man deliberately disobeyed; thus, sin entered the human race bringing suffering and death. Gen. 3:6-13; Rom. 5:12, 18.

III. MANíS SIN BROUGHT SEPARATION AND SUFFERING
Gen. 3:14-24.

A. As sinners, Adam and Eve became estranged from God.

1. Sin had changed their nature from one of love and compassion to one of fear and hostility.

- Every unsaved person possesses this nature today. Rom 8:7-8.

2. When God sought Adam and Eve in the Garden, they hid from His holiness and His righteousness. Gen. 3:8-10.

3. They tried to cover their own sinful condition. Gen. 3:7.

- Only God could provide a sacrifice and covering for them. Gen. 3:21.

- Here is a picture of Christ, our covering.

B. Because of Adamís sin, suffering came upon the whole human race.

1. Eve would bear children in suffering. Gen. 3:16.

2. She was put in subjection to her husband. v. 16.

3. Even the ground was cursed to bring forth thorns and thistles.
vv. 17-18.

4. Man was to make his living by the sweat of his brow. v. 19.

5. Adam and Eve were put out of the Garden. Gen. 3:22-24.

CONCLUSION

         Sin always separates us from God and causes us to suffer. Isa. 53:6.

         The Lord came to suffer the wrath of God in our place.