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Cease from Sin (I Peter 4:1-6)

Peter has been addressing all of the areas of our lives that affect us abroad and up front (government, the workplace, the home, our relationships with our spouses & each other as a community). He even zeroes in to our attitude. But here, Peter is going to speak to our hearts and to our sin. While so many continue to go the way that allows them to indulge in their favorite sins, God calls His people to a life of holy living and once again sets the example. And yet to accomplish this, self sacrifice is required. Peter stresses the importance of arming yourself (a military term), "soldiering up" with Christ, and the more you do this, and the more you sacrifice, the more the sin nature will become less powerful in your life and just "drop off". See the power of how this works as Pastor Troy Billow explains from experience the positive effect that following Christ in this area has impacted him, and will impact you when you apply it.

Christ is the Ark ... (I Peter 3:18-22)

Full Title: Christ is the Ark of Our Salvation

In this passage, Peter zeroes in on the coming judgment that will come upon the earth. Much like the worldwide flood (recorded in Genesis 7), which Peter, just like Jesus conveyed as a similar model for the end times, God's grace is going to last so long before time is up, and judgment "rains down on the earth". God makes this judgment known because there is more judgment coming, so it is wise to be both in good standing and revitalized in spirit through Jesus Christ.

Revere Christ As Lord (I Peter 3:13-18)

Peter now moves to the Lordship of Christ in these passages. What that means is putting Christ on the throne of one's heart. Peter had to learn to revere Christ as Lord of his heart, whereas he didn't before. If you are truly connected to Christ, and you respect, honor, and love Him you will act like you believe it, talk like you believe it, and it will show.

Be a Blessing (I Peter 3:8-12)

Peter changes his communicative approach from addressing the believer from an individual standpoint to addressing everyone in the church body as a collective. Peter stresses how important it is to be like-minded, sympathetic to others, humble, show love, dignity, respect (Christ always sought out the people society deemed "despicable"), among a host of other things. If you do these things (i.e. follow Christ's example and carry it out in your own circle), you will have an impact on people. On top of that, God is attentive to those who emulate the nature of Christ and from that, stand out differently from this world. Pastor Troy Billow explains what this all means, how applying it has impacted him personally, and the power it has in every walk of life in every generation since Christ set the example.

Unhindered Prayers (I Peter 3:7)

Peter (who was once most resistant towards the thought of submission) is continuing his theme of submission in his letter. Just as he touched on wives submitting to their husbands, Peter now focuses on the importance of husbands honoring their wives. If a husband fails to honor, show consideration, and love their wife, it will reveal coldness within the heart, and as such, their prayers will be hindered. Practicing honor, love, consideration, & faithfulness will result in unhindered prayers, as Pastor Troy Billow explains in this message.

Unfading Beauty (I Peter 3:1-6)

Throughout scripture, God is teaching people to be submissive; submissive to God, authorities, employers, to each other (as a community of believers), and for women to be submissive to their husbands. What does that mean? Since the latter part of the 20th century in American culture, the idea of wives submitting to their husbands has been seen as deeply controversial. Why? Because it is always viewed from a very limited, worldly perspective which gives a negative and demeaning image. When examining the truth of what is being said in scripture, the flaws in that perspective pop out strongly as that is not at all what is being conveyed. In this message, Pastor Troy Billow explains what is really being said here, and why it is being said. After all, there is a much more important, transcendent truth being taught here that is very beneficial, and that is this; when Christ was on earth He submitted to the Father, governing authorities, and in turn set an example for those of us (who care about advancing the Kingdom of God) to follow, so that the labels of extremities can be dissolved by the very actions conducted by the believer following Christ's example in this world.

The Shepherd of Your Souls (I Peter 2:22-25)

For all of the things that Christ has done for us, one thing stands perfectly clear for all time; Christ is the shepherd of your soul today, just as He was in Peter's day. In these passages, Peter expounds on what this means, which in turn leaves one very clear and concise question: do you entrust your soul to Christ? Christ not only died for your sin, but He died for you to have the power OVER sin. Christians who have trouble in their walk/faith neglect the power of this truth. So why is this concept so important to keep in perspective? Find out as Pastor Troy Billow explains how Jesus is the shepherd of our souls and what that all means in this message.

Commendable Before God (I Peter 2:18-21)

What are your thoughts about your employer? Does your employer truly value you and the work you do, or does your employer just use you, complain, insult you, and treat you like you don't matter? In a culture where a significant number of people were slaves in the first century, Peter teaches on why, despite the attitudes and challenges that come at you, it is best to submit to those you serve. Peter had to LEARN to submit. Why? Because from where he was before, his priorities shifted and he saw the importance of maintaining his testimony. Even if you work for someone harsh, you can still have an impact on people, as Pastor Troy Billow will explain from his personal experience in applying these truths in his own life.

The Day He Visits Us (I Peter 2:11-12)

What does it mean to live out your faith in the world around you? It's not easy, and Peter recognizes it. While there are so many forces out in the world and within (through our carnal nature) that wage war against your soul - like an evil assassin that enters your "fort" trying to tear apart your faith, there are also many elements out there to keep it strong and healthy. Peter knows a thing or two about being weak, carnal, and stupid. In fact, for a time, Peter was a "slacker", While Peter was built up in Christ, he knew that Christians can be backslidden. However, there is a day coming soon that Christ is going to visit us. The question to ask ourselves then would be; will he be proud of us?

The Sweet Sound of Grace (Ephesians 2:1-10)

The passage addressed in this sermon is our spiritual biography as believers, from God's point of view. Here it is spelled out in a straightforward manner by Paul to show us the profound seriousness of God's grace when we receive His gift of salvation. Before we received this gift, we were, by nature, objects of God's wrath, because we followed the ways of this world, and followed the ruler of the kingdom of the air. In order to really appreciate the depth of this concept, we have to understand that in His grace, God withholds His wrath, and that He can bring His wrath out at any time if He wanted to. At the same time, God wants to transform us, make us alive in Christ, and raise us up. because we are His possession, His handiwork, and His bride, and He wants to "show us off". In this message by Pastor John Billow, we see how sweet and amazing God's grace truly is.