Friday, December 06, 2013

Bible Study: Lessons For The Christian Life - 1 Peter - Chapter 1

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the epistle of 1 Peter. I feel a great sense of urgency to publish them because I’m not sure how much time we have left on this big, blue marble. Thank you for reading them. I pray that God blesses and encourages you through this material. I’m not sure of the condition of the world at the time of this publication. But at the time of its writing, early summer 2010, things are still looking pretty bleak with the economy and unemployment, and BP is taking a lot of heat over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Are these the first stages of birth pains? The last? God only knows. And He is very busy these days. Seek His wisdom. Encourage each other. Pray. Jesus is coming to deliver His people and judge the wicked…


Take a few minutes to pray and savor chapter 1 of 1 Peter. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

This epistle was written by Peter around AD 60 or later because of its familiarity with Paul’s prison letters. Peter was one of the disciples of Jesus, often chosen as one of the three to accompany Jesus into more personal fellowship. Peter was martyred during Nero’s reign in AD 67/68.

1:1 – This letter is from the apostle Peter to believers “scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia”. Take a look at a map. Where are these places? How might people in these areas have become believers? Keep in mind that some people from this area were present at the Pentecost.

What does the phrase “strangers in the world” mean to you? Does this phrase describe you?

1:2 – According to Peter, these believers were “…chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father”. What does this mean? Do you believe that believers today have also been chosen by God the Father?

For what purpose have we been chosen? This verse tells us “for obedience to Jesus Christ”. Are you fulfilling this purpose? What changes need to be made for you to do so?

Take a moment to contemplate where you have an abundance of grace and peace in your life.

1:3-4 - God has given us new life through Christ’s resurrection. The living hope we have is that of eternal life. That is our imperishable inheritance.

Do you have this living hope of eternal life? I pray that you do. If you don’t and you’d like to, please take a moment to pray. You can use the words posted in the left pane of this web page. Then seek the Lord through His Word (the Bible) and find a group of Christian believers (Bible-teaching church) to help you grow in your relationship with Him. Welcome to the family!

1:5 – We are protected by God's power through our faith. What are we being protected from?

Peter mentions a time frame: “until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”. Do you think that this coming salvation is referring to the return of Christ? Or is it perhaps the idea of constant sanctification?

1:6-9 – This is a refining process. (As Silver Refined – Arthur)

1:6 – We may have to suffer because of trials. But this suffering will only last for a little while. Keep in mind that a lifetime is considered a little while when a lifespan is equated with vapor. See James 4:14.

1:7 – These trials come so that your faith may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Does this fact offer you comfort? Can you see how challenges from your past have glorified God? How can you share with others about your current trials to bring glory to Jesus?

1:8 – These believers had never seen Jesus, but they loved Him and believed in Him. This is very much like our relationship with Christ. Has your love and belief in Jesus resulted in your life being filled with “an inexpressible and glorious joy”? Share this with someone.

1:9 - The goal of our faith is our salvation. What does this mean to you?

1:10-12 – This is fascinating to me: the prophets searched to learn the time and circumstances of the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. But they learned that they were not serving themselves but future believers with their prophecies of these things.

What does it mean to you that “Even angels long to look into these things”?

1:13 - What are some practical ways to prepare your mind for action?

What are you doing to be self-controlled?

Is your hope set fully on the grace you’ve been given by Jesus Christ?

1:14 – As Christians, we are called to obedience. In this verse, we are told not to “conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance”. Have you been transformed to the point that you have given up old behaviors? I pray so. When they try to reappear to tempt you, IGNORE THEM!

1:15-16 – We are told to become like Jesus: be holy because He is holy. What are you doing to be holy? Or should I say, what are you allowing God to do through you to be holy?

See Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:2; 20:7.

1:17 – What does it mean to “live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear”? How does your life reflect this concept? How could you better reflect this concept?

1:18 – Silver and gold are perishable. The way of life taught to us by the world is empty. What do you think is lasting and imperishable?

1:19 – We were redeemed by Christ’s blood. This is our bride price.

Jesus is the final, perfect sacrifice for all sin!

1:20 - Jesus was chosen as the plan for the salvation of mankind before the creation of the world. As part of the Trinity, He was in on the decision. Does that change any of your thinking about the crucifixion?

Peter goes on to say that Jesus “was revealed in these last times for your sake”. What does this phrase mean to you?

1:21 – Because of Jesus, we believe in God. Do you think this might be an indication that the people Peter was addressing are Gentiles rather than Jews?

1:22 – We are purified by obeying the truth. What are you doing to obey the truth?

Are there any obstacles in your life that prohibit your sincere love for your brothers? If so, get rid of those obstacles and love your brother from your heart.

1:23 – We’ve been born again through the living and enduring word of God. Are you spending time in the Word every day? Make an appointment to do this if you currently aren’t.

1:24-25 – God’s word stands forever. See Isaiah 40:6-8. What does this mean to you?

• First Peter illustrates several life lessons for Christians. What is God teaching you in this chapter of scripture? How will you apply it to your life this week?
• What attributes of God do you see in this book?
• What verse of scripture seemed to be God speaking directly to you? What is He teaching you in these verses? How does He want you to respond?

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