Friday, December 27, 2013

Bible Study: Lessons For The Christian Life - 1 Peter - Chapter 4

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 4 of 1 Peter. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations…

4:1 – We are to have the same attitude as Christ with regard to suffering. Can you find some Biblical references to Christ’s response to physical and emotional suffering? Try looking toward the end of the four gospel accounts.

4:2 – Because Christ conquered sin through His reaction to His suffering, “He does not live the rest of His earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” What does this phrase mean to you?

4:3 – Peter says we’ve had enough of “living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” Define these terms. Are there areas of your life where you are still engaging in these practices? What can you change to avoid these behaviors?

4:4 – Non-believers will abuse and ridicule you because of your Christian behavior. Have you already experienced this type of abuse? What sort of advice would you share with a new believer who is enduring this treatment? What do you wish someone would’ve told you with regard to this issue?

4:5 – Non-believers will be judged by God for their behavior – including their attacks on His children. Does this comfort you? Does it fill you with dread for these people? Pray for these individuals to be delivered from this behavior and into the kingdom of God. Why? Check out the next verse.

4:6 – Judgment will be in accordance with our response to the gospel.

4:7 – Do you keep yourself clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray? How do you do this?

4:8 – Love is a powerful thing! Obey this command: love each other deeply.

The love mentioned here is agape.

4:9 – Here’s another command we should obey: be hospitable and don’t grumble about it!

4:10 – What are the gifts God has given you? Are you using these gifts to serve others as He has commanded? If not, how could you begin doing so today?

4:11 – Everything we do has some form of focus on God. This is a huge responsibility, but it is also tapping into a monumental Power Source: the Creator of the universe! Remember, you can do all things through Christ! What have you done through His power, today? How was He glorified in it?

4:12 – As Christians, we can expect trials.

4:13 – When these trials come, we are told to rejoice. It is a privilege to be considered worthy to share in the sufferings of Christ. How do you think His glory is revealed in times of trial?

4:14 – Have you been insulted because of your faith in Christ? If so, the Bible says you are blessed. Scripture also says that the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. What does this mean to you?

4:15 – If you suffer because of a crime you’ve committed, you are not sharing in the sufferings of Christ. What does this tell you about how God feels about the law?

This verse mentions meddling in the same phrase as murder, thievery and crime. What does this tell you about how God views meddling?

4:16 – There is no shame in suffering for your faith in Christ.

4:17 – What scriptures can you find referencing God’s judgment? Apparently believers will be judged first.

4:18 – See Proverbs 11:31. This is a sobering verse. Are you praying for the salvation of the ungodly? Are you revealing Christ to those around you on a daily basis? What else can you do to see that the gospel is preached?

4:19 – Our suffering is in accordance with God's will. Don’t misunderstand what I mean by this: Nothing that touches our lives does so without first being filtered through the mighty fingers of the Almighty. We should be thankful rather than blaming. Things could DEFINITELY be much worse!

• 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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