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Where there's Christ there's Hope

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The Apostle Peter wrote this letter to encourage believers who are facing trials and persecution. As we face the storms in our lives, Peter offers comfort and hope. This confident hope gives us the …

The Apostle Peter wrote this letter to encourage believers who are facing trials and persecution. As we face the storms in our lives, Peter offers comfort and hope. This confident hope gives us the encouragement and enablement we need for daily living.

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  • 1. Empowered Bible Study MinistriesJoin us on:FacebookTwitterGodTubeYouTube 1
  • 2. Where There’s Christ, There’s Hope 1 Peter 1:1; 5:12-14The book of 1 Peter is one of my favorite books because it is so rich inapplication for living a godly life. We are going to examine these five chapters in1 Peter over a course of eleven weeks.The apostle Peter wrote this letter to encourage believers who would face trialsand persecution under Emperor Nero.We will see three themes; suffering, grace, and glory and how they unite to forman encouraging message for believers experiencing times of trial andpersecution.The message of 1 Peter applies to us today. As we face those storms in ourlives, the trials and persecution, Peter offers faithful believers comfort and hope.As Christians we should expect ridicule, rejection, and suffering because of ourfaith. If we have not suffered for our Christian beliefs, then we need to questionour Christian walk. If we are truly walking in the light we will suffer persecution.Persecution makes us stronger because it refines our faith. We can facepersecution victoriously, as Christ did, if we rely on him.For todays readers, as well as for Peters original audience, the theme of thisletter is hope.Before we study what Peter has written, what do we know about Peter?1 Peter 1:1 says that Peter was an apostle of Jesus Christ: ―Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,‖ (NKJV)John 1:42 Given name was Simon, he was the son of Jona but Jesus changed itto the Aramaic name Cephas (kay-fas) which means ―a stone‖ Peter is the Greektranslation of Cephas, so Peter was a man with three names.Names were very important in those days, names represented their character.Jesus saw potential in Simon and changed his name to Cephas meaning a stone.The Greek shows Peter means a portion of a rock. We know Christ is the Rockour Foundation right. Well Peter is a portion of rock not ―the‖ rock. 2
  • 3. Matthew 4:18, Mark 1:16, Luke 5:1-11: Fisherman – when you think of aFisherman in those days you picture a big burly man, rough exterior. Thefishermen in those days had to work hard. It’s not like the fishermen today thathave motors on their boats and fishing poles, they had to paddle out, throw netsover the side of the boat and pull it in – so they had to be strong.Matthew 8:14 : Married – talks about his mother-in-law who was at Peter’s homesick and Jesus healed her.Matthew 4:18 brother Andrew fellow FishermanSo you can see here that Peter was a family man who worked as a fishermanwith his brother and took care of his mother-in-law who was sick. He was just anordinary man. Sometimes we put people on pedestals and yet in reality they arejust ordinary people.john 1:41-42 Brought to the Lord by his brother Andrew – Andrew loved hisbrother and wanted him to know the Lord just as we want our family members toaccept Christ.How many times do we witness to our family? Are we like Andrew who soughtout his brother and brought him to the Lord, or do we not say anything in fear ofpersecution?Andrew also followed Jesus, but you don’t see him in scripture as a leader, hewas more of a follower. But Peter became a great leader.You never know when you bring someone to the Lord what their ministry will beor how God will use them. You don’t have to be an evangelist to witness butmaybe someone you witness to will become one.Acts 4:13 uneducated and untrainedSome say Peter didn’t write the book of 1 Peter because he was uneducated.But we have to remember, in the Greek uneducated and untrained simply meantthat he was a layman without formal schooling. So this is no argument that Peterwrote 1 Peter.Acts 4:13 also says that Peter was BoldPeter was seen frequently as rash, headstrong, proud, impulsive, unstable, andoften saying the wrong things. But once we get to the book of Acts, we see adifferent man. There he is seen as a strong saint with a vibrant testimony forChrist, a courageous leader of the early church who stood firm and faithfulregardless of the circumstances. 3
  • 4. God prepared Peter to minister to the Jews as Paul was to minister to theGentiles. (Galatians 2:7-10)Peter is a great example of how God uses us even when we fail. Peter deniedChrist three times because he feared persecution. He looked straight at Christand denied he knew him. This was a very hard trial for Peter, but through thistrial Peter’s faith was strengthened and molded into a mighty servant of God.When Peter gives a message of Hope in the midst of trials and persecution, hespeaks from experience.So you can see God uses ordinary people to accomplish His will. Peter was justa big burly fisherman, a family man and look how God used him in such a mightyway.It shows in 1 Peter 5:13 that Peter wrote 1 Peter in Babylon.Scripture does not tell us which Babylon he is talking about here. There was aBabylon Euphrates, a Babylon in Egypt and Babylon was also code name forRome. They would use code to protect the Jews in Rome.So we cannot dogmatically say it was any particular place other than whatScripture says which is "Babylon". (Jamison-Faucet-brown say Babylon Euphrates without a doubt, other commentators(POSB, Wolvard, Wiersbe, LAB) say it was Rome "used code to protect himself and the Jews there )(CBL gives argument for both Babylon Euphrates and Rome, in CBLGED gives strong opinion being Rome)1 Peter 1:1 also shows us who Peter was writing to. Lets look at how hedescribes them:Notice the different translations:KJV, NIV - Peter called them "strangers" "Scattered throughout"NKJV - Pilgrims of the DispersionESV - Elect exiles of the dispersionNASB - aliens scattered throughout 1 Peter 1:1 (KJV) ―Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,‖ 1 Peter 1:1 (NIV) ―To Gods elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,‖ 4
  • 5. 1 Peter 1:1 (NKJV) ―Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,‖ 1 Peter 1:1 (ESV) ―Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,‖ 1 Peter 1:1 (NASB) ―Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen‖Let’s break it down - First we will look at how Peter called them Strangers:This is the descriptive picture being painted in 1 Peter 1:1. Believers are onlystrangers (parepidēmois ) on earth.The English word "strangers" refers to anyone with whom we are notacquainted. But the Greek word means far more than that.It is parepidemois, made up of para, "alongside of," epi, "upon," and demos,used in Biblical Greek of the people of a heathen city.The word here describes the recipients of this letter as Christians who havesettled down alongside of the unsaved.Peter uses the same word in 2:11.He will not let us forget that we are living among the unsaved who are alwayscarefully observing us. The Question here would be "what are they observing in your life?" "Do they see Christs love shining through you?" "If they were to follow your footsteps would they find Christ as the center of your life?"When you think of strangers you also think of a person visiting a place for awhile, but he is not a permanent resident.Believers are citizens of heaven; their home is in heaven with God, not on earth.It makes me think about the song we used to sing in church: This world is not myhome I’m just a passin through… 5
  • 6. Ladies, this is significant! It means that where we live on this earth doesn’t matter. Whether we have a huge house or a small one; whether we live on the coast or in the desert. No matter where we live, it is not our permanent home. Our home is in heaven. We may suffer great hardship in this life, but the encouraging thing is, is that it is only for a brief time. Remember this is only temporary. Philippians 3:20 "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerlywait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ," NKJV We need to keep our eyes and minds focused on the course. Life is short; weneed to make every moment count for eternity rather than focusing on buildingearthly treasures that are going to burn up.You can be in the world but not of the world as John 17:16 says:John 17:16 "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." NKJVSecondly Peter said they were Scattered: διασπορά, diasporaScattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.One commentator said they were sprinkled like salt throughout five of AsiaMinor’s Roman provinces (modern Turkey).I like the picture there, as Christians we are salt to the world.The letter was evidently meant to circulate among the churches in this area.―Scattered‖ (Diasporas) had special meaning to the Jewish Christians in thesechurches. The Diaspora referred to Jews who were separated from theirhomeland. Peter adapted this word which previously described Israel toemphasize the condition of the early church.This word Diaspora is found in the Septuagint (Greek Translation of the OldTestament) where Moses says of Israel, "Thou shalt be removed into all thekingdoms of the earth" Deuteronomy 28:25, and is probably the earliest exampleof its use as a technical designation of the Jews who for whatever reason livedoutside of Palestine.The word is used in John 7:35 and James 1:1, in both places referring to thoseJews who were living outside of Palestine. 6
  • 7. The important thing for us to know about these "scattered strangers" is that theywere going through a time of suffering and persecution. Peter wrote toencourage them, to remind them that their suffering would lead to glory. 1 peter 1:6-7; 4:13-14; 5:10 1 Peter 1:6-7 ―In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,‖ (NKJV) 1 Peter 4:13-14 ―but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christs sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.‖ (NKJV) 1 Peter 5:10 ―But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.‖ (NKJV)And this is a reminder to us also.As believers, we have a "living hope" because we trust a living Christ 1 Peter 1:3 ―Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,‖ (NKJV)This hope enables us to keep our minds under control and "hope to the end"when Jesus shall return. 1 Peter 1:13 ―Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ‖ (NKJV)We must not be ashamed of our hope but be ready to explain and defend it 1 Peter 3:15 ―But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;‖ (NKJV) 7
  • 8. Since suffering brings glory, and because Jesus is coming again, we can indeedbe hopeful!Peter also emphasized Gods grace in this letter. Grace is Gods generous favorto undeserving sinners and needy saints.The word "grace" is used throughout 1 Peter: 1:2, 10, 13; 3:7; 4:10; 5:5, 10, 12.(1 Peter 5:12, NIV) "I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifyingthat this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it".When we depend on Gods grace, we can endure suffering and turn trials intotriumphs. It is grace alone that saves us (Eph. 2:8-10).Gods grace can give us strength in times of trial (2 Cor. 12:1-10).Grace enables us to serve God in spite of difficulties (1 Cor. 15:9-10).Whatever begins with Gods grace will always lead to glory (Ps. 84:11; 1 Peter5:10).As we study 1 Peter, we will see how the three themes of suffering, grace, andglory unite to form an encouraging message for believers experiencing times oftrial and persecution. 1 Peter 5:10 "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you" (NKJV)This confident hope gives us the encouragement and enablement we need fordaily living. It does not put us in a rocking chair where we complacently awaitthe return of Jesus Christ. Instead, it puts us in the marketplace, on thebattlefield, where we keep on going when the burdens are heavy and the battlesare hard.—Bible Exposition Commentary - New TestamentEvery follower of Jesus Christ can live every moment of every day with hope ifthey remember three important truths:1. Life on Earth is Temporary; our home is in heaven. Peter reminds us over and over again throughout 1 Peter that we are strangers in this world that this life is not all there is. When you really concentrate on the fact that this is just temporal - it helps to endure whatever may come your way in this life. 8
  • 9. 2. God uses adversity in this life to strengthen our faith. Peter reminds us that we will suffer "grief in all kinds of trials" 1 Peter 1:6, yet we can still have hope because God never wastes a hurt. He uses them to strengthen to us and that we can in turn help someone else that is going through same trial. Peter encourages us to stand firm even through adversity that God would be glorified through our lives.3. The end of all things is near. Ladies we are living in the end days which should make us want to live every day for Christ making every moment count for eternity.These truths that Peter reminds us of throughout 1 peter should act as apowerful source of hope every day of your life.Like an anchor, our hope in Christ stabilizes us in the storms of life (Heb. 6:18-19)When we focus on Christ, we can overcome and God will transform sufferinginto glory.Next we will be studying 1 Peter 1:2-12.Until then,God blessTo view this study on the book of 1st Peter go to:http://studyoffirstpeter.blogspot.com/For other Bible studies and inspirational articles go to:Empowered Bible Study MinistriesJoin us on:Facebook; Twitter; GodTube; YouTube 9