Call to Worship (Psalm47)Clap your hands! Shout for joy!Our Lord reigns on the throne of glory!We open our hearts to the ascended Lord,who sits on the throne of glory!
Prayer of Confession (Luke24)O Lord, we have not lived our lives as kingdom people.We place our crowns on hopelessness, fear, and selfishness.We are ruled by our schedulesand our need for control.We forget that your kingdom draws near to us on earth, as it isin heaven.Forgive us, we pray. Amen.
IntroductionFirst Peter is one of two epistles written by thedisciple we know as “Simon Peter” (Mark 1:29; Luke4:38; 5:3, 10).“Simon” is the name Jesus used for Peter whenreferencing his old life or the tendencies of the fleshto dominate him (John 1:42).
IntroductionAfter the resurrection, Jesus called Peter “Simon” forthe last time (John 21:3, 15-17).Peter was a faithful apostle and powerful preacher(Acts 2:14-40; 3:12-26).He was instrumental in the growth and developmentof the early church (Acts 8-15).
IntroductionHis last appearance in the biblical record occurs at theJerusalem Council (Acts 15:7-12) until he wrote hisepistles.Tradition records that Peter was martyred by beingcrucified upside down.
IntroductionPeter’s first epistle, First Peter, is a wonderful letter ofencouragement written to give hope to believers whowere suffering persecution.Historians suggest that these persecuted believershad become the scapegoat of Emperor Nero for theburning of Rome.
IntroductionThroughout the five chapters of First Peter hismessage is, “Be hopeful!”How can Peter say that to Christians who are sufferingpersecution?Peter answers these questions in this text.
1 Peter 1:1Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the exiles of theDispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, andBithynia,
1 Peter 1:1The Apostle Peter wrote this letter to JewishChristians (to those Jews dispersed or scattered whenthe Assyrians dispersed the Northern Kingdom) and toGentile Christians (the meaning of “exiles” can alsomean those who await Jesus’ return and their eternalhome).
1 Peter 1:2who have been chosen and destined by God theFather and sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient toJesus Christ and to be sprinkled with his blood: Maygrace and peace be yours in abundance.
1 Peter 1:2God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit determined(chosen) to set apart believers to live holy andobedient to Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:2His blood (Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross)provides the necessary forgiveness of sins andcleansing from sin.Obedience to Jesus Christ is not a means of earningsalvation but is an indication that a believer is savedand sanctified (set apart by God for God’s holypurposes).
1 Peter 1:3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord JesusChrist! By his great mercy he has given us a new birthinto a living hope through the resurrection of JesusChrist from the dead,
1 Peter 1:3“Blessed” is the word from which we get our Englishword “eulogy,” and means, “to be well spoken of” or“to be praised.”Peter assumes it is necessary to “speak well” or“praise God.”
1 Peter 1:3By our way of life, we show our love for God and bringhappiness to our Lord Jesus Christ and our heavenlyFather.
1 Peter 1:3“Mercy” is God’s compassion toward the miserablecondition of fallen man (Psalms 108:4; Titus 3:5;Ephesians 2:4; Romans 9:15-16).
1 Peter 1:3The source of the believer’s hope is the new birth.Agagennao in the Greek is used only here and in 1Peter 1:23 in the New Testament. It means “to givenew life to.”
1 Peter 1:3Every individual must be born again in order to besaved and have hope.There is no redemption apart from being born again(John 3:7; 1 Peter 1:23).
1 Peter 1:3The believer’s “hope” is “lively” or “living.” Its sourceis Christ’s triumph over death!
1 Peter 1:4and into an inheritance that isimperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heavenfor you,
1 Peter 1:4As exiles, our hope is in the future that God hasprepared for us. Kept in and meant for heaven.Jesus guarantees we will receive our inheritance asbelievers in Him.
1 Peter 1:5who are being protected by the power of God throughfaith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the lasttime.
1 Peter 1:5“Inheritance” was important in Jewish history and life(Deuteronomy 15:4; 19:10).The Jews had a history of their homeland andpossessions being destroyed by invading armies andenemies but they now had an “inheritance” thatcould never be destroyed.
1 Peter 1:5An inheritance is “that which is passed down to youfrom your father, or that which you receive as a gift, alegacy given to you because you are a member of acertain family.”It’s not something you earn. It is a gift.
1 Peter 1:5Keep in mind that many of Peter’s readers had losteverything they possessed through Nero’spersecution.They had nothing as far as this world was concernedbut now Peter tells them their new birth has resultedin them having “an inheritance.”
1 Peter 1:5What is our “inheritance?” Peter says it is “salvationready to be revealed in the last time.” A heavenlycondition.The term “salvation” means, “rescue, full and finaldeliverance from sin.”
1 Peter 1:5Our “inheritance” is “final deliverance from the curseof the law, the power of sin, the presence of sin, thegrief of sin, the temptations of sin, and the death,punishment and judgment associated with sin.”
1 Peter 1:5Not only does God protect our inheritance, He alsoprotects us so we will receive our inheritance eventhough we may suffer and die for our faith (as Peterknew he would die for his faith).God’s power will help us maintain a strong faith nomatter what our earthly circumstances.
1 Peter 1:6In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while youhave had to suffer various trials,
1 Peter 1:6Peter is here calling for a rejoicing that is rooted in asaving relationship with the Lord.It is not necessary for things in the world to be goinggood in order for the believer to “rejoice.”
1 Peter 1:6Suffering in this life for any reason and in any way willalways be for a little while compared to rejoicing foreternity with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
1 Peter 1:6This “rejoicing” is not a good feeling or a positiveoutcome to a situation.This “rejoicing” called for by Peter is an abidingconfidence in the knowledge that your relationship toChrist is secured forever by God.
1 Peter 1:6The word “temptation” used in this verse is areference to trials, not a reference to temptation tosin.These believers were going through a little bit ofeverything imaginable. That also means God isworking in our lives in more than just one area or way.
1 Peter 1:7so that the genuineness of your faith—being moreprecious than gold that, though perishable, is testedby fire—may be found to result in praise and gloryand honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7Proven faith is eternal and that makes it “moreprecious” than “gold” which although highly valuable,is perishable.
1 Peter 1:7Testing, trials, and suffering can give Christians theopportunity to show God and others that wegenuinely live by faith in Jesus Christ instead of justsaying that we believe in Jesus while living by thisworld’s standards and values.
1 Peter 1:7Peter says God loves us so much that He will give thetested and tried believer the things that should onlygo to Him.
1 Peter 1:8Although you have not seen him, you love him; andeven though you do not see him now, you believe inhim and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
1 Peter 1:8“Believing” means “to be persuaded or placeconfidence in.”We “believe” Christ and His Word because He istrustworthy.
1 Peter 1:9for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, thesalvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:9Our inner spiritual essence, our souls, who we reallyare spiritually as created in the image of God, indwellsour material, physical, fleshly human bodies.As a result of faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord andSavior, when we die we will go to heaven (our soulswill experience salvation).
1 Peter 1:9In heaven, we will enjoy our inheritance until JesusChrist returns, at which time we will receive ourresurrected glorified human bodies and be wholeagain.The “love, belief, and joy” the believer has is notpowered by anything human. It is divinelyempowered.
1 Peter 1:10Concerning this salvation, the prophets whoprophesied of the grace that was to be yours madecareful search and inquiry,
1 Peter 1:10Peter now expands on how this living hope wasbrought to us.The prophets and other writers of the Old Testamentwrote very little about life after death, though manyOld Testament figures talked about going to Sheolafter they died.
1 Peter 1:10They did not know the type and quality of life afterdeath that would be given to believers.But while living under the Old Testament law these“prophets” still knew God was a God of “grace.”
1 Peter 1:11inquiring about the person or time that the Spirit ofChrist within them indicated when it testified inadvance to the sufferings destined for Christ and thesubsequent glory.
1 Peter 1:11No one prophet knew all the details of how Jesuswould come and what He would do, but some knewand revealed that Jesus would suffer, die, and risefrom the dead, and His body would not decay when itrested in His tomb.
1 Peter 1:11The Holy Spirit “was in them” means the Holy Spirittook up temporary residence inside the “prophets”and directed them and guided them while they wrotetheir prophecies (2 Peter 1:21).
1 Peter 1:12It was revealed to them that they were serving notthemselves but you, in regard to the things that havenow been announced to you through those whobrought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent fromheaven—things into which angels long to look!
1 Peter 1:12These prophets knew that their prophecies would notbe fulfilled in their lifetime, but would be fulfilled inthe lifetime of others.
1 Peter 1:12Angels enjoy (strong desire, overpowering impulseand passion) watching the work of salvation andrejoice when sinners repent and come to saving faith.The angels enjoy watching believers when they livefaithful lives according to the Scriptures in the powerof the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:13Therefore prepare your minds for action; disciplineyourselves; set all your hope on the grace that JesusChrist will bring you when he is revealed.
1 Peter 1:13Some who say they believe in Jesus Christ mistakenlythink that because once upon a time they said theybelieved in Jesus that they can continue to live in theirdisobedient, sinful, and self-centered ways.Peter and the other apostles declared that trueChristian belief leads to a life of faithful action andobedience.
1 Peter 1:13Believers discipline themselves to serve Jesus andothers faithfully rather than do whatever they desireor practice whatever sins they did before.
1 Peter 1:14Like obedient children, do not be conformed to thedesires that you formerly had in ignorance.
1 Peter 1:14We need the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, and the lightof the Holy Spirit to know and do the will of God andavoid the immoral ways of this world..
1 Peter 1:14Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holyyourselves in all your conduct;.
1 Peter 1:15God, who is holy, who has set himself apart fromselfishness and self-centeredness in order to love andserve others, will not set a lower standard of behaviorfor His children.As believers, we can trust in God to help us livemorally pure too.
1 Peter 1:15for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15The meaning of the word “shall” in this verse includeswhat a believer should do, should strive to do, andwill actually do as the grace and power of Godthrough the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures enablethem.
ConclusionThe believer’s living hope is not a passive lifelessbelief system.It is not based on wishful thinking or humanexpectations.
ConclusionIt is a living confident trust based on the word of Godand rooted in the finished work of Jesus Christ on thecross and empowered by Christ’s resurrection.
Invitation to CommunionCome to the table. It’s an open feast.Christ invites us all— the rich and the poor,the outcast and the honored.Come to the gathering of sinners and saints.Come to this blessed table where Christ reigns.Come and taste the kingdom of God,where all are welcome.
Prayer following CommunionLord, you have given us peaceand blessed us with a tasteof your heavenly banquet.As we leave your table,usher us into your kingdom,now and forever. Amen.
The BlessingJesus commanded the faithful ones to waitfor the power from on high. Be patient.God’s love is given to you and the power ofGod will enable you to be witnesses forGod in this world.Be of great courage. Be still.