Reading For Wednesday 1 Peter 1:1-2:12
This was written to believers suffering under persecution because of their faith in Christ. Peter begins by addressing the people as exiles and speaking grace over them with the awareness that God knew exactly what the church was facing. Peter calls the believers attention to their living hope in Christ. Salvation carried with it the guarantee that a glorious inheritance awaited. He invites them to rejoice in their trials and view them as transient, recognizing that the testing of their faith would demonstrate the genuineness of the faith. These believers could not see Jesus with their physical eyes, but they could rejoice with joy in the knowledge that salvation was the outcome of the faith that is tested. The prophets have predicted that the Christ would endure suffering that would end in exaltation. Peter wanted these suffering believers to see that it was a gift to have seen the fulfillment of what had been announced by the prophets. Angels do not experience redemption the same way because believers are the recipients of redemption.
Peter admonishes the faithful to place their hope fully on the revelation of Jesus and not nationalism, politics, power, or money. These believers were new creations and as such, they would demonstrate the internal transformation through their obedience. God has always called his people to be holy, and a proper reverence for God demands holy living. The ransom paid frees one from the slavery of sin. Peter observes that God had determined the work of Christ before the beginning of time, but he had only recently revealed it in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The expression of holiness is a genuine love for one another. Peter directs believers to put aside malice, deceit, and hypocrisy and to grow in grace. The church is described as a living body, a building built on the foundation of Jesus, and as a select people. Peter was eager for God’s people to demonstrate distinctive, obedient behavior in order to convince critics of their faith. Since they are living as God’s people in a pagan world, they are called to live in such a way that the only thing they can be accused of is being honorable and doing good deeds.
Things To Consider:
- How can you look to Jesus when you are suffering?
- Why should heaven be such a comforting thought?
- Why is it difficult to see the temporary nature of suffering?
- Is suffering temporary if it lasts 100 years? Why?
- Why must faith be tested?
- How has your faith been tested?
- How should we view our salvation in light of the way angels see it?
- Why is obedience important if it cannot save us?
- Why does it matter that Christ's suffering was determined before the foundation of the world?
- How does one grow up into salvation?
- How does an understanding of the temple help us to understand Peter's description of who we are and how we relate to God?
- How do you fight the war against your soul?
- What is the only thing that people should be able to say against us?