Series: 1 Peter: “Living Faith Out”
Reading: 1 Peter 1:1-12 “Our Living Hope”
Sermon Date: September 3, 2017
Overview of the letter
The letter starts with “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ”. He has obviously known Jesus and this is probably written 30 years after his death and resurrection, AD. 62-63 in Rome. This is a very different Peter to when we see him in the gospels and Acts, he has matured and has been leading, studying and teaching for 30 years. As we don’t have enough evidence it is hard to know when and where it was written. There is even some discussion whether Peter wrote it or if someone wrote it later using his name. This is a long and complex discussion, but I (Nico) think that the evidence we have is enough to believe that it was actually written by Peter the Apostle, but in any case it is still inspired by the Holy Spirit and part of our Bible.
If you look at 1 Peter 5:12 “With the help of Silas, whom I regard as a faithful brother, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it”. We know that Silas had also been helping Paul and is already a mature leader, he helped Peter write the letter and was in charge of taking it to Asia and sharing the message. This verse also gives us an idea of why he wrote the letter, “encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it.” As we look into the first chapter today, we’ll find out who it was written for.
1 - What has been the best card that you’ve ever received? (Birthday, wedding, etc.)
2 - What is the best that you have given?
Please read 1 Peter 1:1-12
Peter mentions Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, these are all in what was known as Asia Minor, mainly Turkey today. There were Jews that lived in those areas, most likely some of them had heard Peter preach at Pentecost and then gone back to their homes and started small house churches. The experts think that most of the people who would read this letter wouldn’t have had a Jewish background, they most likely were Gentiles (these were the Christians who had converted to Christianity coming from other religions).
Please read vs. 1-2
3 - Peter’s greeting is quite impressive, why do you think he wrote it this way?
(Hint: They needed to understand that they are important to God! They needed to understand that they don’t only “believe” but are also being sanctified)
Please read vs. 3-5
4 – What does it mean that “He has given us new birth”?
5 – What is the inheritance that “can never perish, spoil or fade”?
6 – In vs. 4b-5 it says “this inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time”. Is that “shield” unbreakable? Can that inheritance be lost?
(Hint: tough tough question… sorry! What we need to know, is that no matter what, if we have faith in Jesus we won’t lose that inheritance, but we are called to persevere in faith, to keep faithful until the end)
Please read v.6-7
7 – In what ways do we suffer grief and trials as Christians? (Please try to shift the conversation into what we suffer because we are Christians, not what everyone suffers such as the death of someone we love, etc.)
8 – Why do you think Peter says that our faith is of “greater worth than gold”?
Please read v.8-12
9 – Peter is praising them because they haven’t seen Jesus but they still love and believe in Him. In what ways can we relate to that?
(Hint: it would be good to mention the times in our lives when we feel that God is far and isn’t responding to our prayers)
10 – Peter is giving salvation quite a lot of importance, he mentions it in vs 4, 5, 9 and 10. What do you think he means when he uses this word? What has Jesus saved us from?
11 – According to what we read in verse 9 “you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls“. Do you consider that your “soul” has been “saved”? Why?
12 – The prophets spoke of the Christ to come, many years before that happened. Neither them nor their kids or grandchildren saw the fulfilment of those promises. What does that say about the way God acts, about his plans and about the work that we are doing today?
Our hope is in Jesus, what He did for us and the eternal life that he is inviting us to be part of.
If you are not sure what salvation means, I’d recommend you share this with your house group leaders, any member of the senior staff team or pastoral care team, we’d love to have a chat about it! Let’s pray that God will help us keep this faith all our lives. Let’s pray for our family, friends and neighbours who still haven’t decided to put their faith in Jesus.