Summary: 'A Living Hope.' 1 Peter chapter 1 verses 1-12 sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: email@example.com)
(1). We Have a Living Hope (vs 3).
(2). We Have a Permanent Inheritance (vs 4):
(3). We Have Divine Protection (vs 5):
(4). We Have a Developing Faith (vs 6-7).
(5). We Have an Unseen Saviour (vs 8).
(6). We Have Guaranteed Deliverance (vs 9):
• Countdown is a British game show involving word and number tasks.
• It one of the longest-running game shows in the world,
• It was the first programme to be aired on the TV station Channel 4,
• And over 7,000 episodes (81 series) have been broadcast,
• Since its debut on 2 November 1982.
• Susie Dent is the shows regular lexicographer,
• And in a radio interview she was asked to choose a positive word for 2021.
• Susie Dent went way back to the 15th Century to find one,
• The word she chose was ‘RESPAIR’
• As a noun, ‘respair’ means “the return of hope after a period of despair.”
• As a verb, ‘respair’ means “to have hope again.”
• TRANSITION: As we start this series of studies in 1 Peter,
• We could easily write over them that word ‘respair.’
• Because this book brings real hope whatever our circumstances.
• We choose instead the title, ‘Living Hope’ as found in verse 3.
• Because as mentioned already,
• This book brings real hope whatever our circumstances.
• This letter (1st Peter) is written to Christians (a mixture of Gentile and Jewish believers),
• Who were scattered throughout Asia Minor.
• (Today that would be the western half of modern-day Turkey).
• Asia Minor is situated between the Mediterranean Sea on the south,
• And the Black Sea on the north, with the Aegean Sea to the west.
“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles, scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,”
• Quote: The Message which paraphrases those names this way.
• “…writing to exiles scattered to the four winds”.
• We are not sure how the church started in Asia Minor,
• But Acts chapter 2 records that on the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem.
• There were people in Jerusalem from these provinces of Cappadocia, Bithynia & Pontus,
• Maybe some people from that area were converted by Peter's first sermon,
• Were baptized, and then went back home and started a Church,
• And that may well be the reason the apostle Peter had links with them.
We do know that these Christians had been scattered in what are described as five different parts of the Roman Empire:
• The letter was written to encourage and give hope in times of suffering,
• Quote: Chapter 4 verses 12-13 (The Message):
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
• For the readers of Peter’s letter, life was grim indeed.
• Many, many Christians perished under the Roman Emperor Nero's merciless persecution.
• These Christians living in Roman provinces would not escape that persecution.
• This letter contains only 105 verses,
• But this theme of suffering surfaces time and time again.
• e.g., Chapter 1 verses 6; “All kinds of trials”
• e.g., Chapter 2 verse 20; Beatings “for doing good”.
• e.g., Chapter 3 verses 14-17; Suffering “for what is right”.
• e.g., Chapter 4 verses 13; Participating “in the sufferings of Christ”.
• e.g., Chapter 5 verses 19; Suffering “according to God’s will”.
Key verse (chapter 1 verse 7):
“These (Trials) have come so that your faith….………. may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
• Although suffering is a key theme in this letter.
• Please note, that this is not a depressing letter.
• There is also another theme that runs throughout this letter.
• It is the theme ‘Glory’.
• One of the encouragements Peter gives to his readers is the assurance.
• That one day their suffering will be transformed into glory!
• A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot.
• It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
• This principle is still true today.
• The furnace of trials refines our hearts and sanctifies our spirits.
• You can stay an ugly worthless clay pot, or you can become a thing of beauty!
IN THESE VERSES WE HAVE SIX REASONS WE CAN MAKE IT
• Peter provided his readers with six reasons as to why they can make it,