Summary: If we fail at the basics, we have no solid foundation; Peter gives us that foundation by proposing two truths.
God’s Agenda For Us
1. Sometimes we are like the little boy who was overheard talking to himself as he strutted through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball & bat. "I’m the greatest hitter in the world," he announced. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike One!" he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!" He tossed the ball into the ir. When it came down, he swung again and missed. "Strike two!" He cried. The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat & ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, "I’m the greatest hitter in the world!" Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed. "Strike Three!" "Wow" the boy exclaimed, "I’m the greatest pitcher in the world." (Todd Fetters, Sermoncentral)
2. As in baseball, so it is in almost all of life: we need to be strong in the basics.
3. And Peter’s first epistle is meant to strengthen us in the basics.
Date written: 63 or 64 A.D.
Author: Simon (Simeon), nick-named "Peter" (the Rock or Rocky)
Since Peter’s name is close to our nickname, Rocky, we might call:
I Peter "Rocky I"
and 2nd Peter, "Rocky 2"
Recepients: Messianic Jews (I Peter 2:12, “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles…”) and Gentile Believers (“… for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God” (2:10)
Possible Theme Verse: "….I have written…encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it." (5:12)
Peter’s first epistle is very tied to the teachings of Jesus in the Gospels.
Main Idea: If we fail at the basics, we have no solid foundation; Peter gives us that foundation by proposing two truths.
I. Our Relationship With God is SPECIAL (1-2)
A. Connected to ISRAEL and under the APOSTLES
1. Peter wrote this from Babylon, where many Jews lived
2. He wrote to Messianic Jews and gentile believers (the church)
3. "Rather than being unrelated to God’s program for Israel, the Church is an integral part of that program, and is currently participating in the new covenant promises…the New Covenant was inaugurated by Jesus Himself… God did not cast Israel aside, or withdraw the offer of the New Covenant because of Israel’s rejection. Rather, Jesus established the New Covenant with a believing remnant of Israel, His Jewish disciples…."[www.geocities.com/lasttrumpet_2000/pd/twpd101.html] and believing gentiles. During the end times, the people of Israel will turn to faith in Jesus and the nation of Israel will experience the New Covenant
4. Like the Jews in the dispersion, believers in Christ are also strangers, out of place, different than all the other peoples
5. American Christians often refuse to wear the label of different; we are not used to taking a stand, going against the crowd, or being mocked for our faith…
• Afghansistan man
6. Additonally, the recipients here recognized Peter’s authority; so, we likewise follow a Christianity that is Apostolic…what do we mean by that? What competitors were there?
B. Chosen by the FATHER
As Frank Gabelein puts it, The "foreknowledge of God" is more than God’s simply knowing what will take place in the future, for it includes God’s special relations with mankind even before creation (cf. 1:20, Amos 3:2; Acts 2:23; Rom 8:29-30; 11:2).
C. Set Apart by the SPIRIT
It is the Holy Spirit that zaps us with regeneration….He sets us apart from the rest
D. Cleansed by the SON
• We see here the involvement of the entire Trinity in salvation…
Application: I have been chosen by the Father, set apart by the Spirit, and redeemed with the blood of the Son. If you know Christ, so have you. Do you realize how awesome this is? Do you ever wonder, "Why me?"
II. Our Hope In God Is LIVING (3-5)
A. New BIRTH
No salvation apart from regenration (John 3:3)
Modern trend to use the term "believer" or "Christian" with vacillating definitions.
The kind of belief associated with regeneration is true belief, not just acknowledgment
Pressure is on to recognize all who "believe" as our brothers and sisters, but we no rarely hear, "recognize all born-again believers as brothers and sisters."
B. Living hope in a RESURRECTED Savior
1. this is the key fact of the Christian faith
2. if the resurrection is true, then Jesus is Who He claimed to be, and His authority is final; He believed the OT and ordained the Apostles, so now you have the Bible
3. if Jesus did not rise, our faith is worthless and only an illusion
4. Yet 12 reasonable men sacrificed their lives and died martyrs deaths because they were convinced Jesus rose from the dead, as predicted in the OT that the Messiah would…is it true, or isn’t it? Peter himself would be crucified upside down for this belief…