Summary: Peter offers hurting Christians biblical encouragement on how they can live in hope every day. 1 - Recognize It's Basis, 2 - Rejoice in Response, and 3 - Recall God's Grace.
Have you ever been in a situation that seemed hopeless? What did you do? Who did you turn to?
It’s easy to lose hope in America today. Why? Raising godly families is not easy,
Increasingly secular society, Societal institutions do not support Christian values, etc.
Q: Christians can lose their sense of hope, too. Why?
A: Suffering, Pain, People, Painful Trials, Adversary, etc.
Peter wrote this letter of hope to Christians when all seemed hopeless. He reminded them they were only pilgrims in this world. This world is not our home (Philippians 3:20).
Background: 30 years prior, Peter preached the first Christian sermon @Pentecost. Three thousand were saved. Now, he is writing as the elder (1 Peter 5:1). Storms of persecution were gathering against Christians.
A.D. 64 – Fire broke out in Rome that destroyed much of the city. Nero was responsible, but he blamed Christians for the fire. Christians falsely accused, arrested, martyred, etc.
Peter was writing these Christians to encourage them to stand firm in their faith. Peter taught these believers not only how to survive but also how to thrive – how to demonstrate their faith in a pagan culture.
Peter writes so that believers will experience the full benefit of their relationship with God and their relationship with one another. Most of all, "he wants them to see that no matter what happens, God loves them, protects them, and has promised that when the End comes, they will be vindicated and glorified." (NIV Application Commentary, 1 Peter, Scott McKnight, p. 36)
Life Question: Who doesn’t want to live with hope, but how can I do so?
Dr. Charles Stanley’s Life Principles relating to this study:
26. Adversity is a bridge to a deeper relationship with God. (1:6)
7. The dark moments of our life will last only so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His purpose in us. (1:8)
1. Hope: Recognize Its Basis (1 Peter 1:1-5)
1:1 – “Peter” – Cephas, “rock” (John 1:42). Greek = Petros, which means a rock or stone.
Peter and his brother, Andrew, were the first of 12 apostles Jesus chose to be with Him during His earthly ministry (Mk. 1:16).
“an apostle of Jesus Christ” – What is an apostle? God gave him divine authority to declare that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. Apostle was “sent forth with a message.”
Was Peter called because he was perfect? Far from it! Remember, he denied knowing Jesus. Jesus restored him and asked three times, “Do you love me more than these?”
Once Peter decided to follow Jesus, he was a brand new man. Fishing to fisher of men!
“strangers” scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Today, this is northern Turkey
God’s people are only temporarily passing through. This is not out ultimate home.
Problem: Getting all caught up in this world. See 1 John 2:17