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
We must not become so attached to this world that we are unprepared for the return of Christ.
We must not become so preoccupied with the world that we neglect service for Christ. (Life Application Bible Commentary, 1 Peter)
1:2 – “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…”
“By the sanctifying work of the Spirit”
“to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood.”
The Trinity @work to bring about our salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ! What a reason to live in confident hope!
God the Father chose us in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4)
Jesus Christ, the Son, died for us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8)
The Holy Spirit bring us all the benefits of salvation and set us apart (holy, sanctified, unto God’s service).
“sprinkled with His blood” (see Exodus 24:3-8). God chose believers to have a covenant relationship with Him that is characterized by obedience. Christ’s blood makes that relationship possible.
KEY DOCTIRNE: God’s purpose of grace. Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and...is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness. (See also Gen. 12:1-3; John 1:12-14; Rom. 8:28-30; Eph. 1:3-6.) Explore the Bible, Fall 2012
“Grace,” “Peace,” “fullest measure” – Grace is free, undeserved favor. Peace is wholeness or soundness under God’s rule.
Q: In the midst of fears and uncertainty, what hope did Peter offer?
A: The merciful Christ, through His death on the cross, had given them hope here and for eternity.
Remember the basis of our hope as Christians.
The Mercy of God (3a)
We are born again (3b) – John 3, Nicodemus
Resurrection of Jesus from the dead.