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Summary: To encourage believers to develop the characteristics of the New Testament Church. Peter wrote his letter to develop their identity as the "family of God".

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INTRODUCTION

Illustration:

Hello, Hiya, Gidday, Hi Y’all, Konnichi wa, Good Day, Shalom, Bonjour, Aloha, Greetings and Salutations

How someone greets another tells a lot about that person?

A handshake, for instance, tells a lot. It amazes me how many different types of handshakes their are.

The Formal Handshake

The Limp Handshake

The Secret Handshake

The Hip Handshake

The Firm Handshake

A handshake tells people about a person and how they need to relate to them.

Peter opens his letter with a firm handshake. He simply states that it is Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ who is sending this letter. Even writing from a distance Peter was easily identified by his very nature. Peter knew who he was and by all indications so did the ones receiving his letter.

Transition:

Peter wrote his letter at a time when it was extremely dangerous to declare one’s personal faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. Christianity would be outlawed within the next year. Believers had begun to suffer religious persecution, and the persecution would not soon end. This Letter was written to prepare them for the persecution to come, and to encourage them and give them hope in the midst of their anguish.

Peter wrote to house churches in Asia minor. In fact he was writing to a network of house churches.

In the New Testament, various phrases are used to describe those people of God who make up the Lord’s church

a. Individually, they are referred to as disciples, saints, believers, priests, Christians, etc.

b. Collectively, they are called the church, the body of Christ, the temple of God, the people of God, the family of God, etc. -- Each of these terms describe various relationships maintained by those who are Christians

2. Some interesting metaphors not commonly used in reference to the Church are found in 1 Pe 1:1, Peter addresses the Church as "resident aliens", "the diaspora " and "those chosen".

3. A proper understanding of these phrases can give insight into:

a. Our faith?

b. Our witness?

c. Our church?

1. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2. according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with his blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure. 1 Peter 1:1-2 NASB

CONTENT

CHARACTARIZED BY THEIR FAITH

Explanation

1. Transliterated from Grk., it is parepidemos {par-ep-id’-ay-mos} which is a combination of three words: a. para - "alongside of" b. epi - "upon" c. demos - "used in Biblical Greek of the people of a heathen city" (Wuest)

2. Dr. McGough defines this word… "dwellers beside"

Illustration

When you get a flu shot your getting injected with a very small amount of the sickness. So small that it shouldn’t make you sick and should keep you from getting very sick. Many people in the Church just want a flu shoot amount of Christianity. Not too much that they turn into fanatics, but just enough to keep them from going to hell.


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