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Summary: Peter's declaration to the church to live joyfully is not a casual statement, but a COMMAND for us to take hold of! We can rejoice even in the bad times because something better is coming! Do we believe it? That is our challenge today!

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Why can we rejoice?

1 Peter Sermon Series, Part 2

1 Peter 1:1-12

Introduction

- His name, Cephas, in the Syriac language, means “rock”

-- One of the original 12 apostles (walked on water)

-- Was at the Transfiguration of Jesus

- Became a leader of the apostles in the first church (Acts 2-4)

-- Performed miracles of healing (Acts 3:6)

- Personal favorite: When Jesus asked him "Who do you say I am?" Peter made that famous statement, "You are the Christ (Messiah) the Son of the Living God." (Matthew 16:15-16)

- But … he had issues:

-- Loud personality (Most outspoken, bold statements) – bull in china shop

-- Denied Jesus when questioned three times

-- Cut off the ear of a soldier (who came to arrest Jesus)

-- Like to live with one foot in Law (legalism) / one foot in Christ (grace) (Gal 2)

- What we need to see from this is simple: Peter was a regular guy

-- He was a regular guy with an extraordinary mission: Called by Christ!

-- No different than you or I, and if you are a Christian you are called as well

- Read 1 Peter 1:1-12

∆ Point 1 – Greetings!

- There is something special about being greeted, especially in written form

--It shows that someone cared enough about you to remember your name

-- It also shows that others are thinking about you; your well-being, state, etc.

- Peter first identifies himself, then each of the churches in the first century

-- These would have been churches in persecution; hiding from Roman Empire

-- APP: They would not be churches hiding from society; not ashamed

- The fact that Peter names them intently tells us two different things here:

-- 1) He knew who they were and what they were doing (re: leader of 1st church)

-- 2) They knew they could be identified with Christ and weren’t afraid

- These people have been “chosen by God” (v2) to be identified with Him

-- Why? Because the blood of Christ has made them whole (sanctified)

-- For what? To be obedient to Jesus Christ

-- How? Sprinkled with His blood

-- To what result? To have grace and peace in abundance

- The blessing Peter bestows on them is critical to our learning today

-- We have been bought with a price, are not our own, and must show this

-- We are called to be obedient to Him; putting aside our preferences of life

- This is what allows us to enjoy grace, because we receive it from Him

-- It is a gift, not something we have to strive to earn – it’s already been paid for!

-- This grace, because of the blood, is really the main thing of what we desire

- TRANS: Question: How many feel hopeless from time to time?

-- Peter has a response for that and it’s where we will focus our study tonight

∆ Point 2 – Greatly Rejoice (3-9)

- Peter starts out sounding just like Paul in his letters to the church

-- He gives great thanks for what they are doing; have done; and will do

-- He also called them “blessed”; Greek word: “eulogetos” means “blessed be”

- Life, or living, is something Peter takes great pleasure in reminding us of


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