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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

-- He reminds us that we are ALIVE (new birth) b/c of what Jesus has done

-- Faith and love follow hope (see v8) and Peter rejoices in this concept

- Our hope is Jesus rose from the dead; having obtained great power, He leads

-- He is also the One who we receive power from – it’s a way of life

-- v3, “he has given us new birth into a living hope through …”

- Peter is a disciple of hope – he lives and breathes in it every day of life

-- It is what causes him to write in the manner that he does

-- He encourages us to live “to an inheritance” which is our hope today (v4)

- The inheritance is our title, as Christians, we identify with Him and His life

-- It can never perish, nor be taken away, because God has given it fully to us

-- Colossians 1:5, “… the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel …”

-- It is kept in Heaven (v5) that we should be given it one day; shielded by Him

- APP: The work here is NOT on us! Salvation is not dependent on you and I!

-- Christ has died, He has risen, He has ascended, He keeps the reward for us

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