From Peter, apostle of Jesus Christ—
To God’s chosen people who live as refugees scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 You were chosen according to the purpose [“foreknowledge”, ESV and others] of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood.
May grace and peace be yours in full measure.
3 Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from death. This fills us with a living hope, 4 and so we look forward to possessing the rich blessings that God keeps for his people. He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay or spoil or fade away. 5 They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God’s power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time.
6 Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. 7 Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested, so that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 You love him, although you have not seen him, and you believe in him, although you do not now see him. So you rejoice with a great and glorious joy which words cannot express, 9 because you are receiving the salvation of your souls, which is the purpose of your faith in him. – 1 Peter 1:1-9 [Good News Translation (GNT) Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society]
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- What do you know about Peter, the author of this letter? What insight does this knowledge of Peter give to your understanding of this letter?Mark 1:35-39Luke 5:1-11
- What do you know about the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia?What does it mean that they were “refugees scattered” in these various places? What insight does this give you about this letter?
- What common ground would you have with these people?
- What is the purpose of God’s election according to this verse? How do the following verses also speak to the purpose of God’s election?Ephesians 2:8-101 Peter 2:9-10
- 2 Timothy 1:9
- Romans 8:28-30
- Ephesians 1:3-10
- Grace and peace is a common greeting in many of the New Testament letters. These words, however, and not throw-away words. They are rich in meaning and offer incredible blessing to us.Grace means….Peace means….
- Which of these are more meaningful to you? Which of these do you most need at this time?
- What is the source of living hope?
- How is living hope different from just plain hope?
- To what does living hope look forward?
- What is the promise in verse 5? How do you apply that to our present time and situation?
- We are urged to be glad even though we suffer…. Notice the purpose of these trials (v. 6)Notice the limitation of these trials (v. 6)
- Notice the outcome of facing these trials successfully (v. 7)
- Note the purpose of our faith in Jesus: to receive the salvation of our souls. How do we balance that ultimate gift of salvation with God’s call to live in the here and now? In other words, this letter is written to people who are in the midst of suffering and challenges. Yet they are to remain hopeful and rejoice and give thanks all the while waiting. How is that balance of hoping, rejoicing, giving thanks, and waiting showing up in your life these days?
- What is your biggest challenge in that balance?
- What is your biggest source of strength in maintaining that balance?
- How alive is your hope?
Hope in Jesus Christ is grounded in his resurrection from the dead. That means that our hope is as alive as Jesus is. And he is very alive. Hope focused on Jesus is truly alive – just as he is alive.
“It is also called a ‘living hope,’ because it is imperishable. Other hopes fade like withering flowers. The hopes of the rich, the boasts of the proud, all these will die out as a candle when it flickers in the socket. The hope of the greatest monarch has been crushed before our eyes; he set up the standard of victory too soon, and has seen it trailed in the mire. There is no un-waning hope beneath the changeful moon: the only imperishable hope is that which climbs above the stars, and fixes itself upon the throne of God and the person of Jesus Christ.” (Spurgeon)
Trials & Testing
“Indeed, it is the honor of faith to be tried. Shall any man say, ‘I have faith, but I have never had to believe under difficulties’? Who knows whether thou hast any faith? Shall a man say, ‘I have great faith in God, but I have never had to use it in anything more than the ordinary affairs of life, where I could probably have done without it as well as with it’? Is this to the honor and praise of thy faith? Dost thou think that such a faith as this will bring any great glory to God, or bring to thee any great reward? If so, thou art mightily mistaken.” (Spurgeon)