In the next five insights I will be taking us through the five chapters of the New Testament book 1 Peter 1 which I believe is very helpful and relevant to modern Christian living with all its trails and temptations.
When we think about the life of the Apostle Peter we begin by remembering that he was one of Jesus’s disciples and it was many years later that he wrote these special words to encourage all his readers to maintain their Christian faith whilst living in a spiritually hostile world.
Peter would have witnessed personally how Jesus radiated grace and love to all he met on earth and in his writings sought to reflect on the legacy of Jesus’s resurrection and ascension back into heaven through Jesus’s words and actions.
The following bullet points will help us to focus in on what Peter is trying to share with us and then there is an opportunity to ponder over a question that is related to the specific bible verses.
Read together 1 Peter Chapter 1
Greetings (Verses 1 – 2)
Peter addresses both the Jewish and the Gentile community that has been dispersed throughout Asia Minor, which is in the area of modern day Turkey. His gift to his readers is one of sharing an abundance of Grace and Peace as from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Question For a moment think about how, as Christians, we should greet and engage with people on a daily basis? Do you respond to people quite naturally or in a forced or controlled manner? Is your approach and greeting to people spontaneous and full of Grace and Peace?
A Living Hope Verses 3 – 12
As a Christian we are able to experience a spiritual new birth through Jesus who has been resurrected from the dead. It transcends any previous life experiences and gives us a living hope from all that has been in the past, through to the present and into a future which is our spiritual inheritance.
During times of earthly trial and testing, such a hope enables us to have a sense of praise and thanksgiving above any circumstances we may face. If we hold firm to our faith it will become more precious than gold having been refined in the fire of trouble.
We have not seen Jesus, but a faith without seeing him makes us much stronger, compared to Peter who walked and talked with Jesus. Such a faith fills us with a daily joy that is unspeakable.
Many years ago the prophets taught about the coming of Jesus and the grace we would receive from him. God reveals future activities through those who seek him and wants us to share such teaching with fellow believers. Even the angels in heaven would have been excited about such news.
Question In the face of all the trails and difficulties that you may face, how can you uphold a living Hope?
Holy love verses 13 – 25
As we live a daily life of faith, it will be challenged by a spirit of ungodliness that is all around us. The Lord wants us to aspire to living a Godly life and “Be Holy, because I am Holy.” We are redeemed and changed, not by perishable things but through the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. God raised him from the dead so that we may have faith in God through Jesus.
As an outward expression of our inward faith it is important to show love, grace and mercy to all we live with and be an example of a life that is imperishable. We are to be like the grass and the flower, whose glory fades away but God’s word will stand forever.
Question The goal of a Christian is to share Holy Love in the midst of hostility, think about how you can maintain that?
Selah (Pause to carefully consider what you have just read)