Studies in 1 Peter 2019
1 Peter has much to say to a Christian community feeling the weight of living as outsiders, exiles and strangers in culture and society. The church as the people of God have and will always be a counter-cultural community, and historically have always lived on the margins of society and culture. How do we navigate life as God's people in a culture that's hostile to the Christian faith and way of life? How do we respond when we're unfairly treated as God's people? It's no surprise Peter writes to give answers to these questions. He writes to marginalised Christian communities scattered throughout Asia Minor with a single purpose. He writes in 1 Peter 5:12 that, I have written to you briefly, encouraging you and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. So as we study 1 Peter there are 2 key questions we want to always be asking:
i) what is the true grace of God that Peter is testifying to?
ii) how is the true grace of God meant to encourage us to stand fast in it in the face of hostility?
Tim Chester and Steve Timmis in their book Everyday Church: Gospel Communities On Mission on the book of 1 Peter writes, "But Peter also says we “have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1 Peter 1:2). The world has “unchosen” us so that we have become the rejected and marginalized, but God has chosen us. Just as we share in Christ’s suffering, so we will share in “the glories that would follow” (v. 11; 4:12–13). And God has chosen us for a purpose: “Out of all nations you will be my treasured possession,” he says to his people. “Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:5–6). The doctrine of election, God’s choice of us, is never intended as an indulgence. Its purpose is always mission. We cannot only survive on the margins; we can thrive on the margins. From the margins we point to God’s coming world. We offer an alternative lifestyle, values, relationships—a community that proves incredibly attractive. First Peter equips us to go back into the world—into our classrooms, boardrooms, factories, playgrounds, and changing rooms—as men and women who, like our Savior before us, are those who are marginal yet world changing." (p.35)
May this be true of us as a church community at GracePoint!
Bible Studies for your community groups or personal devotion alongside our 1 Peter sermon series is available for download here.
Eugene Hor - Lead English Pastor