Monday, January 29, 2018

1st. Peter - "Therefore"

Peter:  (summary so far)

A.  - to God's elect (the new believers in Asia Minor)

B.  Praise God because He's given us - a new birth
                                                            a living hope
                                                            an eternal inheritance

C.  In this you Rejoice!!  Although ... 1 Pet. 1:6
(not necessarily called to suffer - life trials & faith trials)
(BUT when do suffer .... called to suffer well - 1 Thess. 4:13)  Suffering should be significantly different from non-believers

All of this is to a Purpose - 1 Pet. 1:9 - "salvation of your soul" - goal of your faith.  God will do something with your suffering.

Question:  Don't we already have salvation?
Answer: = you've been saved
                 you're being saved
                 you will be saved
On one hand, salvation is a done deal.  However it is also an ongoing process.

Example:  Compare a vehicle wreck:
paramedics ----  rescue you
Doctors ......       repair you
Phy. Therapists - restore you    

1 Pet. 1:13 - "Therefore" - because of all He's done for you.
Remember:  this therefore this

So:  1 Pet. 1:13-16

Some examples of specifics - (not a complete list)

#1.  Prepare your mind for action - 1 Pet. 1:13
(1)  the battle begins in the mind
(2)  changed mind leads to changed response - indicates choice and inclination
Compare:  Rom. 12:2

NOTE:  Prepare mind FOR ACTION!!!  Christian life is more than head and heart - it's handsAct Right!!

#2.  Be self-controlled - 1 Pet. 1:13
Originally word in common Greek meant controlling alcohol intake.  If not self-controlled, come to a point where you are NOT in control at all.

Idea = control your desires .... lest they control you!!!  - Don't follow desires, follow GOD!!!   Jews had 613 laws - #25 - Num. 15:39 - Their interpretation.
POINT = follow HIS laws, Not your HEART - Jer. 17:9 - So, you are in control, not your desires.

So:  #3.  Don't conform to the evil desires of your former life.  1 Pet. 1:14
then you were ignorant!  Now you are not!!! - Rom. 12:2

#4.  Set your hope (expectation, confidence, trust) FULLY on Christ and His grace.  1 Pet. 1:13
Make an intentional, decisive move to put your trust and confidence in Him.
Which = (1)   act of the will - we decide
             (2)  that must be repeated - must decide over and over again.

#5.  Be holy - original = "set apart" = ie:  Positional Holiness
                    But here = actions (life style) - ie:  Practical Holiness

ie:  the deliberate, self-imposed PRACTICE of a Set Apart Person!!
Looking ahead:  What should I do?  - 2 Pet. 1:5 - make every effort
                         Why should I do that?  - 1 Pet. 18-19, 1 Pet. 1:23, 1 Cor. 6:11 - that's what you were but that's not who you are!

We know we will never get it all together, but should try.  Act like who you are!  Aren't ignorant!  Are bought with the blood of Christ.

Monday, January 22, 2018

1st. Peter - Suffering Well

1 Pet. 1:1-2 - to the elect (God's chosen people)
Written as a letter to those in Asia Minor.  But, a small step to us today.

1 Pet. 1:3-5 - Praise (to God) (who's given us in His mercy...)
New Birth - - - -  Living hope (expectation)  - - - - eternal inheritance (kept in heaven)

1 Pet. 1:6 - in this you Rejoice!!  ALTHOUGH...!!!  Tense can be changed to "are going to have".

Noted 2 kinds of trials .... Life Trials and Faith Trials.
 Life is full of trials - we live in a fallen world with fallen people

(Peter's focus is MOSTLY on Faith trials) - 1 Pet. 4:12, 1 Cor. 10:13

Faith trials = unique to the believer, don't effect non-believers.  Many times we try to obligate the non-believing community to our moral standards.

1 Pet. 1:7 - with focus on  "so that"
POINT - your suffering has purpose!!
1)  that you Faith may be proven genuine
2)  that your Faith may result in praise, glory, honor

Note:  in this life ... you will suffer!!!  (fallen world) - maybe a little, maybe a lot!!

BUT for the Christian, suffering need not be useless, meaningless, without positive effect.

Our Sufferings have great Potential!!! 
Rom. 5:3-4 - produces
2 Cor. 4:17 - achieves
James 1:2-3 - develops
1 Pet. 1:7 - results in
These are talking to Christians.  All have active verbs which describe ability to achieve positive results and outcomes from earthly suffering.

This Raises questions!!

#1.  Is all suffering efficacious?  effective for good?  (example:  suffering for evil?)  Doesn't mean suffering will be good but has potential for good.
Example:  punishment, painful outcome can result in: 
      A)  one turning to God
     B)  another turning away - Rev. 16:10-11

#2.  How does this work?  Rom. 8:28
Point:  Suffering in and of itself doesn't work.... BUT  God Does!!!!
Example:  Using cordless tool.  Tool works really well at job designed for, BUT is the tool doing the work, or the person operating the tool?    Suffering is a tool in God's toolbox.  It is inanimate, it doesn't do anything, BUT God uses it!

#3. a proper response necessary to a positive outcome? 
On one hand, God = Sovereign, can overcome any response.
However, He's given us free will, therefore, our response Makes A Difference!!

Clearly, we're called to suffer well - 1 Pet. 2:21
Implied that how we suffer Makes a Difference.  (in result, outcome in our life and lives of people around us)

#4.  Is suffering planned?  or permitted? 
Example:  Christ's suffering was Planned!  Matt. 16:21  ( Acts 2:23)
Job's suffering - Permitted?  Example:  Satan's leash

Point:  we can't always say or know, BUT either way, our sufferings can be effective for good BECAUSE Rom. 8:28 - "in all things .... God works"  Our response should be the same.

1 Pet. 1:7 - here = "so that....."

(1)  Your faith may be proved genuine
God Knows!  Therefore, the proof is for
1)  You
2)  those who observe you!! - when we suffer like pagans, non-believers are not impressed.

(2)  Your faith may result in praise, glory, and honor.  ie:  people will give praise, glory, and honor to Christ because you suffered well!!
(John 12:32 - "when I am lifted up...")  When we lift Jesus us, people will be drawn to Him.

An attending promise ... 1 Pet. 5:10 - tempered Faith!! - "forged in the fire"
MUST - bend without breaking.  Spring back without damage.

In this life your will suffer.

IF you suffer well - you will benefit (improve)
                           - people will notice
                           - Christ will be glorified (lifted up)
                           - eternity will be changed!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1st. Peter - Foundation

Intro:  1 Pet. 1:1-2 - to God's elect (strangers, scattered)

Question:  Is this for me?  Is it relevant? Applicable?

IF you believe (at whatever place you are) it's because Gd reached down;  touched, drew, persuaded you through the Holy Spirit.   And, you accepted because God chose you.

IF you believe - you are therefore:
1)  chosen = selected (elected) - the relevance of the rest of 1st. Peter begins here.
2)  set apart = holy   Does NOT mean removed from the world, means separated, distinguished within the world.
Therefore you will (to some degree) be...
3)  a stranger in the world  - because you view life differently, and should live life differently.  (less so if are in a Christian family, community, nation)
Matt. 10:35-36 - Jesus didn't come to cause dissension, disharmony.

So... your spiritual condition, situation:
(1)  you have been drawn and have decided
(2)  you have been drawn but not yet decided
(3)  maybe you have not (yet) been drawn

Needs to be a reason for our actions, why we do what we do.  ie:  go to church, read the Bible, etc.

Either way, we continue with 1 Pet. 1:3-5.

Praise (blessed be) God because He has given us:

#1.  New Birth = new beginning, new start ... a Major/Fundamental Change in your being!!
John 3:1-7, 1 Pet. 1:23, 2 Cor. 5:17 - must be born again

#2.  Living Hope
A)  Hope - (definition) - expectation, confidence
B)  Living - (as contrasted with dead) - living = contains something that makes it capable of producing!
Example:  living horse and dead horse.  (both = horse)  However, if need to go someplace, do something, which one do you choose.
Don't put confidence in empty, dead, purposeless hope.

#3.  Eternal Inheritance
Definition = property, possessions passed on to another.
Rom. 8:17  ".....& co-heirs with Christ."
Which Can NEVER perish, spoil, fade.  You have something you can bank on. Unlike stuff here on earth. 
Matt.  6:19-20

and which is  kept in heaven for you.  God is the only one who can guard and keep your eternal possessions.
2 Tim. 1:12

This inheritance is for "you" (plural) who are:
A)  shielded by God's Power - John 10:28-29, Jude 24 & 25  (not promised protection from all physical ills)
B)  until the consummation of your salvation - then you get it all.
On one hand, we have salvation.  On the other hand, we don't have all the benefits......yet!!!  Rev. 21:3-4

Back to 1 Pet. 1:3 - "has given us" - in mercy by grace - we couldn't earn it!!!

THIS is the solid foundation that we build on!!!

These verses = foundation (setup for where Peter is going!!!

1 Pet. 1:6

In this you rejoice, though now you may have to suffer (all kinds of trials)
1 Pet. 1:7 - but, so your faith can be proven genuine.

Next week - why must trials come?  What do they achieve?   

Closing:  1 Pet. 1:9

Monday, January 8, 2018

Intrduction to 1st. Peter (Overview)

1 Peter 1:1-2

I.  The Author = Simon bar Jonas (son of John), fisherman, "Peter" by Jesus - John 1:41-42, Matt. 16:15-18
Peter = Cephas (Rock) in Aramaic, Peter in Greek..
Was unofficial, unelected, undesignated leader of the 12, one of the three (inner circle), eye witness to the Resurrection, church leader, Apostle.  But, not a prolific writer!  (only have 1st. and 2nd. Peter).  However, was a mover, shaker, man of action.

II.  The Form = letter  (1) Epistle (letter)  (2) general Epistle - not to a specific individual or a specific church, but to many churches.

III.  The Recipients - 1st. Pet. 1:1-2   in short = Christians in Asia Minor *modern day Turkey)
Peter's description = elect strangers - scattered - chosen (Are we reading somebody else's mail?  Maybe not!)
        (1)  God's Elect - have you ever been called?  invited?  selected?

        (2)  Strangers in the World - Ever feel at odds with society?  uncomfortable in culture?  like you don't fit?

        (3)  Scattered - on one hand = in many places, however, also = NOT GATHERED with your people.  ie:  workday setting.  Is tougher to live Christian life when scattered than when gathered.
 POINT being:  might be your mail!!!  If so, then you are:

      (4)  Chosen   a.  according to the foreknowledge of God
                           b.  through the work of the Holy Spirit
                           c.  for obedience
                           d.  for obedience to Christ
This letter not just to churches in Asia Minor but to churches in 21st. century as well.

IV.  The Occasion  (reason for the letter)  1st. Pet. 5:12
      (1)  to testify to the truth of the gospel (2 Pet. 1:16) - was eye witness
      (2)  to encourage believers to "stand fast"

Question:  Why is such encouragement needed?? - 1st. Pet. 1:6, 4:12, 5:9 -

Two types of Trials  (Christians face)
#1.  Life Trials:  are fallen people in a fallen world, therefore:
           A.  Stuff happens - physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, etc.
           B.  to Christians!!!  - 1 Cor. 10:13 - 'what is common to man'

#2.  Faith Trials - (come as a result of your Christian faith)
            A.  Trials of persecution - if you live in a society that is: 
                          1)  ignorant of the Christian faith
                          2)  suspicious of the Christian faith
                          3)  critical of the Christian faith
                          4)  hostile to the Christian faith
Companion Verse - 2 Tim. 3:12 - "will"

         B.  Trials of obedience ("chosen for obedience"!!)
examples:  give, forgive, love neighbor, deny self, bear with one another, bear up, be kind, be holy,
add:  "extra mile" obligations

        C.  Trials of disappointment  (expectations not met!)
Example:  growth, transformation, maturity, influence, impact

Trials tend to - wear down --> discouragement --> despair --> drop out!! 

Good news!! - we have great resources - 2 Pet. 1:3
Bad news = contained in "jars of clay" - 2 Cor. 4:7
(nobody knows this better than Peter - example:  the denial)

Therefore:  on one hand is an Epistle of trials, suffering (major theme), However, = Epistle of Hope, expectation - 1st. Pet. 1:3,13,21

 V.  The Content = Pastoral (remember "feed my sheep"?)

        (1)  Encouragement  (contrast with discouragement)
        (2)  Exhortation  to call, entreat, beseech, to urge, appeal, inspire, to provoke, stir up, goad on;;;
but with
       (3) Instruction = how to!!  (because we need more than inspiration!)
       (4)  Warnings  Bible + example:  GLOBAL WARNING!!
       (5)  Reminders - 2 Pet. 1:12-15

This = a pastor's heart for his people - his longing, his desire.

So, 1st. Peter not necessarily "somebody else's mail"!   maybe for you!!

And, though the New Testament is mostly for Christians/ believers, also serves a 2nd. purpose:  ie: to convince 'not yet' believers who God wants in His flock!!  THAT may be you!!!