Thursday, August 6, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Seven

"But why do you judge your brother?
Or why do you show contempt
for your brother?
For we shall all stand before the judgment
seat of Christ. For it is written:

As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,

And every tongue shall
confess to God."

Romans 14:10-11


Let's begin with prayer.......

"Father God, our Lord and Savior, please speak to us through Your word. Please convict us of sin and make us holy as You are holy.

I seek forgiveness of my sins. I pray, Lord, that You will wash me clean of all my iniquities...even the hidden secret sins of my heart. Search me, purge me, and make me whole again so that I can serve You this day. Help me to hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

I lift up to you each person reading this post. I pray, Lord, that You will lift them up and encourage them through Your word. I pray that You will set their feet on the path of righteousness for Your name's sake. In Jesus' name, amen."


Living Before God Our Father

In our last lesson, we studied how Peter encouraged early Christians to be sober and vigilant and to rest their hope fully on the "grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" instead of resting on the things of this world. We learned that we are to live be holy because God is holy.

In this lesson, we will look further into what it means to live before a holy God.....

1 Peter 1:17-19

"And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear, knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by traditions of your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."


As Christians,
sometimes we live our lives as though we have escaped judgment because we have been saved from the wrath of God. But we are told time and time again in Scripture that we will be judged....not for our sins, which have already been forgiven, but for our works.

"And if you call upon the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's works..."

Please read:

Acts 10:34-35

Peter begins his sermon to fellow believers by explaining to them that God no longer shows any partiality. That, with Christ, all who fear Him and are obedient to Him can approach Him and be accepted because of the most excellent works of Christ.

Peter's vision helped him to see that God accepts Gentiles as well as Jews when it comes to the gospel message.

But that doesn't mean we are "off the hook" so to speak. There are works for us to do while we are here on given to us by God.

Romans 14:10-12
1 Cor 3:12-15

Our works must be built on God's foundation and not our own. Our works will be tested...and if they pass the test we will be rewarded.

1 Cor 9:24-25

We run a race for the prize..but not a temporary perishable prize like a crown of olive leaves, or a medal made of gold or silver. NO! We run the race for an eternal "imperishable crown" that we can place at the feet of our Savior.


"Conduct yourselves throughout your stay here with fear..."

Peter reminds us that we are to remain in fear of the Lord. Everything we do and say will be brought before us for judgment. Peter says to live in this fear of God...what does that mean exactly??

Peter presents God as both Father and Judge over all. He encourages us never to forget this. To do our work in the fear of the Lord...reverence and respect:

Ps 34:8-11


"...knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers....."

Because we are not of the finite things of this earth. We are not here to fear men and their religious traditions like some organized religions teach today. Attending church, praying at an altar, confessing to priests, lighting candles, vowing oaths, sacrificing to animals, etc. mean nothing to God because these are all corruptible and temporary.

Jesus came to end all this and show us The Way to God: through Him.

"...but with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot."

Ex 12:5-11

Peter is wise to remind his readers of the Passover event....a most important feast in the Jewish religion. He reminds them that Jesus was the last Passover lamb given as a sacrifice to God once and for all.

Heb 9: 26-28

So, to wrap up Peter's lesson for his fellow believers.....we are here for a purpose. Not a purpose of men, because then it would be flawed. But a purpose of God: to do His works in fear of Him because of the works of Christ Jesus.

This is how we are to live before a holy God. In reverence and respect the fear and admonition of the Lord. Do your good works with this in mind. Everything you do or do not do will be judged before a holy God.


Life Application

Judging others is a sin I struggle with all the time. I was brought up in a very critical home where both my parents criticized others daily. So, as an adult, it is hard for me to break that old habit of talking about others and judging them.

One way the Lord breaks me of this is to bring me to my knees from time to time in fear. He also has a way of just stopping me in my tracks by letting me see a glimpse of what another person has gone through in their life.

While in Slovakia, one of my teammates stood up to give a partial testimony to some of the Slovakian women at a Bible study. I had been critical of this lady before this moment because she was different than I am. How dare she! I know, I know, how dare I be so shallow. Anyway, after she told us of her horrible childhood experience with parents who were mentally ill, I felt so ashamed of my thoughts against her. I had no idea she had survived so much! I began to see her in an entirely different way.

Later on, I had a chance to give my testimony and afterward was told that my words had a great affect on the women. My fellow teammates were astonished that I had been through so much in my life as well.

You see? You just never know about someone's past and it is better to stop judging a fellow believer and see them the way Jesus sees them: with love and as His child.

I have learned not to be so darn critical of others and stop judging them so much because after
all, we do not know their story. We have no idea what it is the Lord has brought them through!

Take time today to meditate on all you have learned today from God's word. He greatly used Peter to edify and encourage us in our Christian walk. Thank the Lord for giving us the book of 1 Peter.


"The consideration of our redemption ought to be a constant and powerful inducement to holiness, and the fear of God. God expects that a Christian should live answerable to what he knows. Neither silver nor gold, nor any of the corruptible things of this world, can redeem so much as one soul."

-Matthew Henry (Commentaries, pg. 1941, 1961)


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Six

"And do not be conformed
to this world, but be transformed
by the renewing of your mind, that
you may prove what
is that good and acceptable
and perfect will of God."
Romans 12:2


Let us begin with prayer....

Lord, I pray and ask You to remind us today what it means to serve You. I pray that You will speak to us through Your word this day and set our hearts right.

Please forgive me of my sins and cleanse me with Your precious blood. I pray that You will wash me and put in me a clean pure heart like Yours. Teach me to hold every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

I pray for each person reading this lesson. I pray that Your words will lift them up and give them strength to get through each day. I pray that You will speak to their hearts and deal with them by renewing their minds in Christ Jesus.

In Jesus' name.....amen."


Living Before God Our Father

In our last lesson, Peter told us of how the prophets of old searched diligently, as a miner dug deep into the rock for the ore he sought, for the meaning of the salvation of our souls. He told us of how even the angels are so desiring to know of this salvation.

We were reminded of how the prophets wrote their messages for us...future believers...that we would know of the grace that would come to us.

Today we will look into what it means to be a Christian...saved by before a holy and just God whom the prophets spoke of in the Scriptures.

1 Peter 1:13-16 "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts as in your ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written,"Be holy, for I am holy."

Fasten Your Belts!

Peter is telling believers that there is work to be done...and we need to be sober and vigilant in our work!

When I prepared to leave on my mission trip to Slovakia, I was in the word everyday and praying diligently everyday. But yet I was still unprepared for the spiritual attacks that hit me from all sides!

I had been warned by friends who had experienced the same thing, and yet I was not ready for the attacks. I knew the Lord was allowing Satan to attack me and that gave me comfort to know that the Lord thought I was ready to handle it. But yet it still hurt!

One thing I know for certain is this: the Lord never left me during any of those attacks from the devil. HE was always there when I called out to Him or searched for Him in the Bible.

Peter wants us to remember that grace that saved us and the grace that will be "brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" so we are not despondent. No! Never! Peter wants us to remember that hope that is within us.

Please read:
Romans 5: 1-5 Matt 5:11-12 James 1:3

Hope does not disappoint! I know that for sure! I have put that verse to the test for meaning and it passed that test with flying colors, as we like to say.

I was attacked financially, spiritually, emotionally, and even endured my marriage being attacked. The only thing the Lord spared was my health....blessedly! I was shocked at the intensity of the attacks on all facets of my heart, but not surprised with how merciful the Lord was when I passed those tests and made it to Slovakia with the others.

I was sober and vigilant in that I knew the attacks were coming....but even then I was shocked at the hurt. Just imagine what the early Christians had to endure with the enemy in the world!

1 Peter 1:8-9

Peter's words of encouragement must have meant the world to those early believers.


"as obedient children..."

Peter wants us to remember who we were before Christ saved our souls...but he doesn't want us to dwell on it. He doesn't want us to remember the "former lusts" that held us captive to the bondage of sin.

Instead, we are to be as obedient children of God who are now transformed through the renewing of our minds by the word of God.

That means our conduct must mirror His.

Matt 4:1-11
Jesus survived Satan's attacks through the word of God. He used Scripture to fight off the attacks of the devil!

Hebrews 4:12 Eph 6:16

Jesus was prepared to do the works of the Father who sent Him because He was getting His strength from above. He girded His loins and prepared for battle!
Matt 9:35-38

But He did it with love and compassion...for He was God in the flesh.


Life Application

"Be holy, for I am holy."

Complete holiness should be the desire of all Christians. To be like Christ is the final vision for us all. Jesus came to leave us an example to follow. The apostles left us an example to follow as well: suffering for Christ.

Peter reminds us that our whole conduct must be pleasing to God in order to be used by God. I went through a period of "cleansing" during those spiritual attacks before my trip. I tried to see it that way even though I was almost broken. I read the Scriptures, cried out to fellow believers to lift me up in prayer, fasted and prayed all in preparation for the mission.

And I reaped the rewards from the Lord for all that I had endured. He took care of me and all of the team while were were away. I had deep dreaded fears that the students wouldn't like me, but the Lord calmed my fears and gave me wonderful children who made me smile daily.

I know now what it takes to serve the Lord: die to the flesh and live for Christ.

Peter wants us to know and understand this point, that serving the Lord isn't easy. It could cost us our lives or the lives of those we love.

But we were left with a perfect example of that perfect obedience and will of God in Christ Jesus when He walked this earth. We must be holy as God is holy. We must imitate Him though we will never equal Him. Just considering how holy God is should bring us to our knees in praise and worship.

We were taken to a very beautiful mountain range in Slovakia for a day of rest and recuperation. As I stood on that mountain top and watched the clouds part and reveal the sun, I began to worship the Living God of all creation. I knew He was giving me a gift for serving Him. It was not money or material wealth...fame or, it was a most precious gift He knew I wanted and needed to see: His beautiful creation.

You see, God is an artist and from one artist to the other....He knew I needed to see beauty all around me. I saw the Master Artist show me one of His many masterpieces that day! I cherished it as I stood there on that cool mountaintop. I thanked Him for that gift. It made all the suffering of spiritual warfare worth it all just to be that close to Him if only for a few moments.

We serve a holy God who loves us and knows us personally. We serve an awesome God!

Take time out today to praise Him and worship where you are.


"It is a great favor to be called effectually by divine grace into the possession of all the blessings of the new covenant; and great favors are strong obligations; they enable as well as oblige to be holy." -Matthew Henry (Commentaries, 1961, p. 1941)


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Five

"For prophecy never came

by will of man,but

holy men of God spoke

as they were moved

by the Holy


2 Peter 1:21


Let us begin with prayer....

"Father God in heaven, thank You for giving us this study today so we may learn more abot You and Your salvation given to us. Thank You for bestowing upon us the righteousness of heaven that we might be called children of God.

We seek forgiveness of our sins knowing that our sin keeps us from true fellowship with You. Cleanse us this day and place inside us a clean pure heart. Help us to hold each thought captive to the obedience of Christ Jesus.

I pray for each person reading this study that You might change them through the reading and studying of Your word. Encourage them, edify them, and lift them up where they are so that they might do the good works of Christ to the glory of God the Father. Amen."


A Heavenly Inheritance

It has been awhile since I have written in this study of Peter. Mostly because I took time off from writing in order to serve the Lord in Slovakia at an English Camp for children there as part of the International Needs missionary network.

I felt called to go and teach God's word to the children and some adults there 2 years ago, but the Lord said not yet. I was pleased that He finally said, "Go!" this year and so I went. As hard as it was to leave family behind, I was that much more blessed to be there serving the Lord. But more on that later....

Now it is time to rejoin Peter as he writes to fellow believers dispersed throughout Asia minor to encourage them through their various trials and tribulations.

1 Peter 1:10-11-

"Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow."

In our last study, we learned about suffering through trials and the rewards of following Christ leading to our salvation. We learned that suffering is a part of being a Christian: for if Christ suffered, why would we think we are exempt from suffering?

Peter taught us about having blind in a Christ we have never seen! He seems to be amazed at how so many people believed in a Jesus they had never seen. Jesus called us blessed! Praise God.

Today we will look further at that reward of the salvation of our souls.



Peter presents before us the authority of what he writes: the authority of the Prophets who wrote beforehand of salvation that was to come. He wants his readers to remember that salvation through Jesus was no new doctrine as unbelievers would want them to believe and question.

NO! Peter tells us that the prophets searched carefully, or "diligently" which in the Greek alluded to minors digging into the earth breaking through rock and continued digging until they reached the ore they were looking for (Matthew Henry's Commentary, 1961). With those words, we get a mental picture of how hard the prophets sought understanding of this salvation the Holy Spirit laid upon their hearts.

How hard do we seek to know God's word? Do we search diligently for understanding?


Jesus Christ became the main subject of their searching and understanding. Is He the main subject of our search? Do we diligently seek Him daily?

"Searching what or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow."

The sufferings of Jesus were foretold in the Scriptures. Therefore, the Jewish leaders, who claimed to be such scholars of the Scriptures, knew about these prophecies when they stood face-to-face with their Messiah:

Please read:

Psalm 22:1-21

Isaiah 53: 1-12

If they truly were scholars of the Scriptures, then they would have remembered these verses and realized who Jesus was: The Messiah.

Moses wrote of the coming Christ:

Deut 18:18-19

In their ignorance, the High Priests did not see Jesus. In their sin, they missed Him. In their arrogance, they killed the Messiah of Scriptures.....but by God's grace this pleased Him because it fulfilled the Scriptures that the Christ was to suffer.

And His obedience would mean His glorification....

John 7: 37-39

How was Jesus glorified?

John 12:16

Rom 5:19

Phil 2:8

Jesus desires our obedience to God's word more than anything....

Luke 8:21

Just as God desires our obedience over our sacrifices....

1 Sam 15:22

Jesus and God are ONE.


Life Application

Do you seek the Holy One? Do you search diligently for Him in the hard rock of this world? Is He ever present in your mind? Doyou have toruble taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ?

I know I do.

When I think of the prophets of old dilgently searching for God....searching for what the salvation of our souls was, I am humbled. I know I take it for granted that I received salvation. But when I stop and truly think about those who came before us who were given inspiration by the Spirit of Christ to desire this grace I am inspired to tell others about that grace that I have received. Even the angels are amazed by the gift of salvation! We will look at that in future lessons.

Take time today to really meditate on the gift of your salvation from God's perfect wrath. It is His grace and mercy that has set you free from that eternal damnation known as hell. Take time to diligently seek Him in His word today. Read about that free gift of salvation and truly be humbled by it.....and know that it was all because of the obedience of Christ that you live today.

In Jesus name....


"The doctrine of man's salvation by Jesus Christ has been the study and admiration of the greatest and wisest of men. Those who would be acquainted with this great salvation, and the grace that shines therein, must enquire and search diligently into it."

-Matthew Henry Commentaries, 1961

Thursday, February 12, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Four

"For our light affliction

which is but for a moment, is working for us a

far more exceeding and eternal weight

of glory..."

2 Cor 4:17


Let's seek the Lord this day.....

"Holy Father God, thank You for leaving us Your word that we may know more about You and how to serve You. For You alone are worthy of our praise and adoration.

Forgive us our sins, this day, Lord and search us for the hidden secret sins in our hearts that we may not even know about. Purge us with Your hyssop and cleanse us with Your blood. Fill our hearts with Your Holy Spirit to overflowing that others may see You in us.

Guard our speech and keep us from causing harm to those around us with our spoken and written words. Teach us Your precept...for Your precepts are perfect and complete. Lead us in Your ways, Lord, and set us apart from this world that is perishing.

In Jesus' name...amen."


1 Peter

Faith in Trials

In today's passage, we notice how Peter encourages the reader to prevail through the hard times that are in the future for each believer. Peter exhorts his readers by revealing how amazed he is that these people did not see Jesus walk the earth and yet the love Him and are faithful to Him. He encourages the reader by reminding them of the reward that awaits them for their enduring faith: the salvation of their souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9

"(6)In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, (7)that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, (8)whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, (9)receiving the end of your faith- the salvation of your souls."


Various Trials

One of the main themes of Peter's first epistle is that Christians will suffer for their faith in Christ. But he never leaves the reader without the hope that is given to us by the Holy Spirit.

When reading and studying the epistles of Paul, Peter, and can't help but notice the common themes running through each letter: hope endures through suffering.

Paul, Peter, and John all suffered for their faith. But because they were like-minded, intent on one purpose, they constantly write about the reward of enduring through trials because they experienced it time and time again. Each man encountered the hatred that comes with persecution and yet each man endured to the end. The Lord was faithful to them in their suffering. He will be faithful to us as well....

Please read:

Matt 5:11-12

2 Cor 4:17

James 1:2-4

Those trials produce something. With God, there is never any waste. He always has a plan...a perfect plan. Those trials will produce faith...and that "testing of our faith" will produce patience, and patience will lead to completion or perfection. That is the example that Christ gave us...

John 19:28-30

John 17:4

Jesus completed all the works His Father had for Him here on earth. Now we must complete the works God has planned out for us.


The Purpose of Trials

Here Peter gives us the reason for the trials we face: that our works may be found praiseworthy.

Again, God never does anything without a perfect plan because He is perfect and complete. Therefore, a perfect and complete being will do everything perfectly and complete. So, our lives here weren't by accident. Nothing happens here within the limits of time by accident. It is all under God's control...He is sovereign.

There is great hope and peace in knowing this attribute of God. We can endure the persecutions that will arise against us in the coming years knowing that it is all happening for a perfect and complete reason: that we may stand before God and be praiseworthy before Him.

This is another theme that runs through all the epistles of Paul, Peter, and John. They want believers to be able to stand boldly (in confidence) before the Lord rather than cower in shame from sin like Adam and Eve did.

No, Peter wants us to endure the testing by fire of our souls so that we "may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ". That is our final goal.

Rom 2:7

Rom 5:3-5


Blind Faith

Imagine Peter's amazement as he writes to his fellow believers about their faith in a Savior they had never met. He must have been awe struck by these people.

Peter had walked with Jesus for 3 years. He had witnessed the miracles of Christ as he, too, even performed some. He denied Jesus then saw Him resurrected before his very eyes. So we can see how Peter's faith would be strong since he went through so much with Jesus and heard the Great Commission straight from His own mouth!

But these believers dispersed throughout the Mediterranean had never seen Jesus during His earthly ministry. They had never seen the miracles nor the crucifixion. They did not meet Jesus personally nor hear His words. Yet they believed! They believed so strongly, that they were willing to suffer and perhaps die for Jesus, whom they had never seen. Peter must have been so encouraged by this! I know I am....

1 John 4:20

John 20:29

John 17:20-21

How amazing that we have Peter's words echoing Jesus's words! We can clearly see how these men of God (Paul, Peter, and John) truly were moved by their experiences and changed dramatically by their faith in Christ. They treasured Jesus' words. We should do the same. For by these words we will be transformed and held when we suffer.



And as we have seen before, all this suffering is for a reason: Salvation

If Jesus suffered, and He was perfect, then why are we so surprised by our suffering from both natural and moral evil?

Natural evil, or the evil that happens from natural disasters or disease, etc. happens to believers regularly. But moral evil, (murder, hatred, rape, etc.)rarely happens to a believer in this country. We Christians rarely face persecution for our faith in America. I believe that will soon change.

But the purpose of evil...(and yes, there is a purpose.... Remember God is perfect and therefore everything in His plan is perfect?) to bring His children closer to Him or push non-believers farther away from Him. We can see that when we read through Christ's ministry and the ministry of His apostles.

That is how we are to react to any suffering in our lives: come closer to God.

Acts 12:17

Here Peter gives glory to God for bringing him out of prison. Peter's suffering drew him closer to his Lord and not farther away. How many of us can say that being thrown in prison would draw us closer to God?? I would like to think I would be faithful....but I have never been in that situation.

Acts 5:41

Here the apostles with Peter glorified God that they were able to suffer for His name. They had endured beatings and council hearings warning them not to preach in Christ's name...and yet they were not deterred from their mission. Instead, the moral evil drew them closer to Christ.

We are always to remember that everything we endure will be rewarded with the salvation of our souls. So, when we suffer...and we will suffer....we must rely on these words in the Bible. For they have been tested by martyrs who came before us. And these words have held true.

Always rely on the word of God.

Matt 24:13


Next time we will look deeper into what suffering for Christ is about.....



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Three

"The Spirit Himself bears witness

with our spirit that we are children of God,

and if children, then heirs-heirs of God

and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him

that we may also be glorified together."

Romans 8:16-17


1 Peter

Hello! Let's begin our time together with prayer....

"Holy Father God in heaven, we praise Your holy name which is above all names. You are worthy of our worship and honor and paise.

I pray that You will seek me for hidden sins and purge me of my iniquities against You. I know that with sin in my heart, my prayers are an abomination to You. Please purge me, cleanse me, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I pray that today You will speak to all who read this study through Your word. I pray that You will teach us new and exciting precepts that we will take with us this day.

In Jesus' name...amen."


A Heavenly Inheritance

In the book of 1 Peter, we have looked at the opening verses where Peter explains to whom he is writing and why he is writing this letter. So far we have seen the importance of what God's mercy has done for us: given us that living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is through Him we receive our inheritance.

Today we will look further into what that inheritance is and why it is important for every Christian to understand this concept of inheritance.

1 Peter 1:4-5

" an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

When you read through the book of 1 Peter, you should have noticed some key words-words repeated over and over- that jumped out at you. Here are some of those key words:








In these key words we almost see a story....the story of Christ. Peter is trying to tell his readers something in this letter. Remember his purpose: to exhort and to testify.

Peter was there with Jesus as He walked the earth. Peter prayed with Him, broke bread with Him, watched as He performed many miracles. But mostly, Peter saw...witnessed....the suffering of Jesus.

Peter heard the words of Christ, but didn't truly know what they meant until after Jesus rose again and breathed the Holy Spirit onto him. Only then were his eyes opened to the reality before him:

He, too, would suffer, submit, experience true grace and faith, preach the word, and love others as Christ did.

This, my friend, is what we have been called to as well.

This inheritance we have is reserved for us in heaven. It is waiting there for us as a reward for the suffering we will experience here on this earth. Peter wanted to encourage those new believers out among the pagan worshipers of the Mediterranean region. He wants to encourage you as well.

Please read:

Rom 8:16 & 17

Heb 1:14

Obviously, when we become Children of God we receive something special: an incorruptible inheritance, Spiritual guidance, ministering spirits, protection by the power of God, faith, and finally a revelation at the last times.

Once our eyes are opened, we finally see the things God has done for us.

Ps 103:20-22

Dan 7:9-10

Isn't it amazing that we can see all these wonderful things in God's word now that our eyes have been opened? We now have these gifts that were given to Christ. God has now given us that inheritance along with Jesus.

When we have trouble, we are ministered too by spirits. When we die, we have a place waiting for us in heaven. When we suffer, we receive glory as Christ did when He suffered.

All this for us.......not because of anything we did, but because of everything Jesus did for us.


I want you to take some time to look up verses regarding God's "chosen". It is important for us to see what it means....

1 Pet 2:9

Col 3:12

Rom 8:33

1 Tim 2:10

Titus 1:1

Rev 17:14

Eph 1:3-4

After you read these, take time to summarize what you learned. We will look further into what it means to be chosen of God later. Peter wants us to truly understand that we are no accident of nature. We did not come as a suprise to God. No, He knew us beforehand and has a plan for us.

We will look into what that plan is in the coming lessons.....




Thursday, January 29, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson Two

"Blessed be the God and Father

of our Lord Jesus Christ, who

has blessed us with every spiritual blessing

in the heavenly places in Christ."

Ephesians 1:3


1 Peter

Good morning! Let's begin our time together with prayer...

"Yes, Father, You are blessed. You alone are worthy of our adoration and praise. We thank You for all that You have done for us. Praise be Your matchless name.

We seek the forgiveness of our sins, Lord, because we know that our iniquities separate us from You and we do not want to be without You, Lord.

Speak to us this day through Your words. Teach us new and exciting things in this wonderful book by Peter. Walk with us today and show us Your love.

In Jesus' name...amen."


Redemption in Christ

1 Peter 1:3

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Today we will look into the main idea that Peter is trying to convey throughout this entire book:

Hope through our salvation

"...according to His abundant mercy..."

Here we read that our salvation wasn't based on good works that we do. It wasn't based on anything that God needed to do. Our salvation was and always will be based on His abundant mercy. Peter reminds us of this in verse three.

Please read:

Gal 6:16

Now that we are able to walk according to this rule, we will be partakers of this mercy of the Lord. His love was what initiated our salvation....our redemption. We must never forget that.

"...has begotten us to a living hope..."

I recently was able to substitute teach a class about Hinduism and Buddhism in their history class. As we read about these two religions, we came to the conclusion that both have reincarnation in common. In reincarnation, the soul of a living person lives on in the form of another living thing whether it is animal or human.

As I was explaining this, I told the students how this differs from what we learn from Christianity. I told them that our souls have only 2 destinations: heaven or hell. One Indian girl, who is a Hindu, told me that in Hinduism they have the concept of heaven and hell as well. We then went on to discuss how it is that a person can enter into their heaven or hell and she said it was by Karma.

Good Karma= heaven

Bad Karma= hell

I couldn't go further into the Gospel message due to time issues, but in my mind I thought that this concept leaves the person with no amount of hope since they will not know at death where their soul is headed. They believe it can just keep reincarnating forever. Since the human "essence" isn't passed on from living form to living form, there is no evidence of that person's past existence. How sad. There is no way for a person to know what to do in order to reincarnate "up" or know how to do things correct in order not to reincarnate "down". Buddhism requires that one follow the teachings of Siddhartha, the first Buddha, in order to reach the final stage: Enlightenment.

Nirvana is the Buddhist's heaven, but it is essentially ceasing to exist and becoming "one" with the universe. Where is the hope in that? The universe changes constantly. Why would I want to be a part of something that changes constantly? I already have that here on earth. I have moved 13 times in my life and hate it. To finally be settled somewhere is what all people desire.

I want to be with the One who never changes. He is consistently the same. Forever. To me, being with God represents peace and rest.


We believers in Christ were given a living hope when Jesus conquered the cross for us.

"..through the resurrection of Jesus Christ..."

He gave us that living hope that yes we will be with Him in paradise as He told the thief on the cross.

John 1:12 & 13

John 3:3-8

Titus 3:5

James 1:18

God has begotten us again to that living hope through the resurrection of Jesus as our Lord and savior. That theme of hope through our salvation will reverberate throughout this book. Look for it and treasure it deep within your heart. Peter is talking to you and about you since you belong to Jesus.

We have that hope that other religions do not possess. We do not rely on our good deeds nor fear our bad deeds regarding our eternal salvation. We have been saved from that hopeless path that leads to nowhere. Our truth lies in what Christ did for us once and for all. Take time today to really think about that and praise His glorious name. He alone is worthy.


Next time we will look at 1 Peter 1:4-5



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

1 Peter: Lesson One

"And just as He chose us
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without
blame before Him in love."

Ephesians 1:4


Hello! Welcome to our first lesson of the wonderful book in the Bible. I am excited to begin studying this letter written by Peter. But first, let's begin with prayer as we seek the Lord:

"Heavenly Father, I pray that you would bless all who are reading this study and speak to our hearts this day. I praise You and Your holy name above all names.
I pray for the forgiveness of my sins for I know my sins separate me from You. I long to hear from You this morning.

In Jesus' name, amen."


1 Peter

I hope you were able to read through 1 Peter in its entirety before beginning this study in order to understand the main theme and key words of this book. If not, you may want to do that now. Keep in mind what words are constantly repeated by the author and what message is he conveying to the reader.

1 Peter 1:1-3

"Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappodocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father in sanctification of the Spirit for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

Here we read Peter's greeting to the recipients of his letter. This letter has a true purpose: exhortation and testimony.

Who are the recipients? The elect, the believers of Christ dispersed throughout many regions of the Mediterranean north of Israel. Peter, writing from Rome, calls them "elect pilgrims" to remind them...and us.... that they are in a foreign land for a brief time as they await Christ to take them home.



"..according to the foreknowledge of God the Father..."

To exhort someone is to urge them to continue or pursue a course of conduct or to admonish them or instruct them. Peter exhorts by reminding his readers that they were chosen for a purpose long before the world was created.

Please read:

Roman 8:29-30

Eph 1:5 & 11

2 Tim 2:19

Peter reminds these believers that God the Father knows them, and has known them since before time.

But how are believers separated from unbelievers by their Good Shepherd?

" sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."

2 Thess 2:13

Rom 1:5

Heb 10:22

In Peter's first few words we are given a picture of the trinity: God the Father, Spirit, and Jesus Christ.

Peter mentions that our redemption and our sanctification was done of the Holy Spirit. We are now sanctified, or "set apart", from sin by the work of the Holy Spirit placed in us at the time of our redemption. Peter reminds us of this fact that our initial act of obedience was faith in Christ Jesus.

John 6:28 & 29

To continue in that faith is our ultimate act of obedience.

Sprinkling of the Blood

Peter mentions the Old Testament custom of sprinkling the blood of the sacrificed animal by the priests in the Holy of Holies.

The appearance of the blood signified the death of the animal....or sacrifice made. In the case of Abel, his blood "cried out from the ground" to God.

Gen 4:10

But Jesus' blood cried out for forgiveness for God's people.

Luke 23:34

Heb 12:24

Through the blood of Christ, we have been redeemed. In the Old Testament ritual of sacrifice, the priest sprinkled the blood of the dead animal onto the participants of the covenant. The death of the sacrifice established the covenant between man and God. The blood on the participants was a sign that they now obtained all rights and privileges and responsibilities of that covenant. They were publicly liable (Geneva Study Bible Commentary, 1995).

Ex 24:8

Now that we have the blood of Christ on us, we are participants of that covenant between man and God. We are now liable. Peter reminds us of this in his opening verses.

Isn't it amazing how much there is in just these first 2 verses alone?? You have been given much to ponder in this first lesson. We will stop here for now. But please read through the entire book one more time keeping in mind what you learned today as you read. You will begin to see Peter's purposes in writing this letter.

We'll continue with 1 Peter 1:3 in our next study......