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?

"...in 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......




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