Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1 Peter: Fix Your Hope On Christ (Introduction & Outline) #hope #Christ #Bible

Background:

Apparently, Peter wrote to believers who were suffering for their faith (some form of the word "suffer" appears 16 times in the book).  Part of the reason for their suffering may have been because unsaved Gentiles slandered them (2:12; 3:16), perhaps for refusing to engage in a sinful lifestyle (4:4).  The situation of these believers is described as a "fiery trial" (1:7; 4:12), so the letter comforts and instructs them on how to deal with it.

Contents:

Peter seems to summarize the letter in 5:12: "I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God.  Stand firm in it!" (NAS).   Chapter one begins by explaining how God's grace offers the believer an eternal inheritance and glory which will be revealed at the appearing of Christ.  Fixing his hope on this grace should motivate the believer to endure trials (1:3-13), lead a holy life (1:14-21), show love for the brethren (1:22 - 2:11), get under authority (2:12 - 3:7), pursue peace (3:9-12), prepare for suffering (3:13 - 4:19), humble himself (5:1-7), and watch out for the devil (5:8-11).  This kind of conduct also serves as a testimony of God's grace to the unsaved, and helps silences their slander.

Theme:  Fix your hope on Christ (1:1-13)

1) By staying pure (1:14-21)
2) By loving the brethren (1:22 - 2:11)
3) By getting under authority (2:12 - 3:7)
4) By pursuing peace (3:8-12)
5) By preparing to suffer (3:13-4:19)
6) By making yourself low (5:1-7)
7) By watching for the devil (5:8-11)

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Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).

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