This section marks the beginning of the end of the letter. In conclusion, Peter returns his main theme of the letter: how you deal with fellow believers and hostile nonbelievers. His answer is in each case you need the right perspective.
1 Peter 3:18-4:6 includes one of the more difficult passages in the New Testament. However we understand this section, the context suggests that the main point should be related to patiently enduring suffering for the sake of another.
Peter wraps up the second major section of his letter reminding his readers that the more we embrace the truth of who Jesus is and what he did for us, the less we have to fear. The more we know where life, hope and blessing are to be found, the freer we are to let go of this world.
In his 3 examples, Peter addresses people who are stuck in a binding social relationship which they cannot easily escape. His advice to all 3 situations is the same: As aliens and strangers you are called to live in a hostile unbelieving world. When possible show the unbelievers that you are a person of virtue by behaving in a submissive and respectful way. Love your oppressor so that your faith is not interpreted as rebellion and hostility, and they may see God’s grace through you.
Peter gives us the principle in 1 Peter 2:11-12 and then he applies that principle to 3 situations where someone is be treated unfairly in a binding social relationship: a citizen under an unjust government, a slave under an unjust master and a wife married to an unbelieving husband. This talk examines the first 2 examples.
Have you seen a map of the universe taken from space with a tiny insignificant pinpoint of light labeled “you are here”? In 1 Peter 2:1-10, rather than demoralize us with our insignificance, Peter inspires us with the plan of God and how we are a part of it.
In 1 Peter 1:14-25, Peter explains that the gospel gives us a living hope that ought change every aspect of our lives. Just as the Olympic athletes change their values, their goals, their actions, their words and their daily routines in light of their Olympic goals, so the gospel ought to change us.
In the field of psychology, “locus of control” refers to the extent to which a person believes they can control the world around them. People with a strong internal locus of control tend to attribute the outcome of events to factors under their own control. People with a strong external locus of control attribute outcomes of events to external circumstances. But both have a perspective which influences and predicts their actions. The book of 1 Peter is about that big perspective. In a sense, Peter is writing to explain a “gospel locus of control.”
An introduction to the letter of 1 Peter and a look at Peter’s calling from Luke 5.
The “so what” of being justified by faith is now we have a reason to boast. Paul explains the 3 things we boast about in Romans 5:1-11. The first is hope.
With the Babylonian army threatening their border, Jerusalem was a place with little to no hope. How could that hope be for real? To teach His people that hope is real, the Lord told Jeremiah to do something crazy. In fact it was perhaps the most ridiculous move anyone could take – unless hope is true.
Jeremiah 29:1-14 is addressed to people from Jerusalem who have already been deported to Babylon but before Jerusalem itself has been completely destroyed. These people want to escape. They want the exile to end and they want to get back home. Jeremiah writes the letter in this chapter to set them straight. Surprisingly, he doesn’t tell them how to escape; instead he tells them how to endure. What do we do while we await the not-yet? What’s there to do in Babylon?
Today’s leaders promise hope and change only to deliver corruption and scandal. We elect bright promising outsiders who go to Washington and immediately become insiders. They cease fighting for the ideals they promised in the campaign and start fighting to keep themselves in power. Who can make things right? Who will help us out of this mess?
Why is God so difficult to believe in? We want control. We explain away His gifts and provision. We want a predictable god who doesn’t surprise us. The God of Scripture is complicated and does not answer all our questions. We are afraid the hope of the gospel is too good to be true. The truth is that God is really not hard to believe in. The problem is that it is our hearts that are fickle.
Peter’s main concern in this section is how we treat others, both inside and outside the family of God. But his point is a fuller richer picture than ‘be nice.’ His advice is fix your hope completely on the grace that is coming to you. And then be humble. Be soft-spoken. Seek their welfare. Don’t […]