This Sunday: 1 Peter 1:1-2
This Sunday we’ll begin our study of First Peter. Why this letter? Four reasons come to mind:
- The gospel is held up so clearly and beautifully. Major chunks of 1 Peter are simply some of the most beautiful gospel-saturated passages in the Bible. It’s as if Peter can’t get through a few sentences without getting back to what Jesus has done. We talk a lot about how the indicative of the gospel (what God has already done in Christ) comes before the imperatives of the gospel (how we must live in response). First Peter is packed full of this pattern. Seeing and savoring this truth is foundational for understanding the Bible rightly.
- It covers so much of the Christian life. In just five short chapters Peter covers the gospel, the church as a community on mission, living as a citizen in a fallen culture, marriage, suffering, elders, spiritual warfare and more! This letter is like a ruck-sack jammed full of supplies for a long road march.
- It teaches us to stand firm in trial and suffering. Peter’s audience was a group of Christians scattered throughout modern-day Turkey. Although Roman persecution of Christians hadn’t yet reached its high point, no doubt the recipients of the letter needed instruction and encouragement on how to live for Christ in an increasingly hostile culture that despised the authority and Kingship of Jesus. We find ourselves in a very similar context today.
- It reminds us we are sojourners here in this life and that heaven is our home. This letter absolutely crushes merely cultural and nominal Christianity. Over and over Peter reminds his readers that they can fight sin, endure suffering and commend the gospel, precisely because our hope is not in these ninety years, but in eternity with Christ. We need to hear this as Americans. Our culture wants to neuter the Bible by turning it into mere good advice for this life, but Peter pushes us to ground our hope in a salvation that is kept in heaven for us, waiting to be fully realized.
I can hardly wait to get into this letter! At the same time, I encourage you to memorize parts of 1 Peter. Pick out a few passages (or a chapter, or the entire book!) and commit them to memory.
Looking forward to seeing you Sunday!
Grace and peace,