Keep your Hope in God

Sunday Lesson Notes from June 26, 2022

Read 1 Peter 1: 1-25

  • Background information: The Christians  at this time were receiving severe persecution from the Romans, under the leadership of Nero. They were being blamed for the political problems of the time. Nero ordered Christians to be burned on poles and used their charred bodies as lanterns to light up the city. They were in desperate need of encouragement!
  • What is meant by “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God”?
    • This is related to the verses in Micah 5, where God picked a remnant of his people to do his will. God knew from a long time ago there would be people still faithful to his will despite facing hardships. This was a prediction that Jesus was coming
    • We can trust that God will provide what we need to accomplish his will. God is a promise keeper and therefore we do not need to give in to the evil that is so prevalent around us
  • Since we are chosen by God to do his will, why are there obstacles in the way of our spiritual growth? Why do we go through persecution as we are doing God’s will?
    • When we go through difficult times, our faith and true motives are exposed and refined, enabling us to be stronger in our faith
    • Sometimes we go through tough situations because others around us also have free will to make poor choices that negatively impact us. We therefore, have an opportunity to respond the way God wants us to, which is again another opportunity to grown in our faith and trust in God
    • Remember, even Jesus went through hard times and was stronger for it!
    • What are some other reasons we may face daily challenges in our walk with GOD?
      • Perhaps so that we can see our own weaknesses: James 1:2-3 teaches us that hard times builds perseverance, which eventually improves our character
      • So that we can make it to the end of our lives with a proven faith
      • Remember Job, he was being refined, meaning impurities in his life were being removed as he went through hardships and had to put is faith in God
      • So that we can learn to be obedient and prepared to be with God
  • Where is your hope?
    • Are you trusting in perishable things- ie money, homes, jobs? Or are you trusting in imperishable things- ie God’s character, God’s word and promises?
    • Peter reminds us that we should trust in the hope of the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus had already been raised from the dead to an imperishable life. We too, if we persevere, will join with him and our perishable bodies will be discarded and replaced with imperishable existences with God and Jesus
  • Why does Peter remind them to live like foreigners in the land?
    • Peter wanted to remind them they were not at home, their home was in a greater place in Heaven with God and Jesus. If they remembered this promise,  they would put their hope in things above and not in things they could see and touch. They would have the ability to look past people who were bringing them daily harm.
    • Peter reminded them that Jesus’s blood had already saved them, which is similar to the blood that saved the Hebrew Exiles in Egypt when they were escaping Egypt hundreds of years prior. 
    • He reminded them that the Hebrews had prophets that predicted Jesus was coming, but they were living in a time where Jesus had already come, as promised. Jesus had also returned to God to prepare a permanent place for them and therefore, they could put our hope in that promise of a new home. 
  • What are you going through right now in your personal life that you need to be refined from? Are you open with someone in your life about these things? Are you going back to God for help with these things?
  • When you are facing persecution for your faith in God, how do you react? Do you pray and believe in God anyway? Do you give in and get discouraged and hide?
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