1 Peter

A Living Hope for a Dying People

19. Mission Accomplished: Grace from Beginning to End (1 Peter 5:5-15)

June 27, 2021 • David Schrock

In John 1:14–18, the beloved apostle describes the grace of the law and the greater grace of the gospel as “grace upon grace". And in his opening words to his Gospel, he explains that grace and truth are now found in the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Lord Incarnate. At the end of Peter’s letter, the same emphasis on grace is seen. Only the largesse of God’s grace is not found in redemptive history, but in the church’s personal experience of grace. Throughout Peter’s letter, the restored apostle has testified to the true grace of God that is found ready to aid all those who are born again by the Spirit. Even more, Peter has explained the sufferings of Christ’s followers in terms of the sanctifying grace that accompanies such fiery trials. Knowing this grace strengthens believers to follow Christ fully. And this Sunday, as we come to the end of 1 Peter, we will conclude our sermon series by considering all that Peter says about grace in 1 Peter 5:5–14. As you have time, please read 1 Peter 5 to prepare for Sunday. You may also find help in reading James 4 or Proverbs 3 in preparation for worship. Pray that God would continue to lavish his grace upon us, as we cast our cares on him and find fresh mercies to follow him fully. I look forward to seeing you Sunday and to worshiping the true God of grace with you. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 5:5-14 1. Why should humility be a distinctive mark of the church? 2. How is humility to appear in our relationship to elders, to one another, and to God? (vv. 5-7) 3. The Greek word for “opposes” (v. 5) and “resist” (v. 9) is identical. What does this teach us about humility, pride, and spiritual warfare? 4. How are prayerfulness (v. 7) and faith (v. 9) connected to humility? 5. What is the role of humility when it comes to resisting the devil? 6. What truths should the church remember when they suffer persection? 7. What promises and words of encouragement and assurance does Peter give to the church? (vv. 5, 6, 7, 10) 8. Look for the repetition of grace in this text (vv. 5, 10, 12). How does this instruct us? 9. Practically, what does it look like to stand firm in the gospel? How might we grow in standing firm? 10. How might this text shape our resolve as Christians?

18. Good Shepherds: 7 Marks of a Faithful Under-Shepherd (1 Peter 5:1-4)

June 20, 2021 • David Schrock

Forbes Magazine lists 100 Quotes on Leadership. When bookstores used to be brick and mortar, you could always find a leadership section. And aspiring leaders may spend (tens of) thousands of dollars each year on coaching, conferences, and other ways to become better leaders. In the Bible, we also find a lot about leadership. But what we don’t find are leadership techniques. Instead, we find offices like prophet, priest, king, and shepherd. We discover that the greatest leader laid his life down for those whom he loved. And in Christ and those who followed him, we are given a vision of what a leader is. We also find many examples of bad leaders too. Simultaneously, in both testaments, we find lists of qualifications for leaders (see Exodus 18, Deuteronomy 17–18; 1 Timothy 3; and Titus 1). These lists are always based on character, and if anyone wants to be a leader in the church, they must look to God’s standards. This Sunday, we will do just that. Writing to a suffering church, Peter addresses the lead sufferers, the shepherds who are leading the sheep. In less than five verses, we will discover in 1 Peter 5:1–5, a host of characteristics that you should recognize in those who lead the church. And current and aspiring leaders should be able to test themselves by these verses too. To prepare for Sunday, please read 1 Peter 5. You will also be helped if you read Ezekiel 34 and John 10. These two background passages will give you the biblical context for Peter’s words, as they show what a good shepherd is and is not. After spending a week with a flock of shepherds at the SBC this week, I am glad to be with you and to be one of your shepherds. It is one of the greatest joys in my life. And as we come to the text of 1 Peter 5, let us pray that the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will continue to shepherd us as we hear his voice and follow his lead. See you Sunday (DV). For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 5:1-5 1. What is significant about how Peter describes his identity? How does this set the tone for this exhortation? 2. How does Peter describe the work of an elder? 3. What qualifications does Peter give for the motives of elders in their ministry? 4. What is the difference between an elder, a shepherd, and an overseer? What nuances do these words give in describing the same office? 5. “that is among you.” What does this say about the work of shepherding? 6. How does willingness, eagerness, and living as an example bless the flock? 7. What are some of the differences between a good shepherd and a not-so-good shepherd? (See also Ezekiel 34 and John 10) 8. How do wrong motives distort the work of pastoral ministry and damage the church? 9. How does Peter describe Christ? 10. What is the elders’ responsibility to Christ? 11. What does this text reveal about hierarchical relationships in the church? 12. What exhortation does Peter give to the congregation? What exhortation and caution does Peter give to both the elders and the congregation? 13. How should we respond to God’s design for the church? 14. How should we respond to these promises of grace and glory?

17. Preparing Our Head, Heart, and Hands for the End of the World (1 Peter 4:12-19)

June 13, 2021 • David Schrock

Chicken little said the sky is falling and it seems many Christians say the same when they think about current events and the end of the world. But is that how the Bible speaks about the end of the world? This Sunday we will consider the end of the world and the grace of God which purifies us through the fiery trials that God has prepared for us. As you prepare for Sunday, take time to read 1 Peter 4:12-19. But also read over 1 Peter and consider the ways Peter talks about the end. This will help you to see what we all will see in 1 Peter 4:12-19 this Sunday. As I write this from Indianapolis where I am teaching eschatology, I can’t wait to get home and worship our risen Lord with you. May the exalted Christ be praised in our assembling. For His glory and your joy, Pastor David ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 4:12-19 1. Does persecution and suffering seem like a stranger to you? Instead of being surprised by sufferings, what does it look like for us to be surprised by joy? 2. Does rejoicing, gladness, and blessing come to mind when facing suffering? 3. How does Peter reassure and encourage the church? 4. Consider Peter’s command to glorify God (v. 16). Might one be tempted to be ashamed? See Acts 5:40-42. 5. What does it mean that judgment begins at the house of God? Why does Peter insert this warning? (vv. 17-19) How should we respond to this? 6. What does it mean to “obey the gospel of God”? 7. How does Peter teach them to suffer (v. 19)? What is the sufferer to do? Consider Psalm 31:5; Luke 23:46.

16. Insight into Suffering for the Glory of Christ (1 Peter 4:1-11)

June 6, 2021 • Rod Fillinger

This Sunday we continue our study in 1 Peter where Peter points us to a living heavenly hope. Earlier in his life we have recorded an account of a young man who was anxious for Christ to establish a physical kingdom of God that would overthrow human government, end suffering, and rule victorious. In his impetuous zeal that lacked knowledge he even rebuked Christ himself when Christ spoke clearly about the need for his suffering and death. In these last days, and the nearing end of Peter’s life on earth, Peter writes with a different perspective. He writes about our heavenly hope in the kingdom of God, a kingdom that will come after the suffering of saints for their faith. In response to the suffering that must come, Peter sets forth rules for life – a Christian ethic for living in light of suffering. In returning to the theme of Christ’s suffering that we saw in chapter 3, Peter presents suffering not as an exception, but as the rule for true believers. Peter directs the elect exiles, which includes us, to see the suffering and death of Jesus Christ as the pattern for Christian living and service. The suffering Peter describes is for a purpose – being done with sin. This man who rebuked Christ, then denied him, now exhorts us to arm ourselves not with a sword, but with the same mind-set that Christ had in doing the Father’s will. Peter was changed because he came to know and trust Jesus Christ. May Peter’s words written through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit be used to open our eyes that we would know Jesus in this same way so that in everything God may be glorified through Christ Jesus. As you prepare for Sunday, take time to read over 1 Peter 3-4 again and pray for God to continue to conform our church body into the image of Christ by changing the way we think. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. And remember, we will plan to gather outside at 8:30am for service and 10:30am for Great Commission Prayer. For God’s glory and your joy, Pastor Rod -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions 1 Peter 4:1-11 1. What does it mean for us to “arm yourselves with the same way of thinking” (v.1)? 2. How does Christ’s suffering reorient us (vv. 1-2)? 3. What does Peter teach about the purpose of life? How does this contrast with unbelievers? 4. While God’s judgment is in view for the Gentiles (vv. 3-5), what is in view for the Christian? (vv. 6-7)? 5. Does “the end of all things” being at hand motivate you? What should it motivate us toward? 6. Do you think of prayer as a primary response to loving and serving the Lord? How would arming yourself with the same way of thinking as Christ change your approach to and practice of prayer? (v. 7) 7. What does it mean practically for each of us individually and collectively to be self-controlled and sober-minded? (v. 7) 8. How does Peter explain what it means to “love one another earnestly”? (vv. 8-11) 9. Have you been gifted? For what purpose are you gifted? (Notice the source of the oracles and strength). 10. Is the glory of God our aim? How does one become passionate or zealous for the glory of God?

15. Saved and Sound: How Christ Secures Your Salvation (1 Peter 3:18-22)

May 30, 2021 • David Schrock

Suffering. Salvation. Scripture. Sacraments. Security. This Sunday, we will see all of these important things in our passage. In 1 Peter 3:18–22, the Apostle Peter returns to the theme of Christ’s death and resurrection. Like before, in 1 Peter 2:22–25, Peter encourages suffering saints to look to the finished work Christ. Only now, it is not Jesus life that is in view, but his resurrection and exaltation. Even more, Peter makes an analogy between the experience of suffering saints and the baptism of Noah in the flood. Throw in a final promise of Christ’s triumph over the angels, and you have in five verses a full scale declaration of the victory that Christ won on the cross and that secures believers today. On Sunday, we will focus on this victory and how it encourages believers to keep the faith amidst ongoing threats and trials. In preparation for Sunday, please read 1 Peter 3:18–22. Pray for yourself and for all who gather on Sunday that God would be glorified and that faith would be granted and strengthened. I look forward to seeing you then (DV). For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 3:18-22 1. What makes this passage difficult? How have you understood (or not understood) this passage before? 2. When you come to difficult passages, what do you do? 3. How does it fit into the letter of Peter? How does knowing the context help you understand its point? 4. What does this text teach us about Christ’s . . . sufferings death resurrection ascension exaltation 5. What are some of the different interpretations of who the “spirits in prison” are, and what Christ is proclaiming to them? Which view makes the most sense to you, and why? 6. What is the correspondence between baptism and Noah? 7. How is baptism related to our salvation? 8. How should we respond to the work of Christ? 9. How should we respond to the exaltation of Christ?

14. The #BlessedLife: Moving from a Hashtag to a Heart Filled with Christ (1 Peter 3:8-17)

May 23, 2021 • David Schrock

The book of 1 Peter is written for Christians who are experiencing, or who will soon experience, hardships, trials, and suffering. In the context of the book, suffering is a theme that Peter confronts with great gospel grace. And this Sunday we return to this theme. After giving instructions on how to live a gracious life in the midst of a variety of household relationships (1 Peter 2:13–3:7), Peter now turns to encourage all those in the church to bless others and to live a life that receives God’s blessing. This Sunday, we will consider both what a blessed life looks like and how the Lord might establish you in such blessing. In preparation for Sunday, take time to read 1 Peter 3:8–17. Pray that God would strengthen our hearts with grace and that we would learn how to continue to be gracious to one another and to those who treat us unfairly and unkindly. I hope to see you Sunday as we gather outside at 8:30am to worship King Jesus. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 3:8-17 1. How does Peter’s instruction to “all of you” in verses 8-9 conclude the previous section? 2. Why does our disposition when facing suffering matter? How does this connect back to 1 Peter 2:23? 3. Why does Peter quote Psalm 34:12-16 in verses 10-12? How does his use of Psalm 34 teach us to read the OT? 4. How is Peter preparing them for suffering? What encouragement and counsel does he offer? 5. Why does the condition of the heart matter? (vv. 8, 15) What does it mean to honor Christ the Lord as holy in your heart? 6. How does vv. 16-17 connect back to 2:12, 15, 20? 7. Is it easy to fear and be troubled when suffering? What gospel truths do you need to override fear and anxiety? 8. Do you think of blessing, gospel opportunity, and God’s will, when experiencing suffering? How might this text help us prepare for suffering?

13. Christ's Cross Creates Godly Husbands (1 Peter 3:7)

May 16, 2021 • David Schrock

On Sunday we will finish our two-part series on the roles of wives and husbands in marriage. If you missed last week’s message, you can listen here, as it provides a set up for 1 Peter 3:7. This week, we will devote our time to Peter's instructions to husbands. Though, he only gives one verse to husbands, Peter's theologically informed instructions will give us — especially husbands — much to consider and apply to bless and serve our wives. As you prepare for Sunday, take time to read over 1 Peter 2–3 again and pray for God to continue to conform our church body into the image of Christ. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. And remember, we will plan to gather outside at 8:30am for service and 10:30am for Sunday School. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 3:7 1. What does it mean for husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way? How does “according to knowledge”flesh out that instruction? 2. Notice the honor that is due to the wife (3:7). Consider also the honor that is commanded in 2:17. What basis does Peter give for this honor? 3. How should “weaker vessel” be read and understood? How could this be misused? 4. How should 1 Peter shape your view of marriage? 5. What is the grace of life? Why is it gracious? What does this reveal about God? 6. How should being co-heirs of grace shape the relationship between a husband and his wife? 7. If the honor given to a wife is an affirmation of her identity as a recipient of God’s grace, what distortion is brought into marriage when a husband dishonors his wife? 8. How is the husband’s relationship to his wife connected to the reception of his / their prayers? How should we understand the relationship of our sins to our prayers? 9. Where is the good news in these verses (1 Peter 3:1–7)? How does marriage function as a representation of the gospel?

12. What is True, Good, and Beautiful About Godly Wives (1 Peter 3:1-6)

May 9, 2021 • David Schrock

First Peter 2:21 says, "For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” This verse is set in the middle of a section of 1 Peter that addresses various institutions in the world. So far we have considered government and work. And now we will think about marriage. In 1 Peter 3:1–7 we find a vision for what godly women and men look like. And critically, this vision of marriage is one that stands in stark contrast to the wisdom and habits of the world. By contrast, Peter draws us to consider Christ and the rest of Scripture to understand our roles in marriage. Such practical wisdom is deeply helpful for those who are married, but it also serves everyone (married, single, divorced, or widowed), because marriage is not just a private enterprise for some. Rather, marriage is for the beautification of the cosmos, and hence it applies to everyone. And learning about marriage will help you both now and for eternity. To prepare yourself for Sunday, please read 1 Peter 3:1–7 and pray God would give us ears to hear and hearts to cherish what his word says. The institution of marriage is under threat today, and we need God to graciously restore our vision of its goodness and glory. See you Sunday, DV. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 3:1-7 1. Why are passages like 1 Peter 3:1–7 so challenging for us today? Why are they so controversial? 2. What are the instructions for the woman in this passage? How should 1 Peter 2:13’s “for the Lord’s sake” shape the wife’s submission to her husband? 3. What are ways that the believing wife might win her unbelieving husband to the gospel? 4. Consider that which is imperishable, beautiful, and precious to God (see 3:4). How does this connect to 1 Peter 2:4? What about 1 Peter 1:18-19? 5. How does Sarah’s example (vv. 5-6) serve to explain his teaching (vv. 1-4)? 6. What is the difference between egalitarian and complementarian views of marriage? How should 1 Peter shape your view of marriage? 7. According to Scripture, what does a true, good, and beautiful marriage look like? How does this passage relate to / apply to singles?

11. Sojourners and Servants under the Lordship of Christ (1 Peter 2:18-25)

May 2, 2021 • Ben Purves

This Sunday in 1 Peter we will continue to study relationships under the Lordship of Christ, and we will study Peter's words of instruction to servants in 1 Peter 2:18-25. As we consider this text, we will examine the significant differences between today and first century household law of the first century, and how the sufferings of Christ give us a pattern to follow when we suffer for the sake of righteousness. ********************************************************************************************************************************* Discussion & Response Questions 1 Peter 2:18-25 1. How does the Lordship of Christ and the Christian's identity as a God's servant shape one's subjection to masters? 2. What are some of the key differences between first century household law and our present day? 3. Can you think of any biblical examples where servants had to navigate ethical dilemmas in order to obey God? 4. What can we infer about the unjust suffering Peter describes in 1 Peter 2:19-20? What does this reveal about the Lordship of Christ and the Christian's freedom? 5. Consider the shape of the passage, and its repetition of "this is a gracious thing" (vv. 19-20). What does this mean? 6. The suffering servant is to be mindful of God (v. 19), knowing that God sees (v. 20). How can one be mindful of God during suffering? Why is this important? 7. Have you faced ethical dilemmas at work where you have had to choose between your employer's directions and corporate policy versus God's commands? What does it look like to hold to the supremacy of Christ? 8. How might you encourage and counsel those facing hardship under their employers? 9. What is your expectation when it comes to suffering? Do you expect to suffer for Christ? 10. What implications does Christ's suffering (and his response to it) have for our sufferings? 11. What do verses 22-25 teach us about Christ's work at the cross? How should we understand this healing (v. 24)?

10. Sojourners and Citizens under the Lordship of Christ (1 Peter 2:11-17)

April 11, 2021 • Ben Purves

Dear OBC Family, “Submit to government. Live as people who are free. Love the fellowship. Fear God.” How do these fit together, and what does it look like for us to be faithful as servants of the Lord? This Sunday we will consider the Lordship of Christ, our temporary status as sojourners and exiles, and the Christian’s relationship to church and state. Sunday’s worship services will be indoors at 8:30 and 11:00am, and Sunday School and Discover OBC will meet at 10:00am. I look forward to seeing you then. May the Lord be glorified in our church family! Pastor Ben -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 2:11-17 1. How does the Christian’s status as a sojourner and exile relate to the Lordship of Christ and submission to human government? 2. Consider the apostle Peter’s life and ministry. In what ways did he live out submission to government? 3. How is the Lordship of Christ the basis for our submission to others? 4. What responsibility is given to government? What does submission look like? (2:14, 20; 4:15) 5. What is the intended effect of honorable conduct and righteous living (2:12, 15)? Is it possible to live in such a way that one does not suffer persecution? (2:12, 15; 3:13-7; 4:3-5, 12-14) 6. How is the fear of God distinct from the honor due to human government? 7. Notice Peter’s emphasis on loving the “brotherhood” (our fellowship as brothers and sisters in Christ). How is this related to the other imperatives of verse 17? 8. How does being a servant connect with the freedom we have in Christ? What is this freedom for? Do you consider yourself to be a servant of God (v. 16)? Why or why not? 9. How should the gospel shape our submission to government, our love for the church, and our fear of God?

9. Beholding the Resurrection of Christ ... In Eternity and Time (1 Peter 1:20-21; 2:4-10)

April 4, 2021 • David Schrock

Every Sunday we gather to celebrate the Lord’s resurrection. Sunday is the Lord’s Day because Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week. Instead of working six days to get one day of rest, as under the old covenant, the new covenant begins the week with resurrection and rest in Christ. The six days of our work week proceed from Christ’s finished work. Still, on the Christian calendar, this Sunday is the day when we celebrate the culmination of Holy Week. Friday remembers the death of Christ, and tonight we will gather at 7:00pm to celebrate Good Friday. Saturday remembers Christ’s burial and the sense of loss that stood between the cross and resurrection. And finally, Sunday celebrates the cosmos-shattering, justification-granting resurrection—what is often called Easter. This Sunday we will gather outside to proclaim out loud and in public that Jesus is Alive. He has risen from the dead. He is risen indeed. And he is worthy of our gathered worship. If you remember, last Easter we did not gather. Still assessing the situation of COVID-19 we sheltered at home and celebrated independently. But this year, as COVID and fear of COVID continue to rise and fall around us, we will gather on Sunday to celebrate the only vaccine for death—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Outside, at 10:00am, we will sing songs, read Scripture, pray, celebrate three baptisms, hear Scripture preached, take communion, and sing more songs. Truly, we have a wonderful God who deserves everlasting worship. And Sunday we will gather to proclaim this together. In preparation, please pray for our service and those friends, family, and guests who have been invited. Take time to read the events of Holy Week—Mark 11–16 is a good place to begin. And on Sunday, come early and bring your camping chairs. We expect a good number of visitors, so if you can arrive in one car (instead of three), please do so. Additionally, there will be some parking down Springwoods, so consider dropping off family and then parking to leave space for others in our parking lot. Last thing: sunglasses, warm clothes, a bottle of water, and allergy medicine might all be helpful for you as we return to service outdoors. (FYI: After Easter, we will continue inside until the month of May). For this Sunday, I am super excited to rejoin you outside. May God be pleased to give us great weather that matches the great and gracious gospel of Jesus Christ. For indeed, his gospel is great and on Sunday we will extol the greatness of his grace and truth. I hope to see you then. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions 1 Peter and the Resurrection of Christ 1. What does 1 Peter teach us about the resurrection (see 1:3–5, 23–25; 2:6–8; 3:21–22)? 2. Does Peter speak directly about the resurrection or does he include the resurrection into other discussions? If the latter, what does that teach us about the resurrection and its place in our lives and conversations? 3. How did God bring about the cross of Christ? What do you learn about God by considering the resurrection in eternity and time? 4. What are ways the resurrection changed the world (think cosmic powers and redemptive history)? Why is it important to understand the cross and resurrection in the story of the world before making a personal application? 5. What are ways the resurrection changed your life? What is most encouraging to you as you think about Christ’s resurrection? 6. If the resurrection did not occur, would it still be worth living the Christian life? Why or why not? 7. How does suffering and persecution increase our appreciation for the resurrection? Why is the resurrection necessary for obedience—especially in the face of opposition? 8. What other truths in 1 Peter 1–2 have encouraged you recently?

8. A Priestly Calling: Crossing the Dividing Line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:1-12)

March 28, 2021 • David Schrock

When Christ entered Jerusalem, many cheered and many others jeered. And ever since his triumphal entry, he has divided humanity by means of his gospel of grace. This Sunday we will consider the way Christ splits humanity and how to find our identity in him. In 1 Peter 2:1-12 we find a whole heap of identity markers for Christians along with instructions for living as children of God, living stones, and holy priests. In preparation for Sunday, read 1 Peter 2 and pray for God to strengthen us in our identity in Christ such that we can proclaim his excellencies even with great opposition to Christ. For as we will see, Christ’s enemies still exist today and we are called to love them, such that they might be brought from darkness and death to life. And this is all for the glory of the one who loves us! May God have mercy on us all as we gather to worship him this Sunday. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 2:1-12 1. How does 2:1-3 connect with the previous context of the new birth (1:22-25)? What does it look like for the Christian to hunger for, taste, drink, and grow? Have you seen this in your own growth in Christ? 2. Consider Jesus (vv. 4-8). What is the relationship of Jesus to the church? 3. Consider Jesus (v. 4). What truths of Christ become true for those who are in Christ (vv. 5, 9) 4. How is Peter reading and using the Old Testament? 5. What kind of life and ministry should flow from the saints identity in Christ? 6. What does it look like for the church to live as sojourners and exiles? 7. “When they speak against you as evildoers.” How does the world speak of the church in this way? How is Peter equipping the church for this event? 8. How ought we to respond to these realities of our identity in Christ?

7. An Imperishable Life of Love (1 Peter 1:22-25)

March 21, 2021 • Jared Bridges

We Christians in America today aren't so different from those to whom Peter was writing in his letter. The particulars of the trials we face may differ, but the Jesus whom we serve and the word by which we know him remain the same. The gospel fuels in us a fierce love for one another that the Lord uses to grow us for greater trials ahead. As you read 1 Peter 1:22-25 in preparation for our Lord's Day worship, pray with me that God will use this imperishable word to mold our hearts for a love for one another that cannot be extinguished. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor Jared --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 1:22-25 1. What is the means of purifying one’s soul? What kind of obedience is this? 2. What is the aim of obedience and purification? How does this relate to our fellowship? 3. Why should sincerity and purity be marks of our fellowship? 4. What does it mean to be a creature of the Word? What does this signify about our relationship to the Word? 5. What does the imperishable nature of God’s Word mean for those who have been born again? 6. How ought we to respond as we consider our relationship to the Word, and our fellowship in the church? How should the gospel shape our fellowship? 7. In what ways does our new birth (or new "begetting") enable us to better love one another? 8. How does the enduring word of God contribute to our ability to love one another deeply?

6. Redemption: What the Cross of Christ Accomplished (1 Peter 1:18-21)

March 14, 2021 • David Schrock

Who put Jesus on the cross? Why did Christ die on the cross? What did his death accomplish? And why is his death good news? These are just some of the questions that arise when we look carefully at the cross. And as a recent documentary, American Gospel: Christ Crucified, has argued, the historic message and orthodox meaning of the cross has been and is being abandoned throughout churches today. Why? Because churches and Christians are not letting Scripture speak. This Sunday, by God’s grace, we will let Scripture speak. And looking at 1 Peter 1:17–21, we will see in manifold detail what the cross of Christ accomplished. Described as God’s ransom or redemption, we will see what God redeemed us from, what he redeemed us with, and why he redeemed us. If you have questions about the cross and its cosmic purposes, Sunday’s message will begin to provide answers. Take time to read to 1 Peter 1:13–25 and pray for us to understand and delight in the cross of Christ. As Jesus said, he will draw all men to himself when he is lifted up. On Sunday, we will consider the lifted-up-Christ. So let us pray for God to draw us to himself and conform us into the image of his Son as we come to know more fully Christ and him crucified. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Discussion & Response Questions for 1 Peter 1:18-21 1. 1 Peter 1:18-21 presents the gospel in four verses. What aspects of the gospel do we see emphasized here? How would you share the gospel with someone? How might this passage help you? 2. How does the gospel compare with futile ways and perishable things? How does Christ compare to these things? 3. No mention of sin is made in these verses. But how might these verses address the problem of sin and God’s solution in Christ? 4. What does it mean for Christ’s blood to be the ransom price? What does this passage teach us about the blood of Christ? 5. In verse 20, there are two key verbs (“foreknown" and “manifested”): What realities of Christ does this speak of? How does this verse help us think about God and his relationship to the world? To your life? 6. What does this language of “manifested” describe? (Consider also 1 Tim 3:16). 7. “For the sake of you.” How should we respond to this reality? Is salvation merely a provision or is it a personal work of God? Why does that difference matter? 8. How is divine action related to our belief, faith, and hope? (v. 21) 9. Look at vv. 13–16 and vv. 22–25. How do these verses work in the letter of 1 Peter? How does meditating on Christ increase holy fear and sacrificial love?

5. Live Not By Feelings: Three Ways to Love and Live (1 Peter 1:13-19)

March 7, 2021 • David Schrock

To feel good or to be good. That is the question. Ask yourself, how do you feel when you are told to “obey(!)”? Do you gladly receive the instruction with thanksgiving for the chance to be obedient? Or do you question the command and look for a way to do it on your own terms? Of course, there are examples of commands that are truly immoral, but why is it that we are so averse to obedience? In Scripture, obedience to God and to his law are presented as the way of blessing and life. Disobedience is the way of cursing and death. Today, it seems to be the reverse. Rebellion is cool and obedience is, well, boring. It reveals something about human nature that our hearts are inclined to obeying our desires and not the commands of others. By God’s common grace, we often find a match between God’s will and our own. But what happens when we do not? Are we compelled by what feels good or by what is good? And what does Scripture say about it? This Sunday, we will engage this question as 1 Peter calls us obedient children who pursue God’s holiness. To prepare you for Peter's message, I must say that none of us are naturally disposed to obey his words, or the words of others. Rather, we are inclined by our human natures and taught by our American culture to see obedience as a burden and not a blessing. Yet, God’s Word says something else and God’s gospel actually accomplishes something else—namely, the new birth of obedient children. So, let’s pray for God’s Word to give us a new (creation) desire for obedience. In preparation for Sunday, take time to read 1 Peter 1 and pray that God’s living words would have their full effect in our lives. We need our hearts and minds renewed by truth, and this Sunday we have a wonderful chance for that to happen. I look forward to seeing you Sunday, as God allows, as we gather to worship Christ and proclaim the good news that God forgives our disobedience and makes us obedient children. For His Glory and your joy, Pastor David -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Discussion & Response Questions 1 Peter 1:13-19 1. What is the main point of this passage? How do we see that? 2. What does 1 Peter 1:13-19 reveal about the identity of the church? 3. What is the new identity Peter wants his recipients to have and hold? 4. How does Peter use the Old Testament to form identities? How does that apply today? 5. What role does thinking play in the life of a Christian? 6. What is the difference between what Peter is saying and just having a good self-image? 7. What do we learn about the character of God in this passage? 8. How should the church respond to the following realities? - “The grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Christ” (v. 13) - The holiness of God “who called you” (vv. 14-15) - Identity as children (v. 14) in relationship to the Father (v. 17) - “The time of your exile” (v. 17) - The imperishable and “precious blood of Christ” (v. 19). 9. Is there anything that you should apply to your life?