1 Peter: 3 Encouragements for Tough Times

October 13, 2020   /   Ryan Brown   /   Palms Baptist Church Bible Study

Probably written near the outset of Nero’s persecution of the Church around 64 AD in Rome

I. Primary Purpose:

1. Answer a question. How can a free people live in the confines of an enslaved world?

If Christianity sets men and women free, makes them equal, gives value to slaves:

Won’t a wife be a worse wife if she is a Christian? Slave be a bad slave?

You can’t tell a woman she’s got great worth / slave equal with master… they’ll leave…

2. Encourage believers: Persecution was beginning.

3. Stabalize the church structure.

II. Biography: Peter’s story is one of: A CHANGED LIFE!

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ” 1 Peter 1:1

Apostles: One who was personally called by Jesus to a special ministry of founding the church, serving as his ambassadors. (They are WITNESSES. Carry the message. Die for this.)

God Chose An Ordinary Man (His Family)

1. Known as: Simon. Cephas. Bar Jonah. Peter. (Rock)

2. He was married. (Jesus healed Peter’s mother in law)

1 Cor. 9:5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife,[a] as do the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

3. Ran a fishing business in Bethsaida

4. Brother = Andrew.

ILLU: Andrew a disciple of Jon the Baptist. John said: Behold, the Lamb of God! Andrew went and got Peter said: We’ve found the Messiah!

5. Jesus called Peter and Andrew to be “Fisher’s of men.” (Wasn’t a first meeting)

Peter spent an amazing amount of time with Jesus.(Public) (Private) (3 years John passovers…)

His heart is moved to faith quickly.

Peter was a rock in the early church:

During Peter’s Life: He saw a great change in attitude toward Christianity:

ILLU: Originally: Persecution was Jewish. (Mobs) Soon: imperial. Organized, widespread.

Peter writes his letter LATE in his ministry Why? (ILLU: Warren: So busy doing it, no time write.)

1. At Rome: Getting bad for Christians. Realizes: I need to write this down. Paul was a WRITER.

2 Cor. 11:6: I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.

2 Cor 10:10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”


2 Peter 3:15‑16: Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters (we are saved by God’s grace, mercy, kindness. So live like saved people.), speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures (1st Cent. recognition by Apostle Pauline inspiration), to their own destruction.

Peter realized: I need to also give the church some instruction. BUT: He’s not a writer.

2. In Rome, is Silas. (Silas had traveled with Paul.) Listed as a co-author of Thessalonians.

1 Peter 5:12 By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God.

ILLU: Second Peter: Greek is very sloppy. Written prison cell. No scribe.

2 Peter reads like 2 semester beginning Greek. Everyone knew a little Greek. Everyone spoke aramaic. To get a letter out to the masses, he needs HELP:

ILLU: 1 Peter: Planned: Outlined. Themed. Structured. They talked!

They started with a list of topics. Not: Peter talking, Silas writing quick

  • Salvation by Faith, Joy by Faith, Hope by Faith

Three Encouragements:

You are For this Time and Situation

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood:

  • “Elect Exiles of the Dispersion”
    • Election is synonymous with choice, and God made a choice
      • Question: What did God choose?

Few considerations about Election and Salvation

        1. Only one “Elect” in biblical History: Christ
          1. Matthew 12:18 – “Who I have chosen”
          2. Entire OT surrounds the coming and second-coming of Christ, the Elect
          3. Election debate only among the Western Latin church hundreds of years after the Apostles
        2. Paul and Peter make clear: Our election is found ONLY IN CHRIST!
          1. Our election is in Christ versus we are in Christ because we are elected
        3. God’s choice was “according to His foreknowledge” (vs. 2)
          1. Did God know because it was His choice?, or did God make a choice from what He foreknew?
        4. Israel understood election as corporate
          1. The Election of Israel was that of an inheritance to a land and blessing as a nation
        5. God makes many elections/choices
          1. Every time “Election” is noted does not apply the same every time
        6. Election to salvation is separate from election to faith (chosen in accordance with God foreknowledge FOR obedience to Christ and the sprinkling of His blood)
          1. God elected us to salvation, but that does not require an election to the faith by which we are saved
          2. God choosing that those who surrender to Christ will be saved through His “great mercy” is different than God choosing those who will surrender
        7. Salvation is not the end in itself, but we were saved TO a purpose
          • Two Options

Option A: God predetermined that the “Church” and all who belong to her were predestined to salvation and purpose in relation to God’s elect i.e. Christ

Option B: God predetermined who would believe were individually elected to salvation and predestined to salvation

*I believe, we (the church) are Chosen to a purpose based off our relationship IN Christ who was God’s Elect; thus, the church was pre-destined to salvation (repentant VS. non-repentant)

*Timeline board of God’s foreknowledge

    • Exiles:
      • Literally means “Aliens” or “Pilgrims”
      • “They inhabit the lands of their birth, but as temporary residents of it; they take their share of all responsibilities as citizens, and endure all disabilities as aliens. Every foreign land is their native land, and every native land a foreign land”-Barlclay
        • Idea centers one of the central questions, “How does a free people live in an enslaved world?
          • They bear the burden of worldly order, but none of its benefits; they pass their days as pilgrims on earth, but are citizens of heaven

*Social and economic persecution was starting, and Peter emphasizes that they SHOULD feel like pilgrims

    • Dispersion
      • Idea is that the church is dispersed and sprinkled throughout the earth like Israel was dispersed when Jerusalem fell to Babylon
      • Note the pun: You are chosen to be sprinkled throughout the land through the sprinkling of Christ’s blood- speaking to Christian Jews

*Peter is emphasizing that the dispersion of Christians across the globe is inline with God’s choice/plan; that their current situation is not in spite of God’s plan, but part of it

You are and to a Living Hope

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

  • “Born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”
    • Matthew 9:1-8 – Man Lowered through the roof
      • “Your Sins are forgiven”
      • “Who is this that forgives sins?” (How can we trust it?)
      • “which is easier, to say your sins are forgiven or to say pick-up your mat and walk?”
    • Resurrection of Jesus
      • How do we know we are forgiven?
        • “which is easier, to say your sins are forgiven or to tell the lifeless body of Jesus to get up and walk!”
        • Because Jesus was raised again, it confirms everything He said in His ministry
        • Thus, our Hope is in Jesus, who is living
  • “To an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you”
    • Because Jesus, has proven imperishable, undefiled, and unfading; then, those of us IN Him remains imperishable, undefiled, and unfading
  • How are we “Born Again”?
    • Man was created to worship, so in man’s rejection of this purpose of worship man ceased to be man (Died).
      • Christ restored our heart of worship, and therefore, restored man’s vocation and gave His Spirit (Life), and thus, we were born again

Your Faith has eternal and priceless

 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

  • “Various Trials” – Literally means, “many colors” i.e. different shades of persecution
  • “tested genuineness of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire”
    • Anything of value is measured, weighed, and tested
      • If your faith is more precious than gold, and gold is tested by fire, why would your faith not be tested?
    • Three Purposes for Testing Faith
      • To show that it is sincere and true
        • What do you do before you buy a car?
          • TEST drive it!
        • Is your faith contingent on what is comfortable, safe, or traditional?
      • To show us its strength
        • Remember God’s foreknowledge? He may test to show its strength, not for the current situation, but for the situation ahead we don’t see
          • Maybe COVID is preparation for something much worse ahead…?
      • To purify it
        • The church has always possessed fakes
          • Pharisees
          • The magicians of Acts 19
          • The Judaizers of Galatians 2, Thessalonians, Corinthians
          • The “Lapsed Christians” during Decian persecution
        • Often, the fakes become more influential to worship then the sincere disciples
        • Generally, testing faith clears the horde
          • Maybe COVID has purified churches

Southern Cali Baptist churches all report numbers down 50-75% for attendance, tithing, serving, etc.



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