In 1 Peter 4:1-6, Peter called his readers to a life of purity and holiness in a world where they were often maligned and even put to death. The motivation that Peter gives for living a holy life was the reminder that Jesus suffered on the cross to deal with our sin and will soon return to judge all men for their deeds. The means that Peter gives for living a holy life include the reality of persecution from the world, the daily struggle with our own sinful natures and doing our best to avoid becoming like the people of the world around us. To grow in all of this, our will needs to align itself with God’s will.
In 1 Peter 3:18-22, Peter reminded his readers that Jesus suffered much on the cross when he gave Himself on the cross to save His people. However, not all of what Peter says is no so clear, and in mentioning that Jesus preached to those who lived in the days of Noah, some have assumed that Jesus did this between his death and resurrection. It is better to understand this to mean that Jesus preached the gospel through Noah, who was a herald of righteousness. Either way, Peter’s conclusion is clear; Jesus was vindicated by God the Father who will do the same for all His children who suffer for the gospel.
Peter’s readers, who lived in the first century world, faced much hostility from all kinds of peoples who did not understand the truths of the Christian faith. It was for this reason that in 1 Peter 3:13-17, Peter exhorted his readers to always be ready to give an account of the hope that they have in Christ. They were to do this with gentleness and respect, but yet be faithful to the gospel they had come to know and believe. Peter’s command remains a challenge for believers in this generation who often face a similar kind of hostility from this world.
After lunch together on Sunday May 24th, we’re going to share life together for a while in a workshop called ‘Sharing life, sharing the gospel’. The aim of the workshop is to help us understand how we may best share the gospel (the good news about the Lord Jesus) with those we meet and mix with in an ‘everyday’ kind of way.
Can’t make it? The workshop will be repeated after our June 28th lunch.
This will be the first of three workshops along this theme during 2015. Come and join us!
While the world proclaims that the ‘good life’ is all about money and things, in 1 Peter 3:8-12, Peter tells us that ‘the good life’ consists of harmonious relationships – first with God and then with others. Living in relationship with others can be hard, so Peter also tells us that the key to relationships is found in the way we live before others (our walk) and in the way we speak to others (our talk). As a response to God’s grace, we are to be tenderhearted, brotherly and sympathetic. In our speech we are to be careful not to retaliate to verbal abuse and to use words that build others up. In short, we are to be like Jesus.
After calling his readers to imitate the example of Jesus in the way we respond to people in authority over us, in 1Peter 3:1-7, Peter then applies the same principle to marriage. While the world is intent on redefining marriage, Peter has some clear things to say about the roles of wives and husbands that have not changed since God created marriage. These biblical principles involve wives submitting to their husbands and husbands living considerately with their wives. By such behaviour to one another, marriage is shown to be a beautiful part of God’s plan and He is glorified.