Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bible Study 1Peter Chapter 1 God's Plan & Your Testing

Who are the Elect?
The author of the letter is Peter writing in the position of "Apostle of Christ". The receipients are the believers living in present day Turkey (North and East sides, to be more precise). Peter called the believers Elect or Chosen and explained the details which are important for us to take note: (1Pet 1:1)
  1. Chosen by God the Father before hand
  2. To be sanctified (make holy, pure, mature into Christ) by the Holy Spirit
  3. To obey Jesus Christ
  4. Cleaned by Christ's Blood (i.e. sin nature and its penalty are removed and paid for).
God's Will and Plan - Gospel=Salvation by Faith in Christ & Live in the Spirit
1Pet 1:3 further clarifies God's salvation of Men:
Men to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance in heaven, guarded by God's power (Holy Spirit in v1), through faith(v5), for salvation, to be fully revealed at the end time. The evidence of our hope is the resurrection of Jesus Christ from dead (v3). Peter gives a long and detailed description of our salvation. It is a beginning and a journey with the Holy Spirit and ending with the coming of Christ at the end.

Most people just quote Eph 2:8 Salvation by Faith in Christ and forgot that it is a process of sanctification by the Holy Spirit (v1). Common misunderstanding is faith and Holy Spirit is needed fro the rebirth and we are on our own to make good this Christian living and hence worry much about the loss of salvation. Peter pointed out twice, that is process of living on earth, is guarded and sanctify with the Holy Spirit. God did not just save us and leave us to live the new life all by ourselves. We have a living Hope and in this hope we rejoice(v6).

Commendations for Believers at Present Time:
Peter commended the believers for their love and joy in trusting Jesus who they had not seen (v8).

Our Testing of Faith
  • The purpose is to the genuineness of our faith (v7)
  • Only if necessary (v6). God don't waste yours or His efforts.
  • Last for a little while.(v6)
  • Outcome 
    • of praise, glory, honor (v7) at the coming of Jesus.
    • salvation of souls (v9) & resurrection (v21)
  • Conduct in the Mean Time
    • Have Hope & Focus on Jesus Coming v13
    • Be sober minded (v13)
    • Ready for action (v13)
    • Obedient (v14), to the truth (v22)
    • Not follow past passions (v14)
    • Be Holy (v15,16)
    • Love one another (v22)
    • with a pure heart (v22)
    • Get Priority Right - our life here is temporary, the Gospel (His Word) is eternal. (v24-25)
Questions for Reflection
  1. What is God's plan for men?
  2. How should I view my testing in view of God's plan? 
Questions for Applications
  1. How should I live my life in the meantime? 
  2. What actions should I take?

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