Sunday, September 18, 2005

1 Peter 1 - Keep Sober Thru Trials (they will come to you)

Peter first expounds on the fact that we were chosen according to the foreknowledge of God (1 Peter 1:2; Romans 8:28-30), and uses covenant language that the 1st century Jews would understand when he speaks of the sprinkling of the blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:2). In the Old Covenant, the priests would make sacrifices with the blood of animals to cover their sins and the sins of the people. See Hebrews 9 for a better foothold on this idea than I could ever give.

Then we see that God has caused us to be born again. Some translations are weaker on this point than I (in my humble opinion) think is appropriate. Contrast the language used in the NIV and the NASB, it's a very enlightening difference (see also James 1:18). I think that it is also very important to see how much Peter contrasts our hope for what is to come with the dead and dying things of this world (1 Peter 1:4,5).

The main emphasis of this study (this week) is the idea that suffering or trials for the believer are not optional. If one raises the quesiton, "If I live the Christian life, honor God, serve him faithfully, shouldn't I not experience trials?" I would answer this person a simple "No." I would also point out that a simple study of the life of Jesus Christ will show the folly of that sentiment. He was (is) the perfect man, He lead a perfect life, He loved God more purely than anyone could even dream, but yet he suffered greater. Christ suffered more than the cumulative sufferings of mankind (I heard this phrase on "the Bible Answer Man" hosted by Hank Hanegraaff, but since I don't have a direct quote, I don't want to actually use quotation marks). See also 1 Peter 3:17; 4:12-19; 5:8-10; and James 1:2-4 for other references to our suffering for Christ. That's not an exhaustive list of referencs, but it's a start.

A note to the reader: If you agree or disagree with what I've laid out as what the Bible says here, please let me know. Especially let me know if you find that I'm in error. I don't take studying or teaching the Word of God lightly, and I'd rather know my error now than at a later date (or never).

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