- Take a moment to pray. Praise God for His Word and ask Him to teach you its truth, just as the psalmist prayed in Psalm 119:12-16, “Praise be to You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word.”
- Read 1 Peter 1:8-12
- STUDY NOTE: For hundreds of years before Jesus was born, God sent prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others to describe to God’s people in written form a reality that they did not see in their day. These prophets spoke of a coming Messiah who would liberate the people from bondage, inaugurate a new covenant . . . a better covenant that would govern the relationship between God and man. The prophets also spoke of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit into the lives of God’s people. These were events that the prophets described but never saw with their own eyes.
- Look at the context of 1 Peter 1:1-12. What do you think is Peter’s point in referencing the Old Testament prophets in 1:10?
- The Christians who were the original recipients of this letter most likely had never seen Jesus with their own eyes. This is a fairly accurate hypothesis because of two primary reasons: place and time. The recipients of this letter lived in Asia, many miles from Israel (where Jesus spent His entire ministry life . . . after a brief time in Egypt as a very small child.) Also, this letter was written 30+ years after Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension. Though many eyewitnesses to Jesus life were still alive at this point, an entire generation of Christ followers had arisen following the testimony of the Apostles without having seen Jesus themselves. Therefore, the recipients of this letter (like us today) had placed their hope in someone they had never seen with their own eyes. They loved Him, embraced Him, but had not seen Him (1 Peter 1:8). Why do you think Peter pointed that out to his readers in the context of 1 Peter 1:1-12?
- STUDY NOTE: It seems that the big point Peter is making about the Christian life is that we hope and rejoice for things we have not yet seen with our own eyes, and tied to a Savior we have never touched with our own hands. However, we can have certainty that God will make good on these unseen yet spoken promises just as He made good on the promises He gave to the Old Testament prophets about the coming of a future Messiah.
- Peter indicates in 1:12 that all of creation is longing for and awaiting the return of Jesus Christ. The events between His first coming (which resulted in His death on the cross to provide spiritual freedom) and His second coming (which will result in physical freedom and life) are the most anticipated in history. Even angels have longed to see the times we are living and the things which are not far off. How does this perspective encourage you about living life in our world today?
To link to the entire “True Grace” Study of 1 Peter for download, click here.