On Sunday, June 14, 2015, we continued our sermon series at Wildwood Community Church entitled “True Grace.” This series (based out of the book of 1 Peter) talks about how God has given us the grit to stand in hostile territory. The second sermon in this series was grounded in 1 Peter 1:13-25. Below are questions for personal reflection or group discussion based on this message.
- Read 1 Peter 1:13-25
- In the introduction to today’s message, I mentioned that most “prisons” people find themselves in today are not a place they can escape from without outside assistance. While this is certainly true of the correctional facilities of our penal system, it is also true of more metaphorical “prisons” – including prisons made by the consequences of our own sin. Have you ever felt “imprisoned” by a circumstance or sin in your own life?
- The great news is that Jesus came to set the captives (that’s us) free! According to 1:18-21, how has Jesus secured our freedom? Have you ever accepted the freedom Jesus secured for you by faith? If so, when? If not, why not?
- Jesus has set us free from our sin for a specific set of purposes. Instead of simply freeing us, only to watch us become enslaved to the futile things of this world, Jesus sets us on a better trajectory. One thing that Jesus has set us free to do, is to have a “full” hope. Yet living with hope is a difficult task (as 1 Peter 1:13 tells us). What are some of the things that go through your mind that make it difficult for you to have hope?
- Jesus also sets us free so that we might live in holiness (1:14-16, 22-25). This holiness comes both from modeling our Heavenly Father and allowing the seed of His Word to bring forth fruit in our lives. Living in holiness sets our lives in the direction of obedience. Obedience includes “not being conformed to the passions of your former ignorance (1:14), and “loving one another earnestly from a pure heart.” These two commands help form brackets around the moral/holy life God is calling us to. As you have reflected on this message, are there areas of your life you are tolerating and justifying that are falling short of God’s best for your life?
- Jesus also sets us free so that we might honor God. This honor (or “fear’ as Peter describes it in 1:17) is in light of the fact that we will one day see our Heavenly Father face to face, and He is the ruler of the world. Of this fear, Warren Wiersbe has said, “In view of the fact that the Father lovingly disciplines His children today and will judge their works in the future, we ought to cultivate an attitude of godly fear. This is not the cringing fear of a slave before a master, but the loving reverence of a child before his father. It is not fear of judgment (1 John 4:18), but a fear of disappointing Him or sinning against His love. It is “godly fear” (2 Cor. 7:1), a sober reverence for the Father.” What would it look like for you to live a life honoring God by fearing Him (in the right sense of the word)?
- What stood out to you most about the message today? How is God leading you to respond?
The entire “True Grace” study on 1 Peter can be found at this link.