1. 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.”
  2. Read 1 Peter 2:18-25
  3. STUDY NOTE:  In the first century, roughly 40% of the population  (some 18 million people) were slaves in the Roman Empire.  Apparently, some of the original recipients of this letter were household servants or slaves who had trusted in Christ.  Though Roman slavery had differences to slavery in the Americas in the 1700-1800s, the fact that millions of people were “owned” by others in the first century cannot be denied.  Peter writes in 1 Peter 2:18-20 to instruct these slaves how to behave.  By application, however, the principles described in these verses can apply to employer/employee, teacher/student, coach/player relationships today.
  4. What kind of a “master” deserves the respect of the Christian?  Do you find that hard to believe?  What inside you challenges this notion?
  5. In what way does it honor God when a Christian respects those who mistreat them for no reason?
  6. Peter moves into seeing Jesus as the example for how to endure while being persecuted unjustly.  In your own words, summarize what Peter says in 1 Peter 2:21-23.  How does Jesus’ example help you to honor the “hard to honor” in your life today?
  7. In 1 Peter 2:24-25, Peter communicates deep theological truth about what Jesus’ death on the cross accomplished for Christians.  Again, summarize in your own words what Jesus’ death accomplishes for us according to these two verses.
  8. In 2:24, Peter again makes the point that we have been saved by Jesus so that we might live a new life.  This is a consistent refrain of this letter.  Here, Peter says that Jesus died that we “might die to sin and live to righteousness.”  What would it look like for you to “die to sin and live to righteousness?”  Any particular changes come to mind as you read this verse?
  9. Peter concludes this theological section of chapter 2 by encouraging Christians to return to Jesus who is the Shepherd who protects their souls.  This is one of the most beautiful pictures of Jesus in the New Testament.  What comes to mind when you think of Jesus as one who “protects your soul”?

To access the entire “True Grace” study of 1 Peter, click here.

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