1. As you prepare your heart for study, know that God desires to reveal Himself to you, and He has given you His Holy Spirit to guide you into truth.  Before you open in prayer, consider Jeremiah 9:23-24.  “This is what the Lord declares: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the Lord.”  Pray for this understanding and knowledge of God with the Holy Spirit as your guide.
  2. Read 1 Peter 3:13-17
  3. STUDY NOTE:  At the end of 3:12, Peter quotes Psalm 34 which reminds us that God judges the evil doers.  3:13 seems to continue this line of thinking.  If we are doing good and pursuing righteousness, we really have no one to fear, because God does not judge the righteous, but evil ones.  This is similar as saying that a person who obeys the laws should have no fear of the police . . . or a person who pays taxes should have no fear of the IRS.
  4. What does it mean to be “zealous for what is good.”  Is this an attitude that could describe you?
  5. Though it is generally true that we do not need to fear negative consequences when we do good, there are times in this fallen world when people are persecuted for doing good.  The relevant example in light of the context of 1 Peter would be when a Christian is persecuted by others because of their faith in Jesus Christ.  When a Christian suffers for their faith, Peter says in 3:14 that they will be blessed.  What do you think it means for a Christian to be blessed while they are being persecuted?
  6. Instead of being intimidated by their persecutors, a Christian is to keep who at the center of their focus (see 3:14-15)?
  7. What does it mean/look like to “in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy”?
  8. If a Christian truly lives the life prescribed in 1 Peter, some non-Christians will get inquisitive.  They will wonder why Christians act as they do.  What about your lifestyle causes non-Christians to ask questions about why you do what you do?
  9. When Christians are questioned by non-Christians about their lifestyles, 1 Peter 3:15 encourages Christians to have an answer ready to share the reason for their hope.  While this verse is often used as a rationale for studying Christian apologetics (and rightly so), the force of Peter’s comment here has to do with an explanation for their CONDUCT, not an explanation for their THEOLOGY.  If someone were to ask you why you have hope in life, or why you behave in “Christian” way, how would you answer?  How can you answer in a way that is both truthful and “with gentleness and respect”?
  10. In 3:16-17, Peter returns to a refrain he has used throughout this letter . . . “if you are going to suffer, let it be because you are doing good and trusting Christ, not because of your own sin.”  What are some of the results that come to the Christian and through the Christian when they are obeying these principles?

 

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

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