1. As you pray for your study today, ask God to use His Word in your life as the writer of Hebrews prayed in Hebrews 13:20-21: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.”
  2. Read 1 Peter 4:12-16
  3. STUDY NOTE:  In 4:12, Peter describes a coming “fiery trial” for Christians.  While we do not know exactly what this refers to, scholars have tied this proclamation to the start of Roman government sponsored persecution of Christians that began in the mid-60’s, probably around the time this letter was written.  The Roman Emperor Nero had gone mad and wrongly accused Christians of burning down the city of Rome.  He responded by literally burning on crosses Christians in the city of Rome.  Peter knew this “fiery trial” would spread even to the outer reaches of the Roman Empire where the original recipients of this letter lived.
  4. What are some of the fiery trials that face Christians in the world today?
  5. Peter wants his readers to not be surprised when these trials come.  This is similar to what Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:12 where Paul tells Timothy that “all who desire to live a godly life will suffer.”  Persecution of Christians is more the norm than the exception.  Have you ever experienced persecution (in any form) because of your faith in Christ?  If so, what was that experience like?  If not, what does this verse tell you about what to expect in the future?
  6. Persecution comes, Peter says, to “test you.”  This is similar to the language used in 1 Peter 1:7.  The idea is that these trials help reveal our faith.  Over the past two months how trials you have experienced helped to reveal your faith to those around you?
  7. In 4:13, instead of being surprised by “fiery trials” Christians are to rejoice.  What is the reason that Christians should rejoice when persecuted according to Peter?  Is this an encouragement to you?
  8. What is the blessing that comes to Christians who are “insulted for Christ” (4:14)?  Have you ever seen this in your own life or in the life of someone you know?
  9. Peter concludes 4:12-16 with a similar refrain from earlier in his letter . . . don’t rejoice in suffering that comes due to your bad decision making.  Instead, rejoice in the suffering that comes as a result of following Christ.  This is an important distinction for Peter.  What are some examples of the difference between suffering because of OUR sin and suffering because of faith in our Savior?
  10. It is possible for someone to have physical or emotional scars associated with the persecution they had received.  Given human frailty and pride, it is also possible that these scars might cause some to want to hide their scars or their stories from others.  However, Peter encourages Christians who have been persecuted to “not be ashamed” because of their suffering, instead glorify God (4:16).  What would it look like for a person to not be ashamed of their suffering and to glorify God?

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

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