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1 Peter

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Rising or Falling

1 Peter 2:7-8

Jesus is very precious to all those who trust Him for their salvation and are growing in relationship with Him. However, some people patronise Jesus as a 'nice optional extra' or an ‘interesting example of a good life’; while others consider Him to be an irritant, obstruction or irrelevance in their lives. But the truth is: Father God has made Jesus to be central to everything for everybody (Colossians 1:15-20).

Corporate Identity

1 Peter 2:9

Every business knows the importance of 'corporate identity'. Each employee and team member must understand that they are part of something which is much bigger than themselves: their role in the organisation is to contribute to the success of company objectives. God has a 'family business'. The British might call it "God and Sons", and every believer is included (Galatians 3:26).

Mercy's Door to Fellowship

1 Peter 2:10

Loneliness has an ugly feel about it. It is different from being 'alone', which means that nobody else is there (except God) because you can be lonely in a crowd.  But the sense of isolation, believing that nobody cares, smells of rejection and the desolation that can be so disturbing.  For scattered refugees, as some of Peter's Christian readers were, it is excellent news that God had not abandoned them to an uncertain fate. Rather they had been formed into a growing network of people who were God's very own 'business partners' in the gospel.

Cultural Identity

1 Peter 2:11-12

It is not wrong to enjoy a cultural identity, as long as it is not our primary identity (John 18:36).  With the shrinkage of our world into a global village, aided by rapid travel, communications, migration and the growth of multinational business organisations, we humanly long to retreat into something special that reminds us of home and our 'roots'.  Food, dress, language, dialect and accent all help to shape our understanding of where we have come from.  But the Christian should be much more concerned about the culture of heaven - where we are going to (2 Corinthians 5:1-2).

Sanctified Submission

1 Peter 2:13-14

How do we know if we are submitting to God?  We can easily fool ourselves into holy thinking without practising holy living.  'Submission' does not find many supporters among mobile and successful adults.  But it is God's way to teach us that we are not God, we do not know everything, and we are not almighty. If married couples will not submit to each other, there is war at home. If students do not submit to teachers, there is anarchy in the campus; and if people refuse to submit to their community leaders and national governments, there is civil war.

Ending the Argument

1 Peter 2:15

Ridicule and slander are cheap methods of discrediting an opponent. Even a little whisper of 'concern' can soon fan into a flame that burns a hole in the community's confidence. Of course, these are ungodly tactics used by unholy people and should never be seen in Christ's church. But they are the frequently-used tools of those who want to dishonour Christians, the church, and our Lord Jesus Christ. That is what the jeering mob did with Jesus (Luke 23:18-25); and it is still easy to raise a rabble against the righteous (Acts 21:27).

Liberty Without Licence

1 Peter 2:16

Persecuted, oppressed, abused or alienated people tend to be ruled by anxiety. They may spend their lives watching over their shoulder, anticipating the next insult or attack. Although this is a natural reaction, Peter urges Christians to cast off the shackles of fear and live by faith in the God who has called them (Galatians 2:20) - because He will only allow what is in His will.  Instead of being bound by the terror of possible harm or even death, Peter instructs believers in Jesus to live as free people who have been released from slavery to fear (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Spiritual Summary

1 Peter 2:17

This packed sentence summarises Peter's instructions to Christians who are living in an anti-Christian environment.  And that is where most of us are called to live, work, socialise, study, raise our families and eventually die.  We know that this life is not the sum of our existence, to be clung to and preserved at all costs; it is the preparation for eternity - the time to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, learning how to relate with Him and serve Him.  1 Peter 1:13 explains the Christian's personal motivation, “Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your h

Tough Work

1 Peter 2:18

Slavery has been abolished in many parts of the world ... officially.  But hard and harsh employments persist, sometimes in the most surprising places.  The smiling management face may hide a mean heart, or years of traditional worker-abuse might have become accepted as normality. There is nothing new in this, and although we hope that generous and friendly employers predominate, nevertheless, it is a tough life at work for some. So, Peter addresses an important question, ‘How should a believer respond to being harshly treated at work?’

Godly Suffering

1 Peter 2:19

Suffering is horrible.  There is no natural reason to desire it, and everything in us wants to avoid it.  Some grief comes to us through our foolishness, the sins of others, or because of living in a fallen world.  But Jesus-followers may experience another pain – being persecuted as children of God simply because they belong to Him.  Such suffering often comes in unexpected ways and at unpredictable times.  Even though we know that our suffering is directly due to our faith in Jesus Christ, prejudice and injustice will rightly arouse the sensitive conscience, making us feel indignant.  But