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1 Peter

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Good or Bad Pain?

1 Peter 2:20

Although it would be nice to think that we live in a world full of kind people, that is an illusion.  And sometimes, even followers of Jesus do not live up to their Master’s standards.  Alas, every believer has the potential to make wrong decisions and behave in an ungodly way, and every saint is a sinner.  The reality is all too obvious: no Christian is perfect, and various griefs may follow sin.  But it should never be mistaken for the suffering of persecution (1 Peter 2:19).

A Tough Call

1 Peter 2:21-22

Every job has its difficult times and hard moments: but when Jesus came to earth in order to die on the cross (paying the penalty for the sins of all of us), it was the toughest job ever. The worst agony was not physical pain, but bearing our shame (Hebrews 12:2) and curse (Galatians 3:13) - and being cut off from Father God as He died. He was totally innocent, committed no wrong deed and never spoke to deceive anybody; yet He suffered in every way (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Actively Accepting

1 Peter 2:23

Insults and injury always lead to suffering. There are three natural human reactions: retaliation, retreat or passive cowering.  But Jesus did none of these.  Nor did He use the verbal retaliation of threats as a way to protect Himself (Mark 14:60-61).  This was not because He failed to feel the wounds, indeed the pain was intensified knowing that He was bearing God's wrath against our sin (Mark 15:34).

God's Strategic Investment

1 Peter 2:24

The global recession of 2008/9 and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 shook financial markets as investments became unstable with diminishing yields.  Nevertheless, much of the capital was not withdrawn because investors hoped to benefit in the long term.  These are very weak illustrations of God's long-term strategy of investing all His hopes and plans for the future of the world into Jesus.  Although Christ's death may have looked like a disaster, His resurrection showed that the greedy domination of evil was not all-powerful; God's sacrificial investment would be realised in Christ's churc

Returning To Security

1 Peter 2:25

Being lost is awful: being found is awesome.  In the early days of following Jesus, that contrast is often so marked.  Can you remember the relief of sins forgiven, of being found and welcomed into God's family and embraced with His love?  Being lost is so wasteful of everything; so purposeless and so hopeless.  That is the state of all those who have not welcomed Jesus into their hearts, whether they know it or not.

Godliness At Home

1 Peter 3:1-2

In the previous chapter (1 Peter 2:1-25), we have seen the need to submit to Christ, the government, the church and our human employers - even if that involved suffering for belonging to Jesus.  Peter's reason was that Christ submitted to the suffering of the cross, in order to set us free from sin to serve the Lord.  In the same wicked world, we will suffer too when we identify closely with Jesus.  Now Peter’s teaching focuses on the home and marriage, especially where one partner follows Jesus and the other does not.

The Source Of Beauty

1 Peter 3:3-4

It should not be surprising that feminine beauty catches the eye.  God designed women to be beautiful.  But the global industry in fragrances, make-up, jewellery, fashion and beauty accessories indicates a consumer market that is unsatisfied.

Holiness Breeds Confidence

1 Peter 3:5-6

Holiness should not make people dull or dowdy.  Instead, holiness (the desire to be set apart for God and His service) should be very attractive.  The English saying, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" misses the key to real beauty - which is a deep love for the Lord and a heartfelt passion to please Him.  True beauty comes from a God-loved heart, a quiet conscience and a satisfied spirit; which no jewellery or fragrance can ever manufacture.  The key to these qualities is submission, the willing acceptance of God's right over us, and to accept what He allows.

When Husbands Stop Answers To Prayer

1 Peter 3:7

Peter has been instructing wives in the responsibility of holy living at home – encouraging their love for the Lord and their husbands to give them the courage to submit themselves willingly (1 Peter 3:1-6).  Now he addresses the husbands.  Despite the strength that many men possess, they are urged to treat their wives with gentleness and respect.  However much a man may be involved with his work, when he comes home, he is to think about his wife's needs, and to consider what makes her happy.  Women are not servants for men's needs and pleasure; they are equal partners in the marriage, and

Living Under Pressure

1 Peter 3:8-9

We all live under pressure to some degree.  How we live is determined by what we believe. Peter's personal relationship style was rather bold, blunt and opinionated (Matthew 16:21-23); but he let God work on His character (Luke 5:8).  He had found out the hard way that working with God's people was better than fighting against them; and humility was better than pride ... not just because the relationships became harmonious, but also because it was the lifestyle that God had called him into (Romans 12:18).  It was not right because it worked: it worked because it was right.