Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1 Peter 1 - A Great Salvation Outweighs Persecution

by Katrina

LINK: 1 Peter 1

BACKGROUND
Peter wrote this epistle around A.D. 63 from Rome to Gentile believers scattered around Asia. At that time in the Roman Empire, Christians lived with suffering and trials because of their faith.  Peter wrote this letter before the Empire-wide persecution broke out under Nero in A.D. 64, so he isn't referring to the persecution brought about by the ban on Christianity. Nevertheless, believers were harassed, slandered, accused of starting riots, and ostracized by their pagan neighbors.

REFLECTION
This first chapter is a call to holy living among the pagans and the persecution of the surrounding culture. Peter reminds his readers of the value of their salvation and contrasts it with the suffering they endure. The value of salvation greatly overshadows the expense of suffering for their faith.

Peter sets before them the example of the prophets. Those men understood that the salvation God spoke of through them would not come about during their lifetimes. Yet they believed God and obeyed Him, trusting Him to do as He promised in His own time.

Likewise, Peter's readers (as well as readers today) had received salvation, but they still awaited the complete salvation that will come when Christ returns. So, Peter encouraged them (and us) to be obedient to God in all behavior.

APPLICATION
Carefully read this chapter and make a list of all the information about our salvation. I'll help you get started.

  • I am chosen by God for salvation (vs 1)
  • the Holy Spirit sanctifies (purifies, makes holy) me (vs 2)
  • the purpose of my salvation is for me to obey Jesus Christ (vs 2)
  • I am sprinkled with the blood of Jesus (vs 2)
  • salvation brings me a living hope (vs 3)
  • I am getting an imperishable inheritance (vs 4)


PRAYER
Father, as we see the greatness of the salvation that You have given us freely, we are amazed! Your provision of salvation is more valuable than anything else we can even imagine. It far outweighs whatever sufferings or persecution we may encounter because of our faith in You. Help us to remember that when we face persecution. And may we grow in our understanding of the greatness of our salvation in Jesus. Amen.
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