November 9/1Peter 1

Peter definitely is the Apostle of Hope. He was a fisherman when Jesus called him. He hung out with Jesus through a lot of ups and downs in his life. He was the guy who denied Jesus three times but he hung in there and allowed Jesus to work in his life and he allowed Jesus to baptize him with the Holy Spirit. He gradually matured into a rock solid follower of Jesus. And this is what gives me hope. If Peter could mature as a believer so can I  and so can you. We have just as much going for us as Peter had > Jesus and the Holy Spirit! We need to do what Peter did > hang in there with Jesus be baptized in the Holy Spirit and let the Holy Spirit do His work inside of us by listening as He speaks to us in the word of God and fellowshipping with Him so we are sensitive to His guiding us in our everyday life.

Verse 1 > Nine or ten months after Peter wrote his letter, the persecution against Christians that had been simmering for quite some time came to a full boil. On July 19, A.D. 64, Caesar Nero set fire to the Imperial City of Rome. You see, determined to stamp his image upon a new Rome, Caesar hired arsonists to destroy the old one. Maybe you remember stories of Caesar fiddling while Rome burned. While that may not have happened literally, Caesar was fiddling around very definitely! The ensuing devastation gave him justification to rebuild structures like the Circus Maximus. Seating over one hundred thousand people, the existing Circus Maximus wasn’t big enough for Nero. So he had it burned along with most of the city and rebuilt it to give three hundred thousand spectators the opportunity to witness sporting events, gladiatorial bouts, and, eventually, Christians being thrown to lions.
Due to the immediate suspicion that he had a part in the fire, Nero knew he had to quickly find a scapegoat. He conveniently found one in the Christian community. “It’s not I who burned the city,” he said. “It’s these who speak of the unquenchable flames of hell.” Coupled with the absurd misconception that, due to their observance of Communion, Christians were cannibalistic, and combined with the fact that because Christians stressed love and purity, they were a threat to the rampant perversity of the day, the populace was eager to blame Christianity for their crumbling families and charred capital city.
Consequently, only months after Peter’s Epistle was penned, persecution would come that would result in the annihilation of six million Christians as they were lit as candles or fed to lions. So Peter addresses this issue as he writes to people who would be understandably vulnerable to confusion and depression as they questioned the reason for their relentless persecution.

Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 1543). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
Verse 2 > the Holy Spirit will always lead you to obey Jesus.
Verses 3-5 > God may not always protect us from the calamities of this life but we are guaranteed of our souls being protected for all of eternity! We must remember that this isn’t the only life that we will live. This life is short and the next life is eternal.
Verses 6-8 > Am I a true follower of Jesus. Nobody knows for sure until the going gets tough. If I hang in there with Jesus and don’t deny him I have proved I am a genuine Christian. If we don’t give up it shows that we really are followers of Jesus. Athletes endure the rigors of training for many years to try to win a gold medal. The Christian endures the rigors of life to hear Jesus say, “Well done!” Again this life is just ‘a little while’ compared with eternity.
Verses 10-12 > All of heaven is watching to see how we are doing.
Verses 13-18 > God is a good Father who will not let us get by sloppy living. Holiness is the family heritage; let’s be careful to pass it on.
Verses 19-21 > Jesus is believable because he rose from the dead. Our lives are dependent on the resurrection.
Verse 22 > Love others as if your life depended on it!
Verses 23-24 >Life before Jesus is a grass life it is almost over before it begins. Life with Jesus is fruitful, productive and lasts forever! Grass wilts under pressure but the Christ life grows stronger under pressure.
The grass life is only concerned for itself. The Christ life is concerned also for others.
A life lived for itself is a withered life. It sucks all the nutrients for itself but in the end it withers and dies.

James 1:11 (ESV) — 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
People can only make promises for this life and there is no guarantee that they can fulfill them. The word of God makes promises for this life and the life to come with a guarantee of fulfilling them.
Verse 25 > Circumstances may change but the word of God doesn’t. God’s word is good for any set of circumstances. The truth is always the truth. God’s word is always alive, active and powerful!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    Peter compares life before and after Christ. It reminds us that life went from temporary to eternal and from selfish to selfless. He warns us not to slip back into our old ways when times get tough. We need to live in our new life