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I Peter
We are all given gifts from God, says Peter.

I Peter

The Book of I Peter looks at the persecution of Christians.

It was written from Rome by the apostle Peter in roughly 65 AD, shortly after the great fire in Rome which had devastated the city. Christians were being persecuted at the time, and a false rumour had started which blamed them for the fire. Amidst all this hostility, Peter wrote this letter to Christians throughout the Empire, showing them how to withstand these dangerous times.

Peter tells his readers not to lose hope. They must not become resentful of their persecutors, but rather live obediently so as to be good witnesses for God. They should trust in Christ and look for His return.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
What does Peter tell us to do if we are treated unjustly or beaten without reason?
We should pray for God's mercy
We should patiently accept it
We should politely complain
We should pray for our oppressor
When Jesus was unjustly killed He accepted it as God's will. We should do likewise.

I Peter 2:20-21
"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps"
If a Christian is to suffer for his faith, what should he not do, according to Peter?
He should not blame God
He should not take it personally
He should not lose his faith
He should not be ashamed
We will all be judged, but if suffering comes even to Christians, then how much worse will it be for those who do not believe?

I Peter 4:16-17
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"
Peter tells his readers to beware because the Devil is abroad. What animal does Peter liken the Devil to?
A swooping hawk
A stalking cat
A roaring lion
A prowling wolf
Satan, the tempter, waits to pounce on us and claim another victim from the path to God.

I Peter 5:8
"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour"
Peter advises women against wearing plaited hair, gold and jewellery or fancy clothes. What does he suggest that they wear instead?
A headscarf and long robe
A meek and quiet spirit
A veil and modest dress
A joyous and loving heart
Our internal beauty is all that matters to God.

I Peter 3:3-4
"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price"
Jesus is the cornerstone to His believers, but to those who reject Him He is a "stone of stumbling" and "a rock of..." what?
A rock of judgement
A rock of punishment
A rock of death
A rock of offence
They stumble because they will not listen to or obey God's word.

I Peter 2:7-8
"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed"
Christians are urged by Peter to live together in harmony, not arguing or holding grudges. What does he say that we shall inherit if we live in this way?
We shall inherit the wind
We shall inherit a treasure
We shall inherit the Earth
We shall inherit a blessing
We are to pray for those who act poorly, for if we are kind to others, God will bless us for it.

I Peter 3:8-9
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing"
We are all given gifts from God, says Peter. How are we to use them?
To the best of our abilities
For the benefit of the poor
To earn our livings
For the benefit of the Empire
Whether it be as a minister or as a preacher, whatever gift we have been given, we should do it as best we can so as to glorify God.

I Peter 4:10-11
"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen"
Peter, like Paul before him, says that we should obey the government. He says that we should love our brothers and fear God. What should we do to the king?
We should respect the king
We should bow before the king
We should honour the king
We should pay tribute to the king
No matter what our oppressors do, we should live within the law to silence our critics.

I Peter 2:13-17
"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: as free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king"
Addressing church elders, Peter says that they should be examples to their flocks. If they are, they will be rewarded when who returns?
The High Priest
The Chief Shepherd
The High Bishop
The Chief Elder
The Chief Shepherd is, of course, Jesus.

I Peter 5:2-4
"feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away"
Christ, says Peter, was rejected by men but precious to God. He came to us as a living what?
A living stone
A living teacher
A living treasure
A living light
Jesus is the foundation on which God builds, and His followers are also stones with which God can construct His kingdom.

I Peter 2:4-5
"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ"


Author:  Graeme Haw

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