1 Peter 1:1-12 (ESV)
¹ Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, ² according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you. ³ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, ⁴ to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, ⁵ who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ⁶ In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, ⁷ so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ⁸ Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, ⁹ obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. ¹⁰ Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, ¹¹ inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. ¹² It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Understanding the text
Nothing challenges our faith like the ongoing experience of “various trials” (1 Peter 1:6). But these trials also present us with great opportunities to grow in our faith in ways that ease and comfort cannot. Peter knows the Church was experiencing difficulties and wanted to encourage them. But how do you do that? What is it that encourages and empowers Christians to endure faithfully and patiently in the midst of trying times? Rather than appealing to inner strength and commitment, Peter points us to the objective reality of the gospel.
First, Peter reminds us of God’s past redemptive works. We have been elected by the Father, cleansed by the blood of Jesus, and sanctified (set apart) by the Spirit. Then he reminds us of our future in Christ because we have been “born again to a living hope.” Consequently, we have an inheritance that cannot fade (1 Peter 1:3-4). Additionally, Peter reminds us that we are being guarded and protected by God, even in the midst of trials. Therefore, though our trials may present us with a variety of difficulties, they cannot rob us of what God has done. While our difficulties are temporary, the blessings of God in Christ are eternal and unchangeable.
- Ephesians 1:3-14
- Psalm 29
- Numbers 23:19
"This, in short, is the difference between us and the others who know not God, that in misfortune they complain and murmur, while adversity does not call us away from the truth of virtue and faith, but strengthens us by its suffering." —Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage
Applying the text
- How do you typically respond when your faith is tested by difficulty?
- What redemptive works of God does Peter list in the first 12 verses of this letter?
- How can recalling the redemptive works of God (past, present, future) empower you to patiently and faithfully endure trials?
Call to Worship
Psalm 15 (ESV)
¹ O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? ² He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; ³ who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; ⁴ in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change; ⁵ who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.
Prayer of Confession
ALL: Hear our words and our groanings, O Lord. Give attention to our cry for mercy.
LEADER: You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; You abhor the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
ALL: But, O Lord, we are evildoers. We are boastful, deceitful and bloodthirsty.
LEADER: By Your mercy alone, by the abundance of Your steadfast love may we enter Your house.
ALL: Because of Your Son, O Lord, let us find refuge in You. Take away our sins and let us sing for joy. Cover us with Your favor as with a shield. For the sake of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Resources for Parents
Did you know that the kids of Coram Deo are following along with our recent study through Genesis? They are! Every Sunday, the children's ministry team creates lessons that cover the scripture and concepts from a recent sermon. The teachers ask simple questions to help the kids learn to understand and apply what God says in the Bible.
We want to equip parents to talk to their kids about what they're learning. The following is the content that the children's classes taught this week. We encourage parents to use this resource at home to help you and your kids grow as you learn from God's word together.
Children's Lesson from Sunday, September 15
The Main Point:
Faith leads to obedience, fear leads to sin.
Q: What did God tell Abram to do?
A: Leave his home.
Q: Why did Abram obey?
A: Because he had faith or trusted in God's promises.
Q: What does faith mean?
A: Being sure of what we hope for, and knowing something is real even if we can't see it.
Q: What does faith always produce?
New City Catechism Question #35
Q: Since we are redeemed by grace alone, through faith alone, where does that faith come from?
A: From the Holy Spirit.