Faithlife Sermons

03.15.17 - Favored Foreigners

Tuesday Night Bible Study  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:31
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What do you look for in a letter? Pastor Wells opens Peter’s letter of hope to the persecuted, despersed, saints in Asia Minor.

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INTRODUCTION

While this is a letter that emphasizes suffering, the letter also spotlights the hope that every believer shares. In fact, Peter calls it a “living hope” in verse 3 because His faith and hope are in God.

A. The Writer

1. His Identification

Peter identifies himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Though seen as unlearned in the scripture in that he did not have formal training, We can’t underestimate his time of education in the School of Jesus Christ for the three years of Jesus’ public ministry.
Acts 4:13
Acts 4:13 NKJV
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.
1Corinthians 1:26-31
1 Corinthians 1:26–31 NKJV
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
Peter is a great example of how God calls people into service. Not for the credentials they already have, but for the credentials He wants to give to them for work in the kingdom.

2. His Name

His given name is Simon. Jesus changed his name to Peter The Aramaic version of Peter is Cephas. Three names - one rock. Note Matthew 16:15-18;
Matthew 16:15–18 NKJV
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
However, he was also called Simon Peter. The first name is an allusion to the past. The second name is an allusion to the Present and the future. The two names suggest two natures. And old nature that is prone to quick responses and a new nature that reflects the overcomer he is set to be seen as in the Body of Christ.

3. Minister to the Jews

Peter and Paul are the two leading Apostles in the early church. Paul was sent to minister to the Gentiles. Peter was sent to minister to the Jews.

4. Martyred in AD 64

Peter comes to Rome in AD 62 - 1st Peter was written in AD 63. Paul was murdered and martyred by Nero in AD 64 and Peter is killed by Nero somewhere right afterwards.

B. The Recipients

1. The Diasporas

The Scattered People.

2. The Strangers

John 17:16 NKJV
They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
Scattered to 5 different portions of Northern Asia Minor (ModernDay Turkey.
Acts 8:4 NKJV
Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.

3. The Suffering And Persecuted

They were suffering because in most cases they were doing good in the name of Jesus wherever they went.
1 Peter 2:19–23 NKJV
For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Or they were suffering directly for the name of Jesus Christ
1 Peter 4:14 NKJV
If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
Peter let them know that they suffering would lead to glory.
1 Peter 4:13–14 NKJV
but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

4. The Fiery Trial to Come

Official persecution from the Roman Empire.
1 Peter 4:12 NKJV
Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you;
The Christian faith was seen at first as a sect of Judaism. Why?
Paul defended his faith in Rome. He was released but was imprisoned again and when his second defense failed, he was killed be Nero.
2 Timothy 4:16–18 NKJV
At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!
Then, Nero determined to blame Christians for the great fire of Rome that took place around July A.D. 64. He used them as a scapegoat, so to speak.
There was a general season of persecution against Christians in that day.
1 Peter 5:9 NKJV
Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Lastly,

The Message

This is a letter of Hope! Peter is an apostle of hope.
1 Peter 1:3 NKJV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
We have a living hope because we have a living Savior.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter One: Where There’s Christ, There’s Hope (1 Peter 1:1)

True Christian hope is more than “hope so.” It is confident assurance of future glory and blessing.

Colossians 1:27 NKJV
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
However, the unsaved sinner is without any hope.
Ephesians 2:12 NKJV
that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter One: Where There’s Christ, There’s Hope (1 Peter 1:1)

Hope is not a sedative; it is a shot of adrenaline, a blood transfusion.

Salvation prepares us for suffering. However, we are blessed with Hope from on high! God transforms our suffering into glory!
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