Thanks Peter… Thanks Alistair!

I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God

in which you stand. I Peter 5:12

I look forward to our study beginning today in I Peter. In preparation for the study I was listening to Pastor Alistair Begg on this book. As a pastor he noted that difficult, daily-life questions are clearly dealt with in this letter. Some such as: “This is a difficult time in life, neither my wife nor I are strong, yet we need to care for our elderly parents— how shall we do this?”; “I can’t seem to stay away from social media… I spend so much time on it—how can I break this habit?”; “I am such a hypocrite. How possibly can I change?”; “It’s always my fault, in the office, at home, I’m always blamed… it is unjust and I’m tired of it!”; “My husband has no interest in the faith. I want him to know the Lord. I keep sending him Scripture texts and putting Bible notes in his pockets. Am I on track?”; “On Fridays, after work, the office staff all go to a marginal, questionable place to ‘relax’. Should I keep going?”; Pastor, the church I used to go to had lots of committees. I don’t understand biblical church leadership. Is there a pattern?”; “I read a book on spiritual-warfare. It sounds like demons are everywhere and surrounding me. Now I’m terrified, what is the truth?” I appreciate Alistair Begg’s introduction that all these and more real-world questions are addressed by Peter. I look forward to this very practical study for the believer.

As for a theme to be found of this book it would be suffering. The early church was undergoing increasingly and intense suffering. They needed the comfort in understanding is a part of the normal Christian life. Can you relate? They also needed to know how important it is to remain loyal and submissive to the Lord. Peter learned this the hard way. They needed to be reminded to focus on the hope that is in Jesus, and the glory and delight of a soon heaven. It was this eternal hope that ultimately puts this present challenge of suffering into perspective. Certainly, for us also! From J.B. Philips on I Peter 1:6-8–

“… even though at the present you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations this is no accident– it happens to prove your faith which is infinitely more valuable than gold, and gold, as you know, even though it is ultimately perishing, must be purified by fire. This proving of your faith is planned to result in praise and honor and glory in the day when Jesus Christ reveals Himself. And though you have never seen Him,
yet I know that you love Him. “

At five short chapters, totaling only 105 verses, I Peter is an easy book to get our minds around. I invite you to read daily, or at least weekly, during our time in this book to read through it. Perhaps the book or a chapter daily. I know this would give great dividend to our study and to strengthening our souls. May we see Jesus in this book, may He be glorified.