We are beginning a study of 1 Peter on Sunday evenings.
I am going to try to post thought questions on a week by week basis. Here’s the first.
Introduction to 1 Peter
Putting the Truth to Work Questions
1. What is the book of 1 Peter about? How could you prove that from the text itself? Give examples. What question is Peter answering?
2. What were some of the specific challenges the people to whom Peter was writing were facing?
3. After a tour of the United States, the German pastor and theologian Helmut Thielicke was asked what he saw as the greatest defect of American Christians. He replied, “They have an inadequate view of suffering.” Do you think that is a problem for believers in South Africa as well? What are some of the ways an inadequate view of suffering might express itself?
4. What are some of the practical consequences of having an inadequate view of suffering? List at least three…
5. What do the following quotes indicate about the author’s view of suffering? Do you agree or disagree? How does your perspective on suffering match up?
“I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ.” David Brainerd
“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
“Oh, that I had a thousand lives, and a thousand bodies! All of them should be devoted to no other employment but to preach Christ to these degraded, despised, yet beloved mortals.” Robert Moffat
“We did not come to China because missionary work here was either safe or easy, but because He has called us. We did not enter upon our present positions under a guarantee of human protection, but relying on the promise of His presence. The accidents of ease or difficulty, of apparent safety or danger, of man’s approval or disapproval, in no wise affect our duty. Should circumstances arise involving us in what may seem special danger, we shall have grace, I trust, to manifest the depth and reality of our confidence in Him, and by faithfulness to our charge to prove that we are followers of the Good Shepherd who did not flee from death itself…” Hudson Taylor
“If I refuse to allow one who is dear to me to suffer for the sake of Christ, if I do not see such suffering as the greatest honor that can be offered to any follower of the Crucified, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” Amy Carmichael
6. How can we break down Peter’s answer to this question of how to respond to suffering? Read through 1 Peter and see if you can develop your own outline for the book.
7. What question about suffering for doing right do most people have? Does Peter answer this question? What question does he spend most of his time answering? Why is that significant practically?
8. As you look at Peter’s life, what were some of the occasions when he would have potentially had to suffer for doing right? How would you characterize his different responses? What encouragement can we find from looking at Peter’s life as we read through this letter to discover what he teaches about how God wants us to respond to doing what God has called us to?