1 & 2 Peter

April, May, June 2017

Want to learn more about 1 & 2 Peter? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: The Person of Peter (Luke 5 & 22, Matthew 14 & 16)
When you think about Peter the disciple, what comes to mind? I think of a leader - or at least someone who gets mentioned more than most of the other disciples. The pattern that emerges from the stories about Peter is that he is the one who says, "Let's do this," or "I can do this," but then ends up coming up short. Maybe you know a lot about what this feels like. At some point in Peter's life, after most of the stories we know about have take place, Peter is referred to as a "pillar" in the early church. Galatians 2:9. What an encouragement! Peter wrote two of the books of the New Testament, and that is our study this quarter. Let's start our study by diving into the Bible and learning more about the man!

Lesson 2: An Inheritance Incorruptible (1 Peter 1)
This week we begin our study of the first letter of Peter. Those who read the gospel accounts of Peter like him. He is bold, he has courage, and he knows what it means to let God down. In our study this week, Peter gives us an overview of the Christian life. Let's dive into the Bible and see what wisdom and encouragement Peter has for us!

Lesson 3: A Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:1-12)
How does God organize His people today? Is it like the structured organization that began after the Exodus from Egypt? If it is different, what does that mean as a practical matter for the present followers of Jesus? How might it impact our theology in other ways? Last week we ended with Peter telling us that God's word is eternal and that we are born again to eternal life. The rest of humanity, however, is fading fast like the grass and the flowers. Let's jump into our study of the Bible to learn more about what God has in mind for us who are built for eternity and are sharing an eternal word!

Lesson 4: Social Relationships (1 Peter 2:13 - 1 Peter 3:17)
How should we relate to the government? How should we relate to our employer? How should we relate to our spouse? These are practical questions that vary to some degree with the nature of the government, your employer and your spouse. Nevertheless, Peter gives us critical advice on all three of these areas. His direction runs counter to some current thinking, so prepare to be challenged. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 5: Living for God (1 Peter 3:8 - 1 Peter 4:11)
Last week Peter told us how we should relate to the government, our employers and our spouse. This week he continues to give us advice in our other relationships. When I say, "relationships" I'm not just talking about interacting with others. Peter gives us advice on how to best promote God's Kingdom. Do you feel that your relationships with others could improve? Could your service improve? If so, let's plunge into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn to improve our lives and our service!

Lesson 6: Suffering for Christ (1 Peter 4:12-19)
Who wants to suffer? No one! There is a considerable amount of tension between concepts when discussing a Christian and suffering. On the one hand, God gives us His commandments so that we will live better, more enjoyable lives. On the other hand, Jesus suffered at the hands of Satan. If our Master suffered, then we should not be surprised by suffering. How do we understand these two opposing concepts? Let's jump into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 7: Servant Leadership (1 Peter 5:1-10)
When I first moved away from home, I joined a church that seemed to be perfect. It was wonderful! I liked the people. I liked the pastor. There were no divisions in the church. The next year, I got married and my wife started teaching in the school associated with this church. Once I started seeing the "inside" picture of the church, I realized that not all was calm, peaceful and unified. Peter has been advising us on various relationships, and this week we study his direction on relationships between the church and its leaders. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 8: Jesus in the Writings of Peter (1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1)
A number of years ago I read a horrible book by Dan Brown called "The Da Vinci Code." The writing and suspense were not bad, what was horrible was that it argued that the gospels had been rigged by the Catholic Church to suppress those which said that Jesus was merely a good man. Instead, the Church had aided the publication of those gospels that announced that Jesus was God. I thought this was extremely harmful because for the average person, who knows nothing about ancient history and little about the Bible, this would be hard to disprove. The epistles of Peter that we are studying are not part of the gospels. Let's dig into our study of Peter's letters and see what Peter (and others) say about the nature of Jesus!

Lesson 9: Be Who You Are (2 Peter 1:1-15)
"Be Who You Are" sounds like a slogan written on a public wall, or a cliche repeated by someone with more beauty than brains. How can you help but be "who you are?" If I asked you, "Who are you?" what would you respond? If you answered, "I'm a Christian," that is the subject about which Peter is writing to us in our study this week. Peter gives us instructions on how to be what we claim to be - a Christian. Let's plunge into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 10: Prophecy and Scripture (2 Peter 1:16-20)
Two weeks ago we discussed why we can have confidence that Jesus is God. This week Peter returns to this topic. Why? Does it seem odd to you that Peter should spend so much time proving his belief in Jesus? It might seem odd thousands of years later, but at the time, this was the key to conversion - making the case that Jesus, a man who lived on earth and who was crucified by the authorities, was also fully God. It still is the central issue in bringing nonbelievers to faith. Let's explore Peter's arguments to bolster our faith today and learn how we can best share Jesus!

Lesson 11: False Teachers (2 Peter 2:1-22)
How do you know, when it comes to your understanding of God, if someone is leading you astray? How do you know if I'm leading you down the wrong path in these lessons? If I might put in a word in my own defense: my questions start with you reading the Bible. It is hard to get too far off the path when your point of reference is the Bible! Peter warns his audience that false teachers have historically been a problem and will be a problem in the future. Let's dig into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn to protect ourselves against false teaching!

Lesson 12: Day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:1-18)
Things have changed! Last night I mentioned to my class that some things have radically changed in the last 30-40 years. One is an attitude about smoking. I recall, decades ago, being in a hearing with several judges and lawyers. Not only was I alone in representing my clients, I was the only one who was not smoking. The air was blue with smoke. Peter tells us that in the last days people will say "everything goes on as it has since the beginning." Surely they cannot mean "everything." What ill-informed person says that? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more about what the "no change" people are actually claiming!

Lesson 13: Major Themes in 1 and 2 Peter (1 and 2 Peter)
We come to our last study of Peter's two letters to the early Christians and to us. What have we learned over this series of lessons? A review is always what my students in law school want, so let's revisit some of the themes of Peter's advice to us!

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