Church Family,
Good afternoon everyone! Today we are continuing a new study looking at the book of 1 st Peter.  Like the previous Bible Study, we will be utilizing RightNowMedia.  Below you will see a link to sign up (free), if you do not have an account.
Sign up: http://tiny.cc/HarvesterSignUp
I encourage you to do the study in this way.  Read opening and pre-video questions, then watch the video, then go through the Bible Study. I hope this study is impactful to you as it has been for me.
Opening Questions:

  • Think back to a time when you cleaned out your home— maybe to obey parents, to impress a visitor, or simply spring cleaning. How did you feel after you finished cleaning? What was it like getting rid of junk you no longer needed?

Like our homes, our spiritual lives also require times of spring cleaning. For the sake of holiness, there are items in our hearts that must be thrown out to make room for new desires and habits that pursue Christ.
Read: 1 Peter 2:1-12
Pre-Video Questions: (Things to think about while watching)

  • How does Kyle define the term “malice”?
  • What are the two aspects required for a holy life?
  • What are the two responsibilities of every Christian because of our new identity?

Teaching Video and Bible Study Questions:
https://www.rightnowmedia.org/content/series/289495?episode=2
Reread: 1 Peter 1:1-5.

  1. Most Bibles translate the first word of verse 1 as “therefore” (or “so”). Briefly describe how what Peter says in the following verses connects to the content of chapter 1. In other words, what is the “therefore” there for? (It refers back to the truth that we have been begotten by God, which is the foundation for our obedience.)
  2. Based on what we studied in the previous session, how should our identity in Christ motivate us to pursue holiness and persevere in suffering?
  3. Like Kyle said, the list Peter gives in verse 1 isn’t exhaustive, but it certainly applies to behavior today. What are some examples of sinful behaviors from this list that you’ve witnessed in others? What about in your own life? What effect do they have, specifically on relationships with others?
  4. As you reflect on Peter’s charge in verse one, what do you need to “rid yourself” of? Make note of anything the Holy Spirit is convicting you to clean out of your junk drawer?
  5. How would your relationships change if you were to do so?
  6. As Kyle pointed out in the session, Peter begins this portion of his letter by explaining what to get rid of for the sake of a holy life. But there’s another side to holiness—what we should crave for a holy life. Kyle described it as “an appetite for godliness.” Pursuing holiness is not merely about changing behavior. It requires an internal change in terms of our desires—the things we love and hate.
  7. According to verse 3, what does Peter describe as our motivation for holiness? (The fact that we have “tasted that the Lord is good.”)
  8. Why would verses 1–2 be ineffective motivation for holiness without verse 3? (Because it isn’t grounded in our identity in Christ. Like Kyle said, non-Christians are uninterested in the dos and don’ts of Christianity because they do not know Christ.)
  9. What does this component of holiness—the requirement of an internal change—teach us about a true pursuit of godliness? (That it requires more than simply a change in behavior. We desperately need the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts, which is possibly only through faith in Jesus Christ.)
  10. How have your “appetites” changed since coming to know Christ? What do you desire now that you would never have desired previously?

Reread: 1 Peter 1:6-12

  1. What stands out to you about the descriptions of our identity in Christ in verses 5 and 9–10? What about the description of Jesus in verses 6–8?
  2. When you think about the idea of pursuing holiness, are you tempted to view it as something you have to do on your own? How would your spiritual life change if you were to invite other believers into your life in a deeper way?
  3. Before moving on from verse 9, Peter makes a final point about our identity. He says that we have been transformed into a new people for a specific purpose: to declare “the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ”What are some practical ways that we can live out this purpose?
  4. What are some examples of ways you’ve seen people “declare” their beliefs in a harmful way? How have you seen them declared in a helpful way?
  5. Earlier, we talked about some of the ways God has changed your desires through Christ. What are some of the other differences he has made in your life? What could you do to be intentional about sharing your story with someone this week?
  6. Where do you have opportunities to live out your faith in a way that sets you apart from the way unbelievers live?
  7. Peter specifically mentions in verse 12 that unbelievers may unjustly accuse Christians of doing wrong. What are some examples of ways you have seen this in your own life? Or that of other Christians? What would it look like to respond in a way “that they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (v. 12)?

Compared to those who do not know Christ, our lives should look different because we have a new identity. Yet that should not be a difference we display arrogantly. Rather, our new identity should be lived out in a way that reflects the love God has shown to us. As he is patient, so we should be patient. As he is gracious and merciful, so we should extend grace and mercy to those who do not embrace his truth.
Through Christ, we have been called into the greatest story the world has ever known, that of God’s redemptive work. Don’t take that lightly but remember that it does not depend on you either. God is looking for the faithful, not the perfect, and he is drawing you into spiritual maturity through his Holy Spirit.
Pray: Ask the Lord to help you see the areas of your life that need to be cleaned out and be intentional about following his direction as he does so.
Speak: If the Holy Spirit convicted you of your need to share the good news of Jesus with someone, be bold in doing so this week trusting that he will supply you with the words.
Accountability: Reach out to 2–3 trusted believers who know you well and invite them to help you stay accountable in pursuing the areas of holiness you most need to grow in.
Look for an e-mail on Tuesday (7/14) as we continue our study 1 st Peter.  To God be the glory!