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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #1
Posted: August 3, 2006

I PETER 1:1-2

We begin a new study this week of I Peter.  Let us look, by way in introduction, at verses 1 and 2 of Chapter 1.  The text says,  “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctification of the Spirit, unto the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, be multiplied

Let us look first of all at the theme of this book under the heading, ‘The Principles of this Suffering’.  In this book on 16 different occasions Peter uses the word ‘suffer’ or ‘suffering’.  It is mentioned in 1:11, 2:19,20,21,23, 3:14,17,18 4:1 (2 times) 13,15,16,19, 5:1,10.  Take some time to read and meditate on these verses.  There are two Greek words used.  One is the word ‘pentho’ which means to experience a vexing sensation or painful impression.  The second Greek word is ‘pathayarah’ which means to under go painful hardship that influences the emotions and affections.  Peter has used the word 16 times, which is a number closely associated with Jehovah God.  There are 16 titles used with the Jehovah title for God in the Bible.  In I Corinthians 13 there are 16 characteristics given for love.  John said, ‘God is love’.  We see this book of I Peter is going to have at its heart the message theme of ‘The God of Suffering’.  So often we get caught up in the suffering of our trials and miss the God who is behind it all.

In verse 1 of Chapter 1 we see ‘The Position in Our Suffering’.  Peter is the author of this book.  His name before salvation was Simon, which means to hear intelligently.  His name was changed to Cephas, which means a fragment stone detached from a larger mass.  In speaking of building the church our Lord said to Peter ‘upon this petra (the larger mass) I will build my church’.  In our suffering times let us be able to say, ‘On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand’.

Peter introduces himself as ‘…an apostle of Jesus Christ,’ The word ‘apostle’ means one sent as an ambassador on a special mission with supernatural power.  We cannot align ourselves with the twelve apostles, but we are ambassadors sent by God on a special mission.

This book is addressed to ‘…the strangers…’ (Vs. 1)  The word means one called along side of and to live among heathen people.  God has placed us where we are so we can sow the seed to the heathen.  The greatest truth is that they can watch and see how we respond to our suffering.  My, what an awesome responsibility the position in our suffering affords us to witness of the grace of God.

In verse 2 we see ‘The People Called to Suffering’.  In this verse we are confronted with the ‘elect of God’.  The word ‘elect’ means to pick out or prefer above another and to select out of a number or whole.  Paul said in Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world…” The word ‘chosen’ is our word elect from the text that is before us.  We see that being the chosen of God does not exempt us from suffering but it guarantees us that we will suffer.

In verse 2 Peter says we are elect “…according to…” The word ‘according’ means dominated by or under the control of.  There are three dominating factors Peter says that control the choosing of the elect.

The first is ‘The Foreknowledge of God’.  This is much bigger than knowing ahead of time.  In Acts 26:5 the word is used of one who knew it from the beginning because He planned it that way.  In Acts 2:23; we are told that, God is in control of foreknowledge by the determinate (to set the limits or boundary of) counsel of God.  

The next control over choosing of His people is seen through ‘Sanctification of the Spirit’ unto obedience.  Those whom the Father chooses the Spirit sets apart and causes to obey.

The third control is ‘The Sprinkling of Blood of Jesus Christ’.  This sprinkling is a picture of the Levitical cleansing away of all or the remitting of sins.  God the Father chose, God the Spirits sets apart unto obedience, and God the Son washed us continually in His blood.

Peter tells us we are not left to ourselves but He continues to flood us with grace and peace.  Grace is the ability to do and to be.  Peace is the umpire of our soul to keep us in the boundaries of being pleasing in His sight. 

Let us remember when suffering comes we are not alone, nor ill equipped to meet what our Lord has sent.  Let us not look at our suffering but look in the shadows.  Standing somewhere in the shadows will be the God of all suffering.