Standing out

1 Peter – Read along with us, and let us know your thoughts

In our Sunday morning services at the moment, we’re looking at life through the lens of early Christians living in what is now called Turkey. In a world that felt alien, amongst people that they felt disconnected from, they needed help to know how to live their faith out. But Peter, the apostle, wanted more for them than just hanging in there. He wanted them to be communities that could share the good news they had received with others around them.

So read along with us. Add your thoughts in the comments section below as we go. Encourage one another. Raise the questions that might arise. All are welcome.

Here we go…

Who You Are And Where You Are

1 Peter 1:1-2 (22/4/2012)
God chooses us for His mission, we don’t choose God for ours. He places us where we can make a difference.

What you have been given in the gospel and how it shapes who we are

1 Peter 1:3-2:1 (29/4/2012)
We need to act out of the gospel first and then speak to ensure we have integrity.

Everyday Mission: Being a Missional Church

1 Peter 2:4-2:12 (13/5/2012)
Together we announce the good news of Jesus.

Everyday Mission: Mission in Society

1 Peter 2:11-2:25 (20/5/2012)
Separately we live as servants of God – different situations need us to act in different ways.

Everyday Mission: Mission at Home

1 Peter 3:1-7 (27/5/2012)
How is our faith shown in our home lives?

A Community With A Better Story

1 Peter 3:8-15 (10/6/2012)
How do we build a community with a better story?


There are two books you might find useful as we go through 1 Peter:

  • To be chosen by God, Woow! Simply mind blowing at the simplest level.

  • I looked at this passage in the Amplified Bible, and it also shows another word alongside ‘scattered’ – ‘sowed’.

    This got me thinking about sowing seed, and how it needs to be spread thinly across a wide area to produce a successful crop. If you plant the seeds too close together, then growing plants won’t be as strong, and the crop will be ruined.So we may at times feel isolated, but we need to remember that God’s plan is much larger than each one of us, just as the field is bigger than each individual seed.

    • ipeaco

      So true Phil, very profound. Whilst we need one another to grow, if we spend every moment in each other’s pockets, there is a danger we we stifle one another and, perhaps more importantly, won’t spread the seed of the Kingdom very far. Great stuff.

  • ipeaco

    I love verses 3-5. We have so much to be thankful to God for, not least the gift of new life.

    ‘This fills us with a living hope’ got me thinking about what the word ‘living’ might mean here. What would a ‘dying’ or ‘dead’ hope be? I came to the conclusion that hope for the Christian is not a ‘hope against hope’ or an ‘insurance policy’ but a very real hope, so real you can almost taste it. In fact God gives us a foretaste of His kingdom, a ‘deposit’ within us, the Holy Spirit, who assures us of the inheritance we will receive when Jesus returns – an eternity spent in His presence! Wow! So undeserved and so overwhelming is God’s mercy to us. Praise God.

  • beanful

    1:2 ‘To be obedient’….I think this word has lost some of its meaning today, it sometimes looses its meaning for me, obedience does not come naturally! I want to have my own way because if I don’t I feel powerless…the big I does not like it. But when I am reminded that I was chosen, I was in God’s thoughts and plans before I was ever planned by my parents, well that starts to change things again. The truth is I will need to be reminded of this again and again and again and again. I believe that Peter might have had to have a reminder along the way, he opened his letter like that did he not?

  • Matt_Treg

    Ch1 V8 is a great verse, I actually wanted to say this at the baptism on Sunday and should have but didn’t – to be filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. Seeing this in people encouraged me to return to Christianity, as the faith I had grown up with had not seemed joyful but mundane and boring. Christianity when fully experienced is and should be joyful!! 

  • neilhudson

    I was struck by Peter beginning this letter outlining the places where these Christians found themselves scattered:  Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia. (You can see them here: http://tinyurl.com/cbxfldu) It’s easy to glaze over the names – and forget that these places are very different from each other.  They each had and have their own climate patterns, their own customs, history, stories and heroes.  It mattered if you came from these places.  It mattered if that was where you lived.  And maybe that’s the point.  Most of the epistles include both places and people.  Because they both matter.  We don’t receive truth in a vacuum. We read it in the dry heat of Cappadocia or the coastlands of Galatia.  Peter wrote a letter to the named places where the people were.  The letter is still read in particular places.  In our case: Salford.  To God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered across Eccles and Swinton and Pendlebury and Claremont and the Height, we have been chosen….  a people in a particular place – our place, a place that God longs to show his glory in. 

  • neilhudson

    This next sermon includes Peter’s call to slaves to submit to masters (1 Peter 2:18).  This is a part of the Bible that many people want to says proves that religion is bad news. They suggest that Christianity encourages us to just keep quiet, collude with the powers and allow evil to go on unchecked.   But even a quick look at what slavery was like in the Roman empire suggests it was a complicated situation. 

    Firstly, there is the scale of it.  Some suggest that a quarter to a third of the Roman empire was made up of slaves.

    Secondly, slavery for many was a secure way of life that would continue until the masters set them free.  And that might not always have led to a better life for slaves. 

    Thirdly, some masters were clearly barbaric, but many others seem to have maintained their humanity.  Roman law had a range of laws that were designed to protect the slaves.

    Now, it has to be said, that slavery – however nice you might be – is always wrong! But what Peter was wanting to do was to help Christians in the empire work out how to live out their faith in the reality of the situations they found themselves in. Particularly if they were difficult situations.

    So what were the options?
    Violence and assault was not helpful.  
              ‘In the mid-first century AD an anonymous slave murdered his master, a high official in the imperial administration, either because the master had reneged on a promise to set the slave free or because the two were rivals in a sexual intrigue.
               The aftermath was disastrous. Roman law required a man’s slaves to come to his aid if he were attacked, under penalty of death. The law was enforced against those slaves who had not come to the victim’s aid in this case, and all the slaves in the household – allegedly 400 of them – were executed, even though most of them could not possibly have known anything about the murder…..’

    So what about undermining it by being poor slaves:
           ‘Slaves, for example, might steal food or other supplies from the household. Those in positions of responsibility might falsify record books, and embezzle money from their owners, or arrange for their own manumission (setting free). Ordinary farm labourers might deliberately go slow on the job, or injure the animals they worked with to avoid work – or they might pretend to be ill, destroy equipment, or damage buildings. If your job was to make wine and you had to produce a certain quota, why not add in some sea-water to help things along? Almost any slave could play truant or simply waste time.’ 
    The goal  was to win the contest that was ‘fought in the arena of the mind’.  (Quotes taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/slavery_01.shtml)Peter suggests another way to win the ‘contest’ – to walk the way of Jesus.  It might have not been very hard if your master was good to you.  But if they were evil, what could you do then?  This is where he points to Jesus and reminds his readers of the fact that Jesus’ example is of someone whose suffering that was engaged in willingly could prove redemptive.  It could change people.  It takes a wide imagination to believe this.  But this is the faith that Peter had – that the answer to the prayer ‘may your kingdom come…’ could be played out in the dining rooms of Roman villas by slaves who recognised that they had a higher master, a greater king, a better overseer. It must have been just as difficult for his early readers to have grasped as it is for us to believe when we are in workplaces that are difficult, life sapping and unjust.  We need a renewed imagination if we are to be able to see it happen.