Sermon 24th May 2020
Published May 23, 2020 at 4:41 AM
Audio extract of Video Reflection
Content Copyright Belongs to Gorgie Dalry Stenhouse Church of Scotland
Questions for Bible Study (Holiness in the Light of the Resurrection)
This week our reflections from 1 Peter chapter 1 turn to the fact that living in the light of Christ's resurrection enables us to enter into a new life of hope despite the troubles we face.
In the video, I have highlighted three areas where Christians seem to be struggling: isolation, suffering, faith being tested.
In what ways are these similar and dissimilar from our current situation today?
Do you feel you can personally identify with the Christians that Peter is writing to?
Is there one area that you identify with more than others?
Which points in this chapter did you feel Peter was speaking directly to you?
The promise of salvation comes up a few times in this passage, in the sense of a future reality (see vv.4-5, 9, 13). Why do you think it is important to remember that salvation is a future reality?
Christ’s blood is used as a symbol of our salvation. How does Peter use this imagery to develop his message? (see 1 Peter 1:1, 18-19, see also Exodus 24:3–8; Leviticus 4:6, 17; compare Isaiah 52:14)
It is strongly suggested that salvation as a destiny for Christians does in fact give us a present experience of this reality (see v. 9, 21). There is a link here to the lamb being slain before the foundation of the world (v.20 [see also Revelation 13:8]), which also includes the past. Why do you think “salvation” is a reality that includes past, present and future? How does this encourage Christians when we have to endure tough times?
Even though the early Christians were suffering, what evidence do you find with this chapter that they had not let this pull their attitude down? (See vv. 6-9)
How closely do you find your attitude aligns with theirs in times of trouble, suffering, or even grief?
What are some immediate steps you can take to change your perspective on suffering, persecution, and pain?
The call to be holy requires attention to be given to the following actions, attitudes or behaviours. As you look at each of these, ask yourself why it helps to see holiness first in terms of our relationship being set apart for God before we consider how we should change our behaviour.
1. Obedience and rejection of sin (1 Peter 1:14-16)
Verse 1, says that we are sanctified by the Spirit to be obedient. Some other verses help us to understand more (see vv. 14, 22).
What has obedience got to do with holiness? (see Leviticus 19)
Why is life through the sanctifying power of the Spirit the only way we can hope to be obedient to the Lord? (see Romans 7:18-19, Galatians 5:16).
2. Reverent fear (see v.17)
Acknowledging God as a judge is very distasteful in our culture. But he is not just a judge, he is described here as an “impartial judge”. This leads us to a life of living in “reverent fear” instead of just pure fear. What difference does this make?
3. Love for God and for others (see vv. 8, 22)
Read John 14:15-21 – It is the Holy Spirit that helps us to obey (again, see 1 Peter 1:1), but he also helps us to love. Being sanctified and set apart for God produces in us a love for God and for each other that is genuine and comes from deep within us. Do you feel that love is strongly evident in our church community? What are some of the reasons why love gets diminished?What are some of the ways in which you have given and received love from fellow Christians during this time?
Finally, as you may be experiencing difficulty on different levels through being isolated from others. Do you feel this time has given you a chance to draw closer to God? If not, what are some actions that you can immediately take to make your life more holy i.e. more set apart to God?