Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 2--2nd Quarter 2017--An Inheritance Incorruptible  (Read 1239 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 2 April 1-7




An Inheritance Incorruptible



So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Lesson 2 April 1-7

An Inheritance Incorruptible

Sabbath Afternoon


Read for This Week’s Study: 1 Pet. 1:1, 2; John 3:16; Ezek. 33:11; 1 Pet. 1:3-21; Lev. 11:44, 45; 1 Pet. 1:22-25.

Memory Text: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22

Whenever one studies the Bible, particularly focusing on one book or even a section of a book, a few questions need to be answered, if possible.

First, it would be good to know who the intended audience was. Second, perhaps even more important, it would be good to know what the precise reason for the writing was. What was the particular issue (if any) that the author wanted to address (such as Paul’s writing to the Galatians in regard to the theological errors being taught about salvation and the law)? As we know, much of the New Testament was written as epistles, or letters, and people usually write letters in order to convey specific messages to the recipients.

Amen! Line upon line, precept upon precept. There is always more to understand. False teachers twist Scripture to turn the truth into a lie by quoting a message out of context. The wrong use of Paul's writings is a good example. He had a particular burden that we see him addressing over and over. It was not the liberal teachers of today he was often addressing, but the Pharisees that had taught him a false gospel. He wanted to help his brethren who were likewise still deceived, and wanted to protect the sheep from the Judaizers who had come into the churches he had raised up. This gives the "Evangelical" false teachers a lot of room to twist in supporting "another gospel." When the teachings of Paul are correctly understood, it will be seen he was not doing away with the law at all, God forbid! But, those who surface read and put their faith in the arm of flesh, will be deceived. God sends teachers. The faithful teacher point all to Christ and His Word. We need to be as the faithful Bereans, and after we are taught, we must go home and prayerfully see if the teaching is in harmony with the Bible.


In other words, as we read Peter, it would be good to know, as much as possible, the historical context of his letter. What was he saying, and why? And of course, most important of all: What message can we (to whom, under inspiration, it was written, as well) take from it?

Amen! And how shall we understand this? There are two ways. First, from the rest of the Bible. Secondly from teachers who may have been inspired to reveal more that is in harmony with the Bible. The Desire of Ages is one such example. On the other hand, there are many using human wisdom to supplant Bible truth. Jesus warned us many would come dressed in sheep's clothing, but would be ravening wolves. How can we tell when they come into the church? What does the  Bible tells us?


And as we will soon see, even in the first few verses, Peter has a lot of important truth to reveal to us today, centuries removed from when he wrote.

Amen! The truth does not change with time. It may not apply in our day, such as the ceremonial law, but the truth concerning the ceremonial will never change. It was always will be the shadow that pointed to the future, the reality of the great love and power of our God. The Word of God is our guide. It is a revelation of Jesus Christ. "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." John 1:14.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Sunday April 2

To the Exiles

If you were given a piece of paper that began, “Dear Sir,” you would realize that you were reading a letter. And you would assume that the letter came from somebody you probably weren’t close to.

Just as modern letters have a standard way to begin, so do ancient letters. First Peter begins as any ancient letter would. It identifies the author and those to whom it was sent.

Read 1 Peter 1:1.

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,

What can we learn from this one verse that helps to give us a bit of context?

It is Peter writing to strangers in a particular location. But, are they strangers? If this is all we knew of the situation, may be led astray.


Peter clearly identifies himself. His name is the first word in the letter. Yet, he immediately defines himself as “an apostle of Jesus Christ.” Thus, as Paul often did (Gal. 1:1, Rom. 1:1, Eph. 1:1), Peter right away establishes his “credentials,” emphasizing his divine calling. He was an “apostle,” that is “one sent,” and the One who sent him was the Lord Jesus Christ.

Peter identifies a region where his letter was directed: Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. These are all regions in Asia Minor, roughly equivalent to the part of modern Turkey east of the Bosphorus.

Debate exists about whether Peter was writing mostly to Jewish believers or to Gentile believers. The terms Peter used in 1 Peter 1:1 “strangers,” “dispersion [diaspora],” (NRSV) are terms that naturally belong to Jews living outside of the Holy Land in the first century. The words chosen and sanctified in 1 Peter 1:2 are suited to both Jews and Christians alike. Describing those outside of the community as “Gentiles” (1 Pet. 2:12, 4:3) also underlines the Jewish character of those to whom Peter writes.

Not knowing for sure, we might also consider that Peter was an apostle primarily to the Jews, and Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles.  "Paul showed that his enemies could not justify their course by a pretended regard for these apostles. While he honored them as faithful ministers of Christ, he showed that they had not attempted to instruct him, neither had they commissioned him to preach the gospel. They were convinced that God had called him to present the truth to the Gentiles, as he had designated Peter to go especially to the Jews. Hence they acknowledged before the council Paul’s divine commission, and received him as a fellow-laborer of equal position with themselves."  Sketches From the Life of Paul, pg 193.

Some commentators argue, in response, that what Peter says in 1 Peter 1:18 and 4:3 would be more appropriately said to Gentile converts to Christianity than to Jewish ones. After all, would Peter really have written to Jews about the “futile ways inherited from your ancestors” (NRSV)? Or would he have said to Jewish readers, “For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:” (1 Pet. 4:3)?

Yes, he surely would and surely did. He did not withhold the truth from the apostate Jews. And they schemed to put him to death. And when Stephen did the same, they stoned him. Let's look at 1 Peter 4:3 in context.

4:3   For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 
 4:4   Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with [them] to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of [you]: 


Peter places himself with the Jews comparing himself and those he is speaking to with the Gentiles. Then how can he be speaking to Gentiles? Then in verse 4, he says "they think it strange that ye run not with them..." Who thinks it strange? The Gentiles think it strange because the Jews are converted and not doing what they used to do. The Gentiles knew the Jews were hypocrites. The nations of the world despised the Jews because they were not the holy ones they professed to be. This is why Pilot put the message over the head of Christ on the cross. "King of the Jews." They had called for the death of their king. And when in AD 70, Jerusalem was destroyed, it was with vengeance the soldiers killed and burn down the city.

What’s more crucial for us, though, isn’t so much who the audience was but, rather, what the message says.

Yes, and it does indeed help to understand who Peter is talking to. If he was talking to the Gentiles, then he was not one of them. If he was talking to Jews, then he acknowledged the sins of Israel, and the transformation in character that had taken place in the Christian Jews. When we testify to who we were and who we are now in Christ Jesus, God is glorified. If we talk about the work God has done in others, it is not as powerful as our own testimony.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Monday April 3

Elected

Read 1 Peter 1:2.

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
 

What else does this tell us about those to whom Peter had been writing? What does he call them?

They are the "elect" of God. Peter tells us that they have been "sanctified", past tense by the Spirit. And, because they are filled with the Spirit and sanctified, they are walking in all of the light they have been given.


Whether writing to specifically Jewish or Gentile believers, Peter was sure about one thing: they were “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (1 Pet. 1:2).

Yes, but this is not what we need to understand from this verse. It it helpful for the "Evangelicals", but we need to understand what Peter meant when he said they have been "sanctified" and "obedient."


Here, though, one needs to be careful. This does not mean that God predestined some people to be saved and some to be lost, and as good fortune would have it, the ones Peter was writing to happen to be some of those chosen or elected by God for salvation, while others were chosen by God to be lost. That’s not what the Bible teaches.

Read 1 Timothy 2:4, 2 Peter 3:9, John 3:16, Ezekiel 33:11.

 2:4   Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 
 3:9   The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 
 3:16   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
 33:11   Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 


How do these verses help us to understand what Peter meant when he called these people the “elect”?

Scripture makes it clear that it was God’s plan for everyone to be saved, a plan instituted in their behalf even before the creation of the earth: “He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). “All” are “elect” in the sense that God’s original purpose was for everyone to be saved and no one to be lost. He predestined all humanity for eternal life. This means that the plan of salvation was adequate for everyone to be included in the atonement, even if not everyone would accept what that atonement offered them.

Amen!! Not all are saved even though Christ died for all. Why are some not saved? Did they fail to do something? What must we do to be saved? And, then, do we have to do anything to remain "saved"?  Some think God does it all. Other think after they are saved, they have nothing they must do. So many deceptions that cause so many to be lost when Christ has called all to Himself!

God’s foreknowledge of the elect is simply His knowing beforehand what their free choice would be in regard to salvation. This foreknowledge in no way forced their choice any more than a mother knowing beforehand that her child will choose chocolate cake instead of green beans meant that her foreknowledge of the choice forced the child to make it.

What kind of assurance can you get from the encouraging truth that God has chosen you to be saved?

We can be assured God loves us. He proved it when He allowed His innocent Son to suffer and die at the hands of those whom He came to save! But, as has been revealed in our lesson, there is no assurance of salvation unless one will give up his will to the will of God. Even, there are still conditions to retain eternal life, contrary to what many professing Christians have been taught.

If we leave verse two in only speaking about error that the "Gentiles" have received, we do God's people no good in regards to the truth revealed there for our benefit. Many need to fully understand what is said in this verse. A Laodicean people think they are saved when being disobedient.

There are teachers who preach one is not "sanctified", but rather being sanctified. They are half right, which makes them wrong. When one is converted, is he filled with the Spirit? If so, is there a transformation of character? What does it mean to be "converted"?


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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In the memory verse the NIV left out "through the Spirit."  Is that significant relative to obedience ? Interesting in light of the fact that our last whole quarter was on the Holy Spirit.  The Catholic church teaches righteousness by works ( in one's own strength). It should not seem strange that they deleted this part when they corrupted the manuscripts.


It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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I never look at the quoted text when it is not the KJV. I just change it. What does it say in the NIV, cp?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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I never look at the quoted text when it is not the KJV. I just change it. What does it say in the NIV, cp?

" Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart."  I Peter 1:22 NIV
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.” 1 Peter 1:22

" Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart."  I Peter 1:22 NIV

Thanks cp. Two different meanings.  Nothing about the Holy Spirit giving the power, and nothing about the heart having been purified. The NIV does admit the individual has been purified, though. But, it needs to be clarified, that it is the heart that is pure, not the flesh. No holy flesh until the second coming.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Tuesday April 4

Key Themes


Read 1 Peter 1:3-12.

1:3   Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
 1:4   To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 
 1:5   Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 
 1:6   Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 
 1:7   That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 
 1:8   Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 
 1:9   Receiving the end of your faith, [even] the salvation of [your] souls. 
 1:10   Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace [that should come] unto you: 
 1:11   Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 
 1:12   Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 


What is Peter’s main message in these verses?

It is the gospel of grace which has transformed the character of the converted Christians who have a place in heaven.


In his greeting to his readers in 1 Peter 1:1, 2, Peter has already mentioned the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (1 Pet. 1:2). The three members of the Godhead form the subject of 1 Peter 1:3-12. The Father and the Son are the topic of 1 Peter 1:3-9, and the Holy Spirit is prominent in 1 Peter 1:10-12.

As he writes about the Father and Son and the work of the Holy Spirit, Peter introduces many of the themes that he will come back to.

Christians, Peter begins (1 Pet. 1:3; see also John 3:7), have been born anew. Their whole life has been transformed by Jesus’ resurrection and the extraordinary inheritance that awaits Christians in heaven (1 Pet. 1:3, 4). Here, as in so many other places in the New Testament, the resurrection of Jesus is key to the Christian hope.

The sufferings and death of Christ give us salvation if we will allow it to transform the life.


This hope gives Christians a reason to rejoice, despite the fact that many of those reading 1 Peter are suffering. This suffering tests and refines their faith, just as fire tests and refines gold. Even though Peter’s readers have not seen Jesus during His earthly ministry, they love Him and believe in Him. And the outcome of their faith in Him is salvation and the promise of “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Pet. 1:4).

Peter also lets them know that the prophets of old had predicted “the grace [that should come] unto you” (1 Pet. 1:10). The prophets of the Old Testament “inquired and searched” (1 Pet. 1:10) about the salvation that these people were now experiencing in Jesus.

Amen. They wanted truth. They wanted to know God. How do we get to the point of knowing God so much we can trust Him with all we are and all we have?

He who is appointed to act a part in the work for this time should feel the solemn responsibility resting upon him. We are working for eternity. If we eat of the bread which came from heaven we shall be Christlike in spirit and character. We are living in an age when there is to be no spiritual idleness. Every soul is to be charged with the heavenly current of life. The question is often asked: “What is the cause of the dearth of spiritual power in the church?” The answer comes: “The members allow their minds to be drawn away from the word of God.” We are built up physically from that which we eat, and in like manner the character of our spirituality is determined by the food given to the mind. We are to give the mind and heart proper nourishment by eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of God.

Christ declares: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life.... I am the living Bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.... Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, dwelleth in Me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth Me, even he shall live by Me.” John 6:47-57.  8T 169.


As they suffer persecution for their faith, Peter points out that they are part of a much wider conflict between good and evil. In the end, he is seeking to help them stay faithful to the truth, even amid trials.

Amen! It is not good enough to be converted, we must remain converted. How can we do that? The same way we were converted, by feeding upon Jesus. It would  be good to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ.


First Peter 1:4 says that there is an inheritance “reserved in heaven for you.” Think about that on a personal level; there is a specific place reserved in heaven just for you, personally. Then how should you personally respond to this wonderful promise?

If we wish to obtain our inheritance, what must we do?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wednesday April 5

Living the Life of Salvation


Read 1 Peter 1:13-21.

 1:13   Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 
 1:14   As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 
 1:15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 
 1:16   Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 
 1:17   And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear: 
 1:18   Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; 
 1:19   But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 
 1:20   Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 
 1:21   Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 


According to this passage, what should motivate Christian behavior?

The Bible says "grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
The word therefore, which begins 1 Peter 1:13, shows that what Peter will say next grows out of what he had just said. As we saw in yesterday’s study, Peter just had been talking about the grace of God and the hope that Christians have in Jesus Christ (1 Pet. 1:3-12).

As a result of this grace and hope, Peter urges his readers to “gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Pet. 1:13). That is, as a response to the salvation that they have in Jesus, they must prepare their minds in order to stand firm and be faithful (1 Pet. 1:13).

Read 1 Peter 1:13. What does it mean to rest your hope fully upon the grace revealed in Jesus?

Grace is the power that transforms the life, brings about a conversion experience. We must have this grace daily if we want to have salvation daily. God does not give us grace for tomorrow.


No question, Peter tells them their hope rests only in Jesus. But he then emphasizes that a certain level of behavior is expected from Christians as a consequence of their salvation. He notes three of the great motivations that lie behind Christian behavior: the character of God (1 Pet. 1:15, 16), the coming judgment (1 Pet. 1:17), and the cost of redemption (1 Pet. 1:17-21).

The first thing that will motivate Christian behavior is the character of God. This character can be summed up this way: God is holy. Peter quotes from Leviticus 11:44, 45 when he says, “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). Therefore those who follow Jesus must also be holy (1 Pet. 1:15-17).

That is an amazing statement. What does it mean to be "holy"?


A second motivation for Christian behavior is found in the realization that God, who is holy, will judge everyone impartially, according to what each has done (1 Pet. 1:17).

A third motivation arises from the great truth that Christians are redeemed. This means that they have been bought with a price, a very high price: the precious blood of Christ (1 Pet. 1:19). Peter emphasizes that the death of Jesus was not an accident of history but something established before the foundation of the world (1 Pet. 1:20).

What motivates you to be a Christian? What would you answer, and why, if someone asked you, Why are you a Christian? Bring your answers to class on Sabbath.

What motivates one to want to be a Christian may be different from what makes one a Christian. Jude says to save some by fear. Can fear save anyone? "And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh." Jude 1:23. Can fear motivate one to want to be a Christian? Yet, fear cannot save a single soul. What does the Bible verse mean then?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Thursday April 6

Love One Another

Peter next steers Christians to the ultimate expression of what living a holy and faithful life will be like.

Read 1 Peter 1:22-25.

 1:22   Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently: 
 1:23   Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 
 1:24   For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 
 1:25   But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
 
 
What crucial point is he making here about what it means to be a Christian?

Peter’s starting point is that Christians are already purified (“Seeing ye have purified . . .”), and are living in obedience to the truth (1 Pet. 1:22). The verb “purify” or “cleanse” is closely related to the words holy and holiness, which link back to what Peter wrote a few verses earlier (1 Pet. 1:15). Through their commitment to Jesus, and through their baptism (compare 1 Pet. 3:21, 22),

Christians have purified themselves by setting themselves aside for God, and they do this by obeying the truth.

Yes, it is by making a full surrender that Christ can purify the heart. At conversion we are new creatures in Christ Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, and manifesting love, joy, and peace that passes understanding.


This change in their lives has the natural consequence so that they now find themselves in a close relationship with others who share a similar worldview. These relationships are so close that Peter uses the language of family to describe them. Christians are to act out of brotherly and sisterly love. The Greek word used in 1 Peter 1:22, when he talks about the “love of the brethren,” philadelphia, means literally “love of brother/sister.” It is the love that families have for one another.

There are several different words in Greek that are translated “love”: philia (friendship), eros (the passionate love of a husband and wife), agape (a pure love that seeks the good of the other). The word Peter uses when he writes “love one another fervently” (1 Pet. 1:22) is linked to agape-which usually means the pure love that seeks the good of others. That’s certainly why he added the phrase to love one another “with a pure heart” (1 Pet. 1:22), the kind of heart that comes from being “born again” (1 Pet. 1:23; see also 1 Pet. 1:3) through the incorruptible Word of God. This kind of love comes only from God; it’s not what a selfish, self-centered unregenerate heart will manifest, which is surely why Peter puts such an emphasis on being purified and on “obeying the truth” (1 Pet. 1:22). The truth is not just something believed; it must be lived.

How can we learn to be more loving? What choices must we make in order to be able to manifest the kind of love that comes from a “pure heart”?

We must first have a pure heart. How do we receive a pure heart? A pure heart has been cleansed from all known sin. A pure heart has holy and pure motives. A pure heart may keep the wrong day and eat the wrong food, if these things are unknown. When do we receive a pure heart? What must I do in order to obtain a pure heart?

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Friday April 7

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “Christ the Way of Life,” pp. 365-368, and “Perfect Obedience Through Christ,” pp. 373-376 in Selected Messages, book 1.

It’s amazing how rich and deep this first chapter of Peter is and how much ground it covers. Peter begins his epistle with a meditation on the character of the Godhead, bringing in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father has provided a Savior in His Son, Jesus Christ, and we are elected in Him for sanctification and obedience. We come to love Jesus, and in Him we rejoice with exalted joy because, through His death and resurrection, we have the promise of an “inheritance incorruptible” in heaven. Even amid trials, then, we can greatly rejoice in the salvation offered us in Christ. “His [Peter’s] letters were the means of reviving the courage and strengthening the faith of those who were enduring trial and affliction, and of renewing to good works those who through manifold temptations were in danger of losing their hold upon God.” - Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 517. Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit worked through the prophets to outline the days in which Peter and his readers live. As a consequence, Christians should live holy lives, filled with obedience to the truth, in communities that are characterized by the kind of love that comes from a “pure heart.”

Discussion Questions:

    In class, go over your answers to the question at the end of Wednesday’s study: What motivates us to be Christians? What do your answers share in common? How do they diverge?

There are many things that may motivate us to want to be Christians, but there is only one thing that can convert us from sinners into saints. That is the grace of God. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God." Ephesians 2:8.

    Twice in this first chapter (1 Pet. 1:3, 21), Peter brought up the resurrection of Jesus. What is it about the Resurrection that is so crucial to our faith?

Death is only a sleep. All will come forth from the grave, one way or another. When Jesus came forth, He did so that He might be our living High Priest.


    Peter talked about an “inheritance incorruptible” (see also Dan. 7:18). What does that mean? Think about all the things in this world and this life that fade away or that can be destroyed instantly. What should this tell us about how wonderful our promised inheritance really is?

    How can our faith grow amid trials? That is, what choices can we make to help us to learn from the things we suffer?

The more we know God, the more we love Him. The more we experience grace to overcome temptations in our trials, the stronger our belief in Him. The character is strengthened by our trials. "Though he were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered." Hebrews 5:8. So shall we, if we will abide in Christ and He in us through the Holy Spirit.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.