1 Peter – Dimensions of Suffering

Why suffering? It is never part of God’s original purpose. Both God and Satan use the inevitable to meet their objectives.

Key Verses

1 Peter 1:In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faithbeing more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 

Presentation Overview

Objectives

Introduction

God’s twist to suffering

Satan’s twist to suffering

Types of Suffering

Lifestyle Requirements

Perspectives on Suffering

Assurances in Suffering

Attitude in Suffering

Objectives

To gain:

  • Encouragement and joy in trials
  • Courage amidst opposition
  • Honorable lifestyle
  • God’s perspective on suffering

Introduction

  • Directed by Peter to Jews across the world.
  • The once fearful Peter is now transformed.
  • He encourages Jews to face suffering with courage and purity.
  • He strengthens them with positive perspectives on suffering.
  • He warns of greater suffering for the unsaved.

Why Suffering?

  • Answered from the beginning of time.
  • Mankind brought in suffering by choosing to disobey God and bring in sin. – Rom 5:12
  • It was never part of God’s original purpose for mankind.1 John 1:5
  • Both God and Satan use the inevitable to meet their objectives.

God’s Twist to Suffering (Key Verse)

If some part of our body is broken, restoration takes a long process and a lot of pain. So also with sin (breaking relationship with God). Suffering is part of the restoration to God process.

God uses suffering for our good and His glory as he tests our faith through fire.

Satan’s Twist to Suffering

1 Peter 5:Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour

Types of Suffering

  • Temporary Suffering
    • For the right
    • For wrong
  • Permanent suffering of unsaved sinner

Temporary Suffering - for the Right

1 Peter 3:13 Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled

1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Conditions for suffering right

1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience

Temporary Suffering- for wrong

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. Ch 3

Types of Suffering Permanent Suffering

1 Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?

It is better to suffer temporarily in the fires of refinement than permanently in the fires of hell

Types of Suffering Warnings

  • 1 Peter 2:8 for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.
  • 1 Peter 3:16 so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

Lifestyle Requirements

  • Leveraging suffering to work for our good God’s glory requires a certain lifestyle.
  • Read 1 Peter, picking out these lifestyle requirements.
  • Discuss them

Lifestyle Requirements

Some requirements to best leverage suffering and align it with God’s will are:

  • Prepare minds for action
  • Maintain excellent behaviour
  • honour authority
  • Abstain from passions
  • Maintain loving family relationships,
  • Gentle and quiet spirit for women
  • Keep tongue from Evil
  • Seek peace
  • Resist Devil  in firm faith,
  • As new born babes long for spiritual milk
  • Be stewards,
  • Have sound judgment,
  • Have sober spirit
  • Be ready to defend gospel,
  • Maintain good conscience,
  • Live honourably
  • Acquire purity that results from obedience
  • Be humble

Humility

1 Peter 5:5 and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Woman

1 Peter 3:3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.  5 For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;

Warning to Husbands

1 Peter 3:You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

Discussion - Inner Jewelry

  • Why is a gentle and quiet spirit imperishable?
  • What are the challenges in submission?
  • Reflect and discuss.

Perspectives on Suffering

  • Suffer rejection as a living stone
  • Share in Christ’s suffering as a Shepherd

Suffer Rejection as a Living Stone

1 Peter 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Suffer as Shepherds

1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.

1 Peter 2:25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

Assurances in Suffering

  • Salvation
  • Perfection
  • Purification
  • Never Disappointed
  • Enduring word
  • Chosen for mercy
  • Never alone
  • Prayers responded
  • Blessing
  • Glory

Salvation

  • 1 Peter 1:obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
  • 1 Peter 3:20  eight persons, were brought safely through the water21 Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Ch 3

Perfection

1 Peter 5:10 After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.

Purification

  • 1 Peter 1:22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart
  • 1 Peter 4:1 he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, Ch 4:1
  • 1 Peter 4:8… love covers a multitude of sins

Enduring Word

1 Peter 1:24 For,

“All flesh is like grass,

And all its glory like the flower of grass.

The grass withers,

And the flower falls off,

25 But the word of the Lord endures forever.”

Never alone

1 Peter 5:9 But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

Chosen for Mercy

1 Peter 2:But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excelencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Never disappointed

1 Peter 2:For this is contained in[k]Scripture:

“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone,
And he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.

This precious value, then, is for you who believe;

Prayers Responded

1 Peter 3:10 For, “The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
11 “He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer

Blessing

  • 1 Peter 3:9 you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing
  • 1 Peter 4:14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

Glory

1 Peter 4:14 the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

1 Peter 5:And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Attitude in Suffering Keep on Rejoicing

1 Peter 4:13.. to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.

1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials … greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

Dimensions of Suffering - Discussion

  • Some people believe that believers need not suffer in any form in this world. What does this book say about it?
  • What responsibilities do you have as a shepherd and living stone?
  • What assurance in suffering most encourages you?
  • How can we “keep on rejoicing” in suffering?

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