our journey together

our journey together

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Elect Exiles?!?!

Background Information:
1&2 Peter were written by the same Peter who was a fisherman, the brother of Andrew (who introduced Peter to Jesus – John 1:42), formally known as Simon (given his name Peter / Cephas = Rock by Jesus – Matthew 16:18), he was one of the inner three of Jesus’ disciples, the leader and spokesman of the Apostles.  Peter’s home was in Capernaum, where he lived with his wife, during the time after Jesus’ ascension he and his wife would go and visit churches that had been planted (1 Cor. 9:5), probably some of them are the one mentioned in his first letter. 
He may have been involved in planting these Northern churches of Asia Minor or could have visited them after they were already planted.  Peter’s major concern was pastoral in nature with a strong emphasis on godly behavior in suffering (Blum, 1981, pg. 215). 
One of the remarkable things about Peter is to note the difference of Peter before Pentecost (Acts 2) and after Pentecost – the filling of the Holy Spirit. 
Peter was possibly in Rome when he wrote this letter (probably early 60’s).  Peter had believed that Jesus would return within his life time, but when this did not happen he realized he needed to write down what happened – this became Mark (the gospel story from Peter’s perspective.  As well Peter wanted these young new churches to understand how to live out their faith. 

Elect Exiles!?!
1.      High and low from this past week
Opening question (ask one or all five – it is up to you):
2.      What makes you, you?
3.      What is the one thing you would most like to change about the world?
4.      What was your first job that really loved?  Why?
5.      When have you felt like you belonged?
6.      If you could do anything without failing what would you do?
1 Peter 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance (NIV).
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with his blood: May grace and peace be multiplied to you (ESV).
This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ.  I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. 2 God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ.  May God give you more and more grace and peace (NLT).
1.      What words in verse one stick out to you?  Why?
2.      How would it feel if you received this letter and before it even says “hi”, it says “(your name) chosen exile… How does that sound?  What might you think is coming in the letter?
3.      What does it mean to be elect or chosen? 
4.      What does it mean to be an exile or foreigner or alien?
5.      Should we be encouraged or discouraged by God choosing us?  And choosing us to be here (St. Cloud, Salk Rapids, MN, 2012, at Journey Fellowship,…) “for such a time as this”?
6.      What does Peter say about how we are chosen?
a.       Past – “foreknowledge of God the Father”
b.      Present – “through the sanctifying work of the Spirit”
c.       Future – “for obedience to Jesus Christ”
d.      All this is possible by the cross of Christ – “sprinkling by His blood”
7.      Knowing that God (the Trinity) has called you “for such a time as this” (Elect Exile), what is He asking you to do today, tomorrow, this next year? 
8.      How can we, the Church, help support you, encourage you, hold you accountable to achieve what God is calling you to?

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