Welcome to week 1 of the 1 Peter series! This guide exists to help you process and better understand the message. Feel free to answer some or all of the questions. You can also choose to focus on one aspect that speaks to the group. Think of this study guide as a resource to help you and your group listen to the Holy Spirit and respond to His calling.
(Feel free to choose just one of the following)
- Read the entire book of 1 Peter as a group.
- Reflect on 2020/the first part of 2021. Take emotional inventory of where you are right now. How is your "Hope Meter” reading these days?
- How heavy is your shield of faith?
- Google “Christian Nationalism” and together as a group, create a working definition.
Pastor Steve began his message by reminding us who Peter, the author of this letter, was.
What do you recall about Peter’s identity, his experiences with Jesus, and his character? (For more in-depth information, Use this link for reference.)
Read 1 Peter 1:3-9.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
How would you describe the tone of these verses? What words stand out to you? What themes are repeated in the passage above? What do you think Peter was trying to communicate to Jesus’ early followers?
At the time this letter was written, Christians were experiencing deep persecution. Consider what Peter does NOT say as he addresses people who are suffering because of their faith. What does Peter ask the church to focus on and remember as they walk through difficult circumstances?
Many of us feel that 2020 has left us hopeless and our faith fragile. Some might conclude that Peter was writing to a group of people feeling the same. In this letter, Peter calls on the church to reactivate their faith. Reread 1 Peter 1:2. What does this verse tell us is our Triune God's role in our faith and salvation? Based on this, how is our faith reactivated?
In what way is God calling the same for Cornerstone? How might your family change if your faith was “reactivated?” How might your communication with others change? What does living in a Christian community with a reactivated faith look like? What would we do for each other? What would we do for our Church leaders? What would we do for our communities?
What is the significance of a “living hope?” What are things that we may have in place of our hope that are not “living?" What “non-living hopes” did last year take from you? In what way has that impacted you? In what way has letting go of your non-living hope refined your faith?
Consider what you discussed in question 1. Who was Peter before Jesus began His work in his life? Consider who you were 12 months ago or “are” right now. How did Peter change as a result of the trials that he experienced? What do you see the Holy Spirit producing in you as a result of the trials of the last 12 months? Where has God been at work in your life? What is He teaching you -or- what would you LIKE God to produce in your life? How can you make space (spiritually, emotionally, and physically) for these changes to occur?
We encourage you to check out Daily Steps, our companion devotional guide for individual reflection, prayer, and meditation on related Scripture selections throughout the week!