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Sermon Study - 1 Peter 4:12-19

“Joyfully Entrusting Ourselves to a Faithful Creator” from 1 Peter 4:12-19. You can listen here.

Sermon Review

We’ve now entered the final section of 1 Peter. We’ve moved from the opening of the letter, where Peter reminded his readers of their identity as elect exiles, chosen by God for a salvation ready to be revealed on the last day. We’ve worked our way through the body of the letter, where Peter instructed his readers what it would look like for them to live as God’s elect exiles in the world – honorable conduct, suffering as Christ suffered, pursuing holiness in all things. And now, we’ve come to the closing of the letter, where Peter will give his final instructions concerning the Christian life. You can see the transition to the final section in verse 12, where Peter uses the word Beloved. That’s the same word he used in 2:11 when he began the body of the letter. Now, Peter uses the term once more, this time to signal that the letter has entered its closing section.

And with this final section, Peter returns to the pressing issue of the letter – how can these beleaguered, afflicted Christians endure suffering for the name of Christ? That’s the question that I think prompted Peter to write this letter in the first place. How can believers endure suffering for Christ? Remember, Peter writes as an apostle with authority, but he also writes as a pastor, full of concern for these people. He loves them, and he wants to prepare them for what will certainly come as they continue to follow Christ. Peter is no fool; he knows full well what following Christ brings – hardship and trials, at least in this life. He’s experienced those things himself. And now as a pastor, he writes to prepare these people to endure the same sort of hardship.

Peter makes four point in preparation:

  1. Rejoice because God is at work in your life
  2. Don’t be ashamed but recognize the opportunity to glorify God
  3. Understand God’s purpose in his people’s suffering
  4. Entrust yourselves to the Faithful Creator

For Further Study

1 Peter 4:12-19 makes many of the same points from earlier in the letter. Look up the following passages, and list some of the similar themes:

  1. 1 Peter 1:6-7
  2. 1 Peter 2:21-23
  3. 1 Peter 3:14
  4. 1 Peter 4:5-7

Compare 1 Peter 4:12-14 with James 1:2-4, and answer the following questions:

  1. What is similar about the two passages? What is different?
  2. What do these passages teach us about God’s purpose in trials?
  3. What practical encouragement do these passages give to suffering Christians?

For Personal Reflection

Spend time in prayer, asking God to work out the truth of 1 Peter 4:12-19 in your life:

  1. That you would be able to rejoice, even in trials, because God is at work in your life
  2. That you would recognize the opportunity trials provide to glorify God
  3. That God would use both this passage and your understanding of it to encourage a suffering Christian
  4. That God would enable you to entrust yourself more fully to him each day
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