Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 16

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

With this lesson we reach a milestone in our study: we are finishing 1 Peter. Next week we begin 2 Peter, but for now, let’s finish Peter’s first epistle well.

Our lesson begins in the middle of Peter’s call for humility among believers.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your cares upon him, because he cares for you. (5:6-7) Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 15

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to your elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 1-5 Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 14

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

Our passage this week brings Peter’s discussion of suffering to a close. After this, he will give instructions to the shepherds of Christ’s flock, then a final call to watchfulness with hope before concluding his letter. But in this passage, he gently, yet urgently calls us to endure our suffering with joy and confidence in our faithful Creator.

First Peter 4 addresses deliberate malice aimed at believers in Christ. Yet, while Peter writes of persecution specifically, there is much to learn about how to face a broader range of suffering for those who aren’t persecuted for their faith. “Whether we suffer true persecution or for another reason, everyone needs Peter’s message about suffering. Therefore, as long as we live in this fallen world, this magnificent ruin, we should expect to suffer. It is neither strange nor surprising. The more we expect trouble, the better we will be prepared for it.”[1] Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 13

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This post is a week late. Last week we had the Grand Boys for four days. So, exactly when I ought to be writing up the post for our lesson on 1 Peter 4:1-11, I was chasing a five-year old and a two-year old from one activity to another, feeding them, cleaning up after them (well, sorta…), and falling exhausted into bed as soon as I’d said, “nighty-night.” I hope the tardiness of this post and the rush to get it out haven’t muddied the message.   Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 12, part 2

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

The post for lesson 12, part 1 ended not only mid-lesson, but also mid-sentence and mid-verse! In 1 Peter 3:18, Peter pivots from Christ’s substitutionary atonement on the cross to something else Christ has done—and the rest of the sentence, which goes through verse 20, has confounded interpreters and theologians for centuries. What exactly did he do, when and how did he do it? In this post we may not solve the riddle which Peter here sets before us, but we will survey the options. We will also finish the lesson with the discussion of baptism into which Peter segues after writing about Noah. To cover this portion of Scripture in more depth than the study questions have, we will be going off-road, so, fasten your seatbelts as we take a wild ride through the tangled brush of theological history. Continue reading

Standing in the True Grace of God, Lesson 12, part 1

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By BARBARANNE KELLY|CONTRIBUTOR

This week we are studying 1 Peter 3:13-22, which begins with Peter’s instructions and encouragements for Christians who are suffering for their faith. He addressed suffering earlier in his letter in more general terms, when he wrote, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials” (1:6). He encouraged his readers in their variety of trials that, whatever the cause of their suffering, it served a higher purpose: to purify their faith and bring “praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (7). But now he narrows his focus to distinctively Christian suffering, because that is the cauldron in which they increasingly find themselves. Continue reading